An American spy cyber drama, airing starting January 2014, which blends elements of Police Procedurals, Spy Fiction, and Twenty Minutes into the FutureScience Fiction. Created by Michael Seitzman (based on John Dixon's novel Phoenix Island), it aired on CBS in America for thirteen episodes. The series finale aired March 31, 2014, and it was confirmed cancelled that May.The series centers on Gabriel Vaughn, an ex-Delta Force commando who saw action in several missions during his time in the US Army before he was selected to undergo a black ops experiment due to a rare gene that he has. This allowed Cyber Command scientists to install a microchip into his brain, which allows him to gain access to the global information grid. Due to this, CC decides to assign an active Secret Service agent named Riley Neal in order to protect him (and the technology he has in his brain) from falling into the wrong hands.As Gabriel and Riley work together on CC-led missions to stop criminals and terrorists from harming America at home and abroad, Gabriel uses the microchip's global information access to seek out information what happened to his wife, Amelia, who was implicated in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and branded as a rogue CIA agent by her superiors and to find out what forced her to disappear and go underground.
Badass in a Nice Suit: The Secret Service detail in "Secrets of the Secret Service", but especially Gabriel and Riley.
Badass Normal: Riley Neal (vs. Gabriel's use of technology.) Riley has been shown to illustrate the idea of the human factor, correcting Gabriel's digital translation and coming to conclusions that Gabriel has missed, illustrating she's actually just as skilled as agent as he, just with a different subset (focusing on people and relationships in order to be more skilled at protecting them).
Bottle Episode: Except for the opening scenes, "Athens" takes place almost entirely inside CYBERCOM.
Cyber Punk/Post Cyber Punk: A mixture of these, but more on the latter since Cyber Command was able to create microchips that make a person into a living computer. Although this would "interest" criminals, terrorists and intelligence agencies that want to get their hands on it.
The Chinese M99 Sniper Rifle and sniper view's broadcasting function in the Pilot. First, it's used to threaten Dr. Cassidy's "sons", his biological one and Gabriel, his "Pinocchio" son. Then it's used as a blunt object to smack him with, and then Gabriel uses it and it's transmitting function to line up the doctor's shot at Jin Cong while he's holding Riley hostage. In that sense it's a literal Chekhov's Gun.
Riley boasting about her brand-new, expensive-looking watch. Gabriel, remembering how she made a to-do over it, realizes she purposely shifted it to her other wrist and misadjusted it to give him clues as to where she's imprisoned.
The quadcopter Nelson's rigged to fly with an electrode net on his head at the start of "Patient Zero". When fighting some black ops guys later in the episode, Gabriel uses his chip to fly it into his opponent's head.
Destroy the Evidence: A faction led by General Carter tries to apprehend Luther Vick in order to destroy all traces of their involvement in a black ops WMD project. They were even willing to kill Gabriel and Riley to protect the secret.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Tetazoo, shot twice, manages to shoot his assailant before they can finish the job, and sends the key bit of evidence to Lillian before dying.
Et Tu, Brute?: Amos betrays Dr. Cassidy to the Chinese. He even tries to turn Riley as a bonus.
Everything Is Online: The series relies pretty heavily on this. FYI: Traffic lights are not connected to the Internet, they're run locally by programmable logic controllers that do not have wireless I/O.
Evil Versus Evil: The US government's approach to "containing" Mexican drug cartels. Hector seems to think this gives him licence to try and bully key people in the US into making sure he can keep his drug empire going.
Fighting Fingerprint: Gabriel does this in "Patient Zero" when he and Riley are ambushed by black-ops agents while tracking the eponymous loose bioweapon test subject.
Gabriel: Last time I felt a hammer strike like that was at Fort Benning, Georgia. Riley: So we just got our ass kicked by US Special Forces.
Gabriel fakes one in "Patient Zero" while he and Riley investigate how an executed death row inmate could turn up as patient zero in a virus outbreak. He lies down on the death chamber gurney (no syringes) and has Riley activate the system, then chips the EKG machine to produce a flatline result (partly as a practical joke on Riley, but also to demonstrate that the machine was tampered with).
Invoked in "Size Matters" when Dr. Cassidy is infected with Grey Goo. They stop his heart to fool the nanites into shutting down, then give him a Shot to the Heart to bring him back.
