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'Covert Affairs' recap: Over the borderline

Season 5 | Episode 3 | “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence” | Aired July 8, 2014

The last place you want to be stuck schlepping an injured terrorist around is Venezuela. When this predicament is forced upon you, it’s best to stuff said terrorist in the trunk of a car and hope that you can pay your way across the border into Colombia.

Yeah. That sounds like a great plan!

McQuaid and his bodyguards are confident. Remember how money talks in Venezuela? Annie is guarded. Not only does she think that McQuaid’s flashy car screams, “We are up to no good!” but she also thinks the border patrol will definitely open the trunk of a rich car to steal what’s inside.

Her instincts were right. Instead of a border patrol policeman, a kid selling bottled water picks the lock, discovering gagged, bleeding Borz in the trunk. Everyone steps out of the car to apprehend the teenager and quickly jumps back in when he starts yelling for the police. In all the confusion, Annie takes the driver’s side to steer them all to safety. She drives backward, of course. And she also finds a convenient garage-like structure with a handy gate to hide the car behind.

That’s how covert people roll.

Clearly they are unable to cross the border now. It’s time to split up. Frick and Frack leave Annie, McQuaid and Borz. Annie wants to call Langley to locate a safe house. McQuaid reminds her that the super-secret Chicago office just blew up, and they should operate as if anything regarding the CIA is tainted until Langley can find the source of the breach. When this predicament is forced upon you, you open your backpack full of money and pay six months’ rent for a nice condo on the Upper East Side.

Safe house? Please.

Caitlyn and Arthur have to go in and have a little talk with Joan since McQuaid’s team botched the extraction. Joan makes it very clear that she will be in charge from now on and that she is sending a boat to bring everyone, including the terrorist, back to the U.S. Joan asks Caitlyn why McQuaid wanted to meet with Borz alone for an hour. Caitlyn claims that she has no idea. I believe that as much as I believe she’s not seducing Arthur with tight skirts and glasses of whiskey.

Back at the spring break house in Venezuela, McQuaid tries to get Annie to relax. The flask of liquid courage helps a lot and she’s just about to close her eyes when Borz begins to choke. McQuaid notes that it’s clearly internal bleeding. He needs a chest tube or he’s going to die. Give him a drinking straw and a Ziploc baggie so he can MacGyver this business!

Covert Affairs Episode 3I truly wrote that in my notes and was totally being sarcastic. Low and behold, McQuaid jerks the tubing system for water from his CamelBak, sterilizes it with the 100 proof vodka and instructs Annie to hold on to Borz. He slices just below the ribs and shoves the tube in; miraculously, Borz begins to breathe normally.

There should be a show called McQuaid’s Anatomy. I’d totally watch it.

This makeshift operation has only bought Borz a few hours. He needs a real doctor. McQuaid knows a guy.

Of course he does.

Annie warns him that every badge in Venezuela is looking for him. He admits he’s scared, but also reveals that that’s part of the fun! Then he flashes her an adorable smile and offers to buy her toothpaste and/or gum when he’s out. I heart McQuaid.

And apparently, Hayley, the counterterrorist, hearts Auggie. She finds him at the coffee stand and assures him that their little tryst will never happen again. Auggie agrees before announcing that the sex was pretty great. Let’s just file that under things your barista does not need to know.

Auggie heads back to his office just as Annie is calling to tell him that Borz is bleeding internally, and they can’t wait until dark to get out. She needs a chopper, and she needs it NOW. While Auggie works on that fun little task, Annie decides it’s time to interrogate Borz. She asks all the right questions, and he just grunts in pain.

Borz: Are you going to torture me?
Annie: You’re in enough pain.
Lincee: Yeah. Do you see that tube protruding from your belly? Whatever you do, don’t suck on it.

Annie takes a different tactic and offers him relief in the form of morphine in exchange for information. Still nothing. It isn’t until she lies, telling him that she wants to talk about Oksana, that Borz begins to crack. Naturally, McQuaid busts through the door warning her that the police are canvassing the neighborhood. They will be there any minute. McQuaid wants to fight their way out. Annie has other plans.

