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Series / Agent X

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Honor. Duty. Sacrifice.note 

"An agent of unknown identity is hereby authorized to serve at the discretion of the Vice President for the purpose of aiding the Republic in times of dire peril.."
— Article 2, Section 5 of the American Constitution.

Agent X is a 2015 television series produced by TNT in association with Beacon Pictures. The show stars Jeff Hephner, Sharon Stone, Gerald McRaney and Olga Fonda. Armyan Bernstein, Sharon Stone and William Blake Herron serve as executive producers. It's not scheduled to air another season after TNT finishes airing all the episodes.

The show is set in Washington D.C. where the first female vice president is elected for the first time in American political history. Natalie Maccabee was sworn into office alongside Thomas Eckhart as president. While being shown around the vice president's mansion after being sworn in, Vice President Maccabee is told of a secret provision in the American Constitution that allows for the use of a special agent to help defend the United States against domestic and foreign enemies alike. In order to do this, the Vice President and anyone working with her must operate under plausible deniability at all costs.

To do this, she is aided by John Case, ex-special force operator who is currently assigned to her as "Agent X". Helping them out is Malcolm Millar, the head of the section while operating publicly as the chief steward of Maccabee's mansion. Their job is to operate inside and outside American jurisdiction with disregard of certain freedoms and limitations.

Herron mentioned that looking for another channel to handle a potential season 2 was not working, so it was the reason why it's not renewed.

William Herron does reveal some details on what Season 2 would have been like.

It's currently available on Amazon and ITunes via streaming service.

Not to be confused with the Agent X character from Marvel Comics. Same goes with the mainland Chinese TV drama of the same name that aired in March-April 2013.

