22 November, 2013

The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 4.16: 'Trompe le Monde' & S4


“And the worst part is?  You’ll never be able to look at yourself the same way again.  You’ll know that you killed for malice.  And that changes you.” - Lena Smith, to Annie, at the end of “Let’s Dance”. 

Is that kinda the sitch we’re in now that Annie has killed Henry?  I mean it’s not like she went and killed him just for revenge or anything, BUT she certainly did have a choice in what she did there.  It wasn’t self-defense.  She didn’t have to kill him; the morally right thing to do would be to bring him back to the U.S. to try him in court (albeit, a much more difficult thing to accomplish in that situation).  But she didn’t go for the moral choice on this one.  This is the first time she’s killed a person for any reason other than pure self-defense or defense of another person’s life.

First off, let me say, thank GOD she killed him, and thank god he’s dead.  If we had come out of this episode with him still alive somehow ... especially if it was via Annie turning him as an asset or something, I would have been groaning from here to eternity.  I can think of several characters on shows I’ve watched in the recent past that the showrunners have continually wussed out on killing, and their never-ending storylines inevitably start killing the shows themselves eventually.  The fact that Henry’s dead, along with Annie’s fateful choice in that moment, were by far the best things to come out of this episode.  And that’s not a bad thing – The primary purpose of the ep was to get us to that point.

But did the ending feel a little too ... I dunno ... upbeat for anyone else, or was it just me?  In one sense I think this is another case of Twitter and the internet in general NOT being my friend.  Sometimes I feel as if the internet and I are in a very abusive relationship.  There are times when its existence in relation to a TV show or movie brings nothing at all to the experience of taking in said show/movie other than to detract from it.  That was most definitely the case here, as I recently read several interviews that promised “shocking” reveals of a very specific nature that never materialized here (the DCI thing??), and bombshells and twists galore, even to the “final frames of the ep” that resulted in me sitting there at the end of this episode going, “HUH??  Nothing happened!!  Where was the twist??  Where was the shocking reveal??  This is it??”

And the thing is, one of my biggest issues with S4 is that it felt like the twists and bombshells took over.  I don’t want the entire focus of the show to simply be on shock factor.  I don’t want twists and bombshells so much as I just want a *good freaking story*.  But in the case of 4.16, it was a situation where the writers/producers/actors apparently overplayed the shock factor in interviews ahead of time because they felt like that was what they needed to do to pump people up, and it had me picturing certain things in my head that never even came close to materializing.  It made me wish I could have just watched this ep cold, with zero outside information clouding my brain.

Even regardless of the internet’s annoying distractions though ... the ending felt a bit too neat.  It absolutely makes sense that the characters would all simply be relieved and thrilled at that point that they had finally gotten Henry.   They’ve been going insane all season in pursuit of this guy and they had finally accomplished their seemingly impossible goal.  I just wish we could’ve gotten more of a sense of the enormous loss involved for these characters in getting to this point.  I mean Annie looked slightly broody on the boat, but beyond that it was just ... I worry that the true aftermath of this will be swept under the rug, which is something this show seems to have a great penchant for.

There’s an ep of It’s Always Sunny that aired a few weeks ago in which The Gang comes to the accidental realization that they are all alcoholics.  It starts when they quarantine themselves during a flu outbreak, but they all get sick anyway.  Eventually they realize that they never had the flu at all, but were actually just going through alcohol withdrawals due to the quarantine.  This discussion follows their shocking discovery of their alcoholism:

Charlie: “Well what do we do with THAT information??”
Dennis: “Well what do you do with ANY information??  You just stuff it deep down inside, and ... keep an eye on it.”
Dee: “You keep it!!”
Dennis: “I mean, I’m certainly not gonna stop drinking!”
Mac: “Oh I physically can’t.”
Charlie: “Noooo not at this point.  We’re in too deep.”

