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State of Affairs - Masquerade - Advance Preview: "The Series' Best Episode So Far"

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In its final episode of 2014, NBC's State of Affairs does everything right.

Airing Monday night, 10|9c, "Masquerade", written by Adam R. Perlman and directed by Joe Carnahan, is one of the strongest episodes of any series to air on NBC this fall. The hour is very well paced, with flashbacks aplenty, along with excellent character and storyline development.

The storyline after 5 episodes remains a tad tricky to follow in places, but things begin to fall into place pretty early on in the hour. The CIA team is split in two, with Charlie and Maureen sharing Air Force One with President Constance Payton on a trip to Qatar, while the all male trio comprised of Lucas, Dashiell and Kurt do battle on Level 7 at CIA HQ.

Alfre Woodard and Katherine Heigl each put in strong performances, but the supporting cast are also very much up to the task. Character interaction takes center stage on Level 7 as an awkward power struggle presents itself with Charlie overseas. We learn some interesting things about newcomer Lucas's past, and Kurt has a curious encounter with a mutual friend of Charlie's.

In Qatar, things take a sudden turn when someone who was previously portrayed as a threat turns the tables. Chief of Staff, David Patrick continues applying the pressure to President Payton to axe Charlie, but Nick Vera remains at the hands of a dangerous enemy.

But the highlight of the hour in my book was the flashbacks. With Charlie desperate to remember what happened to her a year earlier in Kabul, Maureen suggests a dangerous treatment method, with the outcome changing the game, and, some would say, the direction of the series.

In all, this is the best episode of State of Affairs yet. This series is definitely beginning to hit its stride, and there's plenty to keep the mind occupied for a fortnight, as the first episode of 2015 airs Monday, January 5.

Thanks a lot for reading! As usual, fire any questions my way in the comments below, and check out State of Affairs on my website,


About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand, and works in the IT industry. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, The 100, How To Get Away With Murder, Elementary and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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