04 September, 2013

The Plopper Reviews - COVERT AFFAIRS 4.08: 'I've Been Waiting for You'

I mean ... look ... Covert Affairs ... here’s the thing.  This episode was better than last week.  By a comfortable margin.  But, was it everything I look for in a great ep of this show?  Eh, we’re not quite back to that place yet.  I’ve still got a few bones to pick.

First off, I love baby Teo.  Anyone who has read any review I’ve written of any episode involving our Sweet Puma Cub knows of my undying love for him.  So when I saw from the previews that this week’s ep seemed to be Teo-heavy, I was happy.  Especially because watching Helen take over last week’s ep was like watching a cat screech its nails across a chalkboard for a full hour, culminating in the equivalent of that Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial with those horribly sad mistreated animals, i.e. the “A&A break up for no reason” scene.  “I’ve Been Waiting For You” was supposed to be like a palate cleanser for that, if you will.  It was supposed to soothe my aching CA-fan soul.  And it did, somewhat.  But oddly enough ... the Teo-heavy nature of this episode ended up kind of *annoying* me as well.  Partly.  I felt o.k. with it until about halfway through the ep, at which point I realized that this was going to be the entire episode.  This was IT.  I mean, for the most part.

Let me explain.  We spent all of last week’s ep dumping HUGE HORRIBLE stuff on our main characters.  Helen was really alive, Auggie was freaking out, Annie had to go on a whole mission with Helen, Helen convinced Annie her whole life was going the wrong direction, Auggie inexplicably decided the same thing on his own, A&A broke up, everything was suddenly horrible and dark and gloomy.  And then, this week, we spent almost ZERO time actually dealing with ANY fallout from that.  We got a slightly angsty and awkward mission set-up scene from A&A at the beginning, and then boom, at the end ... well ok.  Hold up.  I’ll address the end in a few mins.  Let’s talk about the rest of the episode first. 

It’s not that I don’t care about Teo’s plight - about his mission to avenge his mother’s murder, his mission to stop the ALC, and his relationship with Arthur.  I DO care.  I just don’t care about that AS much as I care about our MAIN freaking characters.  All I ask for is an episode that is a little more balanced to cover BOTH of these bases.  We got some plot movement on the “Henry Wilcox is funding the ALC” plotline, the little prisoner field trip fake-out scheme was fun, and Manolo Cardona even got me a little choked up in his scene with Arthur in the forest.  That was all entertaining enough.  I just wish that Teo and Annie could have talked about SOMETHING else at some point in this ep (the damn hotel room maybe??) other than Teo’s daddy issues.  Yes, we touched a tad on Auggie and Arthur lying to Annie, but barely anything at all.  Once again, we got an episode where all the character focus went to someone OTHER than our main character(s - including Auggie this time).  As happens pretty often on this show, Annie seems to exist for no reason other than to enable OTHER characters to get real deep and confront THEIR own issues with themselves and their cohorts.  Annie just watches from the sideline and gives sympathetic looks and wears cute shoes and runs around crashing trucks and dodging bombs and shit.  Annie, honey, I want more for you.  I’ve seen glimpses in the past that we can get more, but I can’t help but constantly feel like those were just teases for something that’s never going to happen.  Like the elusive backstory on Joan’s pill addiction that we’ll likely never get.

Anyway.  Let’s get to that ending now, shall we?  The truck blows up, the mysterious bad guy disappears, Teo’s buddy dies, Teo feels sad/pissed, Teo runs.  Annie comes home, finds her apartment totally ransacked, and runs over to Auggie’s to warn him.  Calder shows up before Auggie can even start to do a proper sweep of his place, but before Annie runs to hide from Calder, we get Auggie’s “Wait Annie!!  I decided everything Helen said was wrong!!”  OK GREAT Auggie well I’m glad you finally pulled your head out of your ass on that one, but WHY!!?  HOW did you come to this decision??  WHAT was it that led you to realize that everything Helen said was wrong??  Oh, sorry!!  We didn’t get to see any of that because we spent the ENTIRE EPISODE on Teo.  We had to spend the whole thing focusing on a character that for all we know, could very well end up dead a few eps from now.  Remember, no matter how dreamy he is and no matter how much we love him, he’s not a series regular.  He’s only a guest star.  We can’t get too attached (remember Simon and that hail of bullets?).  That convo between Joan & Teo about him joining the CIA after all this felt a bit foreboding to me for some reason.

