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In South Bound Suarez, Annie receives her first international assignment. We finally get to see her put her linguistic skills to good use. The episode starts with a game of soccer at Georgetown University where we are introduced to Diego. Obviously, he starts flirting with Annie (the show has made it abundantly clear that it is impossible not to). Diego is a Venezuela born college student whose sister, still in Venezuela, is having an affair with a corrupt politician. This is the set up for the story of the episode, but not what is it really about.
The theme in this episode is letting go. Annie still has her issues with her old beach lover, the one we have been shown to still be an important part of the shows story and Diego’s sister Julia cannot let go of the man she is in love with. There is a rather powerful scene in the episode where Annie is about to leave and she quietly watches her nieces and sister going about their normal routine. Annie is visibly shaken and somewhat scared. She is leaving the country on a dangerous covert mission and she may not come back. The scene helps to strengthen Annie as a character with ambitions, rather than the archetypical heroin we have mostly seen so far.
The supporting cast in this episode is vastly improved and Auggie is just as great as he always is. I would like to take a moment to say something a little bit off topic. In one of the commercial breaks Christopher Gohram, Auggie, spoke to the audience about the Americans with Disabilities act and its twenty year anniversary. Auggie is a blind CIA technician who is handled not as a hindrance, nor as superman. He is presented as a normal member of the team and his contemporaries even take little jabs at him, the type of teasing everyone does with their friends. While this had no bearing on the episode the show should be applauded for this if nothing else.
Anyways, Joan is much better in this episode and I think it is because her husband is not around. They tried for two episodes to sell us on the Joan Arthur marital problems, but in all honesty, they tended to bring the episodes to a crawl. Joan seems strong and sure of herself in the South Bound Suarez and I hope she stays that way. She may not be the nicest person, but she does seem like a boss.
The international scenes look convincing. I have a hard time believing they actually went to Venezuela to film them, but it looks good regardless. There is a healthy amount of action in this episode and while some is great, some scenes (the car fight) are a little silly. The ending is strong and it is apparent that Annie has learned something and we in turn come to care more about her. On a side note, it’s nice to see a television show where someone can actually aim a gun.
Overall it is another solid episode, but the show has not yet shown us that not only should we watch it, but that we need to watch it. The episodes are getting better, so maybe it is just a matter of time.