I just want to believe that everything is still real.
The writers have a knack for giving Samantha Bloom a line within each episode that almost perfectly expresses what I'm thinking. After baiting me last week with a glimmer of hope that Undercovers was ready to burst forth from its doldrums, we're back to square one. Try as I may to find something positive to highlight about "Not WIthout My Daughter," I'm afraid it's just not possible.
The Blooms were tasked to bring in a North Korean scientist named Shin Won who wanted to defect to the U.S. and had a prototype of some super advanced weaponized matter manipulating device.
According to Shaw, it should have been a relative piece of cake. Unfortunately, it's never quite that simple, and - as has been more often than not the case with Undercovers - not that interesting, either.I suppose it should have been an engrossing twist to have the Blooms defy Shaw and head off to North Korea on an unsanctioned effort to retrieve Shin Won's fugitive daughter, but there was so much inane drudgery to the proceedings, I just couldn't manage the energy to climb aboard.
I know that suspending disbelief in this or any series with such unrealistic premises is a necessity and it's better to just go with the flow and accept things that would ordinarily seem ridiculous. However, the idea that in the middle of an extremely precarious, unauthorized operation - in North Korea, mind you, while tangoing around a French doppelganger spy couple - these two would pause for a heart to heart about who wears the pants in the family, or how difficult it is to maintain the duality their life now requires of them.
It's just beyond ludicrous and distracting.
Not only that, but is picking a lock really the most enticing thing about your mission, Agent Blooms? That exchange and the vacuous celebratory kiss they shared was so insipid it should have been left on the cutting room floor.
The preposterous nature of their interactions aside, it occurs to me what really bad undercover operatives Steven and Samantha are. First of all, they are just too good looking to blend in anywhere they go. Steven made for a terrible incognito brainy string theorist at the convention. I get that he's the male half of the show's protagonist power couple, but it would have made far more sense, not to mention add a much needed interesting spin to the story, to put Hoyt in play as said scientist, using Steven or Sam as backup.
Secondly, they not only stuck out like sore thumbs in North Korea, but rather than silently disabling their escort and maintaining the covert nature of their visit, they manage to draw an inordinate amount of attention to themselves in the marketplace, putting them squarely on the North Korean seek and destroy list.
None of this, though, compares to the unforgivable exclusion of Leo Nash from an entire episode. His absence left a gaping hole where the fun is usually to be found. A Leo-less episode, in my opinion, falls under the "why bother" category.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.