The story opens with a deadly sarin attack in London. NSC counter-terrorism director Maren Jackson (Margulies) enlists FBI agent Max Canary (McDermott) and CIA Middle Eastern analyst Raza Michaels (Marek) to aid in the investigation. Acton Sandman (Skerritt), CIA deputy director of counter-terrorism, oversees the clandestine operation on foreign soil. Also on the task force is Emily Tuthill (Redgrave), director of operations for Britain's MI6; and Derek Jennings (Hill), MI5 senior director of counter-terrorism. Written by
The aerial shot of the CIA headquarters is stock footage from The Bourne Identity (2002). The establishing shot of the CIA headquarters entrance gate is from Spy Game (2001), and is in fact a location in England, not the real CIA headquarters. See more »
I was at first very skeptical towards "The Grid," a show that offers an insider's view on the United States War on Terror, as this show seemed certain to provoke more outrage and mistrust amongst Americans. The previews certainly made it look that way too. Then last night (July 19, 2004) came and I got a chance to view the show in its entirety, and I must say that it makes for thoughtful entertainment.
Whether you agree with President George W. Bush's politics or not (for the record, I don't support him), I think "The Grid" will do a good job of showing us that the people at the top may always lie to us on a daily basis, but they are trying to stop terrorism, which unfortunately for us, is never going away (a little morbid, you and I may think, but true).
The story for "The Grid," the title referring to the organizations who are involved in fighting or masterminding terrorism, begins in London, where three men attempting a terrorist attack on a nearby hotel fail miserably, when their weapon of choice (Sarin bombs encased in coffee pots) accidentally goes off, and kills everyone that is exposed to it (body count: 19). News of this spreads quickly and eventually it becomes evident to everyone on both sides of the Atlantic that a huge plot is underway by members of a lunatic fringe associated with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist camp.
We are later introduced to members of both sides of the War on Terror, including the aforementioned people at the top, the newly formed extremist camp (including some of its obviously conflicted members), and the struggle between the powers-that-be over information and within the terrorist camp.
"The Grid" was created by Tracey Alexander (who is also the show's executive producer), and has said that it is her way of dealing with the events of 9/11, the terrorists and the powers-that-be in Washington, D.C. and Britain who can't seem to get it together to protect their people.
This show doesn't offer us a one-sided view of the so-called "evildoers" and their associates, some of whom as we're shown, are forced into the fringe because they have no other choice. Some of the men shown, are respectable individuals; one man is a physician, who joins because the hospital where he works cannot afford medicine to treat its patients. We are also shown a devoted Muslim man working for the C.I.A., who faces much mistrust from his fellow workers, especially his own boss.
"The Grid" could also teach us some things about what really goes on. For one, something that I learned from a friend of mine who is from Iran, that the word "jihad" does not mean "holy war," as some of the extremists and American news media have put it; the word in fact, means to strive for a better way of life.
Much of what goes on in "The Grid" will not come as news to anyone who pays close attention to politics. We know that intelligence failures played heavily into the events of 9/11, we know that the powers-that-be in Washington and Great Britain were/are still in the middle of a power struggle, we know at least partially, some of the motivations for the extremists' desires to kill Americans (rid the Middle East of Western culture and influence) and that some of the members of the lunatic fringe are human beings, not soulless monsters as the Administration sometimes makes them out to be.
You may not agree with the politics, you may not agree with the message, but "The Grid" is certainly a show that I think most Americans should see, and make up their own minds about the direction that our country is going in the War on Terror.
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