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