Covert Affairs Recap: Starlings of the Slipstream

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Covert Affairs Recap: Starlings of the Slipstream

Covert Affairs” Season 5 Episode 12 “Starlings of the Slipstream” aired on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) tracked down a German scientist. The man was the one who supplied Aleksandre Balenko (Shawn Doyle) the chemical that killed Tony Salgado, the second to the last member of Auggie Anderson’s (Christopher Gorham) old unit alive. However, while in Germany, she also encountered the female FSB agent. She and Mossad agent Eyal Lanvin (Oded Fehr) had encountered before. Meanwhile, Calder Michaels (Harper Hill) convinced Sydney (Nazneen Contractor) to deepen her relationship with a Russian cultural attache connected to the FSB. Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett) also got an unexpected surprise. She was asked to do another polygraph, right after she had finished her annual one. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began in Annie Walker’s (Piper Perabo) apartment, where she prepared coffee for herself and Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop). Right after he left for his house, Eric Barber from the Agency called Annie up. Auggie Anderson (Christopher Gorham), her former handler, had been arrested for assaulting the medical examiner who had examined his late friend’s, Tony Salgado, remains. Auggie was surprised to discover that Annie had come in order to bail him out, especially as their relationship with each other wasn’t as good as it was before. He then told her that he had pushed the medical examiner as he had disagreed with his conclusions.


Later in the car, he told Annie that he believed that Tony had been poisoned. The medical examiner told him that he died of too much vodka. Auggie knew for a fact that Tony only drank bourbon. He also told her everything that was happening. He knew that Aleksandre Balenko (Shawn Doyle) had been targeting the members of Auggie’s old unit. Each one had died in succession over the past three months, leaving him as the only surviving member of his unit. However, he could not think of any instance in which he had crossed paths with Balenko before.  

Back at Langley, Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett), the head of the Domestic Protection Division. Auggie’s boss forced him to take a week off. Auggie wanted to investigate Tony’s death,as he knew that Tony had been murdered.

Later that night, Annie broke in to Tony’s house in order to get and test the vodka bottles that Tony had drunk from the previous day. After having it tested, she immediately went over to Auggie’s. She revealed to him that she had found traces of synthetic tetrodotoxin, something that wouldn’t get flagged in a basic toxicology screen, which proved that Tony had been murdered. Now, in order to link the tetrotodoxin to Balenko, they had to find proof. They had to figure out which of the eight laboratories in the world capable of producing a chemical like that. Before she left him, she warned him to be extra careful and to be more protected as he could be Balenko’s next target. Later that night, before she left, Ryan dropped by her apartment to give her some dinner. He asked her if she was sure about her destination. Annie told him that as much as she was sure that the chemicals had come from KLF Chemicals in Essen, Germany. Balenko had stopped by there after Istanbul. Annie then asked him for a favor and let him meet Auggie, who arrived with intel on KLF Chemical and her ride to the airport. He also told her that he knew that he was the last surviving member of his unit.

In Essen, Annie noticed that the female FSB agent she and Mossad agent Eyal Lanvin (Oded Fehr) had encountered in Istanbul was closely watching a particular blonde female chemist from KLF. She then decided to tail the FSB agent, who, according to Ryan, was an FSB operative named Olga Akarova (Lynn Collins). According to him, the chemist whom they believed was Balenko’s chemist was Britta Kaplan (Josette Eales).

Back at Langley, Joan revealed to Calder that the intel Sydney had provided them after hot syncing their phone to Maskov’s phone. It proved to be valuable as it turned out that he was also connected to the Duma and to the Kremlin. Because of the valuable intel that they got, despite Joan’s objections, Calder decided to put Sydney in deeper. They might be able to find information that would link him to Balenko and would link Balenko to the motorcade bombing and the Chicago. They were then interrupted as Joan was asked to undergo an unscheduled polygraph, despite the fact that she had just taken her annual polygraph two months ago.

During the polygraph, she was asked about the time when she was assigned at the Balkans. It is where she had trained members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Afterwards, she called her husband, Arthur Campbell (Peter Gallagher) about it. She was worried that they might find out something about her time there. Arthur then reassured her that everything was going to be alright and promised to look into her unscheduled polygraph.