This scene and dialogue instantly made me think of Covert Affairs.  Not the alcohol part obviously, but the information and experience-processing part.  If there’s any major theme that has emerged from Covert Affairs for me over 4 seasons, it’s exactly that.  You have a bad/traumatic experience, you bury it deep down and move onto the next thing.  What happens when you kill a guy for the first time in defense of your sister’s life?  Shove it down.  What about when your friend/coworker blows up right in front of you, in a car that you were supposed to be inside of?  Bury it.  What happens when your boss pumps you and your boyfriend full of lead and then frames you for treason?  Kill her.  Then bury it.  Bury it all.  Ignore it.  Move on.  What happens when you decide to fake your death for three months and then your boyfriend cheats on you in the meantime with his ex-dead-wife?  Shove it deep down.  Don’t worry about it.  It’s probably your fault anyway.  Forget it.  Get back on the Henry mission.  What happens when you kill a man you’ve been in pursuit of for a year, and it’s at least partly kinda sorta motivated by anger and desire for revenge?  Will this continue to follow the classic CA pattern?  That has yet to be seen.  I was glad to see that they fully played out the weight of that post-Henry-killing moment for Annie in the scene itself, but beyond that we’ll have to wait and see if the typical pattern continues, or if they can buck that trend. 

It bums me out though because what I saw in season 3, and what finally pulled me into the show at that point, was the potential I saw for the show to be deeper than it had been, based on the storylines they were playing out.  I want this show to dig deeper, and I love that they are trying to do that, but most of the time for me it feels like they're still just scratching the surface.  The show starts digging on something and then it abandons that effort quickly and moves onto something else.  There was even a perfect example of this in the finale.  Henry says to Annie: "A strange choice, a bold choice to go dark ... you turned your back on something.  What are you running from??”  What ARE you running from, Annie?  I don't get the feeling that we'll ever find out.  I love that the writers are focusing on your character development, but I still don't get the feeling that we really KNOW you.

And to that end, I want to take a look at season 4 as a whole, now that it’s all over.  I mentioned in my S4 premiere review that while I looooved the first 2/3rds of season 3, I had issues with the last 5 eps.  I found those eps to be an exercise in frustration that had very mixed results.  How does season 4 compare then, having directly followed those episodes?  I would call season 4 a continued exercise in frustration, only with higher highs, and MUCH lower lows.  Let’s take a look at the good stuff first:

  • Walkerson from 4.01-4.06.  When Annie & Auggie kissed in the S3 finale, I still had concerns that she hadn’t dealt with any of the Simon/Lena fallout properly (per usual).  But A&A as a couple were so insanely cute together that it was hard not to love them anyway.  It is incredibly hard to keep the on screen passion going once a TV couple gets together, but they managed to do it with these two maybe better than I’ve ever seen on any show before.  (Didn’t even Chuck & Sarah feel a little too G-rated once they got together or was it just me?)  Anyway, the good times didn’t last long.
  • Joan and Annie.  These two never discuss their issues either of course, but at the very least, this season I have really enjoyed watching them grow more appreciative of each other's friendship and professional relationship.  It’s still unspoken but at least it’s there.
  • Baby Teo was great until he started to take over the entire show around 4.08.  I do wish they had avoided killing him though.  Oliver was awesome too.  More please.  OH and Calder ... he was over the top for a while but I'm glad we can at least like him now, and that he's now a part of the team.
  • Sana was actually a really good character too.  She tied back in with the history of the show very well and she pushed back on Annie in a FAR more significant and emotional manner than anyone has since probably Danielle. 
  • Annie’s character progression, mainly in the fall season.  Like I said earlier, it still feels more shallow than I'd like, but at least in the fall season, they were able to put the focus back on Annie’s story and her journey through all this craziness.  I think if we’re to describe season 4 in an “elevator pitch” type manner, it’s Annie’s journey (to the dark side, heh) that was the primary purpose of the season.  I think.  I just wish they hadn’t muddled it up with so much extra needless clutter/garbage.  But I’ll get to that next.
  • I’d say about 12 out of the 16 episodes this season were really fun episodes if taken on their own.  It’s when you put them all together to form the overall arc that I have issues.

