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Hummingbird Delivers the Unexpected: Covert Affairs ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’ Review

By on September 4, 2013
Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

A lonely bed too big for one. An irrepressible urge to contact codename Mingus, the best friend-turned lover-turned ex. A familiar knock at the door. Later, a ransacked apartment and ‘Helen was wrong,’ but first, an off-book assignment to bind them all.

Covert Affairs’ ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’ seamlessly brings Auggie and a puppy dog-eyed Annie back together after last week’s gut-wrenching break-up. Voila! And thank goodness. You guys had us worried for a minute. Can it really be that easy? This episode makes it look like it, doesn’t it?

Despite Annie’s initial concern about the fallout of coitus interruptus on their working relationship, Auggie and Annie immediately do what they do best: start their next mission. During an awkward moment of retracted impulsiveness, Annie congratulates Auggie on the successful completion of his Hummingbird application; a tool that can see through walls, integrate with facial recognition, and track anyone anywhere—overcoming even the impenetrable UK firewalls that the CIA could never bypass in the past.

During an off-book mission last week (everything seems to be off book these days, they must have a lot of vacation time accrued) Auggie and the Techies, powered by pizza and relationship advice from Barber’s corner, uncovered ALC terrorist Eduardo Vargas (Juan Riedinger) meeting with Henry Wilcox (Itzin) in the jungle. Also, despite Annie and Helen/Teresa’s attempts last week, the five missile launchers remain missing. Eduardo Vargas is now being detained by the CIA at the Lost River security compound and has refused to speak despite weeks of interrogation.

This reviewer has a soft spot for Eric ‘You Had Me At Pizza’ Barber (Dylan Taylor). Always good for some geeky comic relief, he had some of the best lines last episode. However, one has to wonder if he’s in Henry’s pocket. He’s in the perfect position, being up to his elbows in CIA techie stuff. Is there anyone out there who trusts Henry further than they can throw him? As Henry is wont to say, with enough money and the right motivation, anyone can be convinced to do anything. Is Barber a Brutus? Time will tell.

Auggie suggests a strategy to use Hummingbird to locate Teo Braga (Manolo Cardona) in Edinburgh and elicit his help in getting his tight-lipped ALC brother-in-arms, Eduardo, to talk about Henry Wilcox and the ghosted missile launchers. Teo will pretend to be a fellow prisoner thrown together with Eduardo who will recognize him and hopefully spill the poo-scented jelly beans. Easy enough, right? Hm.

Annie and Auggie find Teo, but he’s resistant. Annie intuits his anger and pain when she tells him Arthur wants to see him. Teo scoffs, stating that Arthur paid Teo off to sate his own guilt. Annie reminds Teo that he’s part of a team, and hooks Teo with the revelation that Eduardo negotiated with Henry Wilcox for those Missiles. Teo insists his brother would never have negotiated with Henry without telling him, so he agrees to help.

Pictured: (l-r) Peter Gallagher as Arthur Campbell, Manolo Cardona as Teo Braga, Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

Pictured: (l-r) Peter Gallagher as Arthur Campbell, Manolo Cardona as Teo Braga, Piper Perabo as Annie Walker — (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

Back at the office, Calder Michaels (Harper) smells malfeasance and wants to open an official investigation into Annie’s activities. Joan shuts him down, removing Annie from Calder’s purview. Sir Calder Michaels will not be deterred, however, vowing to ‘focus on Teo Braga’ as a strategy to continue his snipe hunt for the pelt of Annie Walker. In a classic back-door maneuver, Calder attempts to smooth talk a female colleague at the CIA Station in Bogata to learn where Eduardo is being detained, assuming that Eduardo will lead to Braga—and Braga to Annie.  Now, why does Calder have a bee in his sphincter about Annie? Is it because his misogynistic fantasy of himself as cowboy on a white unicorn can’t tolerate an intelligent, self-sufficient Barbie who can get the job done just fine without him? Or, once again, is it because he’s in bed with Henry, and Annie is Henry’s main target? Or, is he the quintessential good guy who sees Annie and Auggie’s activities for exactly how they appear—suspicious, rogue, and possibly terroristic. Calder is a political animal—uncovering malfeasance would be a major plume in his tan galán hat. Something to think about, but I smell a rat.

