UNDERCOVERS “Xerxes” Review

Undercovers Xerxes (NBC)

UNDERCOVERS “Xerxes” Season 1 Episode 6- There is a MacGuffin. Shaw arrives at the restaurant to interrupt Steven and Sam’s gabby banter and tell them they have a mission to get the MacGuffin. There’s a bit of pseudo conflict where a good looking man shows up to act the third wheel and flirt with Sam, much to Steven’s ire. After some twists and even more banter, they’re dismissed from the case. Then they go against orders and they get the MacGuffin and go home and have sex. Or an emotional heart to heart. Sound familiar? That’s because it has been the plot for every single episode. And that is the plot of this episode.

The biggest problem with Undercovers is that there are no consequences for the characters’ actions, and therefore no real sense of risk. In Alias, you never knew who was safe, who was going to be killed. When someone did something stupid, there were consequences. Sydney would be hurt: her partners or friends were in danger, she was in actual danger. People actually died. When something stupid happens in Undercovers, they hide under a grate in an office.

The most frustrating thing about Undercovers is that it has two charismatic leads. There are countless shows that fail because they’re miscast. Despite the forced quirkiness of the supporting cast, Steven and Sam are likable despite the often dull script, thanks to their relatively grounded portrayals by Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. But even here the writers have damaged them because their relationship-the core relationship in the show-feels vapid. A relationship knowingly based on secrets, kept intact purely because these secrets are undisclosed just seems silly and fake.

Nothing nearly as silly as Hoyt entering a men’s club in Hong Kong with his gun drawn, where not a single man looks up. That was just ludicrous.

Though I must say that I really liked Tessa, and I hope she appears again. She adds some depth and death to the show. Of course from the get go it was obvious she was evil, but it was after she eviscerated one guy and blew up another that I though she made a really good villian. Outwardly she is innocently charming and lovely, but inside she’s really a cold blooded killer. What’s not to like?

What did you make of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!

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