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Covert Affairs 1

'Covert Affairs' recap: There's no 'i' in 'team,' but there is one in 'Annie'

Season 5 | Episode 2 | “False Skorpion” | Aired July 1, 2014

When we last left Annie, she was determined to find Borz, the guy who convinced his sister to implant a bomb in his brother’s belly in order to blow up 12 people in a secret Chicago branch of the CIA. I fully support her mission to find this jackwagon.

We see Borz get off a bus with a backpack, accompanied by menacing music. He burns a passport and a wallet in a corner trash-can fire and stealthily moves through a crowd at an undisclosed location.

Annie is busy poring over files and evidence, and all I can do is wonder: Why is a punching bag is hanging in her kitchen? This girl has come a long way from the days of living in her sister’s garage apartment. Does her sister know she’s alive, by the way? Details.

Auggie calls and tells her that the Mexican police found a dead body, and Borz was later seen boarding a plane using the victim’s ID. Within an hour Annie is bound for Maracaibo, Venezuela. According to Joan, this is not ideal, but it’s better than Cuba, North Korea or Iran. Spotting silver linings is her strong suit.

Annie struts down the street of Maracaibo as if she owns the place, and marches right up to a man in a fedora. She asks if she is anywhere near the Teatro Baralt, and Fedora looks her up and down before allowing her inside. I’m not sure what all this means, but it’s definitely covert.

Fedora tells Annie that his produce guy saw an unfamiliar face at the mosque that morning. I should be rolling my eyes, annoyed by the convenience that the unfamiliar face will more than likely belong to Borz, but I found myself fantasizing about how great it would be to have my own produce guy! I’d probably drink more smoothies.

Annie enters the mosque, peeks in at some men praying and then notices a girl picking up a single plate from the outside of a door. Apparently this situation has “fishy” written all over it. She takes her chunky gun from her bag, slowly opens the door and finds McQuaid standing there looking angry. Of course, his anger was hot because he was wearing his sunglasses. Exasperated, he commands that she put her gun down so they can have a civilized conversation. She refuses, and then two red dots appear on her chest. Time to play nice, Annie.

McQuaid’s bodyguards stand down just as the Imam reprimands the vigilantes for carrying guns in the mosque. The men talk it out while Annie stays with the daughter (the plate remover), who is obviously covering for Borz: “Asha is a nice name. What can you tell me about the man who stayed here last night?”

Smooth segues are so last season. They are all kicked out within minutes.

McQuaid asks Annie if she wants to work together to find Borz. All he needs is an hour with his former employee and then he’ll turn Borz over to Langley. Frick and Frack bring the black SUV around just as Annie is saying thanks but no thanks to McQuaid. She can find Borz on her own and doesn’t need two bodyguards and a driver to help her.

Then she puts her phone in McQuaid’s luggage so Auggie can trace their every move.

Annie buys another phone on the side of the road (ah, technology) and calls Auggie to trace where McQuaid is headed. He leads her to a colorful plaza, where she begins to case the joint. Covertly, of course.

Meanwhile, Calder asks Joan to ask Arthur how McQuaid knew about Chicago and why he’s currently one step ahead of Annie? Arthur is suited up and ready to tackle his first day, but he’s visibly frustrated when he gets the call (and preemptive apology) from his wife, asking why McQuaid is in Venezuela. Arthur is not irritated by his wife’s questioning. He’s more concerned that his boss told him he had business in Brussels. Curious. He spends the day bored, staring at a stuffed teddy bear, eating bonbons from a welcome gift basket and staring at the screensavers of McQuain on a shooting range. Fun times.

Back at the plaza, Annie spies Borz with some unknown guy who escorts him down a street. There’s an exchange of a duffle bag, and the unknown guy turns and raises a gun to shoot Borz. McQuaid kills him dead and then shoots Borz in the leg before Annie can bat an eyelash. Borz takes off, dragging his leg as Annie and McQuaid follow. It’s too bad a colorful parade of Venezuelan street dancers prevented them from catching the man who was just shot and is probably bleeding out around the corner.

Annie: Why did you shoot him?
McQuaid: How many times do I have to explain myself? If I wanted to kill him, he’d be dead. I’m that good of a shot.
Lincee: Yeah. Just look at the screensavers.

Annie leaves McQueen so she can try to identify their one dead lead. She shoves her way through the crowd of people who have gathered around the body, locates his passport and memorizes the name and number just as the police arrive. Before they catch up with her, she manages to ditch her chunky gun in a hole in the sidewalk.

