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Covert Affairs Review: A Three-Armed Fight

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Although it wasn't quite "the best episode of the series to date," like Jeffrey Kirkpatrick billed of last week's "Bang and Blame," Tuesday night's "All the Right Friends" was another exciting and entertaining adventure with Annie Walker and company.

There was a lot to like. It all started with Annie being a bad ass chick. Between breaking through the police barricade with the 180 back up to taking out the assassin with a three-armed fight as she was handcuffed to Carlo, Annie certainly earned her time in the field this week.

Annie in Argentina

But building off of some of Jeff's analysis from a couple weeks ago, I have to agree that a gun-less Annie is just difficult to take at times. Her constantly having to take down bad guys without a firearm is getting tiresome. Honestly, it just adds to my issues with Annie being put on all of these missions in the first place.  

Is she really one of the best they can find?  Language skills and three-armed fighting aside, there have to be better operatives.

Other than that setback, though, her time with Carlo in Argentina was enjoyable. I loved that she started so apathetic about the mission, but then as soon as people started getting shot, became was all about it. Annie's time with Carlo was fun because he kept trying to escape. In his first major attempt, he tried the "sneak out the bathroom window" trick. That obviously failed.

His second attempted succeeded, thanks to a random cop and those stupid handcuffs. I almost got extremely angry that people in these situations are always so dumb about wanting to escape their protection, but then we learned it was for journalistic integrity. Although I would have stayed with the trained spy that could keep me safe, I can accept that Carlo has different priorities.

Thankfully, he finally gave into Annie and handcuffed himself to her once again, only to realize they needed to be apart to stay alive. Cue the ridiculous problem that occurs only to create an opportunity for a three-armed fight: yes. the handcuff key fell down a drain. You CAN write this stuff people, and the Covert Affairs staff were the ones to do it.

On the other side of the story was Auggie and his possible change of position. It's great to see that character get some weight, and Christopher Gorham some interesting material, at this point in the series. Taking the position in the OCA would be a bump in title and money, but he wouldn't be in Covert Affairs anymore. As that is the title of the show, I don't think there would really be room for two characters on the overt side of things (Arthur being the other one).

As interesting as Jai's obvious jealousy of Auggie was, how Annie will be effected by it is more intriguing to me. Once again, riffing off of my colleague's earlier comments, Auggie and Annie have a really strong connection, which is why the phone call in the final minutes was so important. Auggie will take what Annie has to say about his new opportunity to heart. I'm hoping whatever it is will change his mind. We need Auggie in covert affairs, and we need him to have the opportunity to get in the field.

Overall, "All the Right Friends" kept Covert Affairs on the right track. What did you all think of this week's episode? And how do you feel about Auggie's new opportunity?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Does anyone knows if it was shot in location? I'm from buenos Aires and I would blame myself for life for not knowing that at the time it was shot so to meet Piper...

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I'm from Argentina, and I had mixed expectations about this episode, because on another spy show (Alias) where they did an episode suposedly in Argentina and it looked nothing like it.
I really liked this one, the sites (at least the ones on the city) are real, the police uniforms acurate, even the patrol cars. It really impresed me. I didn't believe the actor to be italian, not one bit, his accent was really bad, and he spoke better spanish than italian. OH!!! and the character of the Argentinian polititian was dead on! That saidm I enjoy this show very much, and I love her shoes!

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I understand that most NOC agents don't carry a gun. I have no problem with that. But they are involved in years long undercover operations, working their way inside an adversarial organization, sending reports when they learn something worth the risk of communicating. Boring. That isn't going to work as a mission on a TV show. It seems pretty clear the NOC thing has practical limits as the basis for a TV series. So it would make sense if there are times when Annie makes use of one to stay alive if it's just lying there. She may not have brought it in country with her, and she may choose not to have one on her when trying to work her way into some situation or other, but she could use it to stay alive and then pitch it if she had to. The writers either need to be clever enough to create a story where Annie doesn't need a gun (which they haven't been able to do all that often for some reason or other), or they need to let her win a fight by putting the guy down to stay with a piece of re-bar, or a hammer, driving over him with a car, pushing him down an elevator shaft, holding him under water till the bubbles stop, caving in his skull with a bar of soap in a sock, or they have to let her pick up a gun and use it. Having her standing there one trigger pull from dying in several episodes only to be rescued when somebody else does the shooting is pretty lame in the writing department. It's OK if Annie's character hurts somebody while saving herself. It doesn't always have to be somebody else that does the saving. What isn't OK is for the bad guys to have the drop on her over and over again.

Fortyseven

Good episode. I liked Carlo/Annie's back and forth but not the atypical intimacy at the end. I liked Auggie's scenes, Jay's jealousy, Auggie's voice message. Annie should have a gun sometimes. If she's planning on taking on several armed people, she'd need to either carry a gun (or throwing knives or something) or be a much better agent that won't find herself caught with one or more guns levelled at her with. In the second episode, she just stood frozen between two men aiming guns at her and she only got out alive because the armed Mossad agent saved her.

Bobbie-whited

Look i know it doesn't have guns but seriously people think about. You are UNDERCOVER trying to gather information on the enemy. Now what is the best way to blow your cover? Walking into a building and shooting it up. I mean the only reason Jason Borne used guns was because he was a covert assassin. Intelligence gathering is a different matter and requires you to use you head more.

Watchestoomuch

I enjoyed the episode, but two things annoyed me: First, if the assassin hadn't gratuitously killed the pilot (or whoever that was on the tarmac), he could have gotten a clean shot at an unsuspecting Carlo (and Annie). His mistake was necessary to set everything else in motion, but it didn't make sense. Second, the sudden intimacy of Carlo and Annie at the end of the episode doesn't fit their lack of chemistry throughout. I'm guessing that the writers are setting us up for a romantic rematch later in the season.

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Just paraphrasing off of Bang and Blame a bit. When they decide to fire off a weapon it blows their cover completely. What normal person would carry a gun with them to foreign countries? They have to be inventive and make do with the environment. If they were searched while they were undercover it would blow everything. A big part of the show is that Annie is supposed to be human. She can't be the super-spy, because, frankly, do they even really exist? Most likely only in movies and tv. Humans make mistakes. Sometimes this works out for the better and sometimes it only makes a situation worse. For an example, when she told Carlo his sources were dead. She could be telling him so that he would realize the full extent to the seriousness of the situation and quit trying to escape. The episode was good, not one of my favorites, though. I hope that it keeps getting better. I do hope that Auggie doesn't take the new job, but only because I would miss the character and the humor he adds to the show that no one else could really suceed with.

Josie-leeds

Do the writers REALLY think a CIA operative would be out in the field (especially in a foreign country) without having completed training or without a gun??? If they do, they have the collective IQ found in a bag of doorknobs.

Evan

Not a bad episode. What really annoyed me was Annie telling Carlo that his sources were dead. That is really not the way to keep him calm and I just kept thinking that she is so stupid. Also, didn't Annie go back to the training academy(the farm) and complete her firearm training last episode. There is no excuse for her to not be carrying a gun now.