Covert Affairs "Quicksand" Review: It's a Small World After All

Covert Affairs S03E15: “Quicksand”

Going into this week's episode of Covert Affairs, I was prepared to return to the general apathy and casual disdain for Annie Walker’s character that best characterized my pre-Season 3 feelings toward the show, but after a meandering path through the land of red herrings, WTF-ery, and suck, I think I care again? Slightly? Everything’s starting to come together (maybe?), and though I’ve remained pretty confused for most of the past few weeks, I think it might just possibly, eventually, make sense.

I was delighted that even though Annie and Auggie finally got their beer together this week, Auggie didn’t take the opportunity to profess his undying love for Annie after all, because apparently he’s over her too. Remember those early days of this season when Annie was actually not awful? You can’t do that to me, Covert Affairs. You can’t take a show that I had comfortably classified as “mediocre, but tolerable” and ramp it up to the point that I actually genuinely looked forward to tuning in each week, just to snatch all of that awesomeness away and leave me with the unsatisfying remains. It’s rude, man. RUDE.

So, Auggie returned to Iraq as a battle buddy to a dude named Downey who was having a hard time adjusting to civilian life and carrying a lot of guilt over the nature of his Purple Heart commendation. He was awarded his medal two years after the fact because the criteria for what constituted a recipient were altered to include concussion victims. The award didn’t sit quite right with him because he felt that a concussion paled in comparison to the sacrifices made by guys like Auggie, with a permanent injury like blindness, or his lieutenant, who died while dragging him to safety. Downey and Auggie’s straightforward story was a welcome break from Annie and Eyal’s increasingly awkward adventures in international espionage. In the end, Auggie’s story about his own difficulties with adjusting to life after Iraq, as well as his alternate take on what the Purple Heart truly represents, broke through to Downey and appeared to improve his stateside prospects—a welcome victory in a second-half of a season that has been mostly full of losses.

While Auggie was abroad, Annie herself skipped off to Luxembourg when a report came in that Khalid’s ladyfriend, Megan, had turned up dead with a possibly important flashdrive on her person. When the whole thing we found to be a trap meant to lure Annie away from the safety of Langley, we learned that Auggie is the only tech who doesn’t completely suck at his job. I mean, really, lady. Annie just said she’s getting shot at and your answer is, “I’ll call you back?”

But it’s a small world after all, and Eyal just so happened to be in the neighborhood (how convenient) to step in and do that CIA tech’s job for her, orchestrating an escape for Annie over the phone. Huzzah.

Fresh off ditching Mossad, Eyal was flying solo and observing Khalid on his own because I guess Mossad would just be totally cool with some irate dude who's chin-deep in national secrets up and quitting his job. With all of his bank accounts frozen, Khalid was forced to transfer money to finance his hiding the old-fashioned way: by employing couriers to actually physically ferry money around. Armed with the courier’s routines memorized, Eyal pinned down the transfer to an exclusive club with a hefty admission fee. Calling Mossad for a loan wasn’t an option, so Annie called Joan, who was more than willing to assist once she had the whole story. See Annie? Isn’t teamwork magical? Or something?

Annie and Eyal were almost immediately recognized in the club that was, quite literally, crawling with Khalid’s allies, but they made a quick escape and Annie even managed to stick a tracker on not-dead-but-definitely-delusional Megan once she was revealed to be Khalid’s righthand lady... for all of ten minutes before one of his lackeys wasted her in the parking lot. I hate siding with Annie on, well, anything, but she totally told you so.

However, Annie and Eyal's clean getaway wasn’t so clean, and Khalid’s people tracked them to their safe house. Eyal stuck himself with a tracker and let Khalid’s men take him hostage while Annie did her kicked-puppy routine. There was the Annie Walker we’re accustomed to dealing with. Yawn.

Or maybe not. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just grasping at the last strands of awesome that remain from Annie’s odd sojourn into being a competent spy, but that last scene with Eyal’s tracker jammed in the cell phone that was left for Annie to find kind of sort of made me excited for next week, which is only appropriate since it’s the season finale.

Spy Notes

– Please don’t kill Eyal. Please don’t kill Eyal. Please don’t kill Eyal.

– Henry Wilcox claimed to have had a hand in orchestrating that botched drone strike a few weeks ago and promised Arthur that it wasn’t a bad strike, time will tell, and he’s trying to be a good guy and emulate his late son. So far all evidence points to Wilcox telling the truth, with the investigation into Arthur’s handling of the strike suddenly being called off. What do you think?

– Please don’t kill Eyal. Please don’t kill Eyal. Please don’t kill Eyal.

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