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TV Recap: State of Affairs, Season 1, Episode 5, “Ar Rissalah”

Charlie is about to become persona non grata at the White House.
This is Charlie's "I'm not lying" lying face. Image via NBC.

This week’s case o’ the week ties directly into the over-arching narrative of the season, beginning with a journalist in Cairo getting kidnapped by Omar Fattah who, rather than killing him, instead wants to give him an interview. One man’s shot at a Pulitzer is another man’s attempt to build a massive terrorist organization using the American media as a conduit, despite Charlie’s best efforts to kill the story. Meanwhile she’s also trying to figure out who took Nick Vera and what’s in that about-to-be-released report about her and the convoy that killed her fiancĂ©—while also trying to keep secrets from POTUS.

THE GOOD

Okay, it was pretty hokey, but I appreciated the waterboarding fake-out that opened the episode. Shots on an empty stomach are never a good idea, friends.

David finally gets something important to do! It was interesting to see him getting all Rich White Guy with Reed Diamond’s character in service of the black female President’s needs. We also learn the Kabul trip that killed Aaron was David’s idea, because he wanted to remind America that “unlike four out of the last five presidents, [Constance] actually fought for this country.”

POTUS doesn’t hesitate to put Charlie under heavy surveillance, which sets up all kinds of great conflicts of interest and also shows off the untrusting, unforgiving side of Constance that no doubt helped get her into her current position.

Mo already has a file put together on Nick. Talk about recognizing someone’s blind spots.

THE BAD

I didn’t notice it as much last week, but it struck me when Charlie flashes back to Nick getting abducted that she screams like a helpless bystander rather than a badass CIA agent.

“Kabul is completely FUBAR right now.” Honestly, who uses that acronym in actual conversation?

Logan the journalist was such a caricatured slimeball. It remains to be seen whether we’ll witness any fallout from his Michael Hastings-ish death by poisoned cigarette + Mack truck.

Oh, Kurt. Card tricks are not the way to any woman’s heart, especially if she’s clearly not that into you.

QUESTIONS

How would Senator Green possibly know that Charlie and Nick had a “more than professional” relationship? And are we to assume Charlie was cheating on Aaron with Nick?

Why did Nick have so many of Charlie’s passports in his apartment, and who was the guy in the apartment when Charlie was looking around?

More insight into Nick and Charlie’s time on Midnight City with Fattah: Charlie was totally convinced they’d recruited Fattah—er, “Pegasus”—while Nick felt the opposite. But what to make of Fattah’s telling Charlie, “Pegasus takes wing”?

Charlie sort of remembers shooting at Aaron—was she the one who killed him with Nick’s gun? What else is she suppressing?

What did you think of last night’s State of Affairs? Sound off in the comments.

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