Have I already mentioned that Teo Braga may be my new Simon Fischer? Yeah ... 4.03 “Into the White” pretty well solidified that. For now, at least. Sigh. “Do you trust me?” YES Teo, YES ... your wish is my command. Your sweet sexy puma eyes have melted my heart!! I’m yours. You DO still know true north honey!! Let’s talk it out. There, there.
Answer me this though ... I’m tired, I have a headache, and my brain is moving slowly tonight ... but how is it that it took Annie & Team so long to figure out that the Solstar meeting was the target of the ALC bomb plot? Didn’t we already know last week that Solstar was going to be having a big executive pow-wow in Colombia the following week? And of course, Henry (who is in bed with Solstar) is the one who gave Annie the intel about the bomb plot to begin with. Shouldn’t that have been higher on Annie’s list of possible targets before she even got to Colombia? Also, is it a little convenient that amongst the torture devices, weapons, laptops, and other random junk at the CIA Black Site, there also just so happened to be a brochure/packet for the Solstar meeting laying around?? Kinda funny.
O.k. since I started this with a gripe (or else a dumb misunderstanding on my part), let me get to one more of those before I get to the good stuff: What the hell is UP with that Senator Pierson biznatch!!?? What is her damage, and why does she have such a vendetta against Joan?? I mean ... were her accusations of Joan using Arthur to climb the CIA ranks and being too dense to realize he was cheating on her just ... a little weirdly personal? One thing I’ve always complained about with ‘Dexter’ since day one, even when it used to be a good show, is how ridiculously exaggerated some of the “bad guy” characters are ... beyond real life. As in, a convenient way to make them extra hate-able. It felt like there was a *little* of that going on with the Senator Pierson character here ... but maybe that’s just me? And Joan’s blackmail, WOW!! I don’t know whether to be disappointed in her dirty tactics, or bow down to her badassery here. A bit of both. And I definitely appreciate the layered characters on this show. No one ever seems to be 100% “good” or “bad.”
O.k. now let’s get to the stuff I liked. First off, this episode contained a shockingly high number of moments that made me laugh out loud, by myself, at my TV. And yes, I mean that in a good way. Even from the very first scene: In the parking garage, Annie says to Arthur/Joan, “It’s intel that suggests that Teo may be involved in a bomb threat against an American target in Colombia.” Arthur’s “It’s a total lie!” spoken simultaneously over Joan’s “I’ll get this to South America desk, loop in the CTC (etc)… right away” cracked me UP. Other crack-ups: EVERY scene where Teo flustered the crap out of Annie. From the first time she found him and he threw her exit package papers all over the ground for her to dive and grab, to the moment at the CIA black site when he answered her proud/accomplished, “That’s right I can get you out of here (if you tell me the ALC target)!!” with a swift kick to the chest. And knowing that kick was coming (from the preview) meant that Calder’s warning, “He can kick out 5 feet so stay back at least 6,” right before leaving her alone with him made me laugh really, REALLY hard.
We got some good character interactions in this episode as well. Annie and Calder trying to work out their different approaches to their spycraft was fun. Like in the jungle: “Well I want him captured alive.” Calder: “Alive is the toughest option.” Calder then questions Annie on whether she really knows when to give up on trying to charm/turn a target and instead simply ... well, deal with them another way, let’s say. Also, we got yet another *very* interesting Annie/Joan conversation following baby Teo’s smackdown (kickdown). “You don’t need to worry ... do you understand? You have my support on ... whatever you need.” Again, Annie looked a tad bit choked up at the end of that. I still wish these two would communicate better with each other, but I’m very glad to see them back on good terms this season.
My other random thoughts:
- It’s one thing to ask your boyfriend for a favor like killing a spider or doing your laundry ... it’s *quite* another to ask him to break the news to your boss that you KILLED her close colleague-slash-buddy-slash-
ex-boyfriend. Oopsie!! Auggie wins enough points for like 20 good boyfriends on that front.
- I liked Auggie’s little Marshall Flinkman moment with his untraceable cell phone prototype. If only he could’ve tied the number 47 in there somehow. “It’s a prime number.”
- “You just packed my favorite t-shirt, didn’t you??” “I was hoping you’d think it was in the wash, and then I felt bad!!” Last week Piper Perabo won the “cutest line delivery” of all time award (per Chris Gorham and all CA fans on Twitter) with her “That’s my forehead” line. She may have actually managed to match it again this week with the “I felt bad!!” line here. The cuteness of these A&A scenes this season has been pretty damn great so far. I hope they can keep this up.
- Colombia looked pretty fuckin’ (err, gosh darn) awesome in this ep ... damn, fans of this show are spoiled as hell with all the on-location shooting. It’s the thing that makes CA stand out from everything else on TV, and I hope they never stop doing this as long as the series lasts and despite any budget cuts they may be forced to endure in future seasons (NONE I hope!) haha.
- In that first scene of Joan’s “interview” with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the guy asks, “We all reviewed the intelligence surrounding Jay Wilcox’s death ... We also read a closed file about an unnamed operative who was shot in her house, here in Washington.” Proof of how useless my brain is tonight – I seriously had ZERO idea who this statement referred to until I rewound it and watched again hahaha. Oy.
- I know everyone thinks Auggie’s protective behavior over Annie is super sweet and cute and all ... but at what point does it become a little too “controlling boyfriend”-y? I get it from his side, don’t get me wrong, and it’s not like he’s not still letting her do her thing. He is. I’m curious to see how long that lasts though. Is she gonna have to tell him to step off at some point?
- Annie’s reactions/flinches to Calder’s beating Teo at the CIA black site were priceless. And Calder’s giddiness at grabbing the jumper cable thingies and water bucket - also funny.
- “I know exactly what I did to him. I know that 4 blows to the head and not 5 would be the difference between the hospital and death.” Oh, sweet Teo, you had me at “4 blows to the head.” Swoon.
- If that final sequence had ended before Annie made it back home to Auggie, I would’ve bashed in my TV with the remote.
One last thought to end this: Remember the quote I gave in my 4.01 “Vamos” review from Myles McNutt’s AV Club review, the one that gave me the “ah ha!” moment? The one that asked, “Who is Annie other than a vessel of the series’ narrative?” A major part of Myles’ point was that in season 3 (more like mid-season 3 onward in my personal opinion), most of Annie’s motivations have centered around OTHER people: Saving Eyal, convincing Simon to turn himself in, seeking revenge for Simon’s death, helping Simon’s sister, etc. etc. This season feels similar so far: She’s trying to protect Auggie from being brought down by the Arthur scandal, she’s trying to help Arthur, to help Teo, to help Joan, etc. Even with the theme of “secrets” this season, all the secrets so far are OTHER people’s secrets. What about Annie herself?? What’s HER deal?? I already harped on that in ep 4.01, and now I’m thinking I may be asking that question for a while ... but we’ll see. We shall see.
EP 4.03 GRADE: B+
I liked this one a bit better than the premiere, which I also gave a B+, but let’s call this like an 89% vs. an 87% for the premiere. Maybe I should start rating these out of 100 like HGF does. Now tell me I’m a nutjob in the comments below.
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