Covert Affairs "Dig for Fire" Review: Well, That Escalated Quickly

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jul 24, 2013

Covert Affairs S04E02: "Dig for Fire"

Annie and Auggie have continued to be that infuriating couple comprised of two individuals who morph into seemingly different people as soon as they declare themselves a "thing." I'll stop short of saying that we've never seen this Annie or this Auggie before, because truthfully, we've seen Auggie in control-freak-boyfriend mode with Parker and we've seen Annie get all gooey-eyed with every one of her other love interests ever—so it's not that these personalities don't exist in our heroes, it's just that they tend to only come out under the most absolute of circumstances. 

With that said, the thing with the Band-Aid was adorable and the idea of presenting Annie and Auggie as a parallel of Joan and Arthur is interesting, as gives their relationship an actual point in the story outside of being lighthearted kissy-face romance crap. 

For one of the first times in Covert Affairs' run, Joan and Arthur managed to not be the actual worst. Their status was up in the air there for a bit—Arthur's possible affair, the baby drama, Teo, Joan being Joan, Arthur being Arthur. It's been hard, having been a viewer of this series since its premiere, to look at Joan and Arthur and feel sympathy for either of them, much less understand them or really connect with them on a human level. They're the cold, calculating uber-professionals who we expect to reign over our young super-spies of tomorrow. Sure, they've had their whole trying-to-save-their-marriage storyline for awhile now, but I can't think of a time where I was ever terribly invested in it, and truthfully, I could never fathom why we were supposed to care so much beyond the fact that the powers that be on Covert Affairs deemed it important.

Yet when Joan managed to put all the pieces together to discover that Arthur's "affair" was a lie constructed entirely to save her career from going down the toilet along with his, it finally clicked—why Joan and Arthur care about one another and why we should care, too. We have yet to see the complete fallout of Arthur's confession about Teo, but from what we saw this week, Joan took it rather well, all things considered. I'm also delighted that Arthur came clean sooner rather than later.

Frankly, I enjoyed Arthur and Joan more in "Dig for Fire" than I have in most of Covert Affairs' run thus far. In the past, the series has struggled to make them seem like sympathetic humans in addition to calculating superiors in complicated and demanding professional roles—but this season has already taken a real interest in improving our perceptions of Joan, Arthur, and their relationship, warts and all. It's a move that fits in well with the domestic nature of this season's threat in Henry Wilcox, Teo's family ties to Arthur, and the newly launched S.S. Anngie. Annie was adamant that the relationship she has with Auggie is nothing like Joan and Arthur's, and no, the stakes aren't nearly as high (yet). I don't think the infidelity paranoia is something either of them has to worry about (yet). But the trust and control issues are already brewing. You know they're going to end up on opposite sides of something before this season is through. I'm betting my laundry money on conflicting allegiances accounting for part of our mid-season finale. 

Through a chance encounter, Auggie managed to figure out that the mole leaking information to Wilcox was Seth—a former flame of Joan's who apparently still had a thing for her and may have partially been trying to get back into her pants. Or solely. He's dead now because in a fight between a baseball bat and a Jetta, the Jetta wins—as long as Annie Walker is behind the wheel. Unfortunately for Annie (and probably Auggie, and probably everyone else who isn't an evil douche-canoe) going on a secret, off-the-books mission for the recently resigned and routinely disgraced CIA director to snoop around the home of a possible mole. A possible mole who has a history with the ex-CIA director's wife, which means she doesn't get the usual perks of the job when things go south—you know, like a clean-up crew to wipe away her prints, put the furniture back together, and make the whole crime scene disappear. However, it wasn't much of a winning situation either way once Seth came back from his ditched date-night prematurely—it's not like he didn't know who she was, and it's not like he wouldn't have somehow destroyed her (or tried to) had he survived his fall. 

Auggie said they had 48 hours before anyone at Langley noticed their missing agent, not to mention started the investigation that could potentially link Annie to the dearly departed Seth, but Wilcox had already approached Annie with a new mission to Colombia, despite declaring her essentially useless to him earlier in the episode. He's so sneaky and awful. I <3 it. 


– I miss the opening credits, :(

– I do not miss Danielle. (No offense, Anne Dudek! It's not you, it's Danielle. I do miss you on Mad Men.)

– Holy shitballs, you guys, Annie was wearing sensible flats during her pursuit of Wilcox! Lace up, kids, we're going ice-skating in hell!

– "The sound quality isn't great." "Hey, Annie put a lot on the line for that!" OMG AUGGIE STOP. 

– Despite our progress, it was implied that Arthur and Auggie are still keeping something from Annie and possibly/probably Joan. Theories?

