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Review #2340: Covert Affairs 2.9: “Sad Professor”

Posted on the 04 August 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

“Covert Affairs” has been on a good run since that rough patch at the beginning of the season, and as the summer episodes draw towards a conclusion, that trend continues. This episode could have been relatively self-contained, but using it to explore Annie’s recruitment into the CIA and her sister’s suspicions kept it even more interesting.

Review #2340: Covert Affairs 2.9: “Sad Professor”

Safia’s reaction to the truth about her husband was completely understandable and realistic, as was the CIA’s concerns about her own allegiances. Annie’s own level of denial brought up a lot of aspects of the intelligence community that normally don’t get explored in much detail. Despite Annie’s protests to the contrary, there’s a resigned attitude among her colleagues that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify an agent until they tip their own hand.

I wouldn’t say that Annie has done anything too overt to spark Danielle’s interest, other than simply being a covert operative. The timing of her efforts to determine just what Annie is really up to is perfect; it intersects with Annie’s discussions with Safia. It’s another example of the writers allowing Annie to have gaps in her experience without making her seem incompetent. As Auggie says, it’s not something that you can train for, it’s just something dictated by the situation.

That said, could Auggie have come any closer to crossing the line in telling Danielle about the context of Annie’s job? I’m half-inclined to believe that Auggie thought he was doing Annie a favor by forcing the issue and laying the groundwork. It was more than a little funny, which made the scene memorable, but I still wonder what made him think that was a good idea.

Once again, it was good to see Jai with something to do. I feel like the writers are still trying to figure out how he works within the series as a whole, just they seem to struggle with finding something to do with Arthur. At least Joan is Annie’s boss; Arthur is just too disconnected most of the time. The problem is that the series is centered on Annie, so as much as the writers might want to give other characters plot threads separate from hers, it doesn’t make narrative sense.

But the second season has been a process of integrating the various characters more and more, so I hold up hope that the increasing quality of the series will continue to be the trend.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 2/4

Final Rating: 8/10

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