What was not so good?
  • I gave my theory into some of the issues of the Henry arc in last week’s review.  Greg Itzin was amazing, but I felt like the Henry arc was a mixed bag.
  • Episodes 4.07-10.  It’s interesting because this was the strongest stretch of season 3, and it was by far the weakest stretch of season 4.  It felt like the writers just wanted to get to the point of Annie being dark, and they cut a LOT of corners on storytelling in 4.07-10 in order to get us there as quickly as possible.
  • Predictability.  I do think this show actually still does a good job of making the smaller story beats within episodes unpredictable.  But when it came to the story beats of the large ongoing arc this season, we could see nearly ALL of the “shocking twists” coming at least a few weeks in advance.  We knew the second we found out about Auggie’s “dead” wife that she’d turn out to still be alive.  We knew as soon as we found out that Auggie’s ex-dead wife faked her death that Annie would then do the same.  We knew the second we knew about Auggie’s fake-dead wife that this would eventually turn into a love triangle.  There was a cliché ready and available, and the writers grabbed right at it while I face-palmed, so, VERY hard, months in advance.  Not sure the palm has been removed from the face just yet.
Also in the bad section, illogical storylines:
  • Did they have to wait till ep 12 before they gave us any insight into Henry's motivations?
  • Annie and Auggie’s nonsensical break-up.  A couple who clearly loves each other this much, and have been through SO much together since they’ve known each other ... and all it takes is some random crazy biznatch showing up out of nowhere, saying “Hey it’s cool to go dark!” and “Having a boyfriend is lame if you’re a spy!!” for them to decide, all of a sudden, to break up?  Wha?!  I’m sorry but NO dude.  Did we suddenly enter a “No One Has a Brain Anymore” Twilight Zone or something?  What the hell happened??
  • Annie’s motivation for faking her death was not at all convincing.  It was not personal enough, and it was frankly very confusing.  And in the end, all of maybe 10 seconds was devoted to her decision-making process, if that.  There should have been at *least* a full ep or more to focus on how a person would come to a decision to give up their entire life and tell their family they are dead.
  • Annie and Auggie got back together five seconds (o.k. exactly one episode) after they broke up.  But by the time Auggie cheated on Annie, we’re somehow supposed to believe they were “on a break.” (that is, if you believe Chris & Piper in interviews).  The Ross & Rachel sitch was a thousand times more clear than this, and that was intended for comedic purposes.  If the way the audience sees something is significantly different than the story you were intending to tell, then something is wrong with the way you told it.
  • Cliches of the way-too-soapy variety.  Look at the bright side ... at least it didn’t turn out that Helen was a double agent??  That has been done on both Alias AND Chuck.  But the nature of the love triangle on Alias was SO similar to this Helen thing that the other day on YouTube I stumbled across an entire angry speech from Sydney to Vaughn that could literally be used word for word to apply to the A&A sitch (but it won’t be, because feelings are buried on Covert Affairs).  Just please, people, do something new!  Please do not repeat things I’ve seen (and HATED) a thousand times on a thousand other shows.  I thought you were better than that.  The entire Helesa storyline did nothing but detract from both the show and its characters.
And lastly in the bad section, we have Walkerson from ep 4.07 onwards.  This couple was 6 episodes of bliss and then 10 straight episodes of slow, drawn-out torment.  If the ‘ship had been killed in a believable and decisive manner, I’d have come out of it somewhat respecting the writers for having the balls to avoid kowtowing to the shipper contingent.  But that would have required true commitment to the break-up, which is not what happened here.  Instead, the writers tried to have their cake and eat it too by making this couple do some downright horrible things to each other, and then having both characters simply ignore ALL of it.  The romantic relationship may be done for now, but they are still buds, and it seems that neither A nor A is about to take each other to task for any of it.  They just buried it deep down.  But hey, if the internet is any indication, a lot of fans out there are completely willing to accept anything that’s shoveled into their mouths regarding Walkerson, so long as A&A both continue to have a pulse and can both make cute faces in each other’s general direction.  So ... congratulations, writers?  Do whatever you want?  But the more careless this TV couple are with their supposed “love” for each other, the less I root for them.  If all that’s left of this couple now is passionless, sedated, emotion-suppressing noodle-slurping, then no.  No thank you.  Next, please.  I’ll have something else on the menu because this situation is weaksauce.

O.k. this review is already waaayy too long so I'm just going to get to my grade.  First, my grade of ep 3.16:

Ep 4.16 GRADE: 85/100

Had some issues, but was a pretty solid ep.  Next, my grade of the season as a whole:

Season 4 GRADE: 77/100

This was a season of highs and lows.  There was some amazing stuff, and there was also stuff that still has me tearing my hair out when I think about it.  For season 5, I pray to the TV gods that the Covert writers will take a deep breath and be more realistic about how many story threads they can or should tackle in one season.  It somewhat felt in season 4 that literally every bright idea that popped up in the writers’ room was thrown into the mix, as if there was no filter.  I hope that they focus on telling a great story more so than dropping bombshells.  And lastly I hope that they let their characters properly deal with the aftermath of what happens to them before they just drop it and jump onto the next thing.  I hope the characters stop burying everything, and I really hope we can be let into Annie's head.  There's still a LOT to be answered about who Covert's lead character really is and just what exactly she IS running from, as Henry asked in the finale.