And—we’re back to the mission. Annie and Teo meet with Arthur at the Jefferson National Forrest in Millboro, VA. Arthur convincingly (IMHO) expresses his genuine regrets and his desire to protect Teo. An emotional yet restrained Teo rebuffs Arthurs attempts to connect. In a glossy-eyed, tortured entreaty laced with barely concealed anguish, Teo admits that he wants the impossible: for everything to be different than it is. Teo later confesses to Annie that the reason he infiltrated the ALC was to find out what happened to his mother. In all of antiquity, nothing has the power to pull at the heartstrings like the loneliness of an orphan. Inside, that is exactly what Teo is—and we want good things for him, despite is rough exterior. Wait—has Annie asked him about why he killed those two guys in Vienna yet?

The night before the mission goes into full swing, Teo and Annie talk frankly. ‘For people like us, there are always going to be things we can’t share,’ she tells Teo. Annie seems to have finally surrendered to this reality and now understands that secrets and love can’t be mutually exclusive if she is ever going to have any semblance of romance in her life, especially in regard to Auggie. Teo contributes by explaining the confusing impact of deep cover. Specifically, how one’s allegiances can become skewed by interdependencies born out of the necessities of that life. This felt like a message to Annie, something about not giving Auggie’s relationship with Helen more weight than it deserves. We also see the tender-hearted side of Teo when he admits that he wishes he could save his ALC brothers despite what they have done. Awwww, honor among murderers, how ironic is that! (Too much sarcasm?) You see, deep down we’re all just people who need love. (Sorry, can’t help it!)

Of note is the fantastic scene where Teo insists Annie must give him a shiner so his cover as a battered prisoner will appear authentic. Annie demurs, but after a wallop to the mouth, she uses Henry Wilcox as her inspiration and decks Teo with a right hook to the left eye, nearly knocking him out. It was impressive. That is all.

Annie picks Eduardo up from Lost River security compound, sliding out like a greased pig through the eye of a needle just as Calder flies in on Pegasus to demand an audience with Eduardo. When he learns Eduardo’d been transferred five seconds earlier, what did he do about it? No one knows. Couldn’t he have commandeered a vehicle and chased after Annie and her illicit cargo? That would have been the judicious thing to do, right? Well, we learn that Annie is being followed, but it’s not by Calder.

Pictured: Manolo Cardona as Teo Braga -- (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

Pictured: Manolo Cardona as Teo Braga — (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network)

With Teo and Eduardo shackled inside the back of a grey milk van, a lone gunman (Aiden Devine, Rookie Blue) in hot pursuit knock them off the road, rolling them into the woods below. Before the crash, Eduardo tells Teo that Henry Wilcox secretly funded those five missiles with an eye toward blowing up the US embassy in Bogata. Listening in on the conversation, Annie is able to text this to Joan who then notifies the embassy.

Before realizing that Teo is a traitor to the ALC and is working for the CIA, Eduardo also reveals that Henry bank-rolled some of the ALC’s best missions including bombings of Suba, San Gil, and Plaza Turbaco, where Teo’s mother was killed. Now, we know that Teo’s mother was killed when he was very young. The natural conclusion is that Eduardo is referring to a bombing of Plaza Turbaco three decades ago, which implies that a) Henry caused Teo’s mother’s death, and b) Henry and the ALC go waaaaaaay back. Ya-wowsa. Shit just got real.

Okay—truck is on its side leaking gas. Annie unlocks Teo’s shackles and tosses hims the keys to release Eduardo while the unnamed gunman (WTF is Calder doing at this point?! Shouldn’t he be right behind them?) shoots at the gas tank. Eduardo kicks Teo and refuses to escape the doomed truck with a ‘traitor,’ and goes up in a ball of flames along with the truck. Whew.

Teo takes off after admitting he wants to put a bullet in Henry’s head. Annie objects, saying Teo would them become the terrorist Henry wants him to be. Teo disappears; Annie is extracted before Calder appears n the scene. Wait—maybe Calder and the gunman are BOTH on Henry’s payroll? Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

Back at home, Annie’s apartment is ransacked and she runs to warn Auggie about Calder who’s probably on his way to ransack B7. This is when Auggie says Helen was wrong and is met with a big juicy kiss before Annie runs off, the echoes of Calder banging on Auggie’s door ringing in her ears.

Calder extracts a loud proud admission of Auggie and Annie’s romantic relationship from Auggie, citing that as cause to investigate. Calder’s men find Auggie’s safe and the water-logged flash drive containing Henry’s damning photos of himself doing who-knows-what out in the forest. Shit just got more real.

Next Week’s Covert Affairs episode is ‘Hangwire.’ A stunning revelation catapults Annie to Copenhagen where she must stop Teo from committing a terrible act. Auggie discovers where Calder’s allegiances lie and Arthur enlists Bianca Manning, DC’s top defense lawyer, to help save the Campbell name.

Catch the action Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9PM ET on USA Network.