‘Covert Affairs’ 2.07 Recap: All About Auggie

After all the griping I do about the frequent mediocrity of ‘Covert Affairs’, you might ask why I bother to continue watching the show. It’s a fair question. Episodes like last week’s are the reason why. Every once in a while, the series still manages to surprise me.

The question now is whether ‘Half a World Away’ is such a good episode despite featuring little to none of Annie at all, or because of that.

This episode is a showcase for Auggie, who’s taking a vacation to attend an international jazz festival in Istanbul. Because he’s such a studmuffin, he picks up a sexy stewardess (Rebecca Mader from ‘Lost’) on the flight over. In a plot development reminiscent of ‘The Conversation’ or ‘Blow Out‘, Auggie records one of the musical performances at the festival and, upon playing it back, realizes that he’s also captured an important conversation between two people in the crowd. He recognizes one of the voices, and it’s the man who blinded him.

For the rest of the episode, Auggie enlists the help of the stewardess to act as his eyes as he tracks down the man. This is interspersed with flashbacks to his time in the military. We see the mission that resulted in the death of most of his squad-mates and the explosion that cost him his eyesight.

Annie’s only involvement this time is to help Auggie seek out the man’s sister, who lives in the U.S. and has been working as a manicurist. Doing so, she finds out that the FBI has already set up surveillance on the girl.

When Auggie discovers that the terrorist is planning to stow away on a cargo plane to America, Annie pleads with him to simply let the CIA redirect the flight to Washington so that the FBI can arrest him. Nonetheless, Auggie gets on the plane as well, seeking personal revenge. Although he gets the drop on the terrorist, ultimately Auggie refrains from killing him, and allows the FBI to take him into custody.

Not only does ‘Half a World Away’ have an interesting plot and some surprisingly rich character development, its real location shooting in Turkey adds a lot of exotic flavor, its flashback war-zone action scenes are elaborate and well-staged, and the final confrontation builds a considerable amount of suspense. If the last few episodes of the show seemed a little tepid, I suspect that the producers were saving up some money to lavish on this one. The results paid off. This may be the best episode I’ve seen of this show yet.

What’s going to happen next? Will the series scale back again and give us another bunch of underwhelming episodes? I guess we’ll find out shortly.

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