Covert Affairs Season 5 Premiere Review: Back in the D.C. Groove
Four months after the events of Covert Affairs' Season 4 finale, Annie's back in town, back to being blonde, and ready to get back to chasing down bad guys in hilariously impractical footwear.
Super-spydom isn't exactly like riding a bike, though, and it doesn't help that after wasting Henry Wilcox, Annie went even further off the grid. She claims she needed a vaycay, and she may have outsmarted the lie detector that was waiting for her back in the States, but Calder and Auggie know she's lying because of course they do.
Covert Affairs has come a long way from the days of Annie Walker ther bumbling nice girl/rookie spy, and while Annie has been inching toward darkness for some time now—specifically, since Jai's death—the full extent of her evolution was apparent in "Shady Lane." Unlike the Lena-and-Simon insanity, the Annie Walker who's doing her own thang in Season 5 is a calmer and more meticulous agent. At once time, Annie's romance-fueled adventures with Simon and conflict with Lena seemed like an obvious and promising path for Annie's story to follow—and it was, with the first half of Season 3 providing some of Covert Affairs' strongest episodes ever—but in retrospect, if we look at Covert Affairs as a chronicle of Annie's career in the CIA to date, those days feel like the "teenage rebellion" years. That's not to lessen their importance or imply that the dark (and man, were they dark) times that Annie endured in Season 3 were unimportant, but Annie was kind of a brat and she was blinded by her anger toward Joan and Arthur for treating her like a little baby spy.
Flash forward two more seasons and we're dealing with an Annie who is confident in her abilities, but honest about her limitations. She wants the same relationships that she had before, but she's realistic about the damage that's been done over the years. This is our little Annie all growed up.
The death of Henry Wilcox has left a clear bad-guy black hole in the Covert Affairs landscape, but that's okay, the writers are working hard to fill it. An apparent leak in the department led to the deaths of 12 agents, including Auggie's bestie and the latest in a long, long, long line of dashing male agents to hit on Annie. The surest way to get your face blown off on Covert Affairs is to hit on Annie (unless you're Auggie).
And given Annie's secrecy about her lost four months, her understandable paranoia, and the surprise sniper death of Khalid, Annie probably has more insight to the show's newest baddie than she's letting on. That the identity of the evildoer is still mostly unknown—though my money's on McQuaid—is exciting, in that it enables us to jump right into the trenches with Annie and the others. For now, there is no clearly defined enemy, which is probably a little closer to the reality of the espionage field than obvious hero and villain camps.
Outside of the office, Annie tried to rekindle some Auggie Anderson romance, but he was standoffish—and he's probably gonna end up banging his judo teacher at some point. It's kind of hard to blame him.
Meanwhile, Joan and Arthur are nesting with the wee baby Mackenzie while coping with lost professional prestige and position in the CIA. Arthur is out, and Joan was passed over for promotion because of her husband's ruined reputation. With not a whole lot of options at his disposal, Arthur took a job with McQuaid Security because it sounded like a safe and profitable gig for a disgraced and recently unemployed dad... which means that it's probably a terrible decision.
Not a bad start to Season 5, Covert Affairs. Not bad at all.
– So Annie has panic attacks or something.
– Not okay with bombs hidden in people's bodies. Nope.
– Gotta love how the agency was apprehensive about putting Annie back into the field until "OMG THIS DUDE IS IN TOWN AND YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN TALK TO HIM."
– Needs more Eyal.
– Is the S.S. Augnie still seaworthy?
– What are your predictions for the season?
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