09 July, 2014

The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.03: 'Unseen Power of the Picket Fence'

"Well that was ... an episode." - My cousin Katie.  Hahaha I mean ... first off can I just ask this question - Who in GOD'S name actually watches Royal Pains??  Anyone?  Have you ever met anyone in your life who watches that show?  Last year we had to suffer through the ends of L&O SVU eps before CA came on and I never thought I'd find myself being wistful for that time period.  At least those endings had crazy people yelling and freaking out.  Royal Pains endings are like bland people saying boring stuff, set to drowsy lame music.  What am I missing?

Anyway.  Here's the thing.  At least Annie got a new gun.  Praise the Puma Cub come back from the dead and resurrected to save our souls.  I remember in last week's ep Annie dropped *a* gun into a pothole but I don't entirely remember which gun it was.  Was it her terrible little chunky fat stubby revolver??  Please?  Can we never ever have to see that little bastard again?  It's so bad.

Sydney is gonna turn out to be a bad guy, right?  Like, related to the CIA bombing?  I'm not into her.  At all.  But the reveal that she's actually a prostitute was pretty damn amusing.  The whole situation just seems so Calder-ish.  It reminds me of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character in Looper (in which coincidentally the prostitute of his over-affections was played by Annie Walker herself).  You know, the type of guy who is douchey but fairly well-meaning and you feel a little bad for him sometimes.

This episode overall was ... I mean, some stuff happened.  Stories did move forward.  Borz is dead.  He revealed that his contact in Washington went by "The Postman."  Auggie has a cuckoobird friend Roger who seems to have found some info on The Postman.  Someone took pics of Cuckoo Roger.  McQuaid continued to woo Annie and I continued to thoroughly enjoy McQuaid.  Joan and Caitlyn met and argued.  Caityn kinda flirted obnoxiously with Arthur late at night with drinks.  Actually I should say, she hasn't been too obnoxious yet but I just have a bad feeling she'll be making moves on him soon.

Hayley and Auggie continued their blah relationship and I actually found it much more annoying in this ep than last week.  Last week I could see why she caught his attention by standing up to him in the debrief/interview thing.  This week it was all just "Oh the sex was so hot baby let's TMI the poor coffee guy, oh sign this paper lemme show up at your house and touch your hand sensually so we can make out" blah blah pfffft.  Over it.  Especially because we wasted waayy too long on them at the end of the ep, standing in the same sacred place where #ForeheadBandage happened.  Shitting all over #ForeheadBandage.  Blasphemy.

And meanwhile in Venezuela, Annie showed a complete willingness to pull some pretty cold and calculating tactics on Borz to get him to talk.  Convincing him that his actually-dead sister is alive and being tortured for information is a pretty ... prettaayy fucked up move.  That was some Jessica Matthews level shiz.  Nice job, Annie.  McQuaid is impressed and so am I.  So when are you two gonna hook up?  You already fell asleep on his shoulder.  Come on girl, you can't let Auggie and Hayley have all the fun.  (O.k. I'm putting on my "responsible adult" hat now and from that perspective I am proud of Annie for not pulling an Auggie and screwing every hot guy she comes across).  But still.  He's so cute.  Let's make this thing happen eventually.  Sooner rather than later.

Plot-logic-wise, the ep was o.k.  I was confused as hell about how a dude could just pop open someone's trunk from the outside, but I guess he had some sort of magic tool to jimmy it?  Is that a thing that even exists?  I know nothing about cars.  And Team McQuaid ... err ... what should we call Annie+McQuaid?  McQuannie?  Rannie?  McWalker?  Team McWalker sure got away from those police quickly and easily.  Well, I just rewatched the scene and I guess they did have the head start of already being right next to their car to jump in, but the police certainly did seem to take a slow Sunday stroll in the park to their respective cars.  McWalker also had the advantage of Annie's mad skillz behind the wheel (though again I'm no judge of fancy driving so who am I to say ... but I do watch a lot of the O.G. Top Gear thanks to my husband).  Oh and I loved the way they just re-opened their driveway gates not half a second after the police sped by the house.  Whose house was that even??

And the ruse they pulled on the police to make Annie look like a "junkie whore" didn't seem all that convincing to me.  If anything the syringe would just make me more suspicious if I were in their shoes.  But then again, I guess that house was just some random house in the neighborhood so the chances that it would be that house vs. any others in the neighborhood was about the same.  I do always tend to enjoy the "failed escape/extraction" stories on this show though.  "Let's try this!  Oh shit.  No o.k. how bout this!!  Whoops.  Plan C!  Plan D!"  They always make it entertaining.

