State of Affairs recap: 'Cry Havoc'
This week’s episode was infinitely better than last week’s episode. “Cry Havoc” featured real plot advancement, including meaningful contact with Omar Fatah and a reveal on who the agency mole/person texting Charlie was. It also gave us not one, but two offings of secondary characters. Ask and ye shall receive! Thank you, State of Affairs! The whole team showed some real life this week, and it’s episodes like this one that make the snoozefest that was “Ghosts” all the more incomprehensible.
We open with Stacy Dover, last week’s “new face of terrorism,” who is zipping up her dress after a one-night stand. She starts to search around on the guy’s phone, telling him she’s leaving her number when he wakes up and catches her. Good liar, that one. She heads back to her sorority house to dress for class, but instead bypasses campus and hops in a cab. She gets out at a nice home with a large white gate which opens into some wind chimes. As she walks toward the house, she clasps her horse-symbol necklace, pulls out a detonation trigger, smirks “Ar Rissalah is here,” and blows herself up. We have our first suicide bomber!
Five hours earlier, on the 7th floor, Maureen brings Charlie a bag of bathroom supplies and tells her she needs to hit the showers. Charlie’s spent the night in the office waiting on news from various missions. Lucas has been on the phone prepping the FBI to bring Stacy Dover in, but the real reason she can’t sleep is that Nick hasn’t made contact. Charlie’s sixth sense tells her something bad is going to happen.
As if on cue, Lucas comes in with bad news. The FBI is not going to bring Stacy Dover in. They feel there is insignificant evidence linking her to Ar Rissalah or any actual threat, and Charlie accuses Lucas of not pushing the FBI hard enough. She brings up the CIA’s Iron Rule: Nothing trumps the threat to the homeland. Info on Stacy is now front of the book, Charlie decrees! Let the president weigh in and tip the scales.
Unfortunately, Chief of Staff David Patrick has called in the FBI special agent heading up the joint task force on Ar Rissalah to sit in on Charlie’s briefing. David sits in the Oval with his signature smug look while President Payton tells Charlie and Agent Markey to work together to find the evidence to bring Stacy in. She’s not about to start calling in any kid who thinks participating in memes is funny.
President Payton holds Charlie back after the meeting though to tell her that the report on the convoy attack in Kabul will be coming out in full that week, and it could be very bad news once the country learns that it was a CIA weapon that killed Aaron, (her son, and Charlie’s former fiance—since it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve addressed the Aaron situation). Bellerophon is clean, Charlie assures her, but Payton questions if she should actually trust her team. “It’s always those closest to us whose betrayal we can’t see.” Wise words, considering the source.
Charlie goes to tell Navarro about the texts she’d received, and about how they stopped after she told POTUS about her connection to Fatah. She also shows Navarro the damning photo—the one of her, Nick and Fatah. Charlie has underestimated the harm that photo will do if released in the report though. She thinks it will compromise the mission, but Navarro assures her it will kill the mission entirely. It will be erased from all formal records, and Nick along with it. If this photo is released, Nick will be left for dead in the field.
Navarro decides to polygraph everyone on the Bellerophon team—i.e. Charlie’s team: Kurt, Dash, Maureen and Lucas. Navarro heads to a safe house with his security guy, Brian. “Is there anything more boring than a safe house?” Brian chides him. “Well, hide in plain sight,” Navarro responds. Hmmm, that sounds familiar… And speaking of familiar, this Brian and his American flag phone cover and “you should totally let me take you out at night, because college girls, man!” security guy is definitely Stacy’s last fling. Dramatic confirmation? Navarro grazes the wind chimes on the way in the gate.
NEXT: Who is going to bomb their polygraph test, and what exactly is Senator Green’s agenda?
Charlie and her team are working on the Stacy Dover case. She’s coming up completely clean—no links to Moosari, no links to James Wilcox (the student who ran in to tag the Oval), no hits on the dark web. Lucas firmly believes she’s just a rando without connections, but Charlie’s gut says otherwise. “What if she’s hiding in plain sight?” Ding ding ding! The U.S. Ar Rissalah network isn’t using the dark web, which they know is being watched. They’re using regular sites and regular social channels—as plainly obvious as khakis pants and polo shirts.