Future Slang: "Chipping" is already being used in-universe to refer to Gabriel hacking things.
Gas Leak Coverup: This, and others, are the stock in trade of Cyber Command, which needs to conceal both advanced techniques that terrorists could use as well as the full extent of Gabriel's capabilities.
Government Agency of Fiction: U.S. Cyber Command does actually exist, in Fort Meade instead of Angel's Bluff, Virginia. The emblem is almost the same as the real CYBERCOM, but the real agency seems to be more military and armed forces related than espionage and spycraft. The Clockwork department/function of CYBERCOM is also completely fictional.
Government Conspiracy: Mei Chen suggests in "Event Horizon" that someone from the American government hired her to frame Gabriel for murder. The season finale reveals her client: Leland Strand, Lillian's father.
Grand Theft Prototype: Jin Cong intends to steal the list of children known to have the mutation, presumably to then kidnap one or more and create his own super-soldiers.
Idiosyncratic Wipe: Scene cuts involve a kind of Person of Interest-style zoom-out, but the scene is cut into blocks and each one then shrinks out at different times. This mimics the way reality disappears when Gabriel does a cyber-render.
I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: When Gabriel tells his boss that he's following up the lead she got him on Amelia, her response is basically that he's making it really hard for her to pretend she doesn't know what he'll be doing.
Like Reality Unless Noted: Apart from the chip and the fact that Cyber Command is in a different city and has a different job description, it's still just 21st century Earth.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Secrets of the Secret Service" involves one for Bill Clinton. He's a former Democratic president who was in office in the late '90s and currently works as a diplomatic official negotiating to get captured American civilians freed from oppressive regimes—except instead of North Korea it's Syria, and the Americans are actually CIA agents.
Noodle Incident: Dr. Cassidy has one of these. He was arrested for public nudity and possession of a controlled substance. And he's decidedly not mentioning the circumstances.
Opening Narration: "Gabriel Vaughn, one of our nation's most decorated soldiers. He's a hero, and now our country's most secret weapon ... He's the first of his kind; the next evolution of intelligence.
Poor Communication Kills: In "Delta Force" Norris committed a series of political assassinations because his CIA handler misinterpreted a rather terse message from D.C. saying that the U.S. was in favor of Bolivian presidential candidate Javier Leon ("Uncle Sam backs Javier Leon") as "eliminate Javier Leon's competition".
Shipper on Deck: Gabriel's Mom. She all but insists, "Now kiss" to Gabriel and Riley.
Smarter Than You Look: Gabriel calls Riley out on her low S.A.T. scores (1030 on the old 1600 scale.) She says she doesn't test well. The fact is confirmed a little while later when she tells Gabriel to update his Mandarin, correcting his faulty translation, begins to point out the reason that safe is important (Gabriel stops her before she can finish) and unbeknownst to Gabriel, figures out that his boss actually believes the same thing Gabriel does about his missing wife, despite the fact that his boss had told Gabriel the opposite the idea his wife probably really did turn against the U.S. and died in a terrorist plot was true. Also, unbeknownst to Gabriel, she points out the fact that she's working with a person, not a machine or a thing, very subtly reminding Strand that there was a reason their agency wanted to give a person more digital intelligence instead of creating a more human computer A.I. That leads to Lillian making a deal for information about Amelia in exchange for Jin Cong's return to Chinese custody.
Synthetic Plague: "Patient Zero" centers on an attempt to find Luthor Vick, the eponymous first victim in a virus epidemic.
Take That: A very subtle one to digital translation and online dictionaries like Google Translate and Babylon. Gabriel uses his digital interface to translate spoken Chinese. Riley asks where Gabriel learned Mandarin. He replies, "I didn't. I got an app for that." Riley then proceeds to correct his translation because she actually speaks Mandarin.
Three-Laws Compliant: A former scientist now living as a recluse a la Ted Kaczynski (and writing tome-sized manifestos, too) averts this in his speech to Gabriel and Riley, insisting that "Frankenstein's monster will walk among us".
Trojan Horse: in "Mei Chen Returns", the Cassidys and Gabriel work together to trick Mei Chen into leaving her mind open to them, allowing them to erase all the important information on Clockwork she has stolen.
Trust Password: An American scientist forced to work in Syria gives one to Riley so that she can convince her daughter to come with her.