The location shoots are always fun with this show and I almost found myself taking it for granted here until the bus scene with the dude sitting next to McWalker holding a chicken.  Oh and that random shot of a pig just chillin' on the street ... but it was chained up like the monkey was last week so that was a bummer.  Here's my other random thoughts:

  • OH on second viewing, I just realized that Annie admitted to McQuaid how she got Borz to talk, but she didn't tell Auggie.  Yet another sin of omission this week.
  • The interactions between the CIA and McQuaid's private contracting firm are kinda fun.  No clue how any of this would really go down, but their depiction of it is kind of an interesting new angle on the show.
  • Calder is bummin' on his new job.  OH and what's her name ... Senator McNasty?  Is that what we used to call her?  Something like that.  Anyway the scene where Calder's being questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee, I like that they called out the fact that the CIA is not even supposed to conduct operations on US soil.  I'm pretty sure the producers of Homeland literally had no clue that was even a thing for the entire first season of their show.
  • Annie looked pretty damn impressed at McQuaid's doctor skills.  I was kinda glad she took him up on his offer for a swig from the flask too.
  • McQuaid's "Can I borrow your towel?" was amusing.
  • Did McQuaid's trusty assistants ever even make it out of Venezuela?
  • No sign of Lisa Morton this week.  She must've gotten some replacement meds from that doc at the end of 5.02.
Here's the problem.  Based on the preview, I already feel like they may have totally effed up next week's episode in comparison to some script spoilers I saw a while back.  I generally avoid those like the plague for this exact reason - anything that looks good always ends up getting screwed up by the time it hits the screen.  I've been kicking myself hard ever since I looked at them.  I haven't seen any spoilers past 5.04 and I don't plan to; I've learned my lesson.  [SPOILER] will be back and at least that is something to be thrilled about (all you had to do was watch the preview to know who I'm referring to).  And of all episodes, that has to be the one that airs while I'm on vacay, so I get to watch it in shitty low def with no DVR for rewinding and pausing.  So I can't entirely guarantee the quality of my review next week.

How will I grade this week's ep ... it wasn't a bad episode by any stretch; it was entertaining enough, though I certainly wasn't blown away by it.  It felt mostly like a filler ep to me until we get to what I hope will be a more meaty episode next week.

GRADE: 82/100

Aggh I'm already pissed about next week's ep now before I've even seen it.  O.k. let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Give me some plops about this week's ep in the comments.

The Plopper

Recent reviews by the writer, below:
25 June, 2014
The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.01: 'Shady Lane'
02 July, 2014
The Plopper Reviews COVERT AFFAIRS 5.02: 'False Skorpion'



    1. WWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH I don't care if Walkerson are total assholes to each other I just want them to be boyfriend and girlfriend and hold hands and make cute faces during the assholery!!

    2. It's especially frustrating because I totally believe that all of Auggie's women seem to be weak placeholders for what Auggie is lacking the most in his life - Annie! #walkerson

  2. So I missed the first scene (I was making mac and cheese, which turned out to be a terrible idea for le stomach, but I digress) but I caught the gist. Some quick thoughts:

    I'll never be able to look at a coffee cart or its customers the same way again.

    Annie Walker opened up to another human being? Um, wow. McQuaid's shoulder must have magical qualities that I look forward to fully experiencing. (is that too dirty? Eh. Don't care. Shirtless McQuaid please!)

    Amy Jo Johnson needs to go back to being the Pink Power Ranger, because then I could tolerate the simpering, one dimensional character that she is quickly becoming.

    I didn't know a Harry Potter wizard with the power to magically "Alohomora" trunks was starring in this episode. They should have advertised that.

    Caitlyn is quickly becoming a bad stereotype. Having serious O.C./Dangerous Liaisons flashbacks here.

    Speaking of stereotypes, anyone else think this show is falling back on a few too many cliches? Paranoid techie friend with information? In-the-field surgery? Sexy angry Brad and Angie spies? Secret CIA facility attack? I dunno..... doesn't feel fresh anymore. Next thing you know there will be a crazy Russian with a nuclear bomb plotting to destroy the world unless he receives....... one MILLION dollars. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

    1. As soon as Annie killed Henry, I immediately wondered what or who the next antagonist was going to be. Henry Wilcox was a man who was not just an enemy to the agency, he made this fight very personal through how he toyed with Annie all the way until the end in Hong Kong. Future missions after that will always seem less interesting to me because of how engrossed Annie got into the pursuit of Henry. Even the Chicago attack doesn't equal the loss of Teo for me.

