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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Covert Affairs features a "Lady Stardust"

USA's Covert Affairs just keeps getting better and better. So much happens in the recent season finale, "Lady Stardust," that it will be difficult to cover it all in one, standard-length review. Instead, I am going to focus on a few key points, and feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below.

I love, love, love Eyal (Oded Fehr), and it has been such a pleasure to see him week after week this fall. Now that Annie (Piper Perabo) has repaid the debt of a saved life, disobeying her agency to rescue the friend that saved her when no one else could or would, it may be time for him to fade away again, until returning at some future date, as he is clearly a character that won't permanently go away until he's dead or the show ends. Then again, it may not be time for him to leave. Having quit his own government's agency, why not make Eyal a series regular, whether working for the CIA, or as a freelance consultant that Annie frequently goes to for help?

Annie has had a huge, dramatic arc this fall. She has faced every demon possible to throw at her, and been in far more than her share of tough spots. At times, she seemed completely alone, and one gets the impression that that has become her standard mode. With Danielle (Anne Dudek) gone, the transfers earlier in the season, and, later, Annie's tension with Joan (Kari Matchett), much effort was made to isolate the hero and see how she fared by herself.

The good news is, Annie came through with flying colors. Not only does she continue to save the day, complete her missions, and rescue her friends, she has a renewed confidence in her own judgment and abilities. She makes mistakes, but these are the exceptions, rather than the rule. She is well past the days where she simply follows orders. She gets to make decisions on her own, such as when she tells Eyal and Auggie (Christopher Gorham) that the CIA wants her to kill the terrorist Khalid (Haaz Sleiman, Nurse Jackie) in "Lady Stardust." They protest, so she runs off without them, but then has a better idea than killing, and so implements that. She's clever, calculating, and can play the long game better than anyone else, so she deserves her autonomy.

But now that we've seen her alone, why not see how she behaves as part of a couple, with a man who is always around? One thing Covert Affairs has avoided is giving Annie true romance. In season one, she had an absentee guy who played her, and it is flirted with earlier this season when she beds an asset, but ultimately, that ends in tragedy after a short time together, hardening her soul. Now, Auggie is laying his heart on the line, someone Annie already cares deeply about. Fans surely want her to give him a try, and with Auggie, it has to be more than a mere test. She must commit completely, or else it will fail. This could be a whole new frontier for Annie, one that requires bravery of a sort she hasn't yet had to exhibit.

While some have pondered what an Eyal / Annie pairing might be like, I think Auggie is better for her, and not just because their names start with the same vowel. Auggie is loyal and capable of assisting, and his strengths complement Annie's, whereas Eyal shares most of the same skills as Annie. What's more, even when Auggie disagrees with her, he trusts her decisions, and doesn't hold them against her later, while we've seen Eyal grow very frustrated with Annie's independent spirit. I mean, Auggie gets annoyed with her, too, but he handles it better. Auggie is the one she needs to be with.

Unfortunately, these happy connections may not extend from Annie to Joan and Peter (Arthur Campbell). She maintains allegiance to them seemingly more out of duty than affection, especially recently. It might be argued that Annie's superior instincts have picked up on Joan's problems, and this is why she doesn't trust her boss like she once did, but that seems too simple an explanation. People grow apart. That has definitely happened here.

Which could be why, when Henry (Gregory Itzin) shows Annie a file, she agrees to work with him. Did Henry reveal something bad about Joan or Peter, killing Annie's good will towards them? Or is she playing Henry, enticed by whatever he has offered, at least in the sense that she must get involved to stop him? Good cliffhanger, and a promise to bring back a fantastic, slimy bad guy more next year.

There is little doubt that Henry is a villain. He may be Jai's father, but the two share little in common. Even when Henry does something that might appear a little noble, like declassifying Jai's star or taking out a threat long believed by most to be dead, he has ulterior, less than laudable, motives behind it. Whatever he has offered Annie, there are obviously layers to it, and she would do well not to trust him, which she probably won't.

Speaking of Jai, call me crazy, but I am still not convinced that he is dead. I will continue to look for him to pop up until Covert Affairs bows out for good. The way things went down just seemed slightly off. I could be wrong, but I hope I'm not. I miss him.

"Lady Stardust" is an awesome season finale for a series that started good, but has become great! Covert Affairs will return next summer to USA.

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1 comment:

  1. I too love the character of Eyal and wish he would be brought on to the show as a regular. As for the Annie/Auggie pairing: I strongly dislike it. To me they have a brother/sister vibe and the whole thing felt forced and rushed at the end of Season3. That kiss was rather icky.

    Eyal suddenly got pushed out the side door which was extremely awkward. I find the Annie/Auggie pairing a complete boor. It might have worked in Season One but I truly feel Annie has outgrown Auggie.


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