The polygraphs are acting as an interesting character study: Kurt plays his cool and keeps his voice steady, even if he is tapping his foot incessantly. Dash is a nervous wreck and tries to sass his way through. Maureen forgets that her divorce is finalized. But Lucas takes the cake by walking in, strapping up, and launching into a word-vomit therapy session about how he fell off the wagon and has slept with a coworker. Interesting tactic.
Senator Kyle Green makes a home visit to the Senate Majority Leader, Bob Burke. She’s angry that he’s releasing the convoy report early, and without her approval. It’s her report! It’s her committee! She wants a week or two longer to dig up more dirt, but Burke stops her in her tracks. He thanks her for the president’s plummeting approval rating, but says he’ll handle it from here. Green just got manhandled by a guy gutting a fish in his kitchen. I’m sure his aim is similarly mean-spirited, so it’s interesting that they seem to be after different ends here.
Nick, who has completed his Name That Gemstone quiz and earned the trust of Al Moosari, is on a plane. He’s finally gained access to Omar Fatah. Jackpot! Fatah says Sheikh Hakam has lost his way and is encouraging wars that their people cannot win. He claims that he’s been following Charlie’s directive all along—by becoming invaluable. Before, when Nick was beating him on Midnight City, he couldn’t tell him anything because he had no intel to give. Now, because of the convoy attack and the video interview he released, he’s moved into the upper ranks. He has information now. Fatah has made himself a real asset.
Navarro is watching the videos of the polygraphs, and says it’s clear who the mole is: Maureen. She failed categorically. “Coked-out, cheating husbands do better than this,” Navarro tells Charlie, but she doesn’t buy it. Her best friend? No way. Charlie reads her results as Maureen, an intensely private person, being mortified that her boss would find out she had an interest in a coworker. Someone else on the other hand…
“Where did you get this photo, Kurt?” Boom! It was Kurt! He passed the polygraph with perfect results, but only because he cheated: He was tapping his foot into a tack in his shoe, which was keeping his baseline heart rate steady. Kurt claims that he was texting her about the photo in order to get Charlie to tell the truth. He’s always been on her side, you see, and he stopped texting when she confessed to POTUS! And, to top it off, he got the photo from Kyle Green. “You ran a sting-op on me for a senator?!” Charlie screams at him. Yeah, he’s out.
Meanwhile, First Gentleman Marshall is questioning President Payton about the same photo, which he also received from Senator Green last week. Kyle sure doesn’t play her intel close to her chest, does she? Well, now Marshall’s pissed that Constance knew about, and she throws down the “you don’t have clearance, become the president if you want access” card. Never gonna win that argument, FGOTUS. Sorry, dude.
Aboard the plane, Nick and Fatah are in a standoff. Yes, the Americans want Sheikh Hakam, but Nick tells Fatah that he’s the real problem right now. The CIA knows about the American cell of Ar Rissalah, and until it is no longer a threat, they can’t deal with Hakam. Fatah says he has nothing to do with that cell or with any planned attacks on the U.S. To prove it, he brings Moosari back in and slits his throat. Moosari falls to his knees as Nick watches, stunned. “Power is a myth,” Fatah tells Nick.
As Charlie’s team sits around her office mourning the loss of Kurt’s security clearance, FBI special agent Markey comes in to tell Charlie she was right about Stacy Dover. They’re going to bring her in. Turns out, Charlie’s “hiding in plain sight” instinct was right—both Stacy and James Wilcox had received emails from Redwood Books with an activation code via hidden Instagram messages. Their plan is to bring in Stacy while searching for everyone else on this Redwood Books listserve.
