"COME on, THINK!!!" - Calder, to Auggie. Truer words have not been spoken, for maybe this entire season of Covert Affairs thus far. And it applies to essentially every character on the show, save for Barber and Rossabi.
First things first: You may recall that I was a tad bit peeved at this show last week. The main reason for that was that I didn’t feel that Auggie’s situation with Annie was nearly dire enough to justify his decision to cheat on her with Helen. Annie literally only had two people in the entire world who she could trust and count on completely – Auggie and Danielle. It didn’t seem in character for Auggie to duck out of that small group of trustworthy people unless he felt like there was no hope at all for him and Annie. So it was a disappointing thing to watch, because once you make a move like that, there’s a level of trust, that no matter how much you apologize and work to make up for it, you’ll never ever earn back. You’ve shown that you’re capable of doing that thing in certain situations, and the other person in the relationship will then forever wonder if you might peace out again next time the going gets tough.
I’m pretty sure the A&A relationship was literally the only pure and happy thing left that existed in the entire Covert world, and to watch that be killed was sad. It may not have been a death of a great character, but it was the death of a great dynamic. And I knew the second I saw it die last week, that it stood a good chance of never being able to come back for me, based on my many years of fangirl experience with past TV shows.
I’ve mentioned in several of my past reviews that Annie’s decision to go dark never made sense to me to begin with. In the same way Auggie’s cheating made him look like a dick last week, Annie’s going dark without giving Auggie a say in it and then forcing him to tell her family she was dead, made her look like a complete dick as well. For that reason, if they had played Auggie as being somewhat angry and resentful about what Annie had done, that would’ve made his move with Helen ring true to me a little bit more. But they didn't. Instead, Auggie seemed perfectly with the program, albeit not entirely thrilled about it, until he suddenly found his peen inside someone else.
Of course we could argue that the resentment and anger was there, but he simply was trying to ignore it until it manifested itself with the Helesa bone. So, ok, in that case, I expected that we’d get some sort of explanation around that (or any other reasoning on his part, like trying to claim they were on a break, even if it was an idiotic excuse) ... but we didn’t get any of that. Instead, we got Auggie just ... frankly not doing anything at all to attempt to redeem himself. As a matter of fact, we got Auggie literally asking Annie to help him clean up his sex den with Helen. REALLY, dude?? Reeaaaally?? It pained me to even type that sentence. You are NOT helping your case with me here, in trying to convince me that I should still like you.
Oh another quick point too: If there’s anything in the TV world I hate more than making characters act uncharacteristically dumb to move the story where you want it to go, it’s when a TV show creates a character who is more obnoxious and grating than most people could ever put up with, and then expects the audience to be sad/sympathetic when said character dies. I could write a novel on this topic alone, so I’m going to stop here and just say that no matter how much “feely” music they play in scenes like Auggie crying to Joan on the phone, I just don’t care. I’m annoyed by it. I’m annoyed by Auggie. It’s never going to bring me into Auggie’s “plight”, because Helen was never a character to me, she was a tacked on plot device. Natasha was a character. Helen was a tool.
Anyway, my biggest fears for this show once I saw last week’s ep were that a) I’d wind up just being annoyed with Auggie constantly now (check), and b) that I’d lose respect for Annie in how she dealt with the situation. So when I saw how Annie reacted upon finding that confirmation of Auggie and Helesa’s sex den ... I was ... conflicted. In a sense I feel like her gut reaction was the same as mine would have been – to blame herself. Because yes, going dark WAS her choice. She didn’t bring Auggie into that decision. I’d feel guilty for that too. And in that first scene, she was also probably so heartbroken that she didn’t know how to react. So I somewhat got where she was coming from there ... but I then rolled my eyes 50 times over as soon as they got interrupted at the KEY moment of the convo. TV show 101.
The rest of the episode, prior to the last couple scenes, played out a lot like a typical Covert Affairs episode, mostly in a decent way. Albeit, more annoying than usual in the sense that NONE of our main characters were working together most of the time, and they were all tripping all over themselves and fucking things up at many of the major turns. Annie let Nelson grab the gun from her, Auggie got fooled by the decoy, Calder got to Henry’s house too late altogether, Joan ran literally into Annie just as she was escaping that diamond wholesaler place, and NO ONE got Henry Wilcox. But I suppose, at the very least, they were able to figure out his money-moving schemes and to track him to Hong Kong. And we got some comedy from poor Barber at various points, while he was trying to help his “buddy” Auggie (are they really buddies or does Auggie just use Barber constantly?). OH and I also liked that Rossabi is getting to help exact some revenge on Henry as well for how bad he got screwed over earlier in the season. That is, IF they can ever actually make this whole “take down Henry” thing happen. Maybe by some time in 2017.