She answers the door with a towel wrapped around her naked body. The police push their way in, relentless with their questioning. One goes upstairs to check if anyone else is in the house. Just as he is about to pull back the shower curtain revealing McQuaid and Borz, his partner calls him downstairs. He has concluded that Annie is nothing but a junkie who came to Venezuela to score drugs (hello, morphine syringe).

Once they’ve left, Annie runs upstairs to tell McQuaid the coast is clear. He stands dripping wet in the shower, smiles at Annie and asks if he can borrow her towel. Annie rolls her eyes and leaves in a huff. I laughed, happy that my new TV crush has sense of humor.

McQuaid changes Borz into some dry clothes and gives Annie some alone time to hopefully break him. She mentions Oksana again, revealing that she’s with the CIA and is not in a very good place. Doesn’t he care that people are hurting her because of the information he has?

Of course, Oksana is six feet under thanks to Annie, but Borz doesn’t have to know that.

Borz exhales. He knows nothing other than a code name: The Postman.

Finally, a lead! Someone arrest Kevin Costner.

Borz dies moments later. Annie calls Auggie to tell him that the extraction is now for two, and he needs to find some intel on the Postman, other than the fact that he doesn’t work on Sundays.

Joan and Caitlyn rendezvous on a phone call, brainstorming ways to get Annie and McQuaid back on U.S. soil. Caitlyn suggests they return to square one and move them across the border into Colombia. Joan thinks this suggestion is laughable. Caitlyn retorts. She can make this happen in 20 minutes. All it takes is a phone call and a wire transfer. She knows a guy.

Of course she does.

Joan tells Auggie that he no longer needs to locate a lunatic helicopter pilot who will drop down in Venezuela to give a harsh blonde and a good-looking dude a ride. He tells her about the Postman, complains about the costs of stamps and asks Joan if he can outsource this problem to his friend Roger, who is former CIA. He’s an expert in black-market intelligence. Joan agrees.

Auggie heads over to Roger’s house. He doesn’t believe in phones or computers anymore, but agrees to help Auggie locate the Postman. He gives him the same phone that Zack Morris used in Saved By the Bell: The College Years and says he’ll call if he gets a lead.

Meanwhile, Annie and McQuaid are looking for a new set of wheels to steal. McQuaid is “allergic to cheap” and Annie is surprised when he unlocks a perfectly delectable Audi with an electronic skeleton key. You too could have this fancy gadget if you came and worked for McQuaid!

He drives for only a short while before pulling over in a small town so they can catch their next ride. It’s a party bus! Annie snorts, knowing that the open windows will not satisfy McQuaid’s need for air-conditioning and comfortable leather seats.

McQuaid: If I get there alive, I’m fine with being hot and sweaty.
Lincee: Yeah! Take your shirt off!

At the border, the party bus was not waved through as planned. A policeman spots the white dude in the middle and asks to go through his bag. He rifles through a bunch of cash, a few passports, a glock and some gum. You know, typical tourist stuff. McQuaid and Annie are asked to exit the bus and are immediately intercepted by another border worker, who looks in the bag and tells the first guy to split the money with him. He puts Annie and McQuaid back on the party bus.

Adios, Venezuela.

The word is out that Annie and McQuaid made it to Colombia. Caitlyn wants to celebrate with Arthur over a stiff drink. Boo. She offers to be there for him if he needs someone to talk to about life at McQuaid Security. Vomit.

Auggie gets a call from the special flip phone Roger gave him. He tells Auggie that he has some news for him and instructs Auggie to come by the next morning. When Roger leaves the convenience store pay phone, someone from the outside is photographing him. I have a feeling Roger is going to wind up sleeping with the fishes pretty soon.

Here are some other things you should know:

1. Calder is upset that his new job is just paperwork and meetings. He finds comfort in a call girl who knows various NFL facts. This storyline is B-O-R-I-N-G.

2. Hayley needed one more signature from Auggie. That’s code for “let’s make out again.” What will the barista overhear during tomorrow’s coffee run?

The end of the episode features Annie sitting at her apartment. She hears a knock at the door and finds a package from McQuaid Security. Inside is a brand-new chunky gun to replace the one she ditched in Venezuela.

Who needs flowers or diamonds? A firearm is the REAL way to a woman’s heart.

Weekly gratuitous sunglasses shot of McQuaid. You’re welcome.
Covert Affairs S5E3

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

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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