This show contains examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The show starts when John Case was held prisoner by VEVAK in a prison in Tehran. He gets saved later by a masked Raymond Marks.
  • America Saves the Day: What the section does by the end of each episode whenever they resolve a situation.
  • Artistic License – History: The premise of the show relies on there existing a secret version of the constitution with an extra section. The Constitution in its original incarnation was adopted by all the states separately, meaning they couldn't keep a separate "real" version. Beyond that, such a secret clause could never be legal, as it's secrecy cannot be achieved without also excluding it from any and all of the various bodies that would legitimize it. (No, showing the Chief Justice your cool secret old piece of paper doesn't count.)
  • As You Know: Maccabee's backstory is revealed in a series of news clips. Justified Trope as she's a newly elected high-ranking government official whose backstory would've already been brought out during the campaign.
  • Blatant Lies: In "Enemy of My Enemy", visitors in a missile auction were told not to panic when they heard sounds of explosions and small arms fire. They still flee.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The biochemist, Harold Hellman, in "Truth, Lies and Consequences".
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Volker's associates in "Pilot" held Missy Stanton in the construction site for a new Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. The problem was that it had immunity from Moscow. Averted since S5 went into the building to save the victim.
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: Agent X is answerable only to the Vice President, as designated by a secret section of the Constitution.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Russian Army Spetsnaz show up in news broadcasts in "The Enemy of My Enemy" as being responsible for breaking up a terrorist meeting in Chechnya when S5 did it entirely with help from Olga.
  • Enemy Mine: Near the end of "The Enemy of My Enemy", Case teams up with a radical Chechen warlord because his group turned against him, courtesy of Nicholas Volker. He also works with Olga on the case.
  • Expy: Section Five to Third Echelon, only except that the former operates under the Office of the Vice President.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some tidbits of info regarding the characters can only be found by looking at screencaps very closely.
  • From Bad to Worse: With "Pilot" when the kidnap victim was abducted to blackmail her father in the FBI. See Diplomatic Immunity for more details.
  • Government Conspiracy: The season 1 plot arc appears to involve this; the VP and her agent stumble across a group of people forming a "shadow government" in violation of the Constitution. This also involved using KGB-era nuke suitcases.
  • Hollywood Law: When the President is incapacitated, the VP takes over his duties, per the 25th Amendment. That much is accurate. However, the Speaker of the House, despite being next in line of succession, does not automatically take over the duties of the VP. In fact, it's against the law for any public official to serve in two branches of government (executive and legislative in this case) at the same time. When the VP temporarily takes over for the President, they don't stop being the VP, they simply assume the presidential duties. If the VP position needs to be permanently filled outside an election, someone has to be nominated and ratified by the Senate like any other executive branch appointee.
  • I Have Your Wife: A recurring subplot in the show.
    • Director Stanton's daughter is kidnapped in order to blackmail him to release Olga from FBI custody.
    • Volker's men has Millar's family under surveillance, including his wife and granddaughter, in order to blackmail him to give Volker access to the S5 command center.
    • Volker then kidnaps Pamela to coerce John into helping him.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: By law, no one is allowed to know of the actions of Section Five, including the President himself. In the pilot, Natalie goes to President Eckhart, who, having previously been VP himself, would know of the Section and seeks his advice. While not openly mentioning what they're talking about, Eckhart makes it clear to Natalie that she is never to discuss anything of Section Five with him again and that he not only doesn't want to know what she does but can't know in order to make the whole thing work.
  • Make It Look Likean Accident: The usual MO used by S5 in case they need to take out hostiles or make dead civilians look like they died in an accident if the case they're on is too risky for law enforcement to get involved.
    Case: What are you going to do with Williams' [body]?
    Malcolm: Awful car wreck.
  • Masquerade: The entire existence of Section Five. No one, except previous vice presidents and their associates, is privy to the knowledge. If anyone is captured or killed, S5 will do anything they can to deny their existence. If their actions are reported in the media, the local police/military are always credited.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Wolf Blitzer shows up in "Pilot" when he reports on Vice President Maccabbee being sworn in as the first female to be elected in history.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: When Maccabee is presumed missing and/or dead and Section 5 has an urgent situation arise, Eckhart resumes temporary control under a hitherto-never-before-referred-to "Protocol 9".
  • Oh, Crap!: Case was able to evacuate Missy from the grounds of the future Russian embassy when he runs into one of Markov's men.
  • Only in It for the Money: The reason why Dr. Eugene Bullock agreed to rearm the hijacked missiles for Volker.
  • Plausible Deniability: The entire point of the Section. By keeping it secret even from the President, the U.S. can't claim involvement if a mission goes wrong. Indeed, President Eckhart makes it clear right off to Natalie that he is never to be let in on what she does with the operations just as he had to do the same as VP himself.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with. Any investigation of S5's actions is going to be suppressed by the group in order to prevent their existence from being revealed.
  • The Reveal: John Case finally runs down Nicholas Volker. It's his predecessor as Agent X, Raymond Marks. Eckhart ordered Malcolm to assassinate him when he started going rogue.
  • Rousing Speech: In "Truth, Lies and Consequences", President Eckhart gives such a speech, which also serves as a warning shot across the bow of the cabal working against him.
  • Shadow Government: Vice President Maccabbee picks up on evidence that some members of the American government, including those from the CIA, are building up a shadow government as part of their plans to overthrow President Eckhart with the help of Volker.
  • Spanner in the Works: FBI Director Stanton's sermon on Missy when she initially refused to reveal Case's existence (before she agreed to identify him via photos) is one to keeping his S5 work from going public.
  • Spiritual Successor: One for the Splinter Cell franchise. Both have black ops units working under direct orders to protect America and its nationals against foreign and domestic enemies by any means possible, even if it includes violating human rights to do so.
  • Wham Episode:
    • At the end of "The Enemy of My Enemy", Missy Stanton reveals to her father who her rescuer is.
    • At the end of "Truth, Lies and Consequences", we find out the previous "John Case" was the current "John Case"'s father.
    • "The Long Walk Home" ends with the President being shot by a rogue Secret Service Agent.
    • "Fidelity" has Malcolm taken prisoner by Jacques, with the latter having plans to torture him as payback when the former was an Agent X operator.
  • Wham Line:
    • In "Enemy of My Enemy".
    Malik: You're gonna re-arm the missiles? Yeah?
    Bullock: Yes. But not for you.
  • Wham Shot: The Mole in the Secret Service makes a second assassination attempt on Eckhart, injecting poison into his IV. The guards outside the door hear a crash and come running in. They find Eckhart strangling his would-be assassin with the IV line, simultaneously preventing the poison from reaching his arm. President Action indeed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Two important objects, the Geryon and the authentic Constitution with S5 in it, are gone and not shown to be in anyone's possession as of the end of Season 1. The planned Season 2 would have touched on this.
  • Who Shot JFK?: Season 1 suggests that JFK was killed in Dallas because of his plans to go up against a conspiracy that was forming in Washington.
  • Working the Same Case: Both the FBI and S5 were working on saving Missy from her abductors in "Pilot".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Markov's men didn't have a problem killing Missy when Olga told them to get rid of her in "Pilot".