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The Poo Hits the Propeller: Covert Affairs “Here Comes Your Man” Review

By on August 14, 2013
Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

Uh … What the snap just happened?!

In Covert Affairs’ fifth episode, ‘Here Comes Your Man,’ the poo has hit the propeller, my friends, that’s what just happened! What, you say? How, you say? Well, buckle your seat belts, boys and girls, here’s how it all went down.

To begin the begin, ‘Here Comes Your Man’ immediately assaults us with Calder Michaels, double-barrels blazing, as he appears to shoot Annie as her elevator doors slide open. Not a manly act as his target was a tiger in a fishbowl. Then Calder (the real life delectable Hill Harper) appears to report to Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) that Annie is dead. Is this a fake-out? Is Calder a triple agent working for the CIA, but pretending to work for Henry by pretending to work for the CIA? Cuz … believe me, Annie looks dead, real dead.

Then, we’re whiplashed back six weeks: The swaggericious Calder Michaels rides into town, on a white unicorn he borrowed from President Obama, promising to save the free world, or at least the DPD. Now, Obama, he’s got the sack to do the job and no one suspects he’s a spy. But Calder? He has a big fat question mark hovering over his head and no one can tell what color flag runs up that pole.

Calder has already made some physical changes to the DPD office – though a viewer would be hard-pressed to notice without going back to a previous episode–so let’s just take their word for it. Calder, adopting his presidential affect, announces he’ll be shattering the old ways and establishing vertical communication with him being the direct line to, and from, everything. “I’m going to push us out of our comfort zone.” he says.” I will be fully evaluating the job efficiency of everyone. Some egos are going to get bruised. Comfort is not our goal.” Did anyone else hear the faint whisperings of:  “… with Liberty and Justice for All …” followed by a dubious gagging noise in the background?

Is Annie's Death Inevitable? Pictured: Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

Is Annie’s Death Inevitable? Pictured: Piper Perabo as Annie Walker — (Photo by: Tim Whitby/USA Network)

Okay, Sheriff Michaels, should we rouse the usual suspects and fiddle with their iPhone apps, or … no, it’s gonna be worse than that? *Sharp intake of breath* No! Don’t split up the new lovers! Hm. Well … guess what?

Citing emotional entanglements between handlers and agents as unsafe, Calder takes over as Annie’s handler from now forward and demands 100% radio silence between the two during her next mission as an importer-exporter sent to Vienna to parlay a business alliance with a Greek arms dealer out of Madrid named Dion Stavros. Stavros is played by England-born Simon Kassianides, a swarthy thespian with 31 titles under his belt and whose work ethic and directorial finesse have won him international recognition and sold out audiences in both Hollywood and abroad for Geezas, a film he directed and starred in. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing his deliciousness sparring further with Annie because … Tao Braga (Manola Cardona) Kills Him! What?! Yeah, and he smashes his super duper Auggie Bond cell phone on the floor and whispers, “I’m sorry Annie!” Is he a good guy or a bad guy? My head hurts! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Annie goes to Venice, makes contact with Stavros by slipping him one of his stolen belongings, a rare and priceless ruby-encrusted, imperial Fabergé Egg. She offers to sell him the remainder of the property which was confiscated from his home by the Spanish Intelligence several months previously, but her goal is to secure the contract to move a cache of 25 missile launchers.

Auggie learns that Stavros was one of Henry Wilcox’s assets back in the day and so Stavros most likely knows who Annie really is. Disregarding Calder’s orders, Auggie contacts Annie and recommends she abort. Annie tells him she can handle it … saying, ‘You’re not my handler, Auggie,’ which he surprisingly handles fairly well. Annie almost gets killed at the meet to exchange cash for Stavros’ property. She saves herself by dangling a cherished carrot in front of Stavros’ eyes. An item, she says, which is not among the delivered goods and will never be seen again if he kills her and dumps her in the Danube as he’s just threatened. That item? An original Paul Klee. What’s that? I had to look it up myself. Let’s just say his stuff is pretty good … and really expensive. When your start-up tech company reaps the benefits from your first IPO, you might want to check out the guy’s stuff.

Annie finally decides to abort but gets chased by Stavros’ thug, Günther (Murathan Muslu of Kuma fame) and cornered. Fortuitously, Auggie had sent Teo Braga to Annie’s aide, who shows up just in time to to assist Annie with Günther and stand in as her arms dealer, but then Braga annihilates both Stravos and Günther, abandoning Annie and absconding with five of the Slovenia-stolen missiles. Or didn’t he take those missiles? And if not, who did? Annie is stunned when she learns there were five missiles missing from the cache Stavros was going to sell her. What does this mean for Teo? If Stavros works for Henry Wilcox, was he trying to make Annie look bad or catch her in some lie?

Stateside once again, Annie receives a call from Henry who wants to discuss Seth Newman’s death, insinuating that he knows she had a hand in it. He quotes the translation of the opera she attended in Venice as ‘the woman who strayed’ in a veiled threat that she had better watch herself … or he’ll turn his forces against her … if he hasn’t already. Annie walks away, saying nothing.

As Henry walks away, however, he is followed by a woman in a short dark wig who remains in the shadows. This is the second time we’ve watched Wilcox be so obviously stalked. Either he bombed Evasive Maneuvers 101, or he wants to be seen, right? Past experience tells us he certainly didn’t intend to have Annie find out about his visits to Solstar … so being unaware of her tracking him through the subway and all the way to their offices was a big neglitude FUBAR of epic proportions on his part.

So, who is following him now? Give you a hint. Joan and Arthur have lunch. Joan informs Arthur that Henry was behind Calder Michaels’ appointment inside the DPD. Arthur sees the writing on the wall. “You have to do something about Calder. You Can’t just play defense. Find out what Henry’s doing before he does it!” So, my bet is on Joan in that awful black wig!

As to whether or not Annie really dies this season, let me present you with some interesting research I dug up.

Here’s more fodder for your noggin: With a little background research one will learn that the titles of Covert Affairs episodes written and directed by creators Matt Corman and Chris Ord follow a distinct pattern of using the titles of tracks recorded by rock and alternative rock bands. Yes, they do. Perhaps this was common knowledge and this reviewer is the last to the party, but c’est la vie and let’s move on.

Season one episode titles are from songs performed by Led Zeppelin. Season two episode titles come from recordings by R.E.M. Season three: David Bowie. Now, season four is no different. All the episode titles are from songs recorded by the alternative rock band, Pixies. So far we know that the eleventh episode is called ‘Dead’ – another Pixie title. Here Comes Your Man, this week’s episode, was episode five. The next episodes are S4:E6 Space (I believe in), S4:E7 Crackity Jones, S4:E8 I’ve Been Waiting For You, S4:E9 Hang Wire, S4:E10 Levitate Me, and the finale S4:E11 Dead. 

Does this mean we’ll see Annie actually die six episodes from now? That would make sense since we just had episode five and the final episode is slated to be the eleventh. You do the math. Is the studio assuming the end of Covert Affairs, or just hedging their bets and planning to go out guns blazing? Whatever this means, know this: the final episode’s working title is ‘Dead.”

Tune in Tuesday, August 20 when Annie infiltrates the FBI and Henry offers Annie the opportunity of a lifetime, in Space (I believe in), Covert Affairs’ sixth season four episode.