13 August, 2014

The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.08: 'Grounded'


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge.  I think I have conspiracy blueballs.  Curse you, Covert writers.  God.  DAMN.  you.  :shakes fist in air:

O.k. is it just me or did "Grounded" feel a lot like an ep of Castle?  Actually, I think I gave that comparison the very first time we met Roger, and this ep just continued that trend.  It's that whole thing where you think the weird guy with the lead knows what he's talking about and then whoops!  He's crazy ... but ... dun dun DUUUUNNNN was he really so crazy after all!?  I was 98% sure the second we saw the dog walker that he'd eventually pop back up again, but I wasn't sure if it would be within this ep.

Of course, if this was Castle, the bombing from 5.01 and the solving of said crime/mystery would have been completed within one episode, and we'd then have 22 more of those mysteries to solve this season.  O.k. fine, maybe this would have been the yearly two-parter guest starring Dana Delany or James Brolin.  Which is why that show drives me insane.  But it's almost like this season of Covert has been like one season-long ep of Castle, in the sense that they are just working through piece by piece, each new lead in the case.  There hasn't been one "big bad" character like a Henry or Lena.  Which is frankly fine with me ... big bads tend to get annoying after a while (ahem ... Henry.  Not Lena.  Lena was perfect.)  I've seen the concept get extremely obnoxious on other shows too.  Cough ... Dexter.  Amongst others.  So the lack of that element this season has been a-o.k. with me.

Another thing I was sure of during this ep was that Roger's conspiracy papers would not be what they seemed.  I was NOT ready to write Roger off there.  Because that's how this stuff works.  But hey, the fact that they had a classic whodunnit/conspiracy theme going here isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think it worked well here.  I'm left at the end of this ep wondering where it's all going and trying to come up with theories with my cousin Katie over text as I type this.  It's making me write slower.  I'm starting to sweat thinking that I need to get my ass in gear on this review.  So this ep clearly did something right.

I feel like I have a LOT of things to say about this episode, but I need to pick and choose what I can tackle here.  Hmm.  Let's start with Hayley, better known these days as Crayley.  As much as we've all loved to hate her this season, I will say, these guys are doing a HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLL of a lot better with this character than they did with Helesa last season.  O.k., granted, that's not saying much.  I could come up with an analogy for how little it says, but it would be far too harsh for public consumption, so I'm gonna just skip it haha.  But say what you will about Amy Jo Johnson ... I'm gonna go on record as saying that I think she's doing a decent job with this character.  Throw rotten tomatoes at me all you want.  But I'm pleasantly surprised that they've kept the "crazy chick gets revenge" cliche aspect of this character dialed down lower than I expected.

Clearly Hayley wasn't being professional when she started dating Auggie to begin with.  All of these characters are FAR from innocent.  But she made a couple great arguments in this ep, in two different scenes.  Let's start with scene 1: With Auggie in the bar, confronting him about why he hid Annie's secret.  I've been wondering this a hell of a lot myself this season: Why the eff isn't Auggie more concerned with the extremely real possibility that Annie could just drop dead at any moment with this heart issue?  I tooootally get that he's letting her do the "my body my choice" thing, but as a friend, and as an ex who clearly still has feelings for her, can't we at least see just ONE sign that he's a teeny, tiny bit worried for her well-being?  He's been brushing this off all season as if Annie is just some random office acquaintance.  Like, "Welp, she knows the risks!!  If she drops dead it ain't my problem!!"  The one thing I will give him here, is that I can only hope he doesn't know that she's had not one but three episodes in the field since she's been back.  Does he just not realize that this issue is anywhere near as severe as it is?

And then we had the final scene with Auggie and Hayley, at Auggie's apartment, where she tore him at least a couple new ones.  Choice quotes from Hayley: "You know what really bugs me, is that in your version of this story, you're the good guy!"  "The point is, you used me.  I was just another op.  And then you broke it off because I wasn't necessary anymore."  "You hold yourself up like this military man, like you're morally superior to all the other Langley spies, but you're not.  You're just like all the rest of them."  Hmmm ... our dear Crayley has actually hit on a couple very valid observations here.  Ouch.

But wait how 'bout Joan and the Balkans!?  I don't have time to look this up right now, but can someone tell me if this, please for the love of ALL that is holy and pure like the Puma, if this ties AT ALL into Joan's mysterious-as-hell backstory with a) the pill addiction and/or b) the hints we've gotten in past seasons about some traumatic experience(s) she had on a mission(s) that landed her in the hospital and some friend/partner of hers dead??  There have been hints thrown about a situation like this at least once in season 2 (the Mexico City ep), and then again in season 3 when Annie was on her mission to avenge Simon's death.  Was the Balkans ever mentioned at all in any of those Joan scenes or is this just something completely new they made up for season 5?  If it doesn't tie back into any of those infuriatingly vague hints they've been giving us for this entire series, I am going to lose my marbles.

