I can tell exactly when this episode finally started crackling for me based the spot where my notes trailed off: "AHH HAHA FUCK YES ANNIE STOLE THE KEY!!" That's the last bulletpoint I have.
Is that the right reaction for me to have, or am I supposed to be pissed at her? I'm not entirely sure, but it sure as hell seemed like the only way to salvage that mission without Auggie's love-making prowess turning it into a mushy gushy disaster. I'll give Auggie this though - He made a great point in his argument with Annie directly following the the fast one she pulled on him: "Turning your back on your emotions doesn't make you a better spy, it's just cutting you off from anyone close to you." Well o.k., I'm not entirely sure I agree with the first part, especially considering the events of this episode. But the second part, no one can argue with. And him calling her out on it has been a long time coming. Not to mention that this is coming right off the cover-up he did for her last week.
The thing that annoyed me by far the most about the last few eps of season 4 is that after Annie went dark and then Auggie underwent the Unholy Helesa Bang - which we were apparently supposed to accept as NBD since the writers decided that A&A were "on a break" but forgot to coherently communicate that to the audience - Annie and Auggie never discussed anything that had happened from the moment Annie peaced out up until the moment she returned. No one got pissed, no one yelled, no one acted like a normal red-blooded human being with feelings or emotions. It was just a seemingly Prozac-induced "Aww we're still buds though!!" haze to pander to the "Aww Walkerson is so cute tee hee!!" crowd. Not only did it not work for me, it made me want to claw both A and A's eyes out in their every single interaction. Hmm maybe I need some Prozac too.
But that is why I am thrilled beyond thrilled that we fiiiiiiinally got an explosion between these two in "Elevate Me Later", even if it was only for a hot minute and then it was over. At least it was something. And Auggie was drunk, and PISSED. I enjoyed that. Finally, some passion. When have these two ever fought? The only other ep I can think of is "Sound and Vision," an audience favorite from S3. But the fighting in that ep wasn't even in the same ballpark of intensity as it was here. They've got a great deal more history between them now than they did then. Count this as a win for my enjoyment of this ep.
I will admit though, at about 40 minutes into the ep, I said to myself, "This feels like one long series of annoying interactions between various people." Tash is another audience favorite, and I loved her in season 1 as well as in what I saw of the webisodes (which I admit wasn't much), but is it horrible to say that this episode kind of maybe ruined her for me a little bit?? There's a couple very Covert Affairs-specific tropes that have annoyed the fuuuuck out of me at various points of this series. The first one was the "Annie's instincts are always right in the end!" trope in the second half of season 3, because it meant that she never had to face any consequences for anything that happened post-Lena/Simon/Russia. Everything just kept magically working out perfectly for her at every turn.
And the second trope is one that has been slowly grating the hell out of my nerves this season, but in tonight's episode finally reached a fever pitch: The "every woman on the planet is 100% powerless to Auggie's sexy bod" one. It makes me angry for my entire gender that we apparently ALL have such an easy weakness to manipulate, according to the Covert writers. The fact that Auggie has always been comfortably below Simon and Eyal on my personal hotness scale probably adds to my bewilderment here (don't worry - he's still above Ben and Dr. Scott), but it would be a problem for me no matter who the character was. It was cute and fun in seasons 1 and 2, but we're in season 5 now and it's just starting to become a parody of itself at this point. Literally, with the line, "Who's that, an infatuated Auggie groupie??" even being thrown in for good measure. The scene where it really got me here was towards the end where Tash had already told Auggie to eff off, and then all he had to do was grab her and kiss her and ... "OH NO!! You've got me now with your magic pecs & peen yet AGAIN!! Wah wah waaahhh foiled again lemme tear your shirt off." Really Tash?? Really?? Tash's trajectory here actually wasn't much different than it was in ep 1.07, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. On the bright side, Auggie dating a Real Doll or one of Barber's donuts would be far preferable to Hayley at this point.
