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Character Development: Calder Michaels Shows His True Colors, Covert Affairs “River Euphrates” 

Photo Credit: USA Network/Steve Wilkie
Photo Credit: USA Network/Steve Wilkie

Damn you, Hill Harper, and your awesome charisma! Y’all know that I bitched long and loud when I felt like the Covert Affairs season premiere told us what we were supposed to think about Calder Michaels. And then I Mea Culpa‘d when we were shown that he could actually be trusted. But because I’m wired wrong, I’m maybe 1.5% suspicious that he’s still playing us. I really hope a) we find out that he’s been genuinely trustworthy and b) he survives the season, because I’m starting to worry about that now, too. Dammit.

In “River Euphrates,” Joan runs into Annie on the street and the jig is up. Thankfully Joan does not drop onto the sidewalk in labor. I love that she just welcomes Annie, literally, with open arms, and then rolls with it when Annie reads her in that Calder’s been a good guy. And he has been a good guy–honestly trying to keep Auggie out of a cell and keep himself out of harm’s way.

I like that he’s now willing to go as balls out as Annie and Auggie to bring Henry down, and that he’s willing to ask questions of his superiors when they start demanding answers without providing any of their own. I really liked that the episode talked around Henry but he never actually appeared. This was the staging area for the last two episodes of the season, when all hell breaks lose in Hong Kong. I like, too, that Auggie’s out in the field again for another season finale.

Photo Credit: USA Network/Steve Wilkie
Photo Credit: USA Network/Steve Wilkie

But back to Calder–we have unanswered questions about whether he was shady or just cocky as the South American head, and we don’t really know why he was on Henry’s radar to be brought in as the DPD head in the first place. I don’t know if Calder even knows why he was chosen but he couldn’t turn the opportunity down.

We also don’t know much about him off the job–who are his friends? Who can he trust? When he came into DPD, how did he know he could trust Annie and Auggie? What was his larger agenda that he seemed to be gunning for Annie out of the gate? Something in him flipped over when Annie trusted him enough to “kill” her, and he’s honored that trust by stepping up for her and for Auggie. I like that he and Auggie developed an uneasy sort of friendship as the only two who knew the truth.

And I love that Joan had to eat her hat. at the end of “River Euphrates,” she tells Calder outright that she’s hated him. He’s amused, asking her, “Are you apologizing? Because you suck at it.” She does apologize, and he accepts. And she thanks him for Annie. Calder tells her Annie is very persuasive and Joan just chuckles that he’s not wrong.

I like that Annie has put all these random players together as a pseudo family. I hope they all survive the season. And kudos to TPTB and Harper for making me accept that Calder could be open-minded about his mission and reset his focus for the greater good.

 Covert Affairs airs Thursdays at 10/9c on USA.

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