And speaking of loose ends on backstories, we still don't have a decent explanation as to where Annie's heart condition came from.  Would this not have been the perfect ep for them to give us more info about that?  For instance, there were very vague hints in ep 5.04 that it may be related to her taking two bullets to the chest/heart in season 3.  So if that were the case, and if I were her, the first thing I'd say when getting reamed for hiding the condition would be, "HELLO, Joan and Calder, it's the CIA's fault I have this goddamn heart problem to begin with!!  And now you're just kicking me to the curb because of this issue that you gave me??"  It just seems like it would have been a great extra kicker in her argument at that moment, but, nope.  It was just the vague "risking my life" stuff.  The Covert writers are clearly (as we've seen with Joan) huge fans of leaving loose story threads dangling into eternity.  Some shows are good at that, like Breaking Bad, which was meticulous about tying out threads even if it was two, three seasons later.  You could trust that each confusing loose end would eventually make sense.  But with Covert?  Their track record just isn't good enough for me to trust them on it.  And it's frankly just a baffling concept that they'd give Annie a heart condition in season 5 if it doesn't tie back to any of these hugely important pieces of her history that it very logically should tie to.  It seems like a monumental missed opportunity in character development.  But will they eventually connect these dots?  Who the hell knows, man.

Aggh o.k. yeah this is gonna be too damn long because I've got more to say.  Heh.  I've gotta get to Annie and McQuaid, obviously.  But I should also touch on Annie and Roger first.  A&R was an interesting relationship development that I didn't expect here.  Again, a bit cheesy and cliche, just like the Annie-Mueller parallels last week.  But still, I get what they were going for, and I thought it was reasonably effective.  Depression and mental illness in general have been a hot topic this week due to Robin Williams' suicide, so this Roger story felt relevant and rang true based on real life situations I've observed and been involved in.  The idea that the one thing that makes him feel like a functioning human being is also the thing that's killing him was interesting to me.  And yes, of course, it parallels back with Annie.  A bit cheesy but I'm o.k. with it.  Plus, it explained something I kept wondering throughout the ep - why Roger cared enough to keep pursuing this case to begin with. 

Now onto Annie and McQuaid.  Arrgghh.  ARRGGGHHH.  Let's just cut right to the chase - the all-night hangout scene at the end.  It's what we all care about, let's be honest.  Goddamnit ... it's just my perfect kind of hangout too - alcohol, fatty food, and talk/gossip/laughs.  Maybe I'm inserting the "gossip" part in myself.  I'm just going to assume it occurred because, duh.  But it was like this loooonnnng, wonderful tease leading to ... nothing.  O.k. a kiss, yes, but then after that, the dog walker showed up and kicked us all in the balls, HARD.  No happy endings here, people.  The dog-walker gave us the blue-ballsiest of endings.  Just play that buzz-killing record-scratch sound here and cry into your beer and junk food.

It now seems like, at least for another ep or two, this may turn into one of those Simon situations where Annie has to "work" McQuaid for the mission.  But how Simon-ish will this wind up being?  If the Castle parallels continue past this ep, then McQuaid will most likely be cleared soon and it'll all turn out to just be one big crazy misunderstanding.  But I have no clue if that's where they're headed.  The fact that he's a series regular makes me doubt they'd turn him into a bad guy, and he does still have that mole issue that has yet to be sorted out.  It's gotta be the mole behind this, right?

Gaarrrrr.  We shall see dude, we shall see.  Here's my random thoughts before the grade:
  • This ep had some major laugh-out-loud moments for me, including Barber trying to convince Annie that her new desk was highly rated by various other coworkers who've occupied it in the past.
  • Another LOL moment - Joan: "Annie, I haven't received your timeline."  Annie: "I know I'm still not finished yet."  Joan: "It was the ONLY task on your desk!!"  Hahahaha, Annie sucks at this desk job.
  • Dude.  WHY does Caitlyn care about Annie so much??  If she is the mole I feel like it'll be far too obvious.
  • That random "heleecopter" ride to get Roger was pretty hilarious.
  • Crayley stalking Calder on his run made me laugh too.
It's taken the time I've spent to write this review for this ep to sink in for me and to allow me to figure out how I feel about it.  It's one of those eps that's primarily focused on story logistics - moving the pieces around the gameboard to transition the characters from their current state to a new and significantly different state, in order to propel them into the summer finale.  These eps don't tend to be super action-packed or sexy - that is, unless you've got a beer-and-junk-food-McWalker-fest at the end.  But I found it to be fun and pretty solid story-wise, and I'm quite interested to see where they take it.  And if they ever tie out any of those damn loose threads (they won't).  And what's up with McQuaid (Grr).

