The premiere of “Covert Affairs” Tuesday night was a long time coming. After checking out the show’s set and interviewing the majority of the cast (which you can see and read about at this link), there was nothing else to do but have the pilot episode finally hit the airwaves.
After waiting to talk about it for quite some time, here’s the verdict on this end — it’s really quite good, and it may end up becoming the cable hit of the summer. Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) is a new officer at the CIA, who receives a sudden promotion simply due to both her appearance (which was useful in a specific mission) and her ability to speak a multitude of languages. She also has a little bit of a complicated love life, as part of her brain is still caught up on a love affair in Sri Lanka that disintegrated one day.
In this episode, we see Annie taking on her first main mission — retrieving some valuable data from a man who is potentially on the agency’s side. The problem? Nothing exactly goes according to plan, and after Annie makes a basic mistake at the scene she has to backtrack and re-think what she is going to do.
As the episode progresses, we are introduced to the show’s other characters including Joan and Arthur (the married CIA bosses who spend a good bit of their time in counseling) and Christopher Gorham’s fantastic Auggie (a blind tech specialist who has a thing with the ladies). Auggie ultimately plays a role in the final part of the episode, but what surprises us even more is who else is involved — the man who ultimately saves Annie is the same man from Sri Lanka. (Oh, snap!)
Away from all the CIA business, we have Anne Dudek’s Danielle, Annie’s sister who is completely in the dark about what is actually going on. She tries to set her up on a date out of courtesy, and it really doesn’t go too well. As a matter of fact, the information divulged in the dinner between Annie, Danielle, and the “suitor” (that Annie supposedly works at the Smithsonian) plays a major role later in the culminating scene. One of the real challenges for the show moving forward is going to be balancing out the CIA business with Annie’s personal life, and not making Danielle seem dumb for not figuring anything out.
All in all, this is just one episode — the real fate of “Covert Affairs” will meet likely won’t come for a few more weeks. The show is off to a great start, with a likable lead character (who is far more believable than some other media outlets are saying in their reviews today), a strong supporting cast (highlighted by Gorham), and a hook (the Sri Lankan lover) to keep us coming back. There is also some fast-paced action that is on par with “White Collar” and “Burn Notice”.
Now, we just have to see if the show will stay consistent. Even if it has a few bumps in the road, USA will almost surely stand behind their product — “Psych” didn’t really start winning people over until three or four episodes into its first season.
What did you think of the premiere? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
More “Covert Affairs” news, recaps, and interviews
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