Tell me I'm a nutjob in the comments below.

The Plopper

31 comments:

  1. Took the words out of my mouth, as per usual. "Ex-dead-wife" made me chuckle as did the passionless noodle slurping. Would say more but I'm at work. And I still have to write my own review. :) Which will probably touch on many of the same points. Darn you for being so smart!

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    1. LOL can't wait for yours too Kate yours are awesome!!! And they make me feel like I'm not alone in my reactions to the show LMAO.

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  2. Also just an interesting tidbit I got from Jenna Vento (@jvento) after I published this: There WAS supposed to be a bombshell right at the end with Annie and the DCI, but it was cut out of the episode at the last minute. Not sure why. Innnnteresting.

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  3. Great review of the ep and of the season in general.. There has been no-What is she (Annie our main character) thinking?. She is the lead and we as the audience want to have her insights. But the writers do not want to tell her story. Or they just want to make her all tough ass girl, give her the action but not the reasoning behind her actions.
    And the -they are still besties at the noodle slurping place.,.with no conversation of what happened with Helen? Wow. In what crazy bestie world are AA living in? Even with a dire mission at hand. You put in the emo music, I want some realy emo. not the oh whatever, I don't care that you slept with Helen cuz it was my fault vibe Annie was giving off.
    Anyway, am completely addicted to the show. Thanks for the review and am looking forward to next season.

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    1. "Or they just want to make her all tough ass girl, give her the action but not the reasoning behind her actions." YES. THIS. UGGH.

      "In what crazy bestie world are AA living in?"

      GOD I wish I knew and I wish I had some of whatever happy hazy drug they are taking, because apparently it can allow you to float through anything without a care in the world. You can also act like a total asshole to people you supposedly love and then you'll all just forgive each other anyway because you're all too busy trippin' balls on your happy pills.

      "Great review of the ep and of the season in general" THANKS! :)

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  4. "(Didn’t even Chuck & Sarah feel a little too G-rated once they got together or was it just me?) "

    Based on the scenes the girl who played Sarah did and the strip tease the guy who played Chuck did in a movie and Colonel and the first kiss (lots of tongue) and a lot of photos and insider information about hotter stuff being filmed.....the lack of hotness was solely down to Fedak Schwartz being prudes.

    I doubt the actors gave two fucks about just doing scenes that needed to be done. LOL.

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    1. I always thought it was odd how annoyingly chaste they were after they got together. Even their first "sex" scene consisted simply of them pulling the bed covers over them if I recall. Boring. I could never figure out what happened there especially after how HOT "Chuck vs. The Colonel" was. I'm sure the 8pm timeslot had something to do with it, but that didn't seem to be an issue for them when Colonel aired. Weird.

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    2. The answer was simply Fedak and Schwartz. After looking at the OC, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl...all those scenes are tame as shit. Again it must just be a Schwartz thing, Actors do what they are told, they do not give a fuck. The only time they make try and not do something is if they are ill, then they do not want to make the other person sick. Fair enough. But otherwise? no problems.

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  5. I meant the scenes she did in Dexter.

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  6. "If the way the audience sees something is significantly different than the story you were intending to tell, then something is wrong with the way you told it."

    This. Nail on the head.

    The more I've thought about this season, the more I've come to realise that it's ONLY the Helesa storyline that blotted the season for me. All "other" blots in fact stem from it (or from the reasons behind it). I didn't agree with:
    1) The reason I suspect they did it it: I think the writers were afraid (as was I, I admit) that if they put Annie and Auggie together it would kill the show. And to be fair to them putting the lead characters together HAS been the death knell for many (if not most) shows where it's been done. BUT, as you pointed out, Annie and Auggie are an exception. They WORK. The show, really would, IMO, do fine (maybe even better) if it became "The Annie and Auggie Show" rather than "The Annie Show With Occasional Auggie". (Oops, did I let my Auggie-bias show there a bit?).
    2) The story they chose to tell: This was a desperate storyline designed purely to create tension between the couple - it was extreme, it was soap-operaish and it was unnecessary. The job alone, A and A's personalities, their circumstances are all quite enough to create sufficient tension to keep things interesting. There really was NO need to put us through all the crap we had to go through :)
    3) The way they told it: Here's where your quote above comes in. It was so disjointed that we actually didn't get it. When you have stars in interviews having to TELL the audience that the characters were "on a break" that's a problem. (#CovertApologetics).
    4) The person they told it through: I've said it before, but I think they dropped the ball when it came to casting Helen. To be fair, I think casting ANYONE to play a romantic counterpart to Auggie might be close to impossible. The on-screen chemistry between Chris Gorham and Piper is SO strong.that casting anyone who could make a relationship between Auggie feel as convincing is a big ask (Natasha/Liane Balaban MAY be an exception here). But, really, there was ZILCH chemistry in the Auggie/Helen relationship (not EVEN relatively less). And trying to sell infidelity when there's no chemistry is a fool's game. My advice for the next season: don't bother. Leave Annie as the only girl for Auggie. If you HAVE to do the triangle thing (and you don't, writers, you really don't) then do it on Annie's side. Piper seems to be able to create chemistry with just about anyone :) She's magic.

