Postmortem: Covert Affairs 1×10 and 1×11

21 Sep

Again, sorry for the delay.  Classes have started for me now, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to keep up with TV-watching, studying, and blogging (listed in order of importance, obviously).  I’ll try, as a general rule, to get postmortems up within a week of their airing.  If it’s not up by then, I’m not writing about that episode.  This just barely qualifies.

I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed in myself.  I didn’t strike out completely, but the finale wasn’t quite what I expected.  Partly because I expected it to be a more epic actual two-parter, rather than two unrelated episodes stuck together, and partly because I keep expecting more from this show.  Looking back over my old predictions, one theme that keeps coming up is an expectation of a shadowy organization for the CIA to work against in an overarching theme.  Clearly this hasn’t happened yet.  And frankly, I’m shocked—a shadowy organization to provide a constant antagonist is the bread and butter of spy shows.  Surely we’ll get one eventually.  Maybe the Albion Group?  That name was placed too carefully to mean nothing.  I’m really surprised it didn’t come up in the finale.  Maybe that storyline had to be dropped with the lost episode because of Piper Perabo’s knee injury?  Or maybe it’s just shitty plotting.  Anyway.  Let’s see how I did:

Last week, I predicted that:

We’ll get a million more flashbacks of Annie in a bikini in Sri Lanka.  Tragically, we will not get any more shirtless Auggie.

I was right about no more shirtless Auggie (although that black sweater was nice and tight, thank you costume department), and we did get a bunch of Annie in Sri Lanka flashbacks.  As well as present-day Sri Lanka scenes, but she was more clothed there.

Liza will be in danger.  Not really sure about this, just a feeling I got.  I think she was trying to warn Auggie by bringing up the Albion Group, and they’ll retaliate this week.

Fine, I was wrong.  I do think she’ll be back next season, and that might culminate with Henry putting her in danger.

We’ll find out who the leak is.

I was right there.  As you’ll remember, I gave a lot of suggestions as to who it might be, including:

Henry

Because: he’s supposed to be intensely unlikeable, played by a name guest star, was introduced once then forgotten, and clearly doesn’t like Arthur.  He fits a lot of tropes, is what I’m saying.  Is almost definitely one of the 17.

But then again…: he no longer actually works there, so how’s he getting the intel?  Plus, it just seems kind of lazy, making the guy that we’re supposed to hate be the leak.

Lesson here:  never overestimate TV writers.  The easiest, laziest explanation is usually right.  I usually go wrong in giving shows too much credit.  I will try to be more cynical in the future.

My final prediction for the episode was this:

Ben is working for someone we’ve never seen before, who is the head of the Albion Group and the Big Bad of season 2.  The episode will end with Annie having to choose between going rogue with Ben or staying with the CIA.  Also, since it’s USA, someone will appear to die but will probably be fine next season.  Seriously, don’t worry, they won’t permanently kill off anyone we care about.  Except maybe Ben, or maaaaybe Henry.

Half right?  I was wrong about Annie ultimately having to choose between Ben and the CIA (although really, most of the episode was about her choosing who to trust), and obviously I was wrong about the introduction of a Big Bad.  But I was right about the death cliffhanger.  Since it’s Ben, the only character I thought they might kill off, I’d say odds are about even he’s still alive.  Does Eoin Bailey have anything else in the pipeline right now?

Of course, they’ve been building up to the finale for awhile now, so I have more predictions from previous posts, many of which did come true.  But first, to give the writers a bit of credit, they did rectify a complaint that I had in an earlier episode.  When Auggie first revealed that he was sleeping with Liza for intel, I complained that

I thought it would be far more interesting if he was sleeping with her because he actually liked her.  And why shouldn’t he?  They’ve made it clear that he doesn’t disagree with her politics, and she’s smart, ambitious, awesome at her job, and hot.  Why shouldn’t he want to tap that?

Turns out he did actually like her, for the reasons I stated, and the intel was just bonus.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that that proved a prediction correct, but I still feel validated.  If only because it makes me laugh at all the fangirls on the internet talking about how she’s “skanky” and evil for the past few weeks. (Also, fangirls:  calling a girl a slut because she’s having sex with a boy you like = feminism, ur doin it wrong.)

In predictions I both actually made and got right:

Jai and Ben Mercer used to be partners. Did you see that look they gave each other?  It would be better if they used to be lovers, but I doubt USA would go there.  (Although I’m sure it’s gonna crop up in many slashfics).

Yep, that happened.  The partners and the existence of slashfics.  I would still prefer it if they were former lovers.  Here’s an idea, writers:  Jai is truly only flirting with Annie for intel, because he’s gay.  That would kill the tiresome love triangle, provide a nice twist, humanize Jai further, AND give you more diversity in your cast.  You’ve already got a kick-ass lesbian on White Collar, why not give your other shows some LGBT character love?

Also, I predicted that

At one point, Danielle will attempt to surprise Annie at the Smithsonian, and be suspicious of the fact that she’s not there.

Technically she didn’t surprise her, but she did visit her and was suspicious.  Surely this is close enough.

And way back in the beginning, I predicted that

Annie’s ex-boyfriend (although really, actually brief fling. She keeps a scrapbook about a three-week stand?  Sad.) appears to be a bad guy, but is really a good guy.

True.  Albeit a good guy with crazy eyes.  Now she’s probably going to spend next season mourning over a guy she knew for three weeks.  Not to minimize her grieving process (but she’s a fiction character, so who gives a fuck), but that’s silly.  This whole storyline would have played much better if the writers had had them be together for longer.  It would have been possible—we’re supposed to believe that some agents maintain their covers for decades, so a year-long relationship while he was under deep cover would have worked just as well.

I’m a bit sad it’s over for the year, to be honest.  I’m not sure what my go-to blogging show will be for the fall (probably The Mentalist, but seeing as I still haven’t been bothered to watch last season’s finale, I’m not sure I’ll care.)  All the shows I’m planning on watching are either too oddly plotted to predict (Glee, where things happen just to fit musical numbers they want to use, and to a lesser extent How I Met Your Mother, which is now just inventing mystery because they’ve lasted way longer than they expected) or too brilliant (Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, although the latter may end up just being Deadwood in the future, or to us the less-distant past.  They even got in a “cocksucker!”).  I am sure I will be back with something at some point, however.

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