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Covert Affairs - False Skorpion - Review

This fun and adventurous episode continued the plotline that was started with last week's shocking attack.  Annie's main concern was capturing Borz, but in the meantime she also had to deal with interference from McQuade and the problems brought on by her big secret.  Arthur had his first day at work for McQuade, while Auggie found a new potential love interest and Joan contended with some pressure from Calder.

Once the CIA tracked Borz to Venezuela, Annie was quick to follow...and so was Ryan McQuade, who had his own reasons for seeking the villainous bomber.  They each tracked Borz to a mosque in Maracaibo, where Annie was smart enough to note that the mosque owner's young daughter seemed to be hiding something.  McQuade wanted to talk to Borz alone for an hour and then hand the fugitive over to the CIA, but wouldn't tell Annie the reason why he needed the alone time.  Something about McQuade has all of Annie's defenses up, and this is only intensified by her new agenda of being a lone wolf with no attachments to others.   Auggie noted that in the past, Annie would have jumped at the chance to work with McQuade while manipulating him and avoiding his getting the upper hand.  By striking out alone and repeatedly rebuffing McQuade's friendly (if sketchy) overtures, Annie made the mission harder for herself.  But as fate would have it, there was really no getting out of collaborating with McQuade.

Back home, Auggie was in no mood to be questioned about the Chicago bombing.  Grieving for his friend who died in the explosion, eager to help catch Borz, and worried about Annie, Auggie was fairly sassy in denying Joan's suggestion that he submit to questioning.  Because Joan is the best boss ever, she actually just chortled at Auggie's dramatics and felt her duty was fulfilled by passing on the CIA's request for his compliance.  But Hayley Price, the anti-terrorism expert tasked with asking Auggie about the bombing, refused to take no for an answer.  While Hayley annoyed Auggie by wondering if Annie was involved in the attack, she kept him in the room by blowing past his arguments with a strong, well-worded defense that she was just doing her job.  So when Auggie and Hayley ran into each other at a bar that night, it wasn't too surprising that their tension shifted from antagonistic to sexual.  I can't quite get a read on Hayley yet; she seems a bit uptight and makes it very clear that she likes getting her way in all aspects of life (such as her slightly cheesy speech to Auggie during their encounter).  However, Amy Jo Johnson brings a fun energy to the intelligent character, and even if she turns out to be evil or otherwise problematic, I'm fairly sure Hayley will never be as irritating as Parker.
Arthur had barely settled into his new desk before Joan called to ask what he knew about McQuade's dealings in Venezuela, and then he was faced with a faintly flirtatious attitude from McQuade's second-in-command Caitlin Cole (Perrey Reeves).  Between Caitlin's being described as "difficult" by Calder, and her positioning as a possibly overly-friendly coworker to Arthur, the character doesn't give off the most pleasant vibe on first acquaintance - but we shall see.  
Calder was all jazzed to take advantage of Arthur's new position and get the inside line on McQuade, even though it's not a great place to put Joan in.  As usual, Joan and Arthur dealt with adjusting to being in two different jobs that have the same interests with down-to-earth clarity and pure class.  Calder also showed his teeth by demanding to Annie that she work with McQuade as it was the best way to make sure she caught Borz faster, and in this case I think it was probably good advice (he tends to put the pressure on Annie that others neglect to due to closer friendships and their being hypnotized by her cute little Annie-ness).  While Arthur wasn't able to glean much about McQuade's secrets yet, I'm sure he'll be in on plenty of them quite soon.  For one thing, it is indeed interesting that McQuade chose to go himself to get Borz when he has so many capable operatives working for him that could have done the job.  This indicates that whatever information he wanted from Borz was extremely important and needed to be extracted personally.

Back in Maracaibo, Annie worked with the young woman from the Mosque to locate the wounded Borz, showing again that her empathetic perceptiveness about others and her ability to communicate with them persuasively and kindly is a key part of her skill set.  But once she'd nabbed Borz after a struggle where she prevailed, Annie had another episode.  Frighteningly, Annie had lost her medicine earlier in the episode when she ran into Borz after he shot a former associate.  Now in the midst of an attack, without access to any help, Annie looked utterly panicked and grew dismayed at blearily seeing McQuade approach.  Predictably, while Annie was out of commission, McQuade took the chance to question Borz privately.  He also had his doctor help Annie, and she had to let McQuade know that she has a heart condition.  I really liked that McQuade responded with quiet understanding to her explanation and didn't feel it was anyone else's business that she has this health issue.  We can't know yet if we can trust him in general (most likely not), but maybe he'll be honorable about this matter.  It remains to be seen!
I enjoyed the further development of Annie and McQuade's relationship in this episode.  The light, flirty, love/hate kind of friction they spark each time they meet is adorable and sort of a nice relief after the extreme heaviness of last season (even though I do love the darker episodes).  This week, McQuade offered for Annie to come work for him and she laughed in his face.  It's true that I can't imagine circumstances that would lead Annie to voluntarily work anywhere but the CIA, so barring some kind of catastrophic incident (what if they find out about her illness?  Obviously, if McQuade let it slip, he'd be the last one she'd work for),  I doubt she'd ever do much more than giggle at such a suggestion.  The writers clearly have significant ideas in mind for the "complex relationship" that will come about between Annie and McQuade, and how exactly that relationship will be categorized is a mystery right now.  I look forward to seeing more from this situation, and it's also very intriguing that we've now heard Eyal will return this season.  Throwing him into the mix with all that's going on in Annie's life right now should be quite interesting, and I hope Oded Fehr will be around for more than one episode.  We'll take what we can get!

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!  

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie, Nashville, Beauty and the Beast, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Continuum for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at http://virginiamaeblog.blogspot.com/ and her Twitter handle is @SugarRushedBlog
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