    SO, I guess this boils down to my S5 wishlist for the writers:
    1. Take time to explore the emotional fallout and relationships - slowly, simply, subtly and realistically. You tried to do too much too fast this season and in the end none of it got done properly.and we got frustrated and lost. There is MORE than enough to work using just the spy plot lines. No need to create new scenarios purely to explore these aspects.
    2. Auggie is STILL too much of a side-kick. What you gave us when you gave us Walkerson was exactly that - a single character. And that worked SO beautifully that I (very much NOT on board the ship until you actually did it) completely changed my mind about it. There was some kind of synergistic energy formed so that when they worked together and then went home together this season it was FAR more powerful than when they worked together from separate bases (speaking literally and metaphorically).
    3) Because it's me: Auggie, Auggie, more Auggie. Give CG his equal billing - make this the Annie AND Auggie show. Because really, he IS the reason I watch ;) (But that's just me).

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    1. SERIOUSLY, I'm feeling like 85-90% of the problems of the season stemmed from the Helesa storyline. Because even my issues with the crazy/messed-up plotting of 4.07-10 might have been at least somewhat resolved if they had left Helesa out all together. It would have been SO easy for Annie's idea to go dark to have come from somewhere or something else. Episode 4.07 could have been devoted ENTIRELY to filling in all the 500 plot holes that existed in those eps hahahah. Or in other words, give them enough time to get Annie to the point of going dark in a believable way.

      Here's my comments specifically to the 4 points you listed:

      1) Yep I'm certain that's why they did it. But what they didn't realize is that the brilliance of this show is that it never centered around the 'ship to begin with. There was a LOT of other stuff happening that was super interesting. And I think that's why 4.01-6 worked so well, because A&A could be together and super cute and it really didn't make the storylines any less interesting at all, it actually added to them.
      2) Yes yes and yes. There was literally not ONE good thing this storyline added to the show that I can think of. It was 100% downside. It was a parasite sucking the life out of all the storylines around it and sucking the life and sanity out of all of us in the audience as well hahaaha. And I agree they could have accomplished everything they wanted to accomplish this season without it.
      3) "When you have stars in interviews having to TELL the audience that the characters were 'on a break' that's a problem. (#CovertApologetics)." YESS UGGGHHH. And I still am not convinced that they even realize this is an issue at all.
      4) Yep good point, ZERO chemistry. I think Natasha would have worked better, but I *like* Natasha and don't get the feeling that she'd be such a schemin'-ass ho as Helesa was hahaha. "Piper seems to be able to create chemistry with just about anyone :) She's magic." HA! Good point I hadn't even thought about it but it is true now that you mention it. I've never watched a show where I've loved nearly ALL the romantic interests, and maybe this is part of the reason it works so well here hahhaa.

      "You tried to do too much too fast this season and in the end none of it got done properly.and we got frustrated and lost."

      Yep, bottom line.

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  7. Good review. So-so episode. Meh season.

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    1. Thanks and LMAO that pretty much sums it up. I should have just written that for my review. "So-so episode. Meh season."

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  8. " Leave Annie as the only girl for Auggie. If you HAVE to do the triangle thing (and you don't, writers, you really don't) then do it on Annie's side. Piper seems to be able to create chemistry with just about anyone :) She's magic"

    This is so true!! Piper is able to create magical chemistry (sizzles!!) with just about anyone BUT her connection with Chris is superb!! Also, I did agree with Henry that Annie is running from something and I hope they explore that. Also, OMG Walkerson as being one character Yes!! Nailed it! I hope Season 5 has LOTS of it!!!!!