GRADE: 88/100

Get me drunk, make out with me and then cock-block me with a dog-walker in the comments.

The Plopper

Recent reviews by the writer, below:
6 August, 2014
The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.07: 'Brink of the Clouds'
30 July, 2014
The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.06: 'Embassy Row'
23 July, 2014
The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.05: 'Elevate Me Later'

19 comments:

  1. "Why the eff isn't Auggie more concerned with the extremely real possibility that Annie could just drop dead at any moment with this heart issue? I tooootally get that he's letting her do the "my body my choice" thing, but as a friend, and as an ex who clearly still has feelings for her, can't we at least see just ONE sign that he's a teeny, tiny bit worried for her well-being? He's been brushing this off all season as if Annie is just some random office acquaintance. Like, "Welp, she knows the risks!! If she drops dead it ain't my problem!!" The one thing I will give him here, is that I can only hope he doesn't know that she's had not one but three episodes in the field since she's been back. Does he just not realize that this issue is anywhere near as severe as it is?"

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! THANK YOU!! I though I was gonna have the unpopular opinion on this too.I was WTF Auggie the whole effing episode! I get why she still wants to be out in the field, the writers have given us enough to understand Annie’s motivations and most people who do the very same thing she does.

    But Auggie's all "So you die a little, no biggie, at least you ran your mission! Mission, important’. And Joan having second thoughts...

    And then..Would a real life McQuaid actually want her in his team, in the field (she might become a liability)? Romantically, yup, they're good to go, but wouldn't he think of her as a possible burden?

    Loved Hayley speech to Auggie but I kinda disagree regarding AJJ's acting. He was using her, for crying out loud, and she's all 'here's your stuff, you meanie, buh-bye'. okay.

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  2. Hey-Oh! Well the stars are back in alignment (for now at least, LOL) and you and I are back on the same page or at least reading the same book. Gotta confess that my rant against last week's ep most definitely had more to do with my slow burning resentment of this show (that started last season) than the Ep itself. And now that that's out of the way.....

    HOW MANY OF AUGGIE'S FRIENDS DOES ANNIE HAVE TO KILL TO CATCH A BOMBER? Can we have a moment of silence for....Charlie, Nate, and Roger. Wahhh, wahhhhh, I liked Roger. He was awesome. Oh well...as Auggie says, It was Roger's choice. His body...errr mind. He knew the risks involved. Lulz.....

    I'm totally with you on the explanation of the heart issue. I was talking with Lauren about that this morning. For the love of God, why did we get that dumb useless unnecessary helicopter scene and no real in depth discussion about the heart problem. I just want a straight answer once and for all. Yes, I know the definition of "myocarditis" but is it the direct result of the shooting or did she catch it from a mosquito with STDs? Gahhh.........

    Another issue I had was: WHERE WAS THE FALLOUT FROM AUGGIE KEEPING HER SECRET? Was that a scene that got cut? He was all like, "I CHOOSE YOU OVER THE MISSION, ANNIE! MY JOB IS ON THE LINE! YOU ARE AN EMOTIONLESS ROBOT!" And all we get from Joan is, "I know you kept her secret and you should've told me, Auggie." I would've at least like to have seen Calder get in his face or his ear and do some whispergrowling about how he (Calder) could lose his job over all this. Because let's face it, it's not just the heart thing but the banging of the woman investigating the CIA bombing thing. Auggie. Auggie. Auggie.

    I loved loved loved how they made Crayley act like a real life girl and how she completely broke it down for Auggie. I hope it at least gave him something to think about for 2.2 seconds since he didn't get his ass chewed out by Joan or Calder.

    Also I agree with you totally about how Auggie & McQuaid are just all like meh "you're heart might explode, OH WELL, it's your heart!" when it comes to Annie's condition. I would like for them both to at least be concerned about her as friends and I totes think McQ should offer to buy her a new heart since he's so smitten with her and thinks she has supah dupah spy skillz.

    Let's see...what else....Annie made tea but didn't drink it. Went to McQ's and they had a slumber party which led to morning kissy kissy. That's cool. It was nice to see her kick back and have some fun. In the back of mind I couldn't help but wonder if McQ had a backup supply of nitrates just in case the kissy kissy led to bang bang and then HEART EXPLOSION, but instead.....they had to go and try to make McQ look sketchy.

