Covert Affairs: Annie Walker's Broken Hearts Club Band

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Covert Affairs S03E05: “This Is Not America”

Love is so not in the air at the CIA at the moment. Or Mossad, for that matter. Annie, previously dismissed from her position in Lena Smith’s office for compromising her cover with Simon, was desperate to get back into Lena’s club, but Lena was having none of it. Auggie, fresh out of a night in jail after his break-up-fueled bar fight, was sent to therapy where he half-heartedly flirted with his therapist. Joan and Arthur butted heads, but that’s pretty much a given—just get a divorce already, jeez. Even Annie’s mission to Israel to track down a rocket scientist who was possibly selling intel featured a lonely nerd whose hot spy girlfriend ultimately betrayed him.

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE. Eyal was asked by one of Annie’s superiors at the CIA to evaluate her performance in the field during her mission abroad. I get giddy every time Oded Fehr guest-stars as everyone’s favorite charming Mossad agent. I could seriously just watch an entire show dedicated to Annie and Eyal going on adventures and being snarky with each other and revelling in all that sexual tension. Anyway, Eyal was asked to evaluate Annie, which she was understandably unhappy about, even less so when he admitted that he thought her bosses were right to be concerned about her headspace after Jai’s assassination. His willingness to be honest with Annie led to some bonding time and to prove that he understood Annie’s stance that being a spy is HARD, you guys, he showed her his son and talked about his failed marriage.

This is like the worst CIA recruitment video ever. “Join the CIA! It’s the perfect career for people who want to have TERRIBLE relationships with everyone they’ve ever been close to.”

Annie and Auggie have an interesting parallel going on at the moment. Both are under heavy scrutiny from their superiors and both skirt the line between fit and unfit for duty. They also both seem to be unwilling or unable to be there for one another in the manner that we are accustomed to seeing them. Annie doesn’t know how the engagement to Parker fell apart and Auggie doesn’t know ANYTHING about Simon. These are ongoing issues in both of their lives that, at the moment, define them—and despite being BFFs, neither has made much effort to confide in the other. Both Annie and Auggie are clinging to their “I’m fine” mantra. And maybe they both believe that they ARE fine, to an extent, but I think that belief is shaky at best. Annie doesn’t want to burden Auggie and vice versa and furthermore, that belief in how “fine” they both are seems to be so precarious that a moment of entertaining the notion of being not fine could very well bring it all down.

So, Annie was off to Israel to handle that rocket scientist, Isaac, who didn’t realize that he was being played by his spy girlfriend to divulge rocket scientist secrets. It was a fairly cut-and-dry case and in the end, Isaac was heartbroken and his ladyfriend was in handcuffs. The whole case was really just an excuse to pair up Annie and Eyal for an episode, which is fine, because Eyal’s revelation about the evaluation is important. It shows that Annie’s ability is in doubt and it forces us to question our own allegiance to her.

Lena, certainly, and possibly Joan and Arthur if they have any knowledge of Annie’s mission with Simon, fear that Annie has developed real feelings for Simon. I’ve been giving Annie the benefit of the doubt for most of the season that she has maintained her professional distance. It would be a disservice to her character and the show in general to turn her into another argument against Lena’s stance that female spies should follow the same guidelines as male spies in the field.

Earlier in the season, Lena Smith pointed out that male spies are actively encouraged to sleep with their targets for information while female spies are discouraged because it’s believed that they’ll fall in love and start selling state secrets or something. By writing Annie as having fallen in love with Simon, the message of this season becomes “...and the men were RIGHT,” which is kind of awful. It would discredit the Covert Affairs from being the sort of vehicle for empowerment that it likes to think that it is.

So, I’m sticking by Annie, but the seeds of doubt are certainly being planted. And what’s the alternative? What do we make of that last phone call to Simon, with his Mossad file sitting on Annie’s lap? Has she gone rogue? Is she determined to finish this mission, even if she has to do it herself?

That’s actually my theory at the moment. What’s yours?



SPY NOTES


– Arthur is on the shortlist for appointment to the Chinese Ambassador position. He decided to think ahead and try to secure Joan a position with the Beijing CIA offices without asking her. She got mad. He said he wanted her by his side. She said he married the wrong woman. I hate both of them so much.