I don’t think I would be nearly as annoyed right now if this was, say, ep 4.03 or something.  Early in the season, we’ve got more time for episodes like this.  But this was 4.08 – there are only TWO episodes left of the summer season.  We only have approximately one, maybe 1.5 more episodes until Annie somehow finds herself faking her own death (err, most likely, based on all the obvious clues we’ve been given so far).  I feel much less like we can afford to spend an entire ep focusing solely on a guest star this late in the season.  This ep reminded me a lot of eps 313-15 last year, when 95% of the episode time was spent focusing on friggin' Megan and Khalid instead of giving proper focus to our main characters.  Maybe I should just be happy that at least I LIKE Teo, unlike Megan and Khalid (blech).

Do any of you watch ‘Castle’?  Anyone who watches 'Castle' will understand what it’s like to spend 97% of every single episode suffering through the case-of-the-week, in the desperate hope that they’ll give us like TWO MINUTES of general character development time or Castle/Beckett time before the ep is over.  And that’s if we’re lucky.  CA, thank GOD, is NOT normally like that at all, because the mission-of-the-week is rarely boring and the ongoing plotlines are a *bazillion* times more engaging.  But I swear to god, this week, I felt that exact “COME OOONNN!!” feeling I get from‘Castle’ nearly EVERY week.  Again, I totally get that we can’t get character time in every episode of a given series, but the closer we get to the end of the season with so many unresolved issues, the more frustrated I get.

Here are my general ramblings:

  • Teo’s story to Annie about doing deep cover work w/the ALC … I’m not sure if that is yet another clue about Annie faking her own death in 4.10.  It’s not like Annie can pretend to be someone else with Henry after she’s “dead.”  We’ll see.
  • Again we have protective Joan in this ep, which I continue to enjoy.
  • Annie punching Teo in the hotel room was pretty hilarious.
  • Again Manolo Cardona did a really good job with the scene in the woods w/Arthur.  I got a little verklempt.
  • Uggh effing Calder in the helicopter.  And smashing apartments.  And everywhere.  I had hoped we’d find out in this ep that maybe he’s actually a good guy, but no dice.  I’m still convinced he’ll eventually wind up on Annie’s side though.  Otherwise that flashforward scene from the elevator just doesn’t work, unless he’s *actually* shooting her.  But there’s no way in hell they’d shoot her nearly dead AGAIN.
  • So Henry essentially killed Teo’s mom, eh?  Sucks but I mean ... Henry is responsible for EVERYTHING bad this season, so, duh.  It’s like my friend Shelby said the other day ... I’m paraphrasing but it was something like, “They can’t just make Henry responsible for SOME of the bad things, he has to be responsible for ALL of the effing bad things.”  I’m totally fine with having a “big bad” this season, but I feel like it worked a bit better with Lena last year, because we didn’t KNOW she was bad until 3.08.  But I guess in the end, she was kinda responsible for all the bad things too.
  • The prisoner truck-crashing scene was kind of ... awkwardly filmed.  I laughed when it crashed because of the way poor Piper was having to throw herself around in that thing during the “crashing” hahaha.  And the guy shooting at the truck, conveniently a HORRIBLE shot until the second Teo finally got out of harm’s way.
  • So the flash drive has been found!!  Uh oh.  This honestly seems like a much bigger bit of plot movement than ANYTHING that happened regarding Teo and Henry.  And it happened in the last damn minute of the episode.  Grrrr.
  • Where the hell do A&A go from here?  Well, at the very least, they’re back in a place where they are fully out in the open with each other that they still WANT to be together.  But I have a feeling they will need to stay “broken up” for now in order to take down Henry the way they are planning to.
Bottom line: This episode was better than last week.  But there was still a good deal left to be desired, for me.  If I were Randy Jackson I’d say, “It was just aiight for me, dog.”  It’s like HGF said in a comment last week – This show has shown me that it’s capable of pretty great things.  I just want it to live up to what I know it’s capable of, that’s all.