    He's not tho.

    The dog's the mole.

    Until next time........

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    1. Oh one more thing....Annie is "suspended". What does that actually mean? Did they explain that or not? Is it 3 days off with no pay? Is she suspended til she gets a new heart? Is she under review? WTF?

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    2. Enjoyed your take on being "grounded". I am still trying to figure this out. Craley almost running down Calder................instead of him being hooked up with the Call girl. He found a better way to stay fit. McQuaid's comment to Annie about the sharks...................always swimming, when she gets put to the desk, to her she is a fish out of water, but when she gets suspended, it's a "Jaws" moment, she got eaten by her own kind.

      Caitlyn has to be the most observant in this list of characters, she knew from those two, Annie and McQ, getting off that plane that their relationship had not landed, but was taking off, even before they did. Is she jealous or just looking out for her boss. She called McQ on his dipping in the cookie jar and he quickly put her in her place.................what is up with that??? She even goes to Arthur to find out why Annie is at McQ's, and both compare notes and learn some new intel from each other.

      Auggie has to be one lucky guy. In a flash, the two gals he was "dancing in the sheets" with dumped him, which frees him to be able to concentrate on his job now. Joan calls him out on helping Annie hide her condition, but not consequences to him. .......interesting, why not???? Auggie does point out to Annie the benefits of having a desk job like himself, Joan, Calder, and Arthur. Auggie's friends are getting killed off at record speed, but he does figure out in the end that Roger was not all that crazy as suggested. Auggie gets Annie back on mission.

      What is up with Joan????? She was light on Annie, then finally suspended her with deep regret. But what happened years ago that may come back to bite her in the butt????? Arthur certainly knows..............we need to know.

      Annie and McQ coming back together on the plane..................Annie's should seek a career as an interior designer..........McQ's plane needs a new look. He points out they are two fishes in the water just alike wired for missions. That smile of Annie's was the first in a long time. Annie is a gal that cuts to the chase. When put on the desk job, she fast tracks to McQ's..................and does not skip a beat, no hello..........I need cash. Love a guy who simply says...............how much??? Love this McQ, he is my kind of guy. I could not help of thinking about Calder and the Call girl - the $$$ he laided out and got laid. Here is McQ, laying out a lot more $$$ and not getting laid. Annie is quite a tease. He even comes through in a crunch of time, he provides her with a quick ride by air to get her to the station on time, only to discover another mystery to be solved as this arc dead ends. At the end of the day, suspended, down and out, Annie decides not to be alone and heads to McQ's. After last week's there is no "OFF the field", she lets her guard down, has a slumber party with McQ..........................no under the cover action, but finally they connect..................lip locked, no less, only to be interrupted by the doorbell. McQ quickly gets back with "what did I miss"..............he should have not answered the door...............the guy would have been exchanging some serious body heat if he was thinking straight. Annie sees the "Dog guy" at his door, Auggie tells her Roger was not crazy and McQ figures into this......Annie is back on track, mission focused, and ready to get her man.............in more ways than one.

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  3. I didn't fall asleep!

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!!! I knew McQuaid was too sexy not to be slightly bad.

    Buy her a new heart. Bahahaha.

    Helicoptor scene: Look at the pretty toys we can afford with our pretty budget! (Perhaps they should hold off on useless expenditures, since early reports indicate Covert Affairs is not a shoe-in for renewal like USA darlings Suits or Sirens.)

    "Just because someone has an illness doesn't mean they're not valuable." Truer words were never spoken. And they especially ring true this week in light of recent events in Hollywood (RIP Robin Williams)

    Dude. We finally got some emotion out of Annie when she found out she doesn't get to do whatever she wants anymore. (She does anyway though, because plot) I think Piper's been holding that in for a while, cause her angry face was super scrunchy. Yeah, you read that right.

    Crayley may be cray cray but she has a point: Auggie has convinced himself (and his adoring fans) that he's the good guy here, but if it weren't Auggie and if this were real life, he'd just be a douche, so..... she's spot on. We forget that our beloved spies are not squeaky clean people who always play by the rules and everything works out for the best for them, a la Friends.

    $10,000 says Caitlyn's the mole. There is literally no other purpose for her character except lame Arthur seduction subplot and Kari Matchett is way hotter anyway. You can throw all the tall brunettes at Arthur you want..... he prefers blondes. Also, all the villainous women in this show are brunette. Because characterization.