And then we have Arthur and Caitlyn. I just, I dunno. Caitlyn is in full on category 5 balls to the wall throwing herself at him mode now. Arthur managed to resist it here, but he's clearly wooed by the business aspect of McQuaid Security at this point, the same way Annie is. These two A's are both getting enticed in a very similar manner this season, aren't they? Caitlyn though ... I'm just starting to get super annoyed at how lame and cliche most of the female characters on this show are right now. Everyone except Annie and Joan, basically. I stumbled on an old article the other day that pointed out the fact that Covert season 3 passed the Bechdel test with flying colors. It's no wonder I loved season 3 so much, but it also made me realize that season 5 is really not passing it quite so well. Let's get our shit in gear guys, my feminist sensibilities are beginning to "ping". We can do better on a show with a female lead. What really annoys me is that Caitlyn would probably be a very good character if they weren't throwing the "obviously she's gonna seduce Arthur" bullshit in there.
O.k. let me think about this "Annie betraying Auggie's trust" thing again. If Annie hadn't stolen that flash drive ... what would've happened? Auggie sexed Tash ... and then she probably would have given the key to him in the morning or later in the night. So he would have accomplished the task eventually, but it would have been too late. Which would render the mission a failure. I still gotta go with Annie's decision on this one, guys. And when she said to him, "I did give you a chance, but instead of convincing her, you slept with her" I yelled, "HAHAHA YESS!!!" Just like Auggie calling Annie on her alienating all her loved ones was a long time coming, Annie calling Auggie out on his weakness with pasta boxes was long overdue as well. These two both got some serious personal issues, man.
Last few random thoughts:
- Baby Mack holy cuteness ... as much as the cynical childless heathen in me wants to poo poo any focus at all on the plight of Baby Mack in season 5, dang if this kid doesn't steal every scene he's in. He's all I can stare at when he's on the screen. I will say though, I was afraid we'd get a lot of J&A bickering over who's gonna feed the baby and such, and I am extremely thankful that has not been the case.
- I'm a bit annoyed that Calder's role has been reduced simply to his romance woes in the past couple eps ... they need to get back to some more substantial stuff with him soon. I'm assuming the Sydney thing will build to something that will impact his job?
- Annie seducing Ivan Kravec at the end felt a little jarring at first, like ... well first off, it's not as if she hasn't done this before (*cough*Simon), but the style of the scene this time was more like, "Yeeah bitches Annie does this all the time now!! Honey Badger don't give a shit, it just takes what it wants!!" Like on The Americans how Phillip and Elizabeth are both constantly sexing up their targets without batting an eye. I don't have a problem with it at all, don't get me wrong, but it just felt like a sudden transition for Covert Affairs to make, until Annie thankfully managed to get the job done without sexing the guy (because let's be honest, he was NOT a real charmer so that would've been gross).
- Annie's wardrobe was on point in this ep. Her wardrobe tends to be more practical these days but I'm glad they still let her snazz it back up sometimes. And what better place to let her go for it than Paris.
- Tash referring to Annie as Auggie's "seeing eye dog" is the perfect example of why I've always liked her in the past.
- Thank goodness they eventually spelled Kredit Krepost for us. My first note on it (pre-spelling) says, "The money came from Credit Creampost??"
I had my issues with this ep, but the payoff in the last 15 minutes was a glimpse of stuff I've been waiting for seemingly since the beginning of space and time. Since the moment God waved his magic wand and created the Big Bang, I had been waiting for A&A to say some honest words to each other, and tonight we got a few of them. And we damn well better get more at some point this season. And well, I just really really enjoyed Annie's hoodwink at the end, because you know what, sometimes you gotta just cut the shit and take care of business. I know I'm sure as hell not going to go all the way to Paris with a mission to complete (as enjoyable as that may be), and then come home empty-handed. No sir.
Tell me I'm a cold-hearted snake in the comments (EWW what's that in its mouth!? Oh it's got a cobra, oh it runs backwards?? No watch this look a snake's up in a tree!!)
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