The Racialicious Roundtable for Undercovers 1.3

Hosted by Arturo R. García

Never let it be said that the Roundtable is above a mission of mercy. And as this episode proves, Undercovers is definitely in need of … something.

About the only cool thing in “Devices” was seeing Philippe Brenninkmeyer – aka the swinging German husband from Super Troopers – play the bad guy. I’d put up a link to one of his scenes here, but, uh, you’re better off looking it up after you leave work today. Trust me.

Otherwise, the episode was so repetitive it’s become even more annoying: the Blooms are still having the “Wow, it’s so weird teaming up with the partner I’m schtupping!” talks. At least there was finally the beginning of some sort of bigger plot movement, with a more serious, more suspicious-acting Leo Nash getting in the way of the team.

But, with the show still fighting unbearable ratings issues, we’ve decided to perform a public service  – and try to preserve our sanity – by offering tips to the creative team on how to fix up each of the show’s primary characters before it’s too late.

SPOILERS AHEAD

How to fix The Blooms? (Post tips for Kodjoe or Gugu, or both as a duo)
Mahsino: We get it, they’re spies who are married. They’ve been out of the field for 5 years. They don’t need to spend so much time reminding us. Maybe I’m just indifferent about displays of Black-love or any love, but I don’t need sooo much time devoted to them analyzing their personal/work relationship.
Diana: We don’t need the obligatory sex scenes at the beginning and end of the show.  We know they are a healthy, loving couple.  But their love life is on a schedule.  Why not mix it up a bit?  Why not have a hot make-out session during the mission at a completely inappropriate time in a completely inappropriate place?  3 eps in, I’m already  tired of seeing their pristine cream on cream bedroom.
Arturo: Y’know, there’s a way to combine both of your points: by now we should’ve seen some more visible/harmful examples of their being “rusty,” and that inappropriate make-out bit would’ve been great in the pilot, as it would’ve highlighted how hum-drum their lovelife had allegedly become before getting “reactivated.”
Andrea: See, I feel the opposite–I like watching the Blooms sexing it up. It helps that unlike, say, Bill and Sookie from True Blood, I don’t feel like I’m watching a spliced-in sex tape because I know the actors aren’t involved with each other in real-life (as far as anyone knows). AndI think it helps US society to see  that Black couples do love each other and love sexing it up with each other to counteract the stereotypes that Black people 1) have animalistic sex or 2) are constantly at each others’ throats or 3) Black women are unlovable yet fuckable and, thus, perpetually single.  I think Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw are pitch-perfect as a couple, so I don’t want that to change. I just think their milieu needs to change.  Less Crate and Barrel-y.
jen*: Eh.  I was over all the “doing sex” last week.  I’m wondering now when they’re really gonna talk about all the ish they did before they hooked up – maybe working on opposite sides without knowing it?  Oh…and Boris needs to step up the smart.  He’s pretty, but always falls short when they ask too much from him – case in point? His last line: “Who else would I want to have watching my back than the person I care about the most in this world?”  He should’ve asked for a rewrite.  The person you want watching your back is the one who cares the most for you.  Maybe I’m picky, but I wasn’t the only one to pick up on that line.


Leo Nash & Hoyt
Arturo: Gunshots. Multiple, blessed gunshots. Just kidding. Actually, the more we see Nash as an out-and-out rogue, rather than a happy-hour c-blocker, the more he makes some sense as a character. As for Hoyt, there’s been a slight decrease in the amount of hero worship he engages in.
Diana: Leo makes me nervous.  Hoyt is just annoying, but I prefer him to Leo.
Mahsino: For whatever reason, I feel like Hoyt’s character would be greatly improved if we were played by Fred Savage. I don’t know why, but I can’t help but feel like I might not want to punch him in the face so much. Unless Nash ends up double-crossing them in the mid-end of season, I’m not really seeing a point to his character.
Andrea: It finally occurred to me that Leo is just a younger version of Burn Notice’s Sam, with 1/3 of the snarky charm.  But, I agree with y’all that he’s unnecessary because he’s not successful in convincing me he’s a double-crossing agent or as a romantic rival to Steven because he seems too silly to be either. I don’t see what Samantha saw in him…even for 9 months.  Hoyt….really, Hoyt needs a distraction from his Steven-worship.
Mahsino: I wouldn’t mind Hoyt and Leo pairing up and going riding off into the sunset together- they might absorb eachothers obnoxiousness.
jen*: Hoyt is cute to me.  But my sister brought up the only good point about Nash – he keeps Mr. Bloom on his toes appreciating his wife.  Having someone around that was that close to her before keeps an otherwise slightly-possibly-justified Boris from resting on his incredibly hot laurels.


Agent McCrabbyants
Diana: He needs a hobby or a love interest.
Mahsino: He either needs to acknowledge that they’re decent or cut them loose. His cutting them down to size speeches are grating my nerves. I’m just waiting until he calls one of them uppity once they regain their full confidence.
Andrea: I completely agree with you, Mahsino. As for the love interest…I still say bring on Delta Burke.
jen*: I’m so down to see Delta Burke.  SO down.  But I also wouldn’t mind having one of the Blooms call him Major Dad.  Just cuz.  And can we finally see what shadow/conspiracy place he works for?  Because if this show is really as straightforward as to just send a CIA guy out to find them and intermittently insult them, well, that’s just silly.


Lizzy (that’d be Samantha’s sister, played by Mekia Cox, who I guess is shown as the “normal person”)
Diana: I’d like to see her get a more substantive storyline.  Really, it would be more interesting if she had Hoyt’s role in their little spy team.  She could be the smart, go-to gadget woman.
Mahsino: I’d like to see her go away. Either that, or have her be an agent for some opposing team. This show really needs a central villain. Since I already get annoyed whenever she opens her mouth, I think she’d fit the bill nicely.
Andrea: I think she and Hoyt should run away together but have inappropriate sex in Sam and Steven’s bed before they go.
jen*: I’d love for her to end up getting sucked into villainess territory, Mahsino.  And I think Nash could be a good way to suck her in.  Double-double agent, maybe?


Open Mic!
Diana: This show needs a jump-start stat!
Mahsino: As a friend of mine once said “this needs to be put down quicker than a quadriplegic pitbull”. Really, it would be a mercy killing. It’s getting increasingly harder for me to motivate myself to watch this.
Andrea: I think the show needs a do-over: maybe make the spy thing short-lived (which would eliminate Agent McCrabbypants and Leo) and have the Blooms concentrate on saving their business.  Hoyt and Lizzy can fall in lust and love over mixing a crème brulée or something and run away to France to set up their own Crate and Barrel lives.  They all meet for very special holiday episodes and thangs.  And I think John Cho should show up on the show…just because. :-D
jen*: Add John Cho and then it will be a lovely little hotness parade.  But honestly, the Blooms have no real problems.  Why are they spying again?  Just cuz McCrabbypants hotelier popped into their lives with a request to save the old flame?  There’s no arc.  Just one mission after another with no ultimate goal.  No wonder the show is stagnating after 3 episodes …