    But I, like Auggie, am on board with CovertAffairs no matter what.

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  9. “And the worst part is? You’ll never be able to look at yourself the same way again. You’ll know that you killed for malice. And that changes you.” - Lena Smith, to Annie, at the end of “Let’s Dance”.

    THIS. This sums up all the broken, shattered and scattered parts of Annie Walker this season. This is what it came down to in those last few moments in the alley, before Henry died.

    At the end of the finale I was left feeling very sad, very empty, but I think that was the entire point. Throughout the whole season Annie has been in pursuit of a man who, from the very beginning, has been the very antithesis of everything she stands for; justice, fairness, honor, morality, virtue- there is not another character who is so extremely opposite of Annie. She is our heroine, and he is the ultimate villain. And at the end, the sheer gravity of the fact that is was finally over was in itself overwhelming. You could see it on her face.

    However, this season, Annie changes- really changes. And honestly, I think the roots of this change really started back in S3 when she finally escaped that Russian prison. That was the first black mark on her heart. The second one started the moment she sat down with Henry Wilcox at the diner where Jai died, and opened the file on Arthur, which unlocked a proverbial Pandora’s box that proceeded to destroy her life, along with Auggie’s, J&A, et cetera.

    Annie’s pursuit of Henry, a quest that originated from her predisposition to protect those she cares about, turned into a desperate, obsessive undertaking that forced her to make sacrifice after sacrifice, risk after risk that had us pulling our hair out and screaming at our televisions. Her choices no longer revolved around just the greater good, but doing whatever it took - no matter who it burnt (Sana, David) - to stop this man who had committed atrocity after atrocity. This was a dark, selfish side of a character who has been for the most of her existence an unwavering moral compass. The woman we are left with in the alley in Hong Kong is no longer Annie Walker, but someone entirely unrecognizable.

    This is a big, deep thing, though we’ve joked the writers don’t think very deeply about anything, in my head this final act on Annie’s part, killing Henry in cold blood, is a huge deal. Lena’s words could never have been more true or prophetic. Annie should not be able to walk away from this the same person she was, before everything. If she does her routine internalization and acts like a robot next season I will be PISSED, because after all this she should be a damn head case.

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    1. What ARE you running from, Annie Walker? Do you even know who you are anymore? These are the things I am left wondering at the final closing scene from the finale. Though there were things this season that I hated (the love triangle of doom, mostly), I am left feeling content going into next season. They journey Annie went on was something I really enjoyed; I enjoyed seeing her have to change, have to do things that pushed her past the point of no return. While the whole serial story telling thing was a bit of a challenge for them with so many plot factors, it was still an experience that left me really appreciating how much Annie has changed since the very beginning of the show. The writers have created a wonderful opportunity to get inside the head of a very strong, complex female character- the emotional aftermath of S4 should be enough to write novels and novels worth of material, I just hope that they take advantage of it and focus more on Annie’s character emotionally in S5, and less on the multiple story lines that take away from that.

      I wish it was summer. I CAN’T WAIT THIS LONG.

      Things I loved:
      *The opening scene, NIN, slow-mo, just epically awesome.
      *Annie’s white trench coat (that everyone and God knew she had on), I WANT IT.
      *The scorpion fable: Greg is awesome.
      *Annie in the safe house, tearing up when she realizes Henry is about to get away, and the epic fight scene that ensued.
      *Auggie stopping traffic. Freakin’ genius.
      *ANNIE CAPPING HENRY’S ASS YEEEEEE!
      *Annie walking out of the alley after killing Henry. Piper is fucking amazing, beautiful shot, loved it.
      *The voice overs of Annie & Auggie as she runs down the street.
      *End scene, even though it was a little too cheery feeling.

      Gosh. Just. I am still sad the show is over, I am sad for Annie knowing that she SHOULD have a lot of shit fixing to come her way once she get’s back to Langley. Like I said, I hope the writers take advantage of it!!!!!

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  10. Gahhhhh! I think I've been putting off writing my comment (even tho I read your review like .092 nanoseconds after you posted it b/c I'm a hardcore fangirl of your writing :D) b/c it makes me face the reality that this season is over and that there won't be another review for me to comment on next week or even the week after. Excuse me while I go play sad music and cry 10,000 emo tears. Wah Wah!

