‘Covert Affairs’ Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by

covert affairs annie walker piper perabo Covert Affairs Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

USA’s sexy spy drama Covert Affairs comes off a blockbuster year to begin its sophomore season. Does CIA operative Annie Walker still have what it takes to get the job done?

Covert Affairs‘ season 2 premiere episode, “Begin the Begin”, starts with a slow montage of events after last year’s finale in Sri Lanka.  The show wastes no time ramping up the action, with Annie (Piper Parabo) and injured romantic interest Ben Mercer (Eion Bailey) running from mysterious gunmen who’ve infiltrated the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam. The two head back to Washington D.C., where Ben recovers and Annie returns to her double life at the CIA.

The first case assigned to Annie upon her return is protecting an Estonian tennis star who’s snitching on an Eastern European crime boss. As Annie struggles with a growing sense of paranoia, she must contend with her superior Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett) and blind intelligence wunderkind Auggie Anderson (Christopher Gorham). Other returning actors include HeroesSendhil Ramamurthy and Peter Gallagher.

Covert Affairs lives and dies on Perabo’s performance as a competent, yet vulnerable, agent – not unlike an armed and dangerous version of Ally McBeal. While Annie has gained some confidence from her freshman year of globe-trotting adventures, her struggle with crippling paranoia keeps her from becoming an unrelatable superwoman. Her trademarked kicked-puppy look returns more than once, allowing for some audience sympathy, if not a real feeling of danger.

covert affairs season 2 perabo gorham Covert Affairs Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

Of course, she’s still a ton of fun to watch. Seeing Annie protect the country from threats foreign and domestic in $700 Christian Louboutin pumps has yet to get old, and neither has seeing Auggie play the wise blind mentor. His flirty and irreverent banter is at least as fun as his authoritative spy-guy advice, and Gorham’s compassionate performance makes you believe that he really cares for Annie, in a big brother sort of way. Her growing paranoia contrasts well with her unfailing dedication, both of which are helped by Auggie.

The humor on display last year is somewhat lacking in the opening episode, but that’s forgivable with so much ground to cover. There’s still plenty of one-liners sent flying – mostly from Auggie – who keeps the rest of the cast on their toes with some entertaining self-deprecation. Some genuinely impressive dialogue from Campbell doesn’t hurt, either.

The CIA brass needs to contend with lawsuits and other minutia that instantly brings the drama and action to a screeching halt. These segments would be more bearable if they only lasted a few short minutes, but no, they crop up often enough to keep the audience engaged in a plot that’s hard to care about when international criminals are loose in DC. Equally distracting are Annie’s segments with sister Danielle (Anne Dudek) and her kids – again, these bits help to humanize the character, but really put the brakes on the high-tension atmosphere.

covert affairs season 2 Sendhil Ramamurthy Covert Affairs Season 2 Premiere Review & Discussion

Covert Affairs seems to be going in a more serious direction this year. Annie’s no longer wet behind the ears and takes the initiative more often than not. This allows for some impressive set pieces, including the hospital escape, a high-profile tennis match and a car chase. These aren’t up to AAA action movie standards of course, but they’re at or above the level of the climaxes in Burn Notice, and Covert Affairs manages to introduce and resolve these situations without the former’s ever-present cheesiness.

That isn’t to say that these sequences are perfect. Persnickety viewers will notice a few continuity and editing errors – an MP has to shoot through a fleeing Annie and Mercer in order to take down a bad guy, and the CIA operatives seem to leave a lot of criminals blowing in the wind. But there are nit-picks; those entertained by last year’s weekly escapades will still be enthralled.

Covert Affairs isn’t for everyone, but it’s a fun show that doesn’t ask too much of its audience (or actors, for that matter). For some entertaining popcorn fodder that’s a step above the likes of CSI in both action and character development, it’s hard to beat.


Covert Affairs airs Tuesday nights at 10PM on USA.

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  1. Last nights premier was a bit of a disappointment for me, but the series premier last year wasn’t solid either and improved over the season so I’ll hope for the same.

  2. I still can’t get over the fact that the CIA is entrusting life-and-death field operations to a blind guy. Not just a blind guy, but a blind guy in his what, 20s? (If he’s older than that, he doesn’t LOOK it. No pun intended.) Every time I see that, it just takes me out of the show. Anyways, there were some fun parts in the first season, but all the CIA backstabbing stuff, and the married directors, really wore me down over the season, and I’m afraid I won’t be coming back since, according to this review, those things are just magnified once again. Honestly, I don’t know why we’re supposed to take this show as a SERIOUS drama (all the backstabbing in the CIA, politics, etc) and still buy that a blind guy is running field operations. Now I will probably get flamed for nitpicking the blind guy, but I’m sorry, I just can’t get over that fact. It drives me nuts.

  3. I watched the show last season and it was ok, but I really have no interest in watching it this season. It kind of lost me like Nikita did.

  4. I’m still watching it but I wouldn’t be upset if it went away.

  5. I refuse to watch this garbage. I don’t like In Plain Sight either. Both shows are just boring with actresses that are boring. I will stick to White Collar and Burn Notice thank you.

  6. We watched the first half of season 1 and just got bored with it. There was nothing really keeping us there. She’s a likeable enough character, but it was just lacking something. Makes me wonder if season 2 is really worth it considering the responses here haven’t been overwhelmingly in the positive.

  7. Did any one notice the flag at the naval hospital in Guam was hanging the wrong way. The stars should be in the upper left. Hope the navy didn’t do thatg.

  8. All I want to know is: When is Psych coming back! Covert Affairs is ok. But like others have said, there’s not much going on to keep me watching. I might just check it out though because what else is on right now?

  9. “Her trademarked kicked-puppy look returns more than once, allowing for some audience sympathy…”

    If they REALLY wanted to have fun with this, bring in FBI Agent Karen Sympathy (from the Rocky & Bullwinkle movie)…

  10. i loved last years covert affairs. i could hardly wait for this season. after the first 2 episodes, i’m not looking forward to any more. both episodes were weak. episode 2 seemed like they were making it up as they went along. its a shame such potential has been wasted.

  11. The best part of the premier was that it reminded me how much I love Five Guys burgers!

  12. i luv u perabo.