Flashback to Midnight City: Charlie watches the monitor as Nick slowly realizes beating the crap out of Fatah isn’t working. She takes notes: “Vera appears to be affected by intensive interrogation. No visual signs of progress.” Shocker: Kicking Fatah’s ass didn’t elicit any information. “Losing faith in op.” Looks like this is why Fatah became Charlie’s asset: Her psych games worked where Nick’s brutal beat-down didn’t.
Back in Panama, Jack Dawkins and co. repel from their helicopter, break into the hospital, and recover, like, six unbroken vials of Variola major. (What? How is this mission complete? What were all of those broken vials on the ground? Aren’t they going to clean that mess up somehow?) Anyway, on their way out, they run into the American aid workers and realize there’s a large group of exposed individuals. Symptoms of smallpox won’t show up for 12-14 days, and the inoculation window is just four days. Jack, the hero that he is, wants to go even farther off-protocol and bring vaccines back himself (to a location that he is definitely not already at, officially). Charlie gives in and authorizes his prolonged undertaking. Jack Dawkins is a good person, and I have a bad feeling about this.
Nick is back to stalking. This time, he’s had his eye on Syd. (Woo! Syd!) The still-mysterious Syd is feeding pigeons—which is a terrible cover because who in their right mind, besides tuppence-a-bag lady, would purposefully feed pigeons?—when Nick approaches. They engage in a bit of one-upmanship over who’s the better spy (“You’re slick, I’m slick,” Syd sums it up. “So what.” Ha! Love you, James Remar), and then get down to it. Turns out, Syd worked for the Creig Group. But, so did Nick! They’re both in deep with illegal orgs! Syd’s not working Charlie though, he asserts. “I’d protect Charlie til my dying day,” Syd proclaims, though still not telling us why exactly. Is he a secret uncle or something? Anyway, he adds “Creig’s a phantom. Trying to pin them down is like trying to drive a nail through smoke.” Nick’s lead is a dead-end.
Charlie, however, is following her lead: the infiltration program on her phone. What is that French coming out of the speaker? Could it be… THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!! She attacks the I.T. guy, but he’s an innocent. Briefer Who Always Wears A Smart Vest, Dash, made good on her threat and threw the I.T. guy’s tablet down the burn-chute. So Charlie rushes to the basement where the burn-bags are just hanging out in trash bins, just like normal trash. This is some inside-the-sausage-factory info that is very unsettling. You can’t just put classified information in sealed bags and toss them down something called a burn-chute and have them not head directly to an incinerator! Well, now we just know that anyone can waltz into the mailroom and pick up some high-grade CIA intel because they don’t get around to burning it for a couple of days. Not cool, Langley. Not cool.
Charlie, now distrustful of her staff, heads off to a state dinner where she orders a club soda (have they already abandoned that party-girl persona, four episodes in?). President Payton has strategically invited Senator Green to the event so that she can deliver some choice words. Thanks for that warning about the Kabul report, she smiles through her teeth, but don’t think you can use info about my son’s murder as political currency.
Suddenly, behind the scenes, shit is hitting the fan: The Panamanians have captured Jack Dawkins, thinking he’s a spy. Noooooo! “He pulled me out of hell in Kabul,” Constance says when told the news. “Get him back, Charleston.” Yes, get our man back, Charleston!
A distracted Charlie is driving home from another long days of crises when Nick hops in her passenger-side door at a stoplight. He’s not remotely surprised it’s someone close who is sending the texts. The sexual chemistry though, which has been slowly building since the first episode, boils over. Charlie may be pissed at him, but those occasional flashbacks of her lounging in bed with Aaron aren’t enough to shut this down. “It’s still there, with us,” Nick tells her, alluding to the forever-lingering heat. And… they begin making out in her car.
More bad news though: That Kabul report has leaked. Syd frantically tries calling Charlie, who’s too preoccupied with Nick unzipping her gown to notice her phone. Mid-makeout, armed men break the windows of Charlie’s car, pull Nick out, put a bag over his head, and toss him in a van. Charlie is left with bullets in her tires and a message from Syd: “The bullet that killed Aaron came from a CIA-registered weapon. I know for a fact that gun belonged to Nick Vera.”
— At one point, CIA Dreamboat Navarro warns Charlie to remember where her loyalties lie: She might have an unusually close connection to POTUS, but “the agency—our agency—it outlast presidents.” Note this for later. It’ll definitely come up again.
— New Guy Briefer Lucas did a really nice thing for Lady Briefer Maureen this week, by nonchalantly galavanting around town, tracking down something her ex-husband stole from her. His niceness didn’t go unnoticed by Kurt, the established Nice Guy Briefer, who doesn’t seem to realize he’s already been Friend-Zoned by Mo. Sadface, Kurt.
— Hot damn, the ladies brought it with their state dinner apparel! POTUS, Charlie, and Senator Green: A+ work, all around!