A picture-perfect, young married couple has their own catering company together. What a novel concept. This could be a quaint little show. Never mind that odd chase and shootout scene across rooftops in Paris to start this episode. What was that about? That must've been some television show the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Bloom were watching before they got back to preparing food in their cozy catering business, right? Moving on, it seems like there's trouble brewing in the kitchen between the happily bantering couple and their staff. Samantha Bloom (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) has been overpaying her employees, her husband Steven (Boris Kodjoe) points out. It's hard not to over-compensate hardworking culinary experts, Samantha; don't sweat it. But on top of that, there's been a slight misunderstanding between Sam and her sister Lizzy (Mekia Cox) over the spread for a wedding where one of the parties is an Orthodox Jew. Lizzy has OK'd pork. Oh no! This one's going to be a sticky mess to get out of.
Now that we have our conflict, let's meet some more of the interesting characters we'll be spending a lot of time with. Before Lizzy and the Blooms can tackle their catering conflicts, an older man shows up at their door by the name of Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney). He's all gruff and business. (He must be one of their regular catering clients who is always causing trouble.) Shaw asks to speak with Samantha and Steven in private to offer them a job and begins implying he knows exactly who these people are. We've only spent five minutes with these two, and I think it's safe to say we all know exactly who they are, Shaw. They're the hottest couple to hit the catering industry since sliced bread and butter, that's who. Mr. Shaw plops a file folder down in front of the Blooms to tell them the guy that was being chased through Paris is missing and... WAIT. That was real?! Carlton Shaw is a CIA agent and the Blooms are retired agents, five years removed. Whaaa?! Well... my dreams of a fictional, clever culinary couple show have been dashed. Shaw puts on a guilt trip when grudgingly fulfilling his duty to try and recruit Sam and Steven to track down the missing Agent Leo Nash, which festers in their minds the rest of the night along with their shared realization of romantic stagnation until they both separately seek out Shaw to accept the assignment -- first discussing it, as any married couple would, in terms of, "Can we do this?" They decide they can and have Shaw's full cooperation and resources at their disposal. Here we go.
The Undercovers Couple's adventure takes them first to Madrid, Spain where they meet their sycophantic errand boy, Bill (Ben Schwartz), who helps them infiltrate a bank so they can hack into an ATM surveillance camera to get a clue about who Agent Nash was in contact with before his disappearance. Footage reveals the logo of a nearby dry cleaners. The Blooms break in and turn up info about a suit which needs to be ready for the wedding of the Spanish Defense Minister's daughter. They can't just walk into something like that, so, of course, they parachute onto the grounds of the wedding reception and work their way into the crowd, looking for a guy in blue pinstripes. They find him and identify him as Claudio Vega, a known weapons trafficker. Sam puts the moves on him to pry him away from his cell phone so she can plant a bug on it to download data from the device. "Sexpionage," she calls it. I thought I hated the word "sexting."
Meanwhile, Agent Nash is being tortured. During his chase at the Paris hotel, he stashed away a little toy robot USB thumbdrive, which had sensitive information, but he offers up documents little by little to the henchmen of Alexander Slotsky, claiming he wants out of the CIA. Schlotzsky's is the quintessential bad guy of the proceedings, and the guy Nash was supposed to be trying to capture before he was captured himself.
After searching through the data mined from Vega's phone, the Blooms find a phone call in which Leo Nash is offering up government documents to his captors, which doesn't help Steven's suspicion that Nash is a traitor. You know what else doesn't help that? Turns out Nash is Samantha's ex-boyfriend. Oh, snaps. It's really hard to convince any man that your exes weren't traitors and terrorists under the best of circumstances. Bill is able to help triangulate Nash's coordinates when he made the phone call, which leads the investigation to Paris and then eventually to Moscow, where Nash is being held captive. The Blooms infiltrate Schlotzsky's hideout and rescue Nash. The only problem is Leo was trying to draw in Schlotzsky's by pretending to be a traitor, and he was moments away from capturing the guy. Steven and Leo shoot their way out of the hideout, even evading a guy with a rocket launcher and three (!) rockets, while Sam pursues Schlotzky's in a car chase. How does she capture him? By blowing up his car with a rocket launcher. Don't use up your rocket allotment in the pilot, guys, please.
