JULY / AUG 2013: BY RISSI C.
Friends are the family we chose for ourselves. In fiction they’re often opposites; two people who balance the idiosyncrasies of each other out. Many have rocky starts and eventually peel back layers of emotion to form into friendship, usually the results of which trend into the territory of a romantic liaison. Writers thrive on the will-they-or-won’t-they tease, and it can only be abused so long before it no longer seems full of promise.
The friendship of Annie and Auggie in Covert Affairs brims with unique quirks. Early on after the two are introduced it’s obvious they’re special—as individuals and eventually as pals. Anyone who hasn’t met them is missing out. Instead of a relationship consisting of grabbing drinks at a local hangout or attending sporting events together, these two share a more adventurous friendship. Annie’s phone calls to Auggie involve the coordinates to points of extraction from a foreign country or tech advice. His role is of listener, wanting to “fix” the emotional fallout of Annie’s many complicated relationships. The least of their worries is finding the time to have heart-to-hearts, since both are spies!
Annie is a girl-next-door which makes her a brilliant spy who is also sometimes goaded into things, led by emotion. Her sincere nature and deep emotional connections to her assets is a strength because she sees things others look at through impersonal lenses, but what is also her best quality somersaults into her greatest weakness. Then there’s Auggie, the special ops soldier whose superiority as tech analyst and Annie’s handler at Langley isn’t hindered in the least by the disability of the blindness that ended his military career. He relies on his other senses and is a force to be reckoned with through his powers of observation. It adds a new component to the relationship, one that sees the highs and lows between these two via one of the elements humans have elusively chased and wished for in all of their relationships: trust.
Can many of us say that our friendships are at their best? Sometimes we don’t talk enough with that person, which translates into a lack of communication. One friend may accuse the other of something in love or anger, and that sets off a chain reaction when the person on the receiving end takes it personally and begins to pull away because they feel slighted, unloved, even invisible. Isn’t it ironic in our high-tech age that anyone feels “alone”? We can “like,” “friend” or “follow” anyone with a public profile but do we really know or care about those people? Are they just a number count and avatar we use to make a statement in society, a conversation piece over the number of “friends” we have or do you think about their favorite things when you see their name? Sadly, today, our “friends” are a number count, not a face with a personality who is a living human being.
True Annie and Auggie are fictional people but they’re “real” and share a special, profound relationship that is bonded together by an ingrained trust—Annie literally puts her life in Auggie’s hands more than once and he in turn will do anything to ensure Annie’s safety (even if that means putting life on hold to fly to a foreign country).
Of course, emotions shift between them. No longer are they merely supportive friends, now they’re also in love with each other. It’s a tricky business to change poignant friendships to would-be lovers. Time and again we’ve seen work partners fall into romantic liaisons with one another. This situation inevitably turns messy and leaves the characters heartbroken. Hopefully, it won’t happen with Annie and Auggie!
Friendship should never be treated carelessly. It’s a precious gift. There will always be good and bad days. Disagreements will creep into conversations, and distance may present challenges, but no matter what a true friend forgives, supports, respects, and goes the extra mile to just be there. This is how I see Annie and Auggie. I feel like theirs is a friendship that won’t ever end— or it shouldn’t. Four years ago they were the new kids on the block. Today they’re still leaving an impression on fans. Even though it’s a rapport experiencing rapid change, I look forward to seeing where their journey leads. After all, friendship is bound to experience ups and downs—and it’s the reaction we have to change that determines the rest of the story. ♥