GRADE: 80/100

[Editor's note: The Plopper's being too generous. We, the executive group at this blog, give the episode a 60 out of 100. Last week's was crap too. We now return you to your scheduled program.]

I know this is only 3 points higher than last week, but if I had last week’s grade to assign all over again, it would be lower.  I probably would have given it like a 73, tops.  Maybe my opinion of 4.08 will change depending on what happens 4.09 & 4.10, but I won’t know till we get there.  What do you guys think, am I just being a dick??  Are my expectations too high??

NOTE: I will NOT BE IN THE U.S. for eps 4.09 and 4.10.  Clearly I should have checked with the PTB at USA channel on CA’s summer schedule before planning my vacay.  I’m going to do *everything* in my power to watch those eps from Europe.  Pray to the sweet puma gods for me; I hope I’m successful.  IF I can make that happen, I *might* do a super quickie short review of 4.09 (tho it’ll be late bc of timezones).  Then, I will be back home the day AFTER 4.10 airs.  Not until the afternoon though.  My plan is to have a FULL review of 4.10 (or maybe both eps together) up by late Wednesday, 9/18.  Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

The Plopper


  1. I'm not even going to get into all the problems I have with this episode (and why I added my "Editor's note" in the article) but here are a couple of nitpicky things that just get under my skin.

    1. It's an ARMORED CAR! It's a fuckin' tank! Even an armored SUV wouldn't put a dent in it. And yet it runs the damn thing off the road? WHAT?!

    2. Bullets don't ignite fuel. Mythbusters have tried and tried and tried. Other shooters have tried and tried and tried. It doesn't work. You need an actual flame to ignite it, not just a spark. This isn't even new info. This is like making a movie about the moon landing and having them not need protective suits and oxygen. It's FANTASY.

    3. If your CIA girlfriend (or ex) comes to you and says "ERASE YOUR SHIT THEY ARE COMING RIGHT FUCKIN' NOW" you just do it. You don't ask questions. You know she's not there to dick with you. And when the CIA shows up, you don't have a conversation or a makeout session. You yell "RUN IDIOT! RUN!!!"

    4. So he kept the flash drive in his secret safe IN HIS APARTMENT??? He's blind not a moron, right?

    5. Oh and let's see what these writers have done with the romantic relationship: so they can't be together, then they have to work together because they're good together, and then they're back together IN LESS THAN AN ENTIRE EPISODE CYCLE. That's not just pointless, it has virtually no emotional weight to it.

    1. Whoa that's weird, I just saw a different comment on this review a few minutes ago, and now I see your comment, but the other one is gone. Strange?

      3. HAHAH true although I dunno if he could have done any of it fast enough regardless, since Calder showed up pretty much right away.

      4. Right. He shoulda pulled some Walter White shit and buried it in the desert. O.k. there's no desert in D.C., but buried it in the forest. That would be super inconvenient while they were still decrypting it though, I guess. But I definitely had that thought, when Calder pulled it out of the safe.

      5. I can almost guarantee they won't *really* be together even after tonight's ep. Maybe they will, what do I know. I just don't see how they can be with all the stuff that seems to be coming up. Either way though, the bottom line is that I still feel jerked around.

    2. The other "comment" was spam. I put it in the spam folder. Because it was smap. :)

      4. Or, you know, just used any of the millions of storage options available to anyone living in America, using a fake name.

      5. Call me when Annie marries Teo.

    3. LMAO oh snaps clearly I didn't read it carefully.

      4. HAHAH!! Goooood point.

  2. Also just a correction on a typo in my review:

    "This ep reminded me a lot of eps 413-15 last year, when 95% of the episode time was spent focusing on friggin' Megan and Khalid ..."

    Obviously that should say "eps 313-15". Whoops.