While Annie is being handcuffed with all the other street riffraff who witnessed the shooting, including McQuaid, Auggie is being questioned by the National Counterterrorism Center representative Hayley Price (Amy Jo Johnson). Hayley wants to know why Annie wasn’t in the building when the bomb went off in Chicago. Could she have known something? Auggie tells her that if she had any authority, she would know what an asset Annie Walker is to the CIA. Hayley pushes right back and tells him that she is “Yankee White Category One” clearance (somebody tell me that’s a real thing), and he should get off his high horse and help her get some questions answered for the Director of National Intelligence. Her job is just as important as his.

I’m Team Annie, but I’m also a Team Felicity alum! GO HAYLEY!


McQuaid uses the time he and Annie are handcuffed wisely. He tries to recruit her to work for him, promising that she will be appreciated, full of patriotism and also rolling in the dough. Annie answers with a big fat “NO!” just as Frick (or was it Frack?) walks up with a police officer, releasing McQuaid from his shackles.

There are many perks to rolling in it.

McQuaid leaves Annie on the sidewalk. You’re either with him or you’re against him. She’s made her choice. He walks out of the shot and walks back in a few seconds later, smiling. He throws her phone down a drain.

Someone in the bowels of this Venezuelan plaza is going to score tonight!

There’s someone else who wants to score too. It’s McQuaid’s right-hand man, who just happens to be a woman. Caitlyn Cook (Perrey Reeves) is getting a little too close to Arthur for my taste. She wants to go over “variables” with Arthur concerning McQuaid’s mission, and she thinks they should strategize over dinner in her office because she has peons who bring her food whenever she wants. COO problems, am I right?

Annie finally gets out of her handcuffs by posing as her passport’s alter ego, Andrea Quinn. She tells the police that she is in the country for plastic surgery because Venezuelan doctors are way better at breast implants than Canadian doctors, eh? She giggles at the officer, who tells her she is beautiful, small boobs and all, before asking him if he’s seen her medicine. He hasn’t.

Ten bucks says that the medicine was shoved down a sewage drain too. It’s called committing to the theme.

Annie quickly makes her way back to her car, breathing heavily, where she calls Auggie, who looks up the Latvian man who was killed by McQuaid. She also asks Auggie to cyber-stalk the Imam’s daughter Asha. Within seconds Auggie has learned that Asha recently Googled “gunshot wound” and then clicked on a pharmacy nearby.

The 19-year-old is easily tracked down purchasing supplies from the pharmacy. Asha makes her way through a crowd, suddenly stops and then walks the opposite direction when she notices two of McQuaid’s sweaty bodyguards. They follow her and Annie follows them.

The Muslim girl is able to shake the two bad guys. I was convinced that Asha had a future in covert affairs when she ran right into Annie. She convinces Asha that the girl needs to take her to where Borz is hiding out. Asha obliges and directs the American woman with the fake Canadian accent to a shady part of town.

Annie arms herself with a tire iron. According to Asha, Borz is alone and unarmed. Annie tells her young friend to get home, stay in school and make better choices.

Annie crouches below the window of the hideout, watching as Borz digs a bullet out of his own leg. Suddenly, he sees Annie and begins running for his life as she chases him through the barrio. It takes way too long for a man with a broken leg to nearly outrun Annie, but she finally catches up and nails him in the head with the tire iron, knocking him out; of course, she almost has a heart attack doing so. Good thing McQuaid and Frick show up to save her.

She wakes up on a bed near a doctor, McQuaid and Borz in the other room. She tells the doctor that she has a heart condition and she lost her nitrate medication. Annie calls Auggie to tell him that she got Borz, but McQuaid is bringing him in. Auggie congratulates her. She thanks him by hanging up and crying on a balcony.

Covert Affairs

Covert Affairs

Later Auggie buys a woman a drink at the bar. Turns out that woman is Counterterrorism Hayley. Two tequila shots later and they are slamming each other against walls. Auggie’s excuse was that he can’t see where her walls are located. Her excuse is that she likes to be in control. Mind the abs, Hayley. Mind the abs.

Borz is stuffed in a trunk for the five-hour ride across the border. Annie is skittish when McQuaid tells her that he’s surprised Langley sent her to Venezuela in her condition. She confesses that Langley doesn’t know about her condition. He smiles and tells her that everyone is entitled to a secret or two.

I think I’m going to like getting to know McQuaid’s secrets this season. Bring ‘em on! Here’s hoping he’s wearing sunglasses when he tells them.

Covert Affairs, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on USA Network.

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