Covert Affairs "Let's Dance" Review: Game Changer

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Sep 19, 2012

Covert Affairs S03E10: “Let’s Dance”

Wow. Covert Affairs has really taken a dive into the dark side, hasn’t it? Armed with everything that we've witnessed over the course of this season, the title “Let’s Dance” a certain menacing quality to it, which this episode wholeheartedly deserved. Back on her feet after Lena Smith’s assassination attempt, Annie Walker was out for blood. No more Miss Nice Annie.

Somewhat predictably, Lena fled to Russia after Auggie blew the whistle on her double agent status. Why Russia? Because it’s always Russia, even though the Cold War ended when I was in elementary school. While Lena lived it up in posh exile, back in the States Annie pushed herself too hard and Auggie called her on it. Not to be hindered by a mere chest wound, Annie basically told Arthur and Joan that she was packing her bags for Russia, with or without their approval. (It’s just a flesh wound!)

Joan approved the trip for the sake of giving Annie an edge that she wouldn’t have had if she hopped on a plane and went completely rogue—cash, contacts, and a viable alias. She had her misgivings, though, and demanded that the trip be for intel only. If Annie could get a photograph of Lena on Russian soil, then the United States would have ample evidence to demand her return. Annie was given strict orders not to kill Lena.


In Russia, Annie made contact with a piano teacher named Dmitri who used to be a spy himself; specifically, a spy with a thing for Lena. Paving the way for Simon to ditch his career for a girl over a decade later, Dmitri was a bit of a trailblazer in that field and Lena promptly betrayed him to advance her own career. He resigned himself to a “small life” and rejected Annie’s efforts to glean information from him for about half the episode, then finally gave in because she was plucky and just wouldn’t go away.

Dmitri was helpful for a stretch. He hooked Annie up with some information about Lena’s weekly routine—apparently she only got to see sunlight on Tuesdays and Thursdays—and helped her arrange an ambush. When the ambush went wrong and Lena turned out not to be in the car that Dmitri claimed she would be in, Annie quickly smelled a betrayal and Annie was SICK of betrayal.

Poor Dmitri. He just wanted Lena to love him. He melted like butter when she showed up at his music store with Victoria Beckham’s haircut from four years ago and shoved her tongue down his throat. All of that bonding with Annie over broken hearts and betrayal went out the window and while he liked Annie enough, and felt bad enough about her plight to prevent her from getting killed, he told Lena everything and botched the photo-op. He’s lucky Annie didn’t splatter his insides all over his outsides; frankly, I was expecting it. Despite her claims to the contrary, Annie was very much operating almost entirely on emotion. The last of her self-control was probably used on pointing a camera at Lena’s empty car instead of a gun and when it appeared that her sole opportunity to get Lena “the right way” was compromised, the mission quickly began to unravel, and even with Auggie in her ear suggesting that she get back to the U.S., SOMEONE was going to pay.

Do we think this new, jaded Annie Walker is here to stay? Annie spared Dmitri, but Lena wasn’t so fortunate—and to be fair, she was in the midst of pulling a gun on Annie anyway. But before Annie capped her, Lena managed to get her super villain monologue out and explain herself. What she said probably has more implications for Annie than for Lena, particularly concerning Old Annie vs. New Annie.

Lena had worked as a double agent for 13 years. She had Jai murdered to shove Annie into the spotlight at the CIA and she picked Annie up as a protege on purpose. She deliberately paired Annie with Simon because Annie’s history of falling for the driven, bad-boy types, and her ongoing new-girl drive to prove herself to her superiors made a romance inevitable. Lena figured that it would be Annie falling for Simon, but Simon falling for Annie was totally workable in Lena’s master plan, too. Lena had no vendetta against Simon OR Annie. They were just the right parts at the right time in her big machine. Annie was the perfect victim because of the kind of person and the kind of operative she was. Ouch.

But Annie clearly changed due to her experience with Lena and when the duo came face to face, Annie actually had the upper hand. Lena made the mistake of assuming that she was still dealing with Old Annie, and played on Old Annie’s need for approval and acceptance by showering her with compliments and offering her a place in her new empire. Annie pointed out that Lena's empire actually kind of sucked, that Lena was practically a prisoner to her own power. Certainly, she could manipulate people and play them like the world was a giant chess board, but she couldn’t even leave her house without an armed guard.

Annie’s needs have appeared to change, but what she gives in return is very much the same. Annie balked at the idea of betraying her agency for personal gain. Annie has never thrived in isolation, which was made very apparent this past season. Mending fences with Auggie, Joan, and Danielle has become a cornerstone of Annie’s restored identity. While she no longer yearns for their constant affirmation, she still cares for them and she’s still loyal. She still knows what her job is. She still follows her instincts. Because she wasn't blinded by her search for approval, New Annie saw right through Lena’s promises as the distractions they were and totally nailed Lena before she got a single shot in.

Now what? Lena told Annie that the CIA would throw Annie under the bus if she killed Lena. Do you think that will be the case? With the mystery of Jai’s murder solved and Lena brought to justice, where do you think the rest of the season will go when Covert Affairs returns in three weeks?

Spy Notes

– Annie and Auggie formally reconnected and Auggie claimed to have something important to tell Annie face to face. Despite being a big Auggie/Annie fan, now that canon is kind of sort of “going there” it feels weird. Is it just me? Is it weird? Is it awesome?

