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Bad Ass Annie: Covert Affairs ‘Levitate Me’ Review

By on September 18, 2013
Pictured: Christopher Gorham as Auggie Anderson -- (Photo by: Steve Wilke/USA Network)

Pictured: Christopher Gorham as Auggie Anderson -- (Photo by: Steve Wilke/USA Network)

With ‘Levitate Me,’ Covert Affairs delivers the expected: the staged slaughter of Annie Walker at the hands of the man whose loyalties remain suspect despite his complicity in said ruse. However, as a result of his choices, the door has been cleverly flung wide open for Calder Michaels’ (Hill Harper). Regardless of his loyalties, he will be the most intriguing character for the remainder of the season. More on this in a moment.

The surprise of the hour was the welcome appearance of Mossad operative and trusted ally, Eyal Lavin (Oded Fehr), who spirited Annie’s cooling ‘corpse’ from the scene. Eyal revived her and provided her with a getaway care package and the Mossad file on Sana Wilcox (Wow!), and a Pesek-Zman, which is an Israeli Chocolate bar. Now this is a good man by anyone’s standards. The chocolate makes it so.

As each episode has emerged this season, viewers’ suspicions that Calder’s ‘trout in a barrel’ kill would be a fake-out solidified, rendering the main event anticlimactic—unless you were one of the CIA agents in the bullpen watching it in high-def. In that case, you are probably going to need some friendly pharmaceutical support and some quality time on Dr. Phil’s couch for a good long while. And, is it just me, or was it unprofessional and callous to have the takedown of a beloved operative—a take-down which had been green-lighted to become very bloody—broadcast out on the big screens for the whole company to watch? Come on, CIA! You’re not NASA, and this wasn’t the ‘Curiosity’ landing on Mars, folks. Show some respect!

Anticlimactic—that’s the bad news. But there is good news. With ‘Levitate Me,’ director Félix Enríquez Alcalá has given us a platform off of which a darker, bolder Annie Walker will emerge when Covert Affairs recommences on Thursday, October 17th. For the very first time, Annie is a alone. Labeled as a rogue CIA operative against whom a tactical approach is acceptable, is there any gun whose barrel she can trust not to deliver a fatal report? She does have allies, but their involvement could endanger their own careers and lives. How far will Annie’s accomplices go to aid her in her crusade against Henry ‘douche bag’ Wilcox (Gregory Itzin)?

Just as an aside, by October Annie will need a new alias—I cast my vote for the name  ‘Emma Peel,’ Dianna Rigg’s indomitable spy character from the ‘60s television series The Avengers. Annie and Peel have A LOT in common.

This is how ‘Levitate Me’s faux-coup went down: With Auggie’s support, fugitive Bad Ass Annie is still in Frankfurt, hell-bent on finding Henry’s ex wife and Jai’s mother, Sana Wilcox, with whom Henry clandestinely met  during his Frankfurt layover on the way to Copenhagen. Sana has something to do with the European futures exchange located at the Commerce Bank.

Arthur is detained for questioning at the Anacostia-Bolling Air Base Detention Center in DC where he awaits an audience with a blood-thirsty attorney general. Arthur makes a brief ‘Tale of Two Cities’ speech to Joan who then gets her fingers slapped by Senator ‘Payback is a Bitch’ Pierson who kicks her out of the CIA. Joan packs her office, passes out with preeclampsia, and is rushed to the hospital. By the way, it’s a boy and Arthur is delighted. He may get to be a daddy of a son after all. But, wait … there may still be an Easter in Teo’s future, this being the spy world and all.

Eric Braithwaite (Craig Eldridge) of NCS takes the helm and engages Henry under the auspices of Lexington Global Consulting. The fox is now in the henhouse—feathers will soon be flying all over the damn place! Auggie freaks, attacks Henry, and gets kicked out of the office.

Braithwaite sends Calder and a tactical team to Frankfurt to bring Annie back. Deric Hughes (Aidan Devine), one of Henry’s thugs, takes out one of Calder’s men; allowing the blame to fall on Annie who is then reclassified as rogue and therefore a target for deadly force.

Pictured: Hill Harper as Calder Michaels -- (Photo by: Steve Wilke/USA Network)

Pictured: Hill Harper as Calder Michaels — (Photo by: Steve Wilke/USA Network)

Annie tells Auggie she’s taking herself off the gameboard—it’s the only way to put a stop to Henry’s reign of lethal asininities. Auggie fears for her, but doesn’t seem to object too severely.

Annie calls Calder and they meet. Somehow, Annie fills in a recalcitrant Calder about Henry, and gains his complicity in faking her death—all in five minutes. The dirty deed goes down; the whole office watches on as Annie Walker is annihilated, then rolled out to the ambulance under a yellow tarp. Hughs checks Annie’s throat for a pulse, and, finding none approves her for transit in the ambulance, then (we assume) informs Henry … who announces, “It had to be done!” Major Douche.

Surprise! The ambulance driver is none other than Eyal Lavin, and you know what he did for Annie. Revived and somewhat stunned that it really worked, Annie comes to grips with the fact that things just got realer than they’ve ever been before and takes off. Auggie, having received a last minute call from Annie on his regular cell phone (so it can be heard by the CIA universe), acts surprised and devastated for the listeners’ benefit—but he doesn’t really seem that upset. He has faith in he and Annie, that’s why.

Back to Calder Michaels and his opportunities. Calder, all along the way, has been evasive about his loyalties. It is looking like his sole loyalty is to the Truth (and himself). He now holds some powerful cards. When Covert Affairs returns in October, we know that Annie will have Auggie, Joan, and Arthur on her side. The question will be, will she have Calder on her side? How could she not? He is now complicit in her faked death—so his glutes are on the line now. Armed and dangerous, we are about to see Calder open a can of wup-ass on Henry Wilcox’ regime, or, he’s going to screw Annie over so badly her own mother wouldn’t recognize her. Calder is a man who loves glory—my guess is he will go for an Olympic-sized coup to garner himself bronze status in the CIA world. This, I can’t wait to watch!

Tune in to USA on Thursday, October 17th, 9/8pm Central for the return of Covert Affairs.