An unlikely plot when 2 high ranking women decide to plot murder on the terrorist responsible for the death of their son/fiance. In other words, revenge. Alfre Woodard and Katherine Heigl are CIA and President of the United States, respectively. Katherine Heigl plays Charleston Tucker, the CIA Official who was engaged to Aaron Payton, the President’s son, played by Mark Tallman. Alfre Woodard plays President Constance Payton, a former war veteran and Courtney B. Vance plays the President’s husband, Marshall Payton. For some reason, they were all together in Kabul, Afghanistan where they were attacked by a terrorist group lead by Omar Abdul Fatah. Aaron was killed but the women were not. It appears that their mission, going forward, is to kill any and everyone responsible for Aaron’s death. There are many secrets yet to unfold. While I love a good drama, I’m not sure this one is going to make it. There’s nothing wrong with the acting or the characters, except I’d hate to think that the President’s main agenda is revenge, yet I was happy when we took down Osama Bin Laden.
The pilot features Dr. Benjamin Butler who is working in Africa and who resembles the President’s dead son, Aaron. While in Kenya, the doctor and his colleagues were kidnapped and threatened with decapatation by a newly formed terrorist group. In the meanwhile, the mission to take down the much sorted after Omar Abdul Fatah, already targeted and in clear site of a US ground military strike team (MI6) was called off by CIA Official, Charleston, in favor of rescuing Dr. Butler instead. It wasn’t quite clear if the mission was redirected in favor of saving the doctor over killing Fatah because of the doctor’s resemblence to Aaron or Charlie’s explanation “waiting 6 months would allow us to get Fatah and his entire network instead of just Fatah”. A lot of risky business here. It’s worth waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks. One thing is clear, there is more going on than meets the eye. A relationship was introduced between Charlie and Nick Vera (Chris McKenna) a CIA asset who worked for Charlie and is keeping a secret regarding Fatah. There seems to be an obvious resentment between the two despite their romantic involvement. Nick has been “dark” for over a year. Secret photos that suggest Charlie and Nick are semi quasi partners in crime are repeatedly sent to Charlie’s cell phone. Charlie does not remember all that happened the day Aaron was killed. Her therapist is suggesting that Charlie is blocking out something she doesn’t want to remember.
I find this series a little ambiguous and I don’t think it’s very authentic. The busyness of the Presidential Staff and the ambiance of the White House is missing. Scenes like the President walking away from her son’s grave site, after speaking at a memorial, without visual body guards or Charlie being the President’s Daily Briefer which in real life is done by the Director of Intelligence, which is totally separate from the CIA and the fact that we don’t really ever see any of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives support to the unofficial look and feel of this White House. Also, there are a lot of black women e.g., Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton or Jenifer Lewis, I feel would have made a more believable US President — it’s not an acting thing, it’s the unnaturalness and the energy I find lacking. State of Affairs airs on NBC. I still think it has potential.