  3. Also, where the hell is Barber?

    1. Exactly the question I was asking!! I meant to put that in my review actually haahah, you reminded me. I liked Auggie's nutty friend but that's usually the role that Barber would play (the funny friend helping to dig for info).

      And speaking of the nutty friend and your "falling back on too many cliches" comment, didn't that character and that entire scene TOTALLY remind you of something that would be in Castle?? Hahaha that was probably the biggest thing running through my head through the whole scene - "I feel like instead of Auggie, this should be Castle & Beckett at this dude's creepy apartment right now." On Castle they'd be expecting you to think he's the murderer, but in the end it'll just turn out being the mom of the victim or some shiz.

      Yeah I have a feeling Caitlyn is gonna turn suuuuper obnoxious. If every single female guest character this season (Hayley, Sydney, Caitlyn) winds up being the typical "Let's cause trouble for the men" stereotype character, I'm gonna be pissed.

      "I'll never be able to look at a coffee cart or its customers the same way again." Hahaha seriously, I did NOT find that scene charming, I just found it to be creeptastic.

      "McQuaid's shoulder must have magical qualities that I look forward to fully experiencing." Mmm oh me too guurrrrl, me too.

  4. Hey-ohhhh I'm here in world record time and it only took me 3 episodes to do it! So....here's the thing, last week I was like majorly bummed out and this week I'm not. Can't really explain how that happened either. I mean I can even totally see how this could've gone completely in reverse but here we are and I'm ok with it so Imma roll with it. Did you catch that? I'm just okay with it.

    That weird TMI convo at the coffee cart. Was Auggie just being a dick? Was Auggie flashing his super duper peen muscles for the coffee cart guy to see? Was he trying to give Hayley a verbal lashing at put her in her place (show her who's in CHARGE, MISTER!)? Did he think she'd just walk away? Does he just want free blowjobs (Calder is paying for his after all.)? I dunno. But I'm ok with it. Pretty sure Auggie thinks he's in control here, but I don't think he's got a really good gauge of her inner psycho just yet, but it's coming. Auggie's peen sure knows how to stir up trouble.

    Speaking of trouble....I'm totes also ok with Calder and Sydney. I kinda enjoy watching him bang away this inner struggle he's having. Also think she's gonna be the most likable out of all 3 of the new women they've so obviously placed on this show to fuck things up. #TeamSydney

    What else am I ok with? Oh yeah....the amount of non-Walkerson in this ep. At least Borz died. That's over. Annie seemed like old/new/old Annie again. Taking charge. Using her wits. It was like all the seasons of all the Annies and Jessica came together last night. It made me HAPPY!

    McQuaid is still cool. He likes nice things and drinks and buys guns. I'll work for him. Call me, McQ.

    But....but...but...but.....I LOATHE Caitlyn. She bores me. And she's obviously in a position to be a double so....I'm gonna go on record and say she's probs the one who is going to fuck the most shit up and it ain't just gonna be Joan & Arthur's dysfunctional family.

    P.S. the first thing my co-worker said to me this morning was: "How the fuck did they get that trunk open?" bwahahaha

    Looking forward to next week which actually scares me more than being super mehhhh about it. Supposedly we are going to get Eyal & Walkerson. That's like the #CovertCrew's version of having your cake and then making lurrrrveeeee to it. Mmmmmmm.....

    1. LMAO I'm starting to think that the key to gauging your reaction to any ep of this show is to base it *solely* off the number and quality of the Calder scenes. I should start keeping track to see if this holds true.

      "Pretty sure Auggie thinks he's in control here, but I don't think he's got a really good gauge of [Hayley's] inner psycho just yet, but it's coming. Auggie's peen sure knows how to stir up trouble."

      God. I know. It HAS to be coming. Amy Jo's ridiculous unapologetic Twitter faux pas this week is probably just another bad omen haahha.

      "Annie seemed like old/new/old Annie again. Taking charge. Using her wits. It was like all the seasons of all the Annies and Jessica came together last night. It made me HAPPY!"

      I actually did not fully notice this until you pointed it out, but it's a good point. I quite enjoyed that she was able to stick it to McQuaid a couple times with the "I toldja so" moments like the trunk. I did notice and enjoy Jessica Matthews rearing her no-longer-brunette head though.

      "Looking forward to next week which actually scares me more than being super mehhhh about it. Supposedly we are going to get Eyal & Walkerson. That's like the #CovertCrew's version of having your cake and then making lurrrrveeeee to it."