    Auggie/Calder: I'm super glad you're both cool with losing your jobs over a girl who's not sleeping with either of you. Also glad that we didn't discuss this at all. Sense the tone, bro.

    Calder didn't have time for sex this week. Neither did Auggie. Such a shame..... *cough*

    Did anyone else notice during kissy time that McQuaid has a larger-than-average neck? Weird thing to focus on, I know.... but watch it again and tell me it doesn't cross your mind.

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  4. PART II

    So...... if Annie's not in the field anymore, will this show become Covert Suits, where no one ever leaves the building and they all talk lawyer to each other all the time?

    Theory: Teo is still alive in a coma somewhere and gives Annie his heart. Just kidding. That goes against all laws of medicine.

    All night talking brings back memories of myself as a young and impressionable gal, sucked into the beautiful baby blues of a guy who turns out to be colluding with the mysterious dog walker right after you two share a soul-searing kiss and totally shakes the foundation of your trust/friendship in him. Ok. Maybe part of that isn't true. And I'm not sure if McQuaid has blue eyes, but given his Scottish heritage I'm willing to guesstimate for argument's sake.

    I can't pretend to be surprised that Roger died. What does surprise me is how quickly the CIA wrote him off. Like there's no chance those conspiracy papers could have been planted or in code or something. Since that's never happened before.

    All in all..... I just want something interesting to happen, like beyond explosions and red herrings and a very PG kiss. Can we get some real intrigue here? Some suspense? That lasts more than a commercial break? I'm not feeling the urgency here, people. We're heading towards the midseason finale and Chicago has kind of become the back-burner to sex, lies, and myocarditis. Reminds me uncomfortably to (go with it) Season 3 of Veronica Mars where it was wayyyy more about convoluted love life than about solving mysteries. And while it wasn't TERRIBLE..... there's a reason Season 3 isn't anyone's favorite. And I'm starting to feel that way about this season of CA. I really hope they crank it up, because while it's good news for us that Satisfaction and Rush are getting soft ratings, an expensive and aging show like CA needs to pull in the viewers in order to beat out competition from new pilots. Not to be a nihilist here, but I'm a little worried.

    And if anyone's wondering, I finally feel better and will be catching up on my recaps since I now have Tuesdays off (yay). So by the time the midseason finale rolls around we should have the whole set. I hope. Just as a P.S. :)

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  5. What is in store for our two star crossed spies....................I am thinking this is a spy version of "P & P"..........that is "Pride and Prejudice"...................miscommunication in affairs of the heart are bad enough, but throw in the covert...........as in affairs, can lead to serious complications.


    McQ clearly has the HOTS for Annie. Is it that he enjoys playing in the field with her or is his interest more off the field???? He can't help himself. Annie is like a magnet to spy guys, like all those who have fallen under her spell before. She devours them like prey, they succumb fast and hard.............and so is McQ. Caitlyn knew when she saw them together, he knew it when Annie was leaving the plane to get in her car. Their paths have kept crossing previously with him always initiating it, but then after being grounded, she shows up on his doorstep more than once. He wants her no matter how he can get her. After losing his $$$, she goes to tell him..........."I'm sorry".....what ends up happening.............is we see that he gets her to let down her guard and her hair, she becomes the Annie we remember from many moons (seasons) ago. She is enjoying herself, connecting with someone, and allowing another man in her life...................only in the end to get the rug pulled out................a wake up call that all is not what it seems..............McQ has many secrets which Annie is now back on task to solve...................BTW, we have 8 more episodes to get to the bottom of this

    The grand prize of finding out who is behind the Chicago bombing............everybody thinks McQ's # 2 is responsible..................Ms. Caitlyn, I think is very loyal to her boss. I am betting that Caitlyn is more than an employee.............like maybe McQ's sister...............who has his back. She is too obvious for being the culprit.

    My money is on a member of the Wilcox family or even Ben Mercer.............Annie's old crush.

    Hailey........AKA......Carley..........we will see her working with Ms. Annie in the near future. She is all about the truth............and maybe back in control with Auggie..............."I like to be in charge......remember that"

    Joan has secrets too...............AA, and that new revelation will come out of nowhere to haunt her.........by season's end.

    Auggie needs to get back in the game........................playing the field in more ways than one......ditch the desk, get a gal who puts him as #1. Not Annie, too much like bro & sistas.

    Calder is going to be called out................that gal will be playing him in a way no one saw coming..............not even Calder himself. The Player being played.