Director Navarro, meanwhile, has brought Senator Green to the safe house, ostensibly to be interviewed for her convoy report. She hits hard from the start: “Did the CIA orchestrate the attack that resulted in the death of Aaron Payton?” she asks. “Someone has to expose the lies.” Navarro, in all of his good humor, laughs in her face. “Lies are the base currency of both of our worlds, Senator,” he chuckles. “The difference is that I use them to protect this country, and you use yours to politicize it.” Sick burn. Looks like Kyle’s getting played from all sides today: Navarro had called her there to question her about leaking the photo. Because it is a classified picture, possession by a civilian—even a senator—is illegal. Green is immediately thrown off and starts defensively accusing him of a shake-down. She hurriedly puts on her coat while Navarro questions her knowledge and association with the Krieg Group. “Go get yourself a warrant,” she shoots back as she storms out of the house.
NEXT: Will anyone survive Stacy’s attack, and what kind of intel might Nick actually get out of Fatah?
Unfortunately, it’s going to be a bit harder to trace Green’s connections now. While she and Navarro were meeting, Charlie and Co. deciphered Stacy’s latest Instagram activation code: Hit Director Navarro. Stacy walks in the gate as Senator Green is leaving the house. The first scene of this episode plays out, but we now see the victims. Green and Brian, the security guard, are on the walkway with Stacy, while Navarro is watching from the window when the blast goes off. Second major death of the episode! Not that Green was good at making friends on this show, but she was a senator. That is going to have consequences. Major, war-declaring consequences.
Navarro is fine, by the way. I mean, not “fine.” He rushes outside to check on Brian before he realizes he has a giant piece of glass stuck in this stomach. He has internal bleeding, organ damage, head trauma, etc. But, I mean, he’ll be back. Stacy wanted to make a difference, and she did in her own awful way. But she failed at her final mission, and for that, we can all take a swig from Lucas’s hidden stash.
Nick finally makes contact with Charlie: He now as all of the intel on the listserve that Charlie spent the day figuring out. Day late and a senator short, Nick! However, this is all the confirmation Nick needed that Fatah told him the truth. Moosari kept all of the info about the listserve on his person, and the only way to get that info was to kill him. Fatah didn’t kill Moosari as a show of force—he did it to give the CIA that valuable information.
Back in the Oval, Marshall’s conspiracy theory antics are running wild, and Constance is working to keep him in check. She also wants to speak to the victim’s families before addressing the nation, to which David blows a gasket. “Ar Rissalah just executed a successful attack on the homeland! They are winning!” As much as Marshall dislikes David’s nonstop eye-on-the-polls strategy, he’s not wrong here. “I know that you’re a compassionate woman, Madame President,” David continues. “But right now, we don’t need to hear from that side of you. Right now, we need to hear from the soldier.”
Charlie and Agent Markey have prepped both departments to start searching out Ar Rissalah members on the listserve. Once they send out an activation email, all they have to do is track recipients and nail them. Easy peasy. The simplicity of it concerns Charlie, but they do it anyway. Seven members are apprehended in time for President Payton’s press conference—the one where she commits to tracking down everyone. She looks and sounds like a warrior, like she’s in her element. Let’s do this, America!
Halfway around the world, Fatah is continuing to prove his allegiance. In the Philippines he give Nick a picture of Sheikh Hakam. No one has ever gotten a recognizable picture of Hakam before. And, not only that, Fatah gives up a meeting location. Killing Hakam is the CIA’s No. 1 priority. Nothing can go wrong now, right?
— Senate Majority Leader Burke did release that convoy attack report, and he did so with any damaging information to the president or CIA redacted. “He’s out to bury you,” David tells Payton. Yup. She’s just replaced one senate enemy with another.
— “I drink, you binge,” Charlie tells Lucas as she works to clean him up. Navarro revealed that he was the one who got Lucas sober eight years ago, and now Charlie is taking on that role. Points for helping a colleague, but please, please, please don’t let this turn into anything, Charlie! Everyone just keep it in your pants.
— Double-agent looks good on Kurt! The furrowed brows, the suit. So this is how The Krieg Group recruits its members: You lose your credibility with the government job, so you go private sector. Let’s take bets on how long before Kurt and Syd do some shady shit together!