      Oh my god I'm so nervous about it because Eyal AND A&A SHOULD be literally impossible to fuck up ... so if (when?) they DO fuck it up I'm going to hit the roof. PLLLLEEEEEEEEEAAAASE don't fuck it up guys.

  5. So. I watched it today. And I liked it. Better than the last two eps, anyway.

    THE INSIDER PLOT—guys, haven’t we been through this five times already? does nobody notice that the plot for Covert Affairs is always THE SAME THING? A mole in the CIA? The only thing that changes is who the mole is and who the mole is mole-ing to.

    CAITLYN is so evil. So, so very evil. I love how she told Joan she was loyal to her boss, since technically we don’t know for absolute sure that she’s talking about McQuaid. So evil. So, so evil. Evil to the power of infinity squared.

    ROGER is fun. I do wonder, though—was someone following him before Auggie came a-calling? Or are they following him BECAUSE Auggie came a-calling?

    AUGGIE…I don’t remember. Whatever. It’s all very George from Grey’s Anatomy season 5. Auggie’s probably going to die horribly by season’s end.

    HAYLEY…is probably going to kill him. Ha. I don’t know. I hate Hayley. Sorry, I do. And the reason why is that Amy Jo Johnson, whom I’ve loved in other things, is just really not good in this role, what with her bobble-head-doll seduction techniques and too-big-for-her-body shoulder pads and what have you.

    WALKERSON…This episode really impressed upon me what I find most frustrating about the Walkerson reset. It isn’t that they’re not together. It’s that the writers are playing it as if they were never together to begin with. That they didn’t build up to to it for three and a half years. That even though they were together and then were not together and then were kind of together and then he slept with his recently resurrected ex while his current girlfriend was fake-dead, the two of them can still tea la la like nothing ever happened. And we’re supposed to tra la la with them. Well, I can’t. I want some fucking conflict. It’s so unrealistic that even under the best breakup circumstances the two of them could still work together as handler and operative. The writers don’t want to go all shippy again and that’s fine, but you have to at least acknowledge there’s baggage. And a shit-ton of it, to boot.

  6. ANNIE…man, this is such a mixed bag. I don’t know. I have so many reservations about Annie’s characterization since she went dark. A) her apartment—what the hell. Why is she still living like a mole person? Did the brunette die kill her sense of style? Or is she just, like, so dark and tortured on the inside now that things like not living in a sewer are considered shallow? B) Her gun. Remember when Annie didn’t have a gun? Didn’t want a gun? In fact, her whole point of getting a gun was a pretty big deal on the show. She got a gun because she had a rare glimpse of her own mortality. I actually found that really refreshing—the respect with which the show dealt with violence. They didn’t play it off as, “Oh, yeah, she’s a spy, she kills people, she’s just that bad-ass.” And now? It’s nothing for her to go for her gun and start a-shootin’. I’m not saying it’s unrealistic that she should have one, and I own a gun myself, so it’s not like I’m against gun violence on television. But remember in season one, when she went back to the farm, and she passed that one obstacle course because instead of going for the guns like everyone else, she went for a map to the nearest exit instead? Those little things made her fun and interesting to watch. And it’s those little alterations to her character that, IMO, make her characterization so fucking frustrating. I don’t like this Annie. I find her one-dimensional, stereotypical, boring. She’s turned into a super bad-ass spy chick cliche. It’s worse than when Buffy came back from heaven and went all fucking emo because life is just…so…hard…. I loved that Annie was fun and spunky and resourceful and charming. She’s none of those things now. So disappointing.

    Another thing in the Annie category is that while she was interrogating Borz, I found myself wanting to ask her the same exact questions. The Annie who joined the CIA is not this Annie. This Annie has no motivation to do what she does. So why is she doing it?

    Lastly, spoilers? I have no TV or internet. SPOIL ME.

  7. "I am proud of Annie for not pulling an Auggie and screwing every hot guy she comes across"

    Like I tweeted out yesterday, this is where 'that double standard' slaps viewers across the face with a cosmic two-by-four. We all know that Annie cannot pull the same tricks that Auggie can with ease, because she would be getting grief from on and off the screen. First, Auggie would be indignant and would be reeking of hypocrisy as he upbraids Annie for trying to play his game. Second, the audience would be split along cultural lines in a debate over 'slut shaming.' I guess this is where cool mom Lena surprised me when she encouraged Annie to handle business using her sex appeal.