For a detective show, Covert Affairs on USA doesn’t exactly offer anything new, but it does offer some great new characters. Star Piper Perabo’s character might not be different either, but she’s just interesting, and Christopher Gorham’s character as a blind agent is definitely new and interesting. The premiere episode offers enough that I want to at least check out episode two next week.
Perabo plays Annie Walker who is swiftly thrust through the ranks of the CIA from trainee to field operative. She started her CIA training after a relationship that went bad. She has great language skills, being fluent in many different languages. Again, not terribly different. She gets paired working directly under Joan Campbell, head of the Domestic Protection Division. That woman is tough as nails. She’s married to Arthur (Peter Gallagher), director of Clandestine Services for the CIA. The guy who’s helping Annie learn the ropes, Auggie Anderson (Gorham), is a military intelligence expert, who also happens to have been blinded while on an assignment. I’m apologizing beforehand for the cliche, but it’s like the blind leading the blind.
In the premiere episode, Annie is plucked from the training facility and sent to work. Her first order of business is to exchange information with a Russian spy who is looking for asylum in this country. They’re to do the exchange via high tech devices that look like Blackberries, meaning the smart phones, not the fruit. This of course doesn’t go well, and Joan is on her case for screwing it all up. She offers to go back in an get the info that she missed and uses her feminine ways to do so. Also not new, but the way she goes about it is definitely interesting.
After this rough day of hers, Annie has to go to dinner at her sister Danielle’s (Anne Dudek) house to meet a new man. Danielle feels sorry for her sister, thinking she leads a boring, lonely life and needs some excitement. As an agent, Annie isn’t allowed to tell anyone what she really does, so her family and friends think she works at the Smithsonian, and seems to think she lives the life of a librarian.
The story as it plays out leads you to believe we’re in for some interesting plot lines in the future, and I think it’s up to USA to see if they can pull it out. I’m willing to give this one a try again with episode number two, as the premiere showed enough promise to see where it’s going to go.
Catch the series premiere of Covert Affairs July 13 on USA.