  3. I agree with just about everything you said. Teo isn't bad to look at, but I really don't care about him one way or the other. Feel bad for him? Sure, OK. I don't understand half of what he says, but I don't mind if he's in the show....IN the show, not taking over the ENTIRE show! Do I like him enough to want to watch him for the full hour? NO!!!!

    As far as Calder goes - I care even less about him. I didn't care for him in Coe-lah-bee-ah, and I like him less and les the longer he's in DC. He's being a jerk - which I understand, because for spies, A, A & J are doing a TERRIBLE job trying to trick him - but come on already, we get it! We've established that he wants to be in control and doesn't trust anyone, and doesn't have a reason to. I probably wouldn't either in his position. So can we just get on with the Calder-finds-out-what's-going-on, or whatever is going to happen in the next couple weeks already????

    I'm so glad (and surprised) that the writers didn't torture us with more than one awkward scene between A&A. I was really afraid we were going to get those for a few episodes in a row, at least. Last week I would have given anything for them to "just kiss" instead of breaking up.... and the surprise of the kiss when I didn't think there would be one this week was awesome... but once again, these 2 can't get more than 5 seconds, 2 sentences said to each other and Annie has to run for her life. Usually it makes me hate Henry more when that happens, but this time it was Calder. I have a feeling any kind of talk won't be happening next week either, with so many things to tie up before the Summer Finale, and Auggie looking like he's going to be locked up... and all this time we were worried about Annie going to jail!

    It's exactly like you said, they are wasting precious minutes of the show when we are almost at the fall break, which is not cool!!! Why do I have a feeling they are doing this on purpose???? They know we're hooked and they just like to toy with us.

  4. Ohhh lordy...where to begin? I almost completely agree with everything you said (except the part about watching Castle...I just cannot agree to that.) Also, given how late this episode occurred in the season I think the grade was a little high...

    Look, I like Teo, and like you I was pretty stoked to see he was going to have a prominent roll in this episode...but honestly, this entire episode was essentially a plot device to flesh out Teo's character so we would care when he dies later this season. I'm not stupid CA, I see what you are doing here and I don't like being manipulated. Essentially everything we "learned" this ep to advance the plot could have been summed up in 5 minuets. We get it, Henry is STILL just as big of a Bad Guy as you have been telling us. How about instead of telling us over and over that "Henry's bad you guys" you SHOW us?

    Speaking of Show and Tell, WHEN did Auggie sit down and have an H2H with himself to realize "Nope. We should totally get back together." Are we just supposed to imagine an off camera scene where he listens to Sexy Jazz while wearing his favorite t-shirt and touches the old photos of Helen that Annie got so pissed about?! Was he reminiscing fondly about the two times they grabbed a beer? Presumably next week Auggie is going to be pretty tied up with Calder's interrogation, so is this all we get in terms of a "we should get back together" convo?

    Also, why is Calder such a caricature? That "flirty" phone convo he had with his lady friend in Columbia (I think she was in Columbia anyway.) BARF! He is just so absurd and unlikeable that if/when he does team up with Annie and we find out he is not a "bad guy" (which I am assuming will happen any day now) it's too late for me haha. Do to hear me Calder?! It's too late for heart to hearts!!!

    Have fun on vayca! I'm assuming this trip is to visit all of the Covert Affairs filming locations? Juuuuust kidding...

  5. HAHAHA the more I read these comments the more I want to change my grades to 60 for last week and 70 for this week. I just have had trouble coming to terms at 1:00am each week with the fact that these two eps have been SO much less enjoyable to me than the first 6 of the season. I know HGF had major issues with 4.04, but I personally thought this season was humming along pretty well until the last scene of 4.06. Right now I feel *exactly* like I did after ep 3.14 last season, which is, there's no way in HELL they're going to be able to properly address everything they need to by the end of the finale. Not even close. And they didn't, last season. And this season (at least the summer season) they won't either.