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  • tamaabi Aug 01, 2013

    - I don't. It means more show.
    - Me neither. I'll probably be happy to see her like... once in the whole season or something.
    - Yes I saw that! She has actually been wearing flat out of the office all the time since the beginning of the season. Thank you for that, show, you're only 3 seasons late to the "you can't actually run and be discreet on Louboutins" party.
    - Yeah that -_- Please Auggie.
    - So many theories. Maybe Auggie is someone's secret son. Maybe he has a child somewhere too. Maybe he's Arthur's son and Theo's half brother!!! etc.

  • dandush33 Jul 26, 2013

    I don't miss opening credits but I miss Auggie being more "manly" about it all... he's mushy.

  • chamelean75 Jul 25, 2013

    This is the first time that Joan and Arthur's relationship was actually intriguing. In previous seasons, I didn't care for their relationship and found their disputes annoying.

  • bondgirl Jul 25, 2013

    The Annie/Auggie relationship is ruining the show for me. You know that Annie would have flirted her way through her trip to Columbia both with Teo and with Calder Michaels and by charming them she would have been much more successful than she was with Auggie there being a jerk during the whole thing. Now, Auggie is being a jerk to Author too when it comes to Annie. The whole over protective boyfriend thing is tiresome and is insulting to Annie's skills and knowledge.

  • Hamsterdam Jul 25, 2013

    The Annie & Auggie thing needs to go away. Why does every show that's worth anybody's attention(my attention) always have to crash their way into a relationship ditch. I've always referred to Annie as Lil Sydney Bristow because Alias was obviously an inspiration here, and now it seems their going for a full blown remake. But instead of battles for the ages with a murderous clone of your best friend or even Anna Hugemouth Espinosa, all we get is an old, washed up Nina Myers. Spies should only have tortured relationships. Every relationship Sydney had was complicated. But this is USA with all their sunshine and happy endings. And why is that agent/mole murder cover up giving me a FNL season 2 flashback?!

  • TomClark3 Jul 25, 2013

    I miss the credits, too, but the credits do seem too optimistic for the current season. This is probably the darkest season so far of Covert Affairs.

  • Gibbs7 Jul 25, 2013

    I hope at some point this season we find out exactly why Henry hates Arthur so much. We've only had Henry making vague references to Arthur "stabbing" him "in the back," and Arthur denying it. And the fact that Henry blames Arthur for Jai's death seems downright irrational, since they revealed that Jai was killed by an ex-operative who had a connection to Henry.

  • JustinJohnson9 Jul 25, 2013

    I've never had a problem with Arthur and Joan being the cold, determined bosses they are because that's exactly the kind of bosses they should be given their positions. There's not much room, if any, in their field for hand-holding, or stroking egos. I honestly can't hate on them like you are cause they're a sort of necessary evil, unlike Wilcox, who's simply a pain in the ass. I love to hate the guy, but to see him put in his place will be soooo much more satisfying.

    Loving Annie and Auggie together too. They see Joan and Arthur, and don't want to come close to making the mistakes they have. Good for them!!!

    Loved the episode by the way. I'm always entertained by this show.

  • Gibbs7 Jul 25, 2013

    Justin, you did a terrific job of explaining Arthur and Joan. I like Annie, and love Auggie, but I watch the show primarily for the Campbells. They're intriguing characters, and frankly I get discouraged sometimes when read comment boards and see just how many people seem to miss the point of their relationship.

  • amyjclick Jul 25, 2013

    Annie and Auggie are perfect together. Anyway who says otherwise are NOT watching the same show!

  • bondgirl Jul 25, 2013

    I have watched the show from the beginning and I HATE Annie and Auggie together.

  • fleur-de-lune Jul 25, 2013

    I've been waiting for them to reveal Jay is still alive. When main cast dies, there's a certain feeling and presentation that is shown when they're REALLY killed off. Jay's death didn't get much coverage and there was no dramatic weight to it.

    Did we ever find out what was the deal with Simon's tattoo? That same figure that Jay had in his files.

    I'm betting Jay is still alive and that Arthur and Auggie know. Which is why Henry is going after them. There's something more there.

    Oh and speaking of Henry who is no longer a part of the CIA; like he can just give Annie authorization to go to Columbia, where you have to have an actual reason to go to. Is he paying for her tickets, hotel, etc.? Doubtful. And even on an agents pay-scale she doesn't make enough to be flying around on her own dime all the time.

    I saw the flats too, and figured since she's working pro-bono for Arthur and Henry right now, she had to cut the Christian Louboutin's out of her budget for a while.

    I also hope they play up the forbidden love thing for Annie and Auggie, because so far, it's quite lack luster.

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