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TV Recap: State of Affairs, Season 1, Episode 6, “Masquerade”

The truth about Kabul finally comes out.

This mask is actually great for your pores. Image via NBC.

It may be almost Christmas, but in the world of State of Affairs it’s business as usual—by which I mean buckets of intrigue, light-to-medium torture, and a casual “ad hoc chemical interrogation.” Charlie may be out of POTUS’s inner circle, but she finally remembers the truth about what happened to Aaron during the Kabul convoy—as well as the game-changing (though perhaps not totally surprising) revelation that Fattah is somehow still her asset. Also Syd’s mysterious techie friend “Melissa” shows up to hand Kurt some extremely timely intel and maybe stalk him. Let’s break it down.


Charlie gets dismissed as the President’s briefer, which probably should have happened a while ago despite Charlie being “family…almost.” This finally spurs her into action, enlisting Mo to do a chemical interrogation that finally unlocks her memories of Fattah killing Aaron, and of him fleeing while telling her, “Pegasus still flies.”

“Turkish soap opera. Very popular. Strong female characters.” SoA can get a bit too self-serious, so I liked this meta line—but not as much as I appreciate Charlie and Mo’s friendship continuing to pass the Bechdel test.

“Bullwinkle.” I loved how a throwaway line about a nickname became a constant runner throughout the episode.

“In truth, I prefer Canada.” Qatari burn!


“You’ve thought this through.” “I’m not just a pretty face, David.” This whole exchange smacked of weird condescension—why wouldn’t POTUS have worked through her strategy before heading to Qatar?

Whatever’s going on with Nick. He was so divorced from the main action to begin with (his only real interactions were with Charlie), so shunting him off to his own plot line in which he’s strapped to a giant coat hanger the whole time isn’t proving all that interesting. Especially when his masked captor introduces a blowtorch and then never uses it.

It seems like Charlie shooting a guy on foreign soil all in service of fake intel would be enough to get her canned completely, not just removed from her special POTUS post. I would also appreciate a bit more ambiguity in regards to David’s treatment of her—he’s presented as only wanting what’s best for POTUS, but he’s also got a vested interest in having Charlie out of the picture.

The scene with Charlie in the bathtub built suspense at first, but the way it was shot was more “fun, Studio 54 acid trip!” than “painful, potentially neurologically damaging chemical injection!”—and the reveal felt a little too easy.


So Lucas and Maureen are totally already sleeping together, right? I wonder what derailed Lucas from his eight years of sobriety. Also come on, Kurt, close the guy’s office door before you tell him to drink at work.

So that’s how you pronounce “Qatar.” The press always gets it wrong.

What’s going on with “Melissa,” besides her potentially being a sociopath with a penchant for overstated headwear? Her mention of “the organization I work for”—which I’m guessing is the Krieg Group—gave me flashbacks to Alias. Still, her calling Kurt a dork made me chuckle.

What is Nick’s “exit strategy,” exactly? And why would Charlie be going with him?

In case you were wondering what an “obscene amount of money” is, according to this show it’s $750,000.

What could Fattah’s grand plan be? And how much harder is Charlie’s work going to be now that she has the full truth but has lost the President’s favor?

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