    The writers of this show seem to love setting up new threads for themselves, but they do not seem to love actually CONTINUING AND/OR CLOSING them properly. It's like they want to give themselves several potential avenues to explore in the future "just in case," but they don't realize how frustrating it is to the viewers to see important stuff constantly just left hanging open so that we can spend entire episodes like this one focusing on a guest character.

    And I agree 100% with the comments above mine that the amount of plot movement we got in this ep was nothing that we couldn't have gotten in a quick subplot of a more substantial episode that gives more time to the people we really care about. We didn't need this and we couldn't afford to waste precious time on it. I love you Baby Teo but I didn't necessarily need THIS much of you if it meant ignoring our main characters.

  6. I'm just gonna jump in and say a big "HELL YES" to everything that has already been mentioned here already. I do love Baby Puma and I'm going to be so sad when he dies just like I was kind of sad when the cutie Eduardo got dead, but this episode gave me NOTHING that I hadn't already figured out on my own. I called the whole Mama Puma/Henry Wilcox thing a couple of weeks ago so even that wasn't a shocker to me, and yeah, I mean, since Ol HW is responsible for pretty much ALL the evil in the history of the whole entire EVER it wasn't much of a stretch for me to consider that. Or the fact that maybe he didn't secretly fund any of these ALC bombings at all and instead is just planting more evil dirty seeds of nasty everywhere just to see what grows.

    I just got done watching this for the 3rd time and LOL'd at the wreck scene. Too damn funny. It reminded me of the pilot when she was in the bathroom flailing around and pounding on the door. Madness. Bless.

    Ya'll know I'm #TeamSheriffCalder and I am forever in love with the massive amount of crazy in his eyes, but I'm also sick of all his over the top douchebaggery. Still for all his creepiness and far out methods, he might be the one guy I trust this year.

    The shortest break-up in history was followed up and topped by the shortest make-up session in history! Yay Walkerson! I'm just pissed that we got cheated out of make-up sex. Goddddddddd damnittttttttt.......

    OMG can we talk about the safe for a minute? You guys know that's a decoy safe right? Right? I even yelled it out: "DECOY SAFE!! That's not the real safe! I bet that's NOT his real safe! It's a fake!" Then, when Calder found the supposed rusty ass dirty flash drive, I was like, "Oh, well....damn, I reckon that is the real safe! You're a spy. Do spy things!!!" Ah well...at least we'll get to see more Auggie vs Calder next week. Y'all reckon Calder is gonna bust out the battery, the tub of water, and the jumper cables??? Hmmmmm.....

    Dun dun dun........

    1. "Y'all reckon Calder is gonna bust out the battery, the tub of water, and the jumper cables??? "

    2. Eduardo WAS cute, wasn't he!! I was totally into him hahaha.

      "... and LOL'd at the wreck scene. Too damn funny. It reminded me of the pilot when she was in the bathroom flailing around and pounding on the door. Madness. Bless."

      Given all the crazy shit that's gone on in the past couple seasons, why is it that the ONLY time we ever saw Annie lose her shit like this was in the goddamn pilot episode!!?? Oh right I forgot, she's a cyborg now. Well, except when Auggie breaks up with her. But other than that ... AnnieBot 5000.

      "I'm just pissed that we got cheated out of make-up sex. Goddddddddd damnittttttttt......." Ditto. #NoBANG

      "Y'all reckon Calder is gonna bust out the battery, the tub of water, and the jumper cables???" HA if only ...

      And yeah the safe. Auggie you are not that dumb, right?? Apparently you are. At least, in this particular episode. In this episode, AND last week for that matter, you have done some strange, STRANGE things. You might want to file a complaint with the people writing you this way.

  7. Everything u all said is true, I want to know how Auggie got to the point that Helsa was wrong. I thought we would get her running get hurt and Auggie to the rescue and all is better but this just came out of left felid

  8. Hahaha someone just pointed out another typo to me. I typed "sooth" instead of "soothe" here:

    "It was supposed to sooth my aching CA-fan soul."

    Anyway. Hopefully you all got what I meant.

    1. What the hell are you talking about? It clearly says "soothe" in the article.

    2. HAHA THANKS and sorry I owe you two beers now.