– Joan turned in her letter of resignation when news of Annie’s Moscow mission started to make waves. Do you think Arthur will accept it? Do we care? I kind of care. Joan has finally had something to do during the past few episodes besides complain and look sullen. I like it.

  • Comments (32)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • SashaRetana Oct 02, 2012

    Can someone clear this up for me: What was Lena's original plan? She sends Annie to "cultivate him as an asset," while in reality, she was planning to do what? When they thought annie's cover was blown, and she sends her back to the DPD, why? And finally, she had already made Annie out as a traitor, why did she need to go back and shoot her?

  • blue_fish24 Sep 25, 2012

    Usually I find Joan and Arthur quite boring, but during the last few episodes I've grown fond of Joan. I hope Arthur doesn't accept her letter of resignation

  • ALR Sep 24, 2012

    Eyal returns in the fall to help his Neshama

  • chamelean75 Sep 21, 2012

    I know it will never happen but I will always prefer an Eyal and Annie coupling hehe.

  • Mcarson09 Sep 21, 2012

    MaryAnn I still don't like Joan. I like her even less so when they've tried to soften her. I smell aonther round of budget cuts at CA ;) lol

    Annie did good by taking care of Lena. I'm liking this show a lot now because of this season. I used to get get tired of her sister sister hitting her with a bus every week!

    Btw Auggie is just looking for his favorite boxer and is wondering if Lena has seen them ;)

  • lynn132 Sep 21, 2012

    I feel like Joan resigned to help Arthur, though hopefully to get rid of the dead weight that is the system and help Annie and Auggie. We all know Auggie will be helping Annie, but it will be a while until their romance is finally recognized. Covert Affairs is filmed in part in Toronto since it is cheaper than abroad. I love this show and can't wait for more!

  • Mcarson09 Sep 22, 2012

    I disagree... She did it to give herself a clean way out and not be sent off to someone frozen. Helping Arthur would just a be bonus for her.

  • bluemystique Sep 21, 2012

    "Important things Auggie could say:

    "Did you change the oil to my car?"

    "So about that bug you destroyed...I'll accept cash,check, or plastic."

    "We need a new drinking spot now because I'm banned from the last one." (It was established as a "Spook" does one get banned from one of those? Shouldn't they be used to a physical altercation or two?"

    "Danielle demanded to know what's going on and why you haven't called to thank her for the cookies."

    "I just wanted to insert a microchip tracker in you because this shizz is getting ridiculous."

    I think he just wants to feel her up, and by feel her up, I mean feel out her face, because she's getting better at hiding things from him and lying, and Auggie can't have that. He'll need more than just a waver in her voice to pick things out now, he needs micro-expressions too.

  • bluemystique Sep 21, 2012

    - It isn't weird. It's just awesome. In classic push-pull fashion, his "something important" could be just about anything and doesn't necessairly have to be a declaration of undying love or what not. Their relationship has evolved a great deal in this season alone, as they've been distant for some time and keeping things from one another, and yet they've also never been closer. It's constantly evolving. I like it, for whatever it is and whatever it becomes because the chemistry between those two is fantastic and their relationship is the heart of the show. I never get enough of a good Augnie moment.

    -Don't care. Not really. But I agree that Joan has been really fantastic this season, as she's had more to do. I've also enjoyed seeing how much she genuinely cares for her people, and her getting in on some action. No one does placid like Kari but I love it when she shows more range.

    Covert Affairs got dark and I like it. Gone are the days when it was barely thrilling fodder watched in order to past the summer days of a tv wasteland away. They're fighting with the big boys of USA now. I think I like Annie a bit more jaded. It was something that was bound to happen eventually and they paced it out quite nicely. The girl has a ruthless backbone after all and it's nice to see that other side of her. She surprised me capping Lena with such ease. Although, it's hard to not want to shut the woman up when she's hitting you with the "It's business, it isn't personal" thing. Pretty stellar. As Leroy Jethro Gibbs would say, "When someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it.". I look forward to seeing our dearest Annie try to get the heck out of there with the best support group she ask for, Auggie, Joan, and did I see a flash of Eyal in the previews? My favorite Mossad agent next to Ziva David.

  • Phoeniks Sep 21, 2012

    Augnie is a no .. sounds like a marble. lol .. mmm .. Annie and Auggie ... seems like their names already play into their future relationship.

    I gotta agree with you .. lots of development this season .. but development with good restraint ... you don't want everything to come out at once. And they have been keeping it close ..

  • Phoeniks Sep 20, 2012

    What if Lena was wearing a bullet proof vest? I saw no shots in the head. She might be back ... Soap opera moment.

    Annie and Auggie .. its time. I wanted to see a kiss when Annie was leaving to Russia in the cab ... instead of a ride. Afterall she was all emotional ... what would be Auggie expression of a stolen kiss?

    Later episodes would be awkward ... too early?

    What will happen to Joan ... no idea. Don't care that much.

    Maybe Annie will be locked up for months and turn into a real badass spy .. and not wear red skirts on missions. lol. But Lena deserve it ... and she still can take that picture.

    Well .. october will arrive.

  • Sp3kkie Sep 20, 2012

    Annie indeed wouldn't betray the CIA, but in my opinion not because of Joan or Arthur (at least not at the moment). The one that keeps her on the right side is Auggie (and maybe her sister)

  • See More Comments (9)