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One Shot Dead, Others Dangling By A Thread in ‘Hang Wire’: Covert Affairs Review

By on September 11, 2013

Pictured: (l-r) Piper Perabo as Annie Walker, Gregory Itzin as Henry Wilcox -- (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

Buckle your seats, boys and girls.

It’s already a bumpy ride! As the clock ticks down toward next week’s final 43 minutes of Annie Walker’s last stand, Henry feints the Darth Vader card, Calder continues the Jedi Mind tricks, Teo waxes romantic with Annie (Perabo), Auggie calls Bullshit! on Calder ‘The Lone Ranger’ Michaels (Hill Harper), Arthur just wants to be a daddy again, and truth is still just a five-letter word.

And what about that ending? Our first clue should have been Annie’s optimistic assurances to Arthur. ‘I promise you Mary,’ cried Lincoln, ‘we’ll get it all straightened out after the play!’ Spoiler-abstaining viewers were reeling last night as Arthur received the dubious news of his estranged son’s demise from a gunshot wound to the head—I mean, to the heart—no, it was—a leg? What?! Ask to see the corpse, Arthur! Ask to see the corpse! Yes, we all know that significant loss of blood from anything but a natural orifice can be fatal (and even then …)—but Annie Walker lives in a James Bond world where even the most stalwart certainty disintegrates swiftly into mere motes in a shaft of moonlight. In the spy world, nobody’s dead till they are on the slab—and even then they can still pop up later, right Auggie?

The facts: A murderous mother-avenging Teo (Manolo Cardona) absconds to Copenhagen where Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) is attending an energy convention with his Solstar bedfellows and the US Undersecretary of Energy. Annie is in hot pursuit and subverts Teo’s attempts until she’s detained by the Danish Politi, then released to Henry for a joyless ride and a Come to Jesus tête-à-tête. For a moment, it appears he was going to come out with a Darthy revelation … Annie, I am your father! But no—Henry ‘Come to the Dark Side’ Wilcox waxes philosophical, asserting Annie’s fatal flaw is her failure to dispassionately see the whole chessboard. En fin, he reveals his master plot to destroy his nemesis, Arthur Campbell (Peter Gallagher), by implicating Teo in the abduction of the final missile launcher. As Annie watches in horror, Teo is TKO while Henry’s rooftop goon uses the missile in question to blow a helicopter full of ALC targets (Including the US Undersecretary) to smithereens. Check, and mate? Not so fast.

"Hangwire" Episode 409 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gregory Itzin as Henry Wilcox, Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

“Hangwire” Episode 409 — Pictured: (l-r) Gregory Itzin as Henry Wilcox, Piper Perabo as Annie Walker — (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

In classic Dr. Evil fashion, Henry releases Austin, er, Annie, moments before the explosion and she steals Teo away to the Schweinfurt Base in Germany where he’s rushed into surgery. Things are looking somewhat sunny for five seconds as Arthur gushes encouragingly over Teo, who then dies during surgery. He’s dead, Jim. Enquiring minds aren’t so sure, as alluded to above, so maybe we’ll see more of Manolo Cardona. (Yes, please!) This is the spy world, you know.

Annie disappears from Schweinfurt in search of Henry’s Frankfurter connection. Fade to black.

Meanwhile, back at the farm—Calder interrogates Auggie in a white-room borrowed from NCIS (DiNozzo?). Auggie calls Calder’s bluff (‘I call bullshit!’—Best line of the episode), and challenges Calder’s allegiances as well as his Jack Nicholson-y declaration that his only agenda is the truth. Calder spits back, ‘You should know me well enough by now to know who I am!’ Wha-huh? WTF? All we know about you, Calder Michaels, is that we have no idea who the hell you are! You have a lightening-fast, swanky gray convertible—Hi Ho Silver, Away!some really expensive shades, and a primo three piece in exactly the right thread count and shade of dark blue, but you’re leaving us wondering, Who was that masked man?

Eventually, Calder gains Auggie’s trust (?) by sharing Henry’s flashcard, which they then decipher together with Auggie’s magical decryption thingy. Auggie and Calder go to Joan with what they’ve learned, and Calder reveals that the server originally holding Henry’s incriminating pictures has been wiped completely clean. Joan tears Calder a new one, then dismisses him posthaste. Wait! Doesn’t the flash drive prove that Seth was in cahoots with Henry—in which case Annie’s kill was righteous—and that Henry is behind the bombings? Why aren’t Joan and Auggie jumping up and down with glee? Nope. This proves nothing.

Now, gentle reader, it is possible that Calder’s over-the-top portrayal is a deliberate ruse to lull us into the erroneous belief that Calder is a meanie—but the joke may be on us by this time next week.

In other news, Arthur engages a curvy panther of an attorney, Bianca Manning (Zuleikha Robinson, Homeland, Lost) of Sunnybrook Stables. His aim: to confess his sins and exonerate everyone else. Before he is able to, he rushes off to Germany to be with Teo.

HOLD THE PHONE! Back up the horses! Did Auggie just take off his shirt? Yes, yes. I think he did! Let us now observe a moment of silence while we savor that image. *Ouch* Is it me, or did it just get hot in here? Wait, the politi saw Teo escaping the bomb site in an easy-to-spot pale blue broadcloth button down shirt. Perhaps he should change his shirt as well. No such luck, ladies. I guess we’ll have to wait until his resurrection for that.  *crosses fingers*

So—is Calder a goodie, or a baddie? Is Teo Braga dead, or captured by some Hitler in cahoots with Henry? Does Calder really shoot Annie to death in the elevator in the next episode? How will Arthur handle Teo’s death—will he believe it? Vow to avenge it and go rogue until he does?

So many questions yet unanswered; only 43 minutes left. Tune in next week for ‘Levitate Me’, when all (?) our answers will be questioned … until after the hiatus!

Covert Affairs next Tuesday, September 17, on the USA Network at 9/8pm Central.

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