It’s crazy though, how an episode can be going pretty well for me until literally the last 2 minutes plus the preview for next week. Sometimes even the preview for next week alone can throw me into a complete rage and change my feelings on the ep I just finished watching. I’m fighting as hard as I can to avoid having that happen tonight as well, and my cousin Katie texting me on a fiery rampage isn’t helping my efforts there hahaha. In that last scene on the plane, Annie’s nicey nice self-blaming routine went overboard for me. Complete with the necklace delivery service and all. The hell? Aren’t you going to at least get a LITTLE bit mad, Annie!? Are you human at all?? Are you just starting the range of emotions and you simply haven’t hit the anger stage yet?? Is that coming next week? Because I’m finding this to be a bit odd. I’ve always bought Annie as being a cool chick, but Jesus, the woman acted like a SAINT in this ep, to the point of just being a bit crazy. Katie’s take on it is that it’s almost like Annie in this ep was written as every dude’s fantasy – the chick who blames herself when YOU cheat, who continues to be cool with you anyway, who will never impose her lady feelings on you, who will never have PMS, and who’ll still go to the sports bar with you later and drink beer and eat hot wings with you.
And honestly, she makes a great point with that. I kind of am getting that feeling right now. This episode was co-written by one male and one female writer, so I can’t necessarily say it’s because it’s coming from a male point of view ... but I do find it kind of hilarious that Chris Gorham got the luck of being able to direct the episode where all of this plays out. Heh. Anyway here’s a few more points and then I’ll try to summarize my feelings:
- Am I an idiot for being confused as to how Annie found Nelson at that soccer game? Did that plastic wrap have a secret map on it?? I don’t get it.
- Joan’s reaction to running into Annie, who she thought was dead, was HILARIOUS. Even the awkward delivery of the line, “Annie! You’re alive!” And then just, RIGHT to business. Uhh wow she really took THAT in stride, didn’t she?
- If all I get from A&A these days is nails on a chalkboard, I was glad that I could, at the very least, get some decent Joan/Annie feels. After Joan’s nonchalant reaction to Annie’s being alive, we got some pretty good J&A time in the car.
- Auggie’s comment on the plane: “I was scared I lost you.” Oh really, Auggie, WHEN was that exactly?? That time when you KNEW she was faking her death?? The time when Calder told you every detail of how he helped her fake her death and what she was doing on her mission? The time when she was IN TOWN DELIVERING A LAPTOP TO YOU for said mission?? The time when Calder was so obviously lying to you about her not wanting to see you?? I’m not entirely clear.
- Oh and Annie’s response to that felt a bit forced. “You know when I was scared? When I knocked on your door and you asked who it was, and I ... didn’t know the answer.” Is she too busy trying to figure out who she is to even know how to react to Auggie? That question is not entirely sarcastic.
I’m not completely sure how to feel about this episode right now. It’s at least somewhat leading exactly down the path I had feared, where Annie’s reaction to the situation doesn’t entirely resonate with me, and where I just spend nearly every minute of Auggie’s screentime wanting to punch him hard. Should I start my mourning for the old lovable Auggie now? I don’t know. There’s two eps left to make me feel differently. I just still have this nagging feeling that the only characters I’ll still like when this season is over are Barber, Rossabi … and maybe, shockingly, Calder.
As much as A&A alternately pained me and annoyed the crap out of me here, I’m not weighting that very heavily in assigning the grade. Because I need to see more of how that plays out before I can fully judge it. And aside from that, I felt like this was a decent ep, but the total dumbassery of nearly everyone involved, in terms of screwing up their missions, was still frustrating. Therefore I come to the grade of 82. Too high? Too low? Do you disagree with nearly every point I made? Tell me in the comments.
p.s. Soooo ... when’s Eyal coming back?
p.p.s. Can we bring Simon back from the dead?
p.p.p.s. Is it bad that I’d almost be willing to take Ben over Auggie right now? And I HATE Ben. Sigh.