    McQ and Annie will figure out that if they had simply been direct with each other from the start..................would have saved them a lot of grief. Their "misperceptions" about each other caused them to get side tracked, diverted them from accomplishing their missions..................and getting them under the covers. They realize that playing all these games and their secrets have prevented them from playing on and off the field. In the end...................They will figure it out and been an unstoppable duo.

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  6. I think I can address the myocarditis part, if you'll indulge me in my nerdiness! I certainly agree that they are not doing a good job at letting the audience know what's going on, and maybe that's intentional, but I have never seen or heard of myocarditis caused by a bullet wound (I'm a medical doctor). Now, do I know everything? Nope nope nope. But when we talk about myocarditis, every case I've seen was infectious in origin, and what I first suspected when they introduced this information into Annie's storyline was that Annie contracted Chagas disease from her numerous trips to South America last year (a very common arthropod borne disease that causes myocarditis in Central and South America...and more recently even the southern USA...joy). They did not teach us in school that myocarditis could be caused by a traumatic wound like a bullet. Normally we think about something like a bullet wound causing scar tissue of the heart, and potentially causing ECG abnormalities or an arrhythmia of some kind. So yeah, I've always thought Annie's myocarditis was infectious in origin. Additionally, sudden death is usually seen in patients that have not yet been diagnosed with myocarditis and are not currently receiving/have access to treatment. Since Annie has had both of these things done, I never really thought of her being at a huge risk for sudden death (though certainly her risk is greater than that of a healthy woman, of course). Anywho, that's my two cents, from a medical standpoint. Great review, agreed with all of your thoughts on the episode!!

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    1. OMG! That is so interesting! Thank you so much for explaining!

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    2. THANKS for the great info Lauren!! I always love to get input from experts on this stuff. ;-) And yes a few folks (non-doctors lol) on Twitter have done research on myocarditis and they found exactly the same thing you did - that it's not generally caused by an injury but it's usually caused by an infection or something of that nature.

      And I would have brought this next point up in the review if it wasn't already in need of some editing lol - But I would have said that at this point I'm finding myself more concerned that the writers tie story threads together than I am with medical accuracy hahah. Like, as long as they can give me the *very* basics, which is a coherent and meaningful story, then medical accuracy would be icing on the cake hahaha. But the info that you and other folks have found about myocarditis plus the super vague explanation of how Annie got it in ep 5.04 is why I'm annoyed about the lack of info they've given us here. Grr! They'd better throw us a bone eventually if only for the sake of good storytelling.

      "Additionally, sudden death is usually seen in patients that have not yet been diagnosed with myocarditis and are not currently receiving/have access to treatment."

      OH that's good to know! As that was partly informing my assumption that Annie could drop dead at any moment!! Lol. So then if she's just hanging out at home or like, grocery shopping, she's not likely to drop dead. ;-) Because she would have her meds with her. BUT then - on 2 out of 3 of the missions where she's had attacks, her meds were not readily available. And both of those situations were totally valid scenarios given the craziness she gets into on her missions lol - losing her meds halfway through a mission or getting them smashed. So in that sense, it seems that she really COULD drop dead quite easily while on missions. So I still find it interesting that Hayley seems to be more concerned about Annie's well-being than Auggie or McQuaid are hahaha. Kind of. In a weird way.

      Thanks again for the medical insights and I hope you come back and give us more (medical or non-medical for that matter) on future eps! :)

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    3. You make a really good point about the most recent episode in Azerbaijan (and for that matter Venezuela) that there are plenty of times she may not have meds on her when she's out in the field. Definitely scary! I hope the writers explain the cause of her condition soon (even if they want to take artistic license and say it IS from her gunshot wound, I don't care, just give us something). I also hope McQuaid gets cleared soon, I've been shipping them together like crazy ever since Auggie decided to become the CIA's biggest playa. Looking forward to next week's episode!

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    4. Everything Lauren said. This myocarditis thing has been driving Adi and I CRAZY! Scar tissue in the heart would be a perfectly plausible explanation for ALL the symptoms she's experiencing and give her the same trouble she's experiencing and ACTUALLY BE VAGUELY PLAUSIBLE! But myocarditis. WTF!?!? Where are the writers going to for medical fact checking? Grrrrrrrrrr. (And yeah, I know we're just vets, but seriously, a heart is a heart is a heart. And this 'condition' is ludicrous. *ends rant*.

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    5. Lauren, THANK YOU for the info from an expert point of view, it's nice to see what other people are thinking about the whole exploding heart thing Annie has going on.

