This weeks episode of Covert Affairs is entitled ‘False Skorpion’ and has Annie tracking down those responsible for the bombing of the CIA station in Chicago. Sorry I didn’t post a review of the season opener of Covert Affairs last week as I was at a job interview. And yes, I did get the job. Last weeks episode was effective in setting up the storyline of season 5 at the expense of wiping out everything that happened during season 4. Annie has been in the wind for 4 months and has yet to tell anyone what she has been up to.
Covert Affairs S5Ep2 False Skorpion Review
Auggie calls Annie (Piper Perabo) telling him he has found out where Borz Altan is headed. Borz killed a man and stole his ID’s and then took a flight to Maracaibo Venezuela. Head of the DPD Calder Michaels suggests Annie should be supported by a tactical team but Auggie states that secrecy is imperative. Joan warns Auggie that he can expect to be invited to discuss the bombing of the CIA station in Chicago. Meanwhile Annie has tracked down Borz to a mosque in Maracaibo. Upon entering his room she finds McQuade. McQuade has with him a team of armed men ready to detain Borz if need be. However, they are asked to leave the mosque by the imam. Annie refuses to cooperate with McQuade as he refuses to say what his interest in Borz is. Annie tracks McQuade by leaving her smart phone in his car. It is clear that McQuade knows where Borz is. Borz is seen talking to a Latvian man who may be his handler. After the handler tries to kill Borz he is in return killed. Annie and McQuade are both arrested at the scene of the crime. McQuade quickly manages to get himself freed by using his wealth to influence the police. Annie is left waiting in handcuffs as armed police question why she was near the body of the murdered man. She lies that she is fascinated by death. Upon being questioned what she is doing in Maracaibo she states that she is there for plastic surgery. She states a boob job is a lot cheaper in South America than in Canada. The police set her free and she begins tracking down the imam’s daughter Asha. Asha seemed to have an interest in Borz Altan.
Meanwhile Auggie (Christopher Gorham) has to juggle his ability to help Annie in the field with helping agent Hayley Price (Amy Jo Johnson) with investigating the bombing of the CIA station Chicago. Hayley is bent on covering every angle and angers Auggie when she questions why Annie didn’t follow arresting team into the CIA station along with suspect after they apprehended him. Auggie denies Annie being involved and tries to use his field experience as leverage against Hayley, but she seems unimpressed. Later on Auggie and Hayley meet in a bar, despite each professing to favor drinking alone they end up having sex with Hayley stating she prefers to be in charge. The introduction of Hayley as Auggie’s new girlfriend felt a little forced. I can understand why she needs to investigate last weeks bombing but to already end up in bed with Auggie in one episode is stretching my feeling of ‘suspense of disbelief’. It was only last week that Annie broke it off by saying she had to remain professional. Hayley character seems good fun and she seems able to get underneath Auggie’s skin. I just hope the creative staff have more plans for her than just a 1 season fling.
In dealing with the storyline between Joan and Arthur (Peter Gallagher) I also feel like were dealing with the grownups. It maybe because traditionally the main character on the show has a gang of helper-monkeys to help them catch whoever did it. Covert Affairs has always been offbeat with that. Arthur and Joan are her superiors while Auggie, Jay and Eyal have always been her equals. Annie may have been more of a field agent than Joan ever was but there is something in Annie that closely resembles Joan. Now Joan is alone at the CIA and she has to deal with people who keep second guessing her every move. In particular the new head of the DPD Calder Michaels seems quick-tempered and prone to rash decisions. He is quick to jump to conclusions and subsequently has to backtrack. Joan has managed to avoid his wrath so far but an encounter is guaranteed to happen. This week Joan (Kari Matchett) has to defend Arthur after McQuade learned that Borz Altan was in Venezuela. Now that Arthur works for McQuade there will always be the suspicion that she passed information on to Arthur. I suspect that is what McQuade wants people to think. Arthur meanwhile has to deal with McQuade’s number 2 Caitlyn Cook, a woman known to have a tough attitude. Arthur is pressured to work on McQuade’s ongoing jobs but has to admit he doesn’t know what those are. Caitlyn Cook instead seems to flirt with Arthur in a not so subtle way. Coming out of season 4 I hope to see the relationship between Joan and Arthur to become more meaningful in a professional way. Last’s seasons affair storyline felt forced, especially after three seasons in which the two characters got into each others way.
After Annie traces down the daughter of the imam, Asha, she gets a location on Borz Altan. During a pursuit Annie manages to knock him unconscious but she suffers from a seizure. McQuade manages to get Annie and Borz to a safe house where he admits to having his hour with Borz after Annie wakes up. McQuade’s doctor asks her about the seizures and Annie admits to having a heart condition. The viewer is left to guess whether she is lying. Annie agrees to allowing McQuade escort Borz back to the US if Annie gets the credit. McQuade questions why the CIA would allow Annie to continue working in the field with her condition but states he won’t tell.
I just love it when Covert Affairs does on location filming. I am not sure if they actually shot the episode in Maracaibo Venezuela but at least it didn’t look like Los Angeles California. The latter is usually preferred in some fake attempt at impersonating a South American destination. The feeling if Annie being in a dangerous pursuit is amplified by the narrow streets and the clash of culture. Covert Affairs always goes that little bit further than other shows in creating such atmosphere. Which is of course authentic to the world of spy crafting.
This second episode put the season firmly on its tracks. The professional respect that Annie and McQuade have for each other is quickly developing with plenty of room to spare to jab each other in the shoulder. With Borz Altan’s handler dead we are not an inch further to know who planned the bombing, but that can wait until the next episode. Sadly this episode had to sacrifice credibility for speed as the relationship between Auggie and Hayley took off and Arthur got himself entangled with McQuade number two Caitlyn Cook. However, these are only minor issues. The pursuit of Borz by Annie and McQuade was the meat of the story and quite rewarding.
Score; 8.8 / 10. A very good episode of Covert Affairs that at times gets ahead of itself.
This was Covert Affairs S5Ep2 False Skorpion Review