Returning stateside, The Undercovers deliver Leo Nash and Alexander Slotsky to the CIA. Shaw reluctantly is impressed and even more reluctantly he offers the Blooms their old jobs back permanently on any terms they wish. They accept under the terms they get to keep their catering business as a front and have all of the same access to the resources they had for this mission. That's J.J. Abrams' way of saying to you the viewer, "If you liked what you saw tonight, stay tuned. There's more where that came from." With the excitement back in their lives, Steven and Samantha go home and get it on. Sexpionage: Are your teens doing it?
Before we get started, quick question -- Are we going to call Steven "Undercover Brother?" We are? That's so uninspired, guys.
We open the series zooming into a mirror in a fancy hotel room where there's a man asleep alone in bed. There's a loud crash outside his room, which makes the man sit straight up in bed instantly and hurry to block his door with a chair before jumping into a pair of jeans. Three men in rubber Halloween masks break down the door as the occupant of the room grabs a little toy robot and laptop before heading to the balcony. He pulls out a gun and shoots out a window one story below his balcony, turns and jumps off the balcony in the opposite direction. The men chasing him reach the balcony and are fooled only for a second by the commotion in the room with the shot-out window. They catch the misdirection quickly enough to fire a shot at our running man as he enters a window of another room. He finds his way to the roof of the hotel and pulls out his cell phone. "What the hell is this? Call your men off! I assure you my offer is real. I will deliver the files to you myself -- in person. The deal is still in place," as he runs under the giant, neon hotel sign and we see the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. Dude's in France.
When he has some distance between himself and his pursuers, he kneels down, pulls out his laptop and plugs the toy robot in. USB thumbdrives, these days... Remember when they were the size of small mozzarella sticks and looked like vibrators? No? Running Man transfers some files, deletes them, packs up his laptop again and takes off running. Where the hell are the guys that are chasing him? Running Man probably updated his Facebook status, too. "Just had time to transfer all of the new Maroon 5 album while outrunning these guys in Paris. Wifi FTW!" He ends up on another rooftop where he stops to stash the robot thumbdrive in a broken pipe and etches something onto the pipe. When Running Man takes off to do that thing he does -- which is running -- he's cut off by one of the guys in a mask who has a gun trained on him. No Longer Running Man turns to see the other two masked men burst from a door, their guns trained on him as well. Close-up of Probably Dead Man's weird and panicky heavy breathing.
Abrupt cut to a fish getting its head chopped off in a bright, colorful kitchen. The fish symbolizes Probably Dead Man, you see. A young, attractive woman walks her way around a huge and busy industrial kitchen. As she passes by her workers, she compliments them and announces, "Three hours, guys!" This is Samantha Bloom (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Cut to her speaking with a man who has the hushed and understanding tone of a husband, as he tells her there's a problem with their budgeting of their catering business. Sam is paying her employees too much. She feels they deserve it because they're good people. Steven thinks something needs to change. Another young, attractive woman comes up to the couple with a problem. The butcher has run out of beef ribs and asked to use pork ribs, which this girl, Lizzy (Mekia Cox), said was fine. Samantha freaks out because this is for the Chan-Finklestein wedding in which Finklestein (we're to assume) is an Orthodox Jew. "Yeah, but she's Chinese. I kinda thought he'd... gotten over it," Lizzy flippantly deadpans. Sam's face shows more exasperation than the cumulative exasperation of Jon Arbuckle in the entire run of Garfield. The doorbell rings and Lizzy runs off to answer it. Steven asks if they can fire Lizzy as she walks off. "She's my sister," says Sam. Incompetence immunity! Lizzy gets to the door and -- oh shit! It's TV's Major Dad, Gerald McRaney! Lizzy is all bubbly and polite as she asks if Major Dad is part of the Chan-Finklestein wedding. "Do I look like a Chan? Or a Finklestein?" Maybe a Chanklestein?
