Covert Affairs Season Finale Round Table: Giving a Grade
Covert Affairs concluded season two with a finale that took a step toward Annie/Auggie, while also showing just how sly Jai Wilcox can really be.
In the following edition of the TV Fanatic Round Table, panelists Jeff Kirkpatrick, Chandel Charles, Carla Day and Dan Forcella look back over "Letter Never Sent" and give the winter run of episodes a grade...
What was your favorite moment from the finale?
Jeff: Auggie's phone call with his doctor. Initially, I was not at all on board with them even touching on the remote possibility that he could regain his sight. Though, I realize now that this served as the proverbial nail in the coffin. It's never going to happen, and I'm thankful for that. Auggie's blindness is not a handicap - it's just a part of who he is, and that is how he typically feels about it. But to witness his vulnerability in the moment between answering the phone and getting the negative word, and then his brief, wordless transition from dejection to grief to acceptance and then back to life as we know it, was visually and emotionally stunning. That moment was raw and much more affecting than his goodbye to Parker last week. It succinctly epitomized Auggie's roll-with-the-punches approach to life in general and also proved once and for all, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christopher Gorham is the MVP of Covert Affairs.
Chandel: I think it had to be that moment there at the end when Auggie gave Annie his car. It was a really great way to end the season in my opinion. These two together, whether as really good friends, or potentially something more, it’s always good.
Carla: There were so many great moments in the finale, it's hard to pick. Overall, I loved the end when Annie was driving the car with her hair flowing in the wind and Florence + the Machine playing in the background. It was the perfect end to the season.
Dan: The suspense while Annie and Danielle were hiding from the shooter. I have to give kudos to the production staff for not overloading the scene with a musical track or even score. The ticking of the clock had my blood boiling by the time Danielle ran out the back door.
Is Jai going to shoot himself in the foot? Or scheme his way to the top?
Jeff: If I could, I'd have Jai shoot himself somewhere else. I'm still not crazy about the character, but at least now he has shown his true colors. Hopefully he'll become a more formidable enemy in the coming season, or at least less of an albatross. Going head to head with both Arthur and Joan, particularly when they have the support of dynamos like Annie and Auggie, is not a particularly smart move. On the other hand, he managed to sideline his self-serving scoundrel of a father without breaking a sweat, so it could turn out to be quite a battle.
Chandel: I am still trying to figure out exactly what he's trying to accomplish with all this backstabbing nonsense. Clearly he's gunning for Joan and potentially even Arthur's job, but I don't see what his actual endgame goal is. I would prefer to see Jai shoot himself in the foot to give him a little bit of perspective. Like Auggie mentioned in the elevator, Jai had turned his back on his colleagues. The worst part is, though, we really have no idea why. I liked seeing him interact with Annie and Auggie. Now I just get annoyed every time he appears on my screen.
Carla: Jai's plan has gone remarkably well so far, but he HAD to gloat to Arthur. That's going to be his downfall. Jai may have had a chance against Arthur and Joan if he launched a secret attack against them, but now that Arthur knows he is coming... Jai has no chance!
Dan: As we witnessed here, he's going to try to get to the top, but he will certainly fail along the way. To echo Jeff's sentiment, I hope he becomes a true enemy for the likable characters. It will be nice to have a steady opponent in season three.
Auggie and Annie, do you predict a relationship at some point? And do you want to see one?
Jeff: I believe at some point they will couple. Hopefully it will be when the series nears its end. It was interesting to see Annie at least recognize that there is something there, even if Auggie hasn't yet come to the same realization, but for now I'm perfectly happy with the way things are. That said, I believe the two are more than compatible and that whomever a person ends up with should be their best friend, so I'm all for them ending up together.
Chandel: I have to say, I was a little put off by the network's decision to develop a promo that teased the beginning of an Annie & Auggie relationship, only to not follow through on it... or only mildly attempt to address something there towards the end. That was the vaguest A-squared affection moment I have ever seen. Do I want to see them together just yet? No. I waited five seasons for Psych's Shawn and Juliet to get together. I can wait for Annie and Auggie just the same.
Carla: Will the writers put them together at some point? Probably. Should they? No. At least that's how I feel right now and reserve the right to change my mind. Annie and Auggie have a rare, amazing friendship. I'd hate to see that ruined. Besides, Auggie has always been a player and is for the first time involved in a relationship with Parker. I want to see that play out.
Dan: I'm going to predict that they never get together, only because the show will end abruptly without the writers having a chance to finish this thing they plan to... which is probably to get these two together. Would I want to see these two together in the end? Yes!
Annie finally killing someone: Necessary step in her arc? Or sad to see her lose the innocence?
Jeff: This has been a long time coming, which may have made the moment even more poignant. She didn't even hesitate. And she made sure there was no possible way he could have survived it with three shots. Unfortunately it's the nature of the spy game that sooner or later you'll be required to take out a bad guy. Unlike some shows like 24, which take the violence to an extremely gratuitous level, it was appropriate that this kill was in defense of her sister. It made the moment all the more necessary. Even though I've been an advocate of Annie having a gun since day one, I only want her to have one as a means of self - or as in this case, another's - defense. I think long term having that extra security will make her a stronger agent.
Chandel: Can't believe I didn't realize right off the bat that was Annie's first kill. It was definitely a necessary step in her character development. This show needed to get more real in that sense, so finding Annie entering season three dealing with the aftermath of it would be interesting.
Carla: While it wasn't absolutely necessary, it will allow her to grow within her career. I'd like to see her embrace this and use it to become stronger both personally and professionally, rather than become emotionally stunted by it.
Dan: Unlike Jeff, I have enjoyed Annie's lack of gun experience throughout the first two seasons. It was a bit unrealistic to me, but it gave her a ton of difficult situations that were fun to watch. Having said that, it was about time that she put a man down! She's a CIA field agent for crying out loud.
Grade the winter run, as well as the second season on the whole.
Jeff: The first half of the season was more exciting and felt as if it was really building to something, but then sort of fizzled out midway through this winter run. The finale definitely helped steady the ship, so to speak, but I'm still going to have to give the winter run a C and the season as a whole a B.
Chandel: The season felt so fragmented I had to reach back deep to remember a lot of what the season entailed. I’m going to have to give the winter run and full season a B.
Carla: I enjoyed the winter run more than the season as a whole. There were a few episodes that didn't move the story forward and were a bit boring. Winter run: A-. Full Season: B.
Dan: I'm siding with Jeff on this one that the first part of the second season was more interesting. The finale was great, but there were a couple of stinkers in this winter run. B+ for the season. B- for the winter.