Covert Affairs Review by John Keegan

Covert Affairs 5.02: False Skorpion

Covert Affairs 5.02: False Skorpion

Written By:
Stephen Hootstein
Directed By:
Stephen Kay

The second episode of the season allows the season’s new status quo to settle in, while giving the audience some crucial information.  If there was any doubt that Annie and McQuaid were going to end up frenemies for a while, the circumstances of this episode ought to clear that up.  Either he’s going to be revealed as the season’s Big Bad, or he’s going to be Annie’s latest conquest (and then promptly die).


I’m going to guess that he’s got something sinister up his sleeve, because he’s far too self-confident for his own good.  He’s running around with that personal security force with a swagger that speaks of unbearable arrogance, and while that alone is hardly evidence of wrongdoing, it does give off a sense of being above mere human concerns like “laws”.  And the point of pulling together a Blackwater-esque organization is to operate without the strictures of government oversight, so there’s that.


It would be a nice change of pace, of course, if Annie and McQuaid never got together in a romantic sense; avoiding that problem with Calder did wonders for how well their professional relationship was written.  And it’s hard to argue that Annie has better chemistry with anyone else than Auggie.  As others have said, what seems to drive this is Piper Perabo’s remarkable talent for connecting with just about everyone she interacts with in a scene, so the desire to capitalize on that must be intense.  (And I can’t imagine her co-stars balking at the notion!)


Auggie, of course, is getting closer with Hayley, and while a naughty Pink Ranger is probably hitting the sweet spot for some in the audience, it’s maddening to have the writers keeping the central couple apart with such conventional methods.  There’s reason to think that Hayley’s constant run-ins with Auggie aren’t entirely innocent, but it’s very easy to read into situations on this show (I’m notorious for it), so it may just be that Auggie is trying to convince himself that moving on is the right thing to do.


I’m also wary of Caitlyn Cook (a very sultry Perrey Reeves) and her designs on Arthur.  Arthur hasn’t been my favorite character in the world, but much like Annie/Auggie, you just can’t root against Arthur/Joan.  At least Joan doesn’t react with uber-suspicion right away, and frankly, that little toast they gave each other makes me wonder if they’re running some kind of long game of their own when it comes to McQuaid.  I wouldn’t put it past them at this point.


The wild card in the whole equation is Annie’s heart condition.  Severe panic attacks are one thing.  A true heart condition is far more problematic, and I’m hoping that this is not setting up some kind of endgame for Annie when the series comes to a close.  I didn’t catch the name of the condition, but I get the feeling that if it could be cured, it would have been.  It’s one way to keep Annie human, but so far, it’s having an immediate effect on her operational readiness, so I can’t see this lingering without being addressed this season, at least.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The Annie/McQuaid banter
  • Annie continues to be competent
The Bad:
  • I’m wary of the blatant relationship manipulation, though

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Covert Affairs by - 7/3/2014 6:55 AM171 views

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