Afterwards, Calder met up with Sydney, who liked the fact that she was helping out her country. Calder then told her to make Mashkov fall in love with her quickly so that they would be able to draw out more intel from him.

In Essen, as Annie revealed to Auggie what she had found out. He realized that she had some help from Ryan. He also guessed correctly that she asked Ryan to give him a shadow in order to protect him. He then told her that it would take a while for him to find more intel on Britta as he did not have the usual equipment he had at Langley. Annie then decided to break into Britta’s apartment and promised to stay off at Olga’s radar.

In Britta’s apartment, Annie was able to take some pictures of an important file but had to immediately hide. Olga suddenly came in and removed a bug from one of the door frames in Britta’s apartment. Annie then managed to escape by hiding out among the creepers in the balcony. 


Back in Washington, Ryan visited Auggie. After introducing him to Pete, Auggie’s babysitter, he gave Auggie a military grade laptop retrofitted with a braille display so that he could help Annie out on her mission. Thanks to that, Auggie was able to discover that Olga had recently started doing wetwork for the FSB and had, in the past three months, killed four people. Annie then insisted on approaching Britta. They were running out of time. However, Auggie wanted her to wait for backup.  

She was able to gain Britta’s trust after she revealed that she knew that she was working for Balenko. She was able to prove that Olga had been sent to kill her. She then agreed to tell Annie what she had been working on for Balenko, which was currently in her laboratory. They then had to split up, with Annie drawing Olga away from Britta. It turned into a short foot chase to the train station as she had been made. After hearing this, Auggie got upset as Annie, based on her recent actions, showed that she did not trust Auggie’s decisions as she had acted on her own and had ignored his advice. He then agreed with her that she had changed. Annie insisted that Auggie was upset as she was no longer a rookie and that fact scares him. Auggie then told her to call him back as soon as she got the intel they needed.

Back in Washington DC, Arthur told Joan that he discovered the reason behind the sudden unscheduled polygraph. She was being vetted for a huge position, which meant that it wasn’t a bad thing after all.

At KLF, Britta was able to sneak Annie in. However, Britta told her that she would tell Annie anything if she did not tell her more about the woman that Balenko had killed in the United States. Annie revealed that he had killed Caitlyn Cook (Perrey Reeves), an accomplished and driven woman whom he had convinced that he loved and even gave her a wedding ring. However, he had just been using her to plant a bomb in a car. Britta then realized that he had done the same thing to her as she also had the same wedding ring on a chain, just like Caitlyn’s. She then went into her office and poured herself a drink. She then told Annie that she had, in fact, created the tetrodotoxin that had been placed in Tony’s drink.

Before she drank, she told Annie that Balenko was meeting a man named Shumer the next day in Frankfurt. However, before she could say anything else, she choked because of something in her drink and died. As Annie was found near her, she was promptly arrested.

Back in Washington DC, Ryan, thanks to Pete, caught up to Auggie at a bar, where they drank a glass of bourbon for Tony. He then reassured and comforted him a little. He knew how it felt like to lose a brother at arms” as he had been a Navy SEAL.

Meanwhile, Sydney revealed to Calder that Mashkov was quickly falling in love with her. The two then kissed after she told him that the other reason why she was doing this was for him. However, they were interrupted by Mashkov who had called Sydney. He wanted to see her again that evening.

At Essen, Olga, claiming to be an Interpol agent, took custody of Annie. Downstairs, Annie tried to escape from her but was quickly overpowered by Olga. To her surprise, Olga removed the zip ties that bound her hands together. Olga then revealed that she knew Annie’s name and that they were on the same side.

Back in Washington DC, Auggie decided to walk home from the bar. It was only two minutes away from his place. However, shortly after he arrived home, he was attacked by several men who overpowered him. They threw him in a black van, where he lay beside the dead body of Pete. The van drove away and, in doing so, crushed a part of a watch that had fallen to the street.

And that was all for the recap of “Covert Affairs” Season 5 Episode 12 “Starlings of the Slipstream.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps on “Covert Affairs” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Catch “Covert Affairs” every Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on USA Network.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/USA Network