‘Covert Affairs’ 2.03 Recap: “Learning By Doing”

In last week’s episode of ‘Covert Affairs’, Annie got sent back to the Academy to finish her training. This doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, if you ask me. Sadly, this wasn’t (just) a reflection on her usual incompetence at being a spy, though perhaps it should have been.

Instead, ‘Bang and Blame’ sends Annie undercover as a cadet to dig up evidence on a firearms instructor named Roy who the CIA suspects of burning recruits by leaking their identities to terrorists. Because this mission needs to be very hush-hush (the CIA doesn’t want to admit that one of its own might have gone bad), Annie has to do this one off the books. If she gets burned, the Agency will disavow her, and that will be the end of her career.

Roy is an intense type, and a little creepy, but Annie can’t get a good read on whether he’s really the mole or not. It doesn’t take him too long to figure out that she’s investigating him and not a real student (again with Annie’s incompetence). He insists that he’s not a traitor and doesn’t appreciate the Agency treating him like one. His secretive schedule and mysterious trips off campus weren’t to pass intel, but rather to meet with his wife to see a fertility doctor. I don’t know how many fertility doctors see patients in the middle of the night, but Annie takes him at his word pretty quickly.

Roy suggests that one of the students might be the real mole. The obvious next red herring should be Annie’s by-the-books roommate, a competitive hard-ass who doesn’t like losing to Annie all the time. Strangely, this is only sort-of acknowledged and then forgotten when Annie stumbles upon the real answer. The mole was another recruit named Corey, who was popular with the other trainees for always sneaking in alcohol. His booze-running shenanigans were his cover for digging up information on the recruits and sneaking off to relay the information.

Annie chooses to confront Corey at a most inconvenient moment, when they’re the last two recruits on the plane during a skydiving lesson. They scuffle, and Corey tears her parachute with a knife. He tries to throw her off the plane, but she grabs him and they fall together. Annie knocks him out, grabs on tight, and uses his ‘chute to land them both safely. The stunt is pretty impressive for television, with only a minimum of obvious green-screen during the close-ups.

Back at the office, Arthur (Peter Gallagher) is still taking a beating from his scandal, of which we still haven’t gotten too many details other than that powerful people in Washington want to oust him. He gets some advice from his ex wife (Rena Sofer) that one of the bloviating Senators really just wants to be Arthur’s friend. Arthur agrees to go golfing with the guy, which seems to ease the pressure. His ex then kind of turns into a bitch at a restaurant by putting on a show in front of his current wife Joan about how they met (Arthur didn’t want Joan to know) and she’s so glad he took her advice. Meanwhile, Jai is unhappy with his role at the DPD and seems to be positioning himself to take Arthur’s job.

Things wrap up with Annie going on a date with a cute doctor she met at the beginning of the episode – because she learned how important it is that she doesn’t let her job be her whole life, or something. Unless the guy turns out to be an evil spy (which I suppose is possible), this storyline is rather boring.

Like the previous episode, ‘Bang and Blame’ is pretty solid summer fluff. It’s not the most exciting episode the show has ever had, but it’s reasonably well-plotted, has one good action scene, and is certainly a lot better than that lame season premiere. I’m still with the show… for now.

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