Corporate spies

CC 2008 Doug Greenberg

One might ask: How does Limetown fit in to the secret agent genre? But it becomes apparent over the course of the storyline that there is a secret agency involved, mostly in the background, but omnipresent. It’s sort of like a James Bond story seen through the eyes of one of the tertiary characters. RB Villard may be a Bond villain, but he’s never directly part of the story. And apparently there is some other secret agency, the one that employed the mole as city manager. So we have groups that have the power to make people disappear, to abduct and execute people, to arrange for deaths that appear to be accidental, but it wasn’t until the final episode that anyone connected with the groups had an actual presence in the story.

Normally we think of secret agents as being government employees or contractors – people who report to the state. But the agencies in Limetown are private, and apparently above the level of nations, as they are able to operate across borders and outside the law. This is comparable to SPECTRE and Hydra. Or Blackwater, perhaps?

That idea of a privatized secret agency is also part of Archer, although it’s not really played up in the series. The International Secret Intelligence Service and their corporate rival, the Organization of Democratic Intelligence Networks, are mercenary organizations involved in extra-legal activities, and appear to have little national loyalty. With privatization, there comes a lack of (or freedom from) public accountability and public oversight. That’s good for the owners and people in power, but not necessarily for the overall good.

CC2009 Thomas Hawk

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