    I agree with your review completely and the comments left. This season has been like one huge case of the #CovertBlueBalls after another. Seriously. And while I enjoyed and pretty much loved the finale, I don't know if I really really loved it loved it or just loved the fact that they didn't bang the dog any harder or worse yet, bring in a whole new dog to bang sideways. It was both complete relief and complete frustration all in one and I think that sums up how I feel about this whole season. It was a lot of "OMG! WTF? Really?" and some "Oh thank sweet fuck!" for me. Never any consistency or a nice long moment to exhale. You just knew the minute they gave you a good moment they were going to mess it up somehow and not in a "Wow that was awesome! I didn't see that twist coming at all" way but more like a "God, that's so horribly sad and predictable drama for the sake of drama" kind of way.

    My thoughts on the finale: I loved Auggie busting through Hong Kong and getting shit done. One of my favorite things about this show is that you can always trust Auggie to have Annie's back and pretty much get her out of ALL the shit no matter what. Metal detectors and guards and blindness, BE DAMNED!

    Loved Greg Itzin and as much as I was ready to see Henry get dead, I'm going to miss his awesomeness. The Annie/Henry scenes were some of the best of the season.

    Speaking of....the only time I got emo for Annie was when Henry was ripping her to shreds about her decision to go dark and saying how he was gonna turn her over to the Chinese. You could really feel for Annie in the moment that she tears up when Henry tells her she went dark for nothing. Even up til the end she kept looking for one little speck of reason or goodness inside Henry....some understanding and there simply was none. It's a hard reality to swallow. Oh Annie, he really was just a goddamn scorpion.

    Loved Calder just like I have since 401. His "goddamnit" will be one of my S4 highlights.

    Also on a side note...really hoping Oliver gets his own spinoff show from this. Carl Ng is THE MAN! More please!

    My hopes for S5 are this: Please writers, please get back to Annie. Let's deal with in some way ALL the shit she's been through. Let's find out what she's running from. (I have a feeling it's a fear of settling down and putting down roots but why? I dunno. Will we ever know?) Put AA together and leave them be. Don't spend a whole season manufacturing drama to keep them apart b/c just like Ashleigh mentioned their jobs and circumstances are ALL the drama we need. And let's face it, their relationship/friendship/love affair are what makes this show truly great. DON'T FUCK IT UP!

    Until next season...dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    P.S. DO NOT FUCK IT UP!

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    1. "I don't know if I really really loved it loved it or just loved the fact that they didn't bang the dog any harder or worse yet, bring in a whole new dog to bang sideways."

      HAHAHAHA. Exactly. I do think if the season had been better as a whole then this ep, exactly as we saw it, would have been fine just the same. It's just all the pooch-screwing they did leading into it that had me watching the last couple eps just PRAYING they wouldn't screw it any worse. Thank god the finale was low on the FUBAR factor.

      "You just knew the minute they gave you a good moment they were going to mess it up somehow and not in a 'Wow that was awesome! I didn't see that twist coming at all' way but more like a 'God, that's so horribly sad and predictable drama for the sake of drama' kind of way."

      Yep. Aagghh.

      "Metal detectors and guards and blindness, BE DAMNED!" Yes and at least he didn't somehow magically sneak into the US Embassy in the middle of the night, not being able to see anything he was doing, like in the season 3 finale hehehee.

      "Loved Greg Itzin and as much as I was ready to see Henry get dead, I'm going to miss his awesomeness. The Annie/Henry scenes were some of the best of the season." Agree wholeheartedly.

      "You could really feel for Annie in the moment that she tears up when Henry tells her she went dark for nothing."

      I loved the little dig they stuck in there on her hair-dying disguise too hahahaha. But hey, at least it LOOKS great!! Hehe. I was actually kind of surprised when Annie teared up there at first because she usually stays so stone-faced in these situations. BUT I was glad she did, for the same reason you mentioned. It happens so rarely that you could totally feel the "Ohhhh shit I think I'm really fucked this time and I royally screwed up my entire life this year for nothing at all" running through her head. And I think you're right that there was probably still maybe one last little bit of hoping Henry wouldn't completely hang her out to dry going on there, up till that moment. Great job by Piper in both that scene and the scene where she walks away from Henry's body.

      Calder's "Goddammit" HAHAHA best!! Totally thought of Always Sunny there. LOOOOVE Carl Ng too, he definitely needs to be in more things that I see hahaha. Gotta IMDB him.

