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Covert Affairs

'Covert Affairs' recap: We’re in this together

Season 5 | Episode 10 | “Sensitive Euro Man” | Aired Aug 26, 2014

How do you know an episode is good? Easy. There’s a death, a passionate kiss and something blows up, causing everything to be shot in slow motion. Add in a hot guy who wears the hell out of sunglasses and a knockout blonde in Christian Louboutins, and you have one epic summer finale.

McQuaid is on the run with nothing but a backpack, a wad of cash and his square jaw to his name. The CIA has frozen his accounts and is waiting on bated breath for him to reach out through some form of communication. Langley has stormed McQuaid Security headquarters, seizing computers, files, donuts and boxes of paperclips. Everyone is being interrogated, including Annie Walker. She assures anyone who asks, even Arthur, that she will not put herself at risk by aligning with McQuaid should he reach out to her.

Annie and Arthur watch the flurry of activity around them. Annie surprised at how well Caitlyn seems to be handling the chaos. Arthur thinks differently: It was Caitlyn who invited the CIA to ransack the place in exchange for keeping this ordeal under wraps. McQuaid Security is losing a lot of government business thanks to their fearless leader’s alleged Chicago bombing. Caitlyn calls this damage control. Annie calls it BS.

She runs into Barber (Auggie’s techy sidekick) who asks her for a favor. Due to Caitlyn’s harsh exterior, he is slightly terrified to ask for her laptop. Annie offers to grab it from Caitlyn’s office. When she handles the power cord, Caitlyn’s desk drawer pops open revealing McQuaid’s personal laptop. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes: The unlocked bottom drawer of your public office is the perfect place to hide a stolen computer from Langley. They’d never think to look there.

Caitlyn busts through the glass door to her office and is confused by Annie’s presence. Annie tells the truth about why she is borrowing Caitlyn’s computer. Then she asks if Caitlyn has seen McQuaid’s computer? Caitlyn becomes snippy. No she hasn’t seen McQuaid’s computer! Why would she know where it is? If this had been Barber standing in front of her, I’m quite confident she would have unhinged her jaw and swallowed him.

Annie drops the computer off with Barber. A McQuaid admin calls Annie by the name of “Walker” and hands her a bouquet of flowers. The card reads, “Remember our day in the National Arboretum? I wish we were there now.”

For a hot second I was concerned that I had missed a previous episode. I didn’t remember Annie fighting off bad guys among fragrant gladiolas and blooming violets. Was I missing something?

Of course. This is McQuaid’s way of secretly reaching out. How in the world is she going to find him in 412 acres of horticulture? Should she start in the garden? Or the woods? This could take forever and he…is…standing…right…there. Crisis averted. That was close.

Unfortunately for Auggie, there’s no way to avoid his crisis because her name is Counterterrorist Hayley, and she’s sharing a desk with Auggie to help the CIA comb through all the McQuaid Security evidence. Hello incredibly awkward moment! Make yourself at home.

Back at the National Arboretum, McQuaid asks Annie for her phone. She hands it over and he throws it on the ground before smashing it to bits with the heel of his boot. He begins chatting nervously about his wings being clipped, how he doesn’t have money and the fact that he doesn’t want to drag Annie into this mess, but she’s the only lifeline he has in the world.

Annie: I’m in.

Relief swept across McQuaid’s face. They walk down the path working through the list of people who could have framed McQuaid. This takes all of two seconds, because they both know Caitlyn is the likely candidate. McQuaid is frustrated. Caitlyn has never given him a reason to distrust her, plus she called to meet him and help figure out next steps. Annie offers a new perspective: Caitlyn invited the CIA into McQuaid Securities, then kept his laptop hidden. McQuaid decides to keep the meeting, but he moves the location so Annie can keep an eye on him.

Across town, Calder approaches Joan at her desk asking if she knows anyone in the Russian Embassy? Joan knows everyone (I loved that line). Calder wants to pursue the lead that Roger gave before he passed away. Joan arranges to meet her contact, but is stood up. An undeterred Joan stalks the Russian Embassy and learns that they are on major lockdown. Something is not right. Calder wants to send someone in who can gather intel. And he knows just the call girl for the job.

