It didn't take very long for both the Briefers and POTUS to discover their lives were not only a hell of a lot easier with Charlie around, they depend upon her expertise and keen understanding of the situations they deal with daily.
Charlie was barely away from her post before being offered a return engagement on State of Affairs Season 1 Episode 8. The entire hour was highly entertaining and allowed the characters to pause and come back together.
For weeks everyone looked shady. They didn't feel like a team. When Jack Dawkins was kidnapped on Mo's watch and an empty backpack laced with "sophisticated bomb chemicals" was left outside the Washington Monument, the team let out a collective sigh of relief when Charlie made an appearance at the office. (Shout out to the crew for their two car window frames near the monument and with a suspect... good stuff).
Let's start with a few housekeeping notes. Guest stars continue to be a fun part of State of Affairs. Cress Williams made a return appearance as
Lavon Hayes Agent Scott was again helping the team. He makes a much more convincing Fed than he does a bumbling small-town mayor. Joining the game tonight was Adam Arkin as Victor Gantry. Gantry brought Dawkins home and appears to be a new player, a well funded patriot, on the larger canvas. As a huge fan of Arkin's, I'm all for it.
Back to the Briefer team. We never discovered exactly what happened between Lucas and Maureen, but it didn't do her any good. She started off as confident and in control, but quickly lost it when the book was changed prior to her jaunt over to the White House. She blamed it Lucas and Kurt jumped in to stand up for the guy. He later admitted to Mo Lucas has been drinking and they had a really awkward personal moment, but it wasn't shady. She was just out of her depth and wanted out.
When Charlie started giving orders about what was going on with Dawkins, Maureen happily gave up the wheel. She went to see POTUS to deliver news about someone who may want to humiliate Constance with the Dawkins situation by rescuing him and putting him in her front yard.
My first thought when Mo said they needed to talk was that she was going to tell POTUS what she knew about who wanted to humiliate Constance. Then the show continued. More on that in a minute!
Charlie's new job, to head up Bellerphon and run Nick, wasn't even on her radar. Happily, Nick was without the trendy black bag over his head and, even more happily, forced down to his skivvies to see if he was wearing a wire. Or something. I kind of lost focus for a few seconds there. It was the weirdest thing.
Guys, if I knew it was gonna get weird, I would've worn something special. My eyes are up here...Nick
That wasn't even my favorite part, though. Al Moosari didn't trust Nick at all. Even though Fatah vetted Nick, Al Moosari decided to put him through the paces. If he's an expert on money, poppy and gems then Here Vera! Play some Candy Crush and please me! What I mean to say is Al Moosari threw out a pile of gems onto the hood of a jeep and demanded Nick identify every one through it's hidden exterior. If that wasn't a nod to the most popular game in the world then I give up. I wonder if my mom thought Candy Crush when she saw that. If she did, I'm golden (don't let me down, mom!). Nick crushed it blowing by even the highest level of the game. Of course.
Back to the bomb business and messing with POTUS. How was Senator Green ahead of the game? How did she know there was a second backpack and the Briefer team knew nothing? Is that even possible? I thought – after Constance told Marshall she loved him and he rendezvoused with Green – that they were the ones who wanted to humiliate POTUS. Instead he left the building with the picture of Charlie, Fatah and Nick. What's he up to?
It appears Victor Gantry was a CIA case officer who was on a plane owned by Controlled Outcomes. The Krieg Group. So Syd and Nick may have intel on all of this... or they may not. Is Gantry involved with Krieg? It will likely be a very long mystery for us to unravel. I hope we discover during the TCAs how NBC feels about State of Affairs. Surely they see it improving each week, too.
Maureen: Charlie. She wants you back. She just. She doesn't know how to say it. I resigned today as Briefer.
Maureen: It just didn't feel right to me. It was like wearing your sister's bra. Now we can put the book together the right way.
While Constance was apologizing to Dawkins for leaving him behind, Maureen revealed she gave up the ghost. It's impossible to fill Charlie's shoes... or her bra. And dammit, she doesn't want to.
Constance asked Charlie back and she accepted, but there was no discussion about where that left Bellerphon or Nick. They're still on the hunt for Sheik Hakim (Sheik Hakim, Sheik Hakim let me rock you let me rock you Sheik Hakim, let me rock you that's all I want to do... GAH! I've been wanting to get that off my chest), apparently he just gets pushed even further to the back of the book.
Not too long ago (in real life) we saw the faces of young Western terrorism when two Australian girls joined Al Qaeda. Stacy Dover is obviously going to represent that for us. She looks like the girl next door, but she's carrying bomb-filled back packs with Ar Rissalah emblazoned on them. That's the scariest kind of terrorist we'll ever encounter. Thank goodness Charlie is back in the game.
If you've missed any of this super fun series, you can watch State of Affairs online via TV Fanatic. What do you have to lose?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.