      Rachel can vouch when I say I am also being driven mad by the whole vague myocarditis thing, I essentially gave her my written thesis after all the researching I've been doing hahahaha. It drives me crazy that we're told she has Myocarditis, and that Eyal links it the supposed scaring from the GSW she got from Lena. I don't understand why they didn't just go with an arrhythmia given her medical history thus far, it would have been just as plausible and believable and they could have gone so many ways with it drama wise.

      I'm assuming they went with Myocarditis because if she had a truly debilitating heart condition (not that Myocarditis can't be), it would be hard to continue serializing her story as a spy, assuming we get a S6. Myocarditis is "manageable with nitrates" according to Annie, and correct me if I'm wrong but I think eventually the infection can be cured to a degree. What bugs me about that though is that I have SCOURED the internet looking for injectable nitrate medicine and I cannot find any. There is a thing called a lido-pen, but that is for a totally different condition and it's lidocaine.

      Secondly, nitrates are used to treat angina (nitroglycerin, usually orally), and from what I've read angina is chest pain caused by a narrowing of the arteries and veins, not necessarily the heart itself (correct me again if I'm wrong), which just confuses me even more because Annie says it's her mitral valve that's affected by the myocarditis. So what does that mean, is the valve prolapsing? Is there actual tissue death to the cardiac muscle going on that is causing tachycardia or an arrhythmia because her nodes are affected, or is it just the infection?

      Yes I am crazy, don't judge me hahahaha.

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  7. Random thing I just thought of that I didn't notice when writing my review - Roger is totally Carrie from Homeland (especially season 1 and early season 2 Carrie). This ep was kinda like Annie meets Carrie and they compare problems hahah.

    FTR I'll take Roger over Carrie any day of the week, but to be fair, they haven't had 3 full seasons to screw up Roger's character like they've had with Carrie. ;-) R.I.P. Roger.

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  8. Ok so prepare for Comments From Sarai: A Novel, by Sarai.

    First off I feel like a lot happened in this episode. We have Annie's removal from the field following Hayley revealing her heart condition to the agency, and ultimately to her suspension (which what does that even mean, a paid vacation or something?). We have Roger bringing more and more out of the woodwork of the Chicago incident, which ultimately leads to his death, because lets be honest: someone set him up to die. We have Joan and Annie at odds with each other again (hello S3 flashbacks) and subsequently the revelation of Joan's secret (I swear to God if they don't ever tell us what, where or why and sweep it under the rug like the pill addiction - I will kill someone). We have Auggie enabling Annie, and we also have McQuaid enabling Annie, which leaves us all wondering if any of them actually care if she keels over dead from a heart attack or not. We have Caitlin being super aggravated by Annie being anywhere near her, and sketchy as fuck, so I'm calling it now - she's the mole. And of course after the most epic sleepover in the history of sleepovers, Annie sees the dog walker/Roger-stalker at McQuaids house.

    WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?! I'll tell you what I think plot wise where everything is headed and then I'll get to the stuff I loved.

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    1. Part I: Plot stuff.

      So Roger throws a wrench in everything when he tells Annie and Auggie that they got the wrong guy in Azerbaijan. Annie, taken off field duty and stuck at a desk after her heart condition is revealed, is suddenly in this helpless position because she can't even do anything to help herself now that the CIA has her on lockdown. But, being Annie Walker, who gives zero fucks about the rules, she finds a loop hole: Ryan McQuaid.

      Enlisting Ryan's help, or his bank account's, sends us on this wild goose chase for the rest of the episode after Roger's intel. I understand why Annie is doing what she's doing, much like McQuaid said at the beginning of the episode, she IS a shark, and she's not going to stop swimming regardless of the CIA attempting to bench her. I get it, I really do, but what I don't get is why McQuaid is so ready to jump in and help her.

      Sure, they have a mutual trust and respect for one another that they've built over the last few episodes, but he is almost TOO eager to hand over the 100K and send Annie on her merry way, not to mention he shows up with his helicopter likes it's no big deal and whisks her off to the train station, and then later on he isn't even the least bit worried that the 100K investment was all for nothing. I realize we have a disposable income we're working with, but shouldn't he be at least a little bummed or something about it? I think there's a reason he's not though. Also, in turn, I think there's a reason the damn blue-balling dog walker showed up at his house.

      Interviews with Nic Bishop and some of the promos have hinted at the idea that McQuaid will be put in a situation where we, the viewers, won't really want to trust him. I think we're there, but I don't believe for a second that he's the bad guy. My guess is that this mole he is hunting is going to tie into the Chicago bombing somehow. In fact, maybe McQuaid already knows it does. If he did have some idea, it would explain a lot of why he's so eager to trust Annie and put her to work on hunting down the truth - because they are looking for the SAME answers. Whatever is going on, I believe the heart of it is going to tie this entire story together.