Speaking of girls for the job, Auggie is irritated with Hayley when he makes her leave his office so she can take a private call. Hayley’s lackey tracked Annie Walker’s phone into the Arboretum, but then the signal vanished. Hayley orders all the security footage and hangs up the phone. Auggie barges in, furious with Hayley for thinking Annie is in cahoots with McQuaid. Hayley bites back: She knows Annie is sleeping with McQuaid and is keeping secrets from everyone, including Auggie.

Excuse me, Counterterrorist. They are not sleeping together. We’ve had one very quick kiss and that is it. Trust me. I would know!

Annie is watching McQuaid through the scope of a sniper riffle. He’s sitting in a neighborhood square, waiting for Caitlyn. He’s having trouble coping with the reality unfolding around him. It feels like they are testing Caitlyn. She was there for him when his wife died of cancer. Caitlyn never let that destroy him.

Before Annie can melt into this vulnerable side of McQuaid, Caitlyn shows up with a chartreuse plastic bag. The color was opposite of covert. Caitlyn snaps at McQuaid for changing the location last minute. Doesn’t he trust her? McQuaid tells her it’s a luxury he can’t afford before asking what’s in the glaringly bright bag? It’s his computer. She figured he needed his contacts. McQuaid’s face falls.

McQuaid meets Annie in her sniper perch high above the square. Just as I’m screaming, “Get rid of the computer dude!” McQuaid pulls out a Swiss Army knife and uses the tiny screwdriver to take apart the computer. He pulls back when he sees the GPS device. Caitlyn is the official villain of season five. We are all so smart. Our invitations to the Farm are obviously in the mail.

Annie drives McQuaid to a nice split-level home in the suburbs. She pulls into the garage and follows a subdued McQuaid into the kitchen. He opens a fake refrigerator door and walks straight into a secret gun safe where he keeps the good whiskey. He offers her a drink, slams his own, screams obscenities and begins smashing things as he makes his way down the hall.

Annie: Look. If you need to lose your sh!t for a second, then go ahead and do it. Then I need you to focus, because we are in this together.

She turns the corner. McQuaid is staring at her. There’s a palpable tension. There’s an evident passion. There’s the opening riff of a wailing electric guitar, and that’s all she wrote. They meet in the middle to cope with the stress of the last 48 hours by ripping clothes and pulling hair. Hayley’s presumption that Annie and McQuaid are sleeping together is officially a true statement. I could have done without the camera filming through blurry paned glass, but I’ll give them props for artistry.

Covert AffairsIn a world where supernatural teenagers rule the small screen, I appreciate the fact that McQuaid has a hairy chest. I know I am not alone in this assessment. Can I get an amen?

While Annie and McQuaid are taking things to another level (from vertical to horizontal), Caitlyn and Arthur are trying to convince their clients to not transfer their business elsewhere. An adamant PR guy is confident that his people will not budge. Suddenly, a European dream walks in the door introducing himself as Mr. Belenko (Shawn Doyle). He is a Georgian diplomat who is known for his charitable work worldwide. He convinces the PR guy to trust McQuaid Securities. The PR guy immediately concedes. Clearly Belenko is powerful. He would probably be annoyed that when I hear his name, all I can think about is that Price Is Right game Plinko.

McQuaid and Annie are in post-coital bliss. He thanks her for believing him, pulls out the computer and turns it on. It’s time to send a message to Caitlyn. They get dressed and head to the refrigerator gun safe to stock up on weapons. The couple who packs heat together stays together. I think I saw that on a poster in my therapist’s office once.

McQuaid: Ready?
Annie: Always.

A band of bad guys walk right through the front door into complete darkness. Our dynamic duo easily take them down with an assist from a couple of pairs of night-vision goggles. McQuaid digs through the pockets and bags of the thugs and discovers a map of the same hotel in which all the diplomats and military VIPs who will be signing a treaty are staying. They were about to plant evidence on McQuaid for another bomb. A bomb that has yet to detonate.

