In the latest episode of State of Affairs, President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard) takes Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) with rescuing 21 Nigerian girls, who’ve been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
When the show opens, Boko Haram terrorists stop a school bus, before opening fire and taking a group of young girls hostage. Charleston Tucker is grabbing a late night drink, when she runs into Nick Vera (Chris McKenna). Charleston tells Vera that he cannot be trusted, before returning to work and opening a cell phone to download information from it. Maureen James (Sheila Vand) tells the team about the kidnapping, as well as videos of the kidnapped girls, which have been uploaded by the terrorists.
President Payton meets with Raymond Navaro (Nestor Carbonell) and Charleston. Then, Payton and Charleston are left alone and discuss the kidnapping. Charleston says the team has twenty hours to pay the ransom or the girls will be killed. They’ve narrowed down a location in the forest. Payton refuses to send American soldiers to help rescue the girls. Afterwards, Navaro insults Charleston and suggests her team doesn’t have the capabilities to locate the girls.
Maureen questions Charleston about her current condition and why she isn’t hungover like usual. Meanwhile, Payton questions her husband, Marshall Payton (Courtney B. Vance), about his digging into their son’s, Aaron, death. Meanwhile, Charleston watches the video of the kidnap girls, in which Abeo Jatau (Gracie Marie Bradley) speaks to the camera about Islam.
The President and David Patrick (David Harbour) discuss the possibility of attacking Boko Haram, but David suggests it is simply too risky and will be met with too many consequences. Meanwhile, the team shows Charlie pictures of dead girls, which they didn’t help last month. Afterwards, Charleton speaks with Nick and tries to recruit his help locating the girls. Nick demands money for his support.
In a flashback, Nick and Charleston are out on a boat, which is in international waters. The pair is prepared to interrogate a hostage. Nick roughs up Omar Fatah (Farshad Farahat) and threatens to set him on fire. Charleston grows impatient and stops the interrogation. The pair argue, as Charleston suggests the interrogation methods are illegal and ineffective.
The President answers questions from the media about Boko Haram, which she strategically blows off. Maureen and Kurt Tannen (Cliff Chamberlain) speak about Maureen’s ex. Kurt suggests using their high-level access to mess with him. Afterwards, Charleston tells the president about the dead girls and insists they’re close to finding the girl’s location.
Charleston makes a call to Lucas Newsome (Adam Kaufman) and questions about China’s oil connection to Nigeria. Meanwhile, the kidnapped girls begin plotting their escape and know, if they stay they’ll end up dead. One of the girls climbs under the fence and flees into the woods. Before she can escape, she is snatched by one of the terrorists.
Meanwhile, Charleston has a flashback of Aaron, before returning to her normal self and grabbing a drink. Nick arrives and suggests the pair has problems, before they begin sucking down bourbons. Nick informs her that he has a team that is willing to rescue the girls. Afterwards, Charleston makes contact with the president and tells her that she has discovered a way to rescue the girls, without linking the mission to the United States.
Afterwards, the President meets with the Chinese leader (Tzi Ma), while shooting guns. The president questions him about his oil interest in Nigeria, who says he has purchased a top security firm. The president offers to provide him with a team to help protect his oil interests, which gives Nick’s firm a way into the country. Meanwhile, the Boko Haram terrorists reveal their desire to marry the kidnapped girls.
Charleston and team begin using a high-tech mapping system to attempt to locate the girls. Raymond enters and questions Charleston about the security firm. After Raymond leaves, Charleston gives the order to send in the operatives. Afterwards, Charleston speaks with Syd (James Remar), who tells her that Nick did not send the pictures and that someone else is behind the photos. They agree the photo could bring the POTUS and Charleston to their knees, but they’re waiting for something.
When the show returns, the operatives are close to the camp. The operatives successfully enter the camp and rescue the hostages. Charlie informs the president about the successful operation. Charlie is invited to dinner with the team, but refuses. Raymond watches the news and catches the reunion between the hostage and her father. Meanwhile, Nick pulls out a gun, which has been wrapped in a cloth.
This episode of State of Affairs was drastically improved over the first two, in some departments. However, the show still has a lot of room to build and advance. The action and dialogue slowed down, which made it a little more comprehensible and coherent. Everything flowed together a lot smoother, which stopped everything from feeling like a jumbled mess.
Despite the show’s improvements, the episode was still lacking. For starters, none of the characters seemed all that interesting. The threat from Boko Haram didn’t seem like a threat at all. The rescue mission was lackluster, with little excitement or drama. Even the main character, Charleston Tucker isn’t interesting or likable for that matter. The show needs some serious character develop fast. The episode was an improvement, but will need more, if it is going to avoid cancellation. The episode deserves a 6.5 out of 10.