      The fact that he obviously hasn't been completely honest with Annie (hello dog walker) is going to complicate things, because our lovely spy girl will do what she does best and go into Anndroid mode and assume the worst, and begin trying to figure out how McQuaid is involved with what has happened, without actually confronting him about it (because why have conversations with someone that might help avoid mindless double crossing and lying, right? right).

      The dog walker could be a lot of things, he could be a PI working for McQuaid, maybe he's even working for Caitlin and McQuaid just pays the bill. Hell, I've even seen theories that McQuaid has possibly had Annie followed, to watch over her because of her condition, or because he doesn't trust her. The theories are endless. Whatever the reason may be, I do think it's coincidence, and that McQuaid's intent is as far from malicious as possible. We'll just have to watch the next two episodes to see if Annie figures that out or not, and if they can reach a common ground and attack their goal of figuring out who is responsible for all the chaos (again, my bet is on Caitlin).

      And as a side note, I think their emotional connection with one another could complicate things and cloud judgement, but make for excellent angsty watching - here's to hoping.

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    2. Part II: Things I loved (aka McManifesto & other things).

      Like I said, I do not believe for one second that McQuaid is the bad guy, that's way to predictable, especially after the writers have gotten some of us invested in his character. I do think he's knee deep in his own problems though, and that eventually they're going to blow up in his face. However, despite the gasp worthy moment at the end of the ep that left us wondering if we could trust him, I still loved every scene he had.

      The awkward goodbye at the airport to Annie was great, I laughed. Also when he essentially tells Caitlin to STFU and GTFO, I laughed too, but it was still a great scene because you can definitely see that he is kinda struggling with the fact that he does have feelings for Annie.

      We also have SO much emotion from Annie again this episode. The first scene with her, Calder and Joan was really, really great. She loses it for a second and we actually get angry yelling! I was having more S3 flashbacks as it happened haha, but seriously Piper did a bang up job and sold it. There was also a lot of Joan/Annie relationship this ep, and it reminds me of how much I love these two female characters and how I wish the show would make their other female characters as human and convincing. There is so much baggage between these two, the estranged mother/daughter dynamic is killer and Kari and P did a great job. ALL THE EMOTIONS THIS SEASON YES, thank you Covert writers!

      Also, I know we all hated on Hayley pretty hard at the beginning of the season, but I was practically cheering for her after this episode. I should be pissed because she ratted Annie out, but oddly enough I'm willing to forgive her because otherwise the McAnnie sleepover and morning after kiss might not have happened hahahahaha. Seriously though I felt like this ep was the first time AJJ really stepped up to the plate, the scene with her and Auggie at the bar, and ESPECIALLY his apartment, were killer. Someone FINALLY called Auggie out on the moral high ground bullshit and how he tends to use people with NO remorse, and she nailed it on the head. Was she right with what she did, either? No, she wasn't, but it was about time someone had the balls to say something to him. You go girl.

      And last but definitely not least, the sleepover. I loved this scene so much, I loved how they shot it, the camera angles, the National song they chose, so many many many things. Piper has the biggest laugh and smile, and you really got this sense of happiness just radiating from the conversation McQuaid and Annie were having - which I'm still curious it that was scripted or not. And McQuaid is so calm, unfazed and chill about the entire thing, and they remind of two people who have been best friends for a lifetime and not work acquaintances. I think Annie chose to go to him because she finally had a moment where she asked herself (in the wake of Joan's comments to her about trust) why DON'T I let anyone in? It's the kind of all night hang out with the guy you're kinda crushing on that every girl dreams about. This kiss was like icing on the cake for me, even though the whole thing was ruined by the damn dog walker. I'll forgive it though, the scene was still great.

      Last few random things:

      *Annie talk with Roger: loved it.
      *Lena Smith callbacks: mirrors and kettles.
      *WTF HAPPENED IN THE BALKANS. Damn Joan and her vague mentions of her past. First the pills, now this, GAH.
      *Barber was great, and I love him, especially when he's like THE VIEW IS GREAT, and Joan is on the other side of Annie's new window hahaha.
      *Calder NOT having sex, YAY! His running shoes were great though.
      *Caitlin is evil.
      *I still love McQuaid, even though he's a mega rich CEO of a PMC and seems flawless. Trust me, I think he's far from it, our golden boy has some skeletons in his closet.
      *SMILING HAPPY GIRLY GIGGLY ANNIE, omg where is Anndroid and what have the writers done with her?!

      I know I'm crazy, oh well.

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