Annie warns Auggie to evacuate the hotel. Even though he sends in a team, he is not happy with Annie’s decisions lately. A bellman knocks on one of the hotel doors and Caitlyn answers. He informs her that the hotel is being evacuated. She turns and looks into the eyes of Belenko.

Oh, this just keeps getting better.

Meanwhile, Hayley gets a call from her lackey. He has found a discarded cell phone in the Arboretum and it has tested positive for Annie Walker and Ryan McQuaid’s fingerprints.

Really, McQuaid? For a spy who carries around a Swiss Army knife and passports from three different countries, you’d think you’d know to pick up the remnants of the cell phone you destroyed. That’s weak.

Auggie meets Annie in an empty lot where garbage dumpsters go to die. She’s frantically filling him in on how Caitlyn is framing McQuaid and Auggie stops her. He is no longer going to stick his neck out for her. He’s not going to lie to the CIA anymore. His last favor is telling her that Hayley has put a warrant out for her arrest. Before leaving in a huff, he begs her to come clean.

McQuaid chooses a different route and faces his challenge head on. He follows Caitlyn into the women’s restroom of the hotel. He doesn’t see her grab a cell phone out of the trashcan. When he yells her name, she scolds him for scaring her. Then she shoots him square in the chest.


Annie is still in the dumpster graveyard, studying the blueprints pilfered from the bad guys. Suddenly she puts two and two together. The bomb is going to be in the motorcade of diplomats! Not the hotel! She turns to save the day and is greeted by Hayley’s gun and a command that she puts her hands on her head.

Annie: There’s a bomb on one of the vehicles in the motorcade. Shoot me or let me go.
Hayley: I’m driving.

Hayley and Annie speed to catch up with the motorcade. Hayley stops the first car, and Annie hops out screaming for everyone to get out of their vehicles. She yells a code to Arthur, signifying a bomb. He locates it and evacuates the car just before it’s blown to bits. During the chaos, Belenko puts a gun up to his driver’s head. The car races down the street. Annie hops up onto the hood of another car in the motorcade, takes a breath and shoots the front tire of the getaway car. It careens into a lamp post. When she arrives at the crash site, Belenko blames Caitlyn for shooting the driver. She apparently got away down a dark, dank alley.

It’s a good thing Annie Walker is wearing her combat boots instead of stilettos; of course, they didn’t really do her any good when Caitlyn knocks her over the head with a pipe. Annie looks up at Caitlyn. Caitlyn is focused on someone at the end of the alley and that someone shoots her in the stomach! She utters the name “Alec” and then Belenko shoots her in the head.


Annie rushes to Caitlyn’s side. For some reason she steals the necklace from around her neck. Should we be concerned that Annie likes to take things from dead bodies? This is a strange habit she is forming, but who cares? IS McQUAID ALIVE?!

Arthur tells Annie that Belenko is claiming he shot Caitlyn out of self defense. Annie isn’t buying it. She knows that Caitlyn was working with Belenko. She heard it in her voice. Cailtyn felt betrayed. Annie is angry when she learns he will be handed over to the Georgian Embassy. Arthur puts the conversation on pause to answer a phone call. He turns to Annie and tells her that McQuaid has been shot.

While Annie races to McQuaid’s side, Belenko is interviewed by new station crews.

Belenko: Today’s true travesty is that it has overshadowed the treaty that was put in place to keep this from happening. If anyone has any information about these unknown assailants, please come forward.

Before Belenko gets in his waiting car, he makes a call. He tells the receiver that the target was missed, and they need to accelerate the time table. He also mentions that Caitlyn is no longer available to help.

The fact that McQuaid is unconscious, but not dead is good news. The fact that Annie saw Belenko’s television interview as she sat by McQuaid’s broken body is even better news.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Especially one wearing Louboutins.


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