Lizzy informs the Blooms that Major Dad is there to see them, so they enter into a small conference room where he's waiting for them. He gets up to cut off their introduction. "I know who you are. Are we secure in here?" Samantha's taken aback. "We are," she hesitantly responds. Major Dad locks eyes with Steven and says, "Then let's close the door, hm." Steven obliges, shuts the door and asks, "So what does that mean? 'You know who we are.'" MD plops an open file down onto the table with a photo of our Probably Dead Man. His name is/was Leo Nash and he is missing... probably dead. Steven and Samantha are still playing dumb and ask who exactly Major Dad is. He pulls out his CIA badge and tosses it onto the table. He is Carlton Shaw, an agent of 32 years. He'll always be Major Dad. Right now, however, he asks for help locating the missing Agent Nash. The Blooms remind him they chose to resign five years ago when they met each other and want to know why none of the perfectly still-active field agents can handle this. The reasons the Blooms are wanted for the job: Sam worked with Nash closely and Steven trained with him. Plus, Operation Black Swan is still in effect. Wha? Steven asks what Black Swan is, which surprises Shaw. Sam explains that she and her husband agreed to never discuss classified operations and have so far been able to stick with it. Impatient Major Dad: "Allow me to unstick you." If I had a nickel every time...Continuing, Shaw explains to Steven that Black Swan is the operation to capture the dangerous and at-large Alexander Slotsky (affectionately called "Schlotzsky's" by me). Nash was heading up this operation and was very close to making a collar before he failed to make a scheduled meet. Steven thinks Nash simply went on a bender since it completely fits his personality to do so and go missing. Before the Blooms can outright decline the assignment, Shaw begins packing up and gives a speech about how he should've known better than to expect the help of two people who abandoned the opportunity to serve their country. Hey now. Hurtful. Steven takes exception to Shaw's tone and the lecture about patriotism. Shaw makes it personal. He heard about how they "had difficulty maintaining a relationship while remaining separate field agents." He continues on, "...My heart broke for you. You deserted the rest of us. And so now it's the job of a career agent to beg two caterers to help with national security." We slowly zoom in on Major Dad's face. "Well you know what? I've got difficulty with that. But I did it, didn't I?" He slams the door behind him. Boom.
We're outdoors at night with children running around. The Blooms are working a wedding. Samantha figures they might get out of there early. Steven looks longingly over at the newlywed couple on the dance floor. Is that Chan and Finklestein? These two are so enigmatic. I want to know more about Chan and Finklestein. J.J. Abrams, you tease! Will they hyphenate? I have to know! The Undercovers look on and ponder when was the last time they danced together. They danced the whole night at their wedding at which Leo Nash was in attendance, apparently drunk the whole night. Undercover banter ensues -- Sam: "Remember Leo that night?" Steven: "Drunk with sunglasses on?" Sam: "Half the night." Steven: "Well sunglasses half the night, drunk the whole night." Sam: "...That toast he gave." Steven: "Still don't understand it." Sam: "It was sweet." Steven: "It was rambling. Erratic. Just completely ridiculous." Sam: "A lot like Leo." I'm dizzy. This is going to happen a lot, isn't it?
At home in the terribly mundane house of The Undercovers, the two get ready for bed. Sam's indulging in some peanut butter straight out of the jar while Steven brushes his teeth, pausing for a moment of self-reflection in the mirror. Get it? Mirror? You're too young. They hop into bed together. Steven rolls over to spoon Sam and asks if she feels like it. You know... it. Samantha does, but has to decline tonight, citing exhaustion. They agree to make a go of it tomorrow night and roll over to face opposite directions. I dig how realistically this all went down. Guy wants it. Girl s