      Wholeheartedly agree with your hopes for season 5 except with one caveat or adjustment on the A&A part: They've FUBARed Annie and Auggie to the point that right now, I don't WANT them back together UNTIL THEY PROPERLY WORK THEIR SHIT OUT. If they are going to continue to ignore everything that happened and NOT take each other to task for anything, then they should absolutely NOT get back together. And at this point, they've screwed it so bad that if we don't AT LEAST get a damn Eyal fling out of it before they put A&A back together, I'll be PISSED hahaha. We need to get at least ONE upside out of this whole mess. And Eyal is always an upside. ;-) Theeeennnn I'll be o.k. with A&A getting back together, LMAO.

      "their relationship/friendship/love affair are what makes this show truly great. DON'T FUCK IT UP!"

      I look at this more from the angle of ... it's done BEEN fucked up ... and now they have to take the time and effort to rebuild *properly*. A&A as a concept is hanging by a *thread* for me right now, and that's saying a LOT because I loooooovvvved this couple together up through ep 4.06. If they don't start strengthening that thread back up again the right way, it's gonna break, and I'm gonna be over them. I'm so close. Sooooo close hahaha. I guess for me that's the part that I'm hoping they don't fuck up (but I feel fairly sure they will). :-P Grrrr.

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  12. I got some ratings in for the 11/7 episode.

    A18-49:
    Live - 0.24
    Live + Same Day - 0.4
    Live + 7 Days - 0.94
    Lift from SD - 139%

    Total viewers:
    Live + SD - 1.6 million
    Live + 7 - 3.4 million
    Median Age - 55 years old, 36% Male/64% Female

    (People sure don't like watching this show live, do they?)

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    1. "People sure don't like watching this show live, do they?" LOL!! It's insane to me how much the Live+SD ratings for this show have fluctuated this season; it's been like a rollercoaster. Especially in the fall season. That 11/7 ep had super low Live+SD but then I think the finale (11/21) was back up to 0.7 Live+SD. I don't get it at all. This show has always been heavily DVRed I think, but this season it's been even more so it seems.

      Thanks again so much for the ratings info as always!! I'll be SUPER curious to see what the Live+7 numbers are for the 11/21 ep, since the Live+SD numbers were higher for that one.

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    2. The Live + 7's come in every Monday. 11/21 should be available in a few weeks.

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    3. THANKS so much you're awesome!!

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    4. Got the 11/14 episode now (schedule is weird this week due to Thanksgiving last week)

      A18-49:
      Live - 0.32
      Live + Same Day - 0.48
      Live + 7 Days - 1.02
      Lift from SD - 113%

      Total viewers:
      Live + SD - 1.8 million
      Live + 7 - 3.6 million
      Median Age - 56 years old, 38% Male/62% Female

      The gain appears to be in more people watching live

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    5. OH awesome!! Yeah I see what you mean, it seems like the number of people who DVR it is somewhat consistent, but the Live viewers is what fluctuates more. I think the Live # for the finale was higher as well so we'll see what that one looks like when they release that full data. THANKS again you rock!!

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    6. Yep, that's a pattern I used to notice with other shows. People who DVR a show tend to be the loyalists to a show. Occasionally, you may see people shift to watch sooner than they normally do for a finale, premiere, or "very important episode".

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  13. Finally, the full ratings for this episode:

    A18-49:
    Live - 0.48
    Live + Same Day - 0.68
    Live + 7 Days - 1.11
    Lift from SD - 64%

    Total viewers:
    Live + SD - 2.3 million
    Live + 7 - 4.0 million
    Median Age - 55.5 years old, 46% Male/54% Female

    The show had a smaller percentage lift going from Live + Same Day to 7 Days presumably because some people shifted their viewing a little earlier.

    The Male 18-49 rating went up more than the female number. It went from a 0.76 the week prior to a 1.0 Live + 7.

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    1. Awesome THANKS so much again as always!! And yeah how interesting that it looks like more people just decided to watch live for the finale. And more total viewers as well but not as big a percentage jump. And more men hmmmm. Great info as usual!!

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    2. People who are hardcore TV watchers tend to forget there are people who actually don't watch every episode of a TV show.

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    3. LOL I know right ... I can't even imagine doing it any other way. ;-)

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    4. One added piece of info about CA's ratings: The "C3" rating averages about a third higher than the Live + Same Day rating. For those who don't know a "C3" rating is the rating the commercials get in the show within 3 days of airing. It's what the advertisers pay for.

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