Covert Affairs Season 5 Premiere Review: Back in the D.C. Groove

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jun 25, 2014

Covert Affairs S05E01: "Shady Lane"

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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  • lovelybermaid Oct 22, 2014

    Amazing how Piper Perabo (Covert affairs) became a very promising Star from a small role as a barmaid in *Coyotte Ugly* years ago to the today *Annie Walker* !!!

    I'm sure that Holywood movie producers will use her talents in sensational movies !!!

    Anyway I'm a definite fun of Piper...she's and wish to meet her some day...'s a dream as I live 15.000 miles away from holywood...


  • GizmoLeBrat Jul 12, 2014

    Love the show this season. Like the "inside" view of each character. Annie is "growing" up and the McQ is a great addition for her to "hook" up with. More her equal, plays well off her......................looking forward to see how Annie figures out that she can be "herself", have it all, with someone who gets it!

  • MisterKez Jun 30, 2014

    I am not sure if that was a panic attack or PTSD or what it was. What was the injection she gave herself?

    The whole CBoT was predictably just a way to get the brother into the secret base. I saw it coming from a mile away. Who tipped them off about the base? I am betting on Charlie. And I think Annie suspects too. I did not see Charlie's body near the coin. Who was the sniper? I suspected Charlie from the beginning. Especially when they said no guns and immediately had their guns drawn.

    That "get back to work" was so wrong. She just came in from the cold and immediately gets put back in the field? I do not think so. Last I checked, Annie was not the only agent in the C.I.A.

    Always need more Eyal.

    S.S. Augnie has been torpedoed and yes, I think Auggie will sleep with the judo teacher, if he hasn't already.

    McQuaid is a red herring. He is too similar to Henry and way too obvious. McQuaid is shady, but not the big bad. Arthur will use his new job to help Joan get the DCi gig. McQuaid will use Arthur to try to get into Annie's pants. Auggie will date the judo instructor and split them up as handler/agent. Calder will be Annie's new handler after Joan takes over the DCI.

  • KateSullivan Jun 28, 2014

    Okay, this isn't a good sign, but I just watched this over breakfast this morning. Honestly, during the fall/winter season, this is generally Elementary sign and while I like the show, its not one I will be upset if it goes off the air.

    I must say, it is always more interesting when some actual investigation has to go on than just Henry is the bad guy and honestly we just expect you to remember absolutely everything that has happened or that we mentioned off hand in the fourth episode of season one. I was a little confused about the FBI going in, I swear Auggie's friend said no guns, then on the elevator, guns out, then he had a sniper? I don't know, I was suspicious of him when he brought his wife's car and still not sure of him as he led Annie in.

    But, my thoughts after the episode was over was more, wait, do I remember something happening to Annie once she had that job and was close to Henry where she could have been infected with something. I have a vague memory of something happening that wasn't really followed up on.

    McQuaid seems so obvious as a bad guy and then having Arthur go work for him seems like making it a real red herring. But I do suspect that if Annie and Calder are right, Annie was intended to be at the site as well. Especially with the demand she be in Chicago when I think the information she provided could probably have been delivered by phone and another agent located there could have done the visit. I guess maybe then that is my evidence of McQuaid's innocence, that he didn't know she was actually there until she demanded to speak to him.

  • asenova Jun 26, 2014

    I hated last season...But this one started off great. I am very happy to see Nic Bishop again he was great in Body of proof. I hope Auggie and Annie are over for good because they have zero chemistry as a couple. I doubt Annie has panic attacks or PTSD... Looks way more serious. I haven't been excited for a next episode of covert affairs in a while but know I am.

  • Kallenprice97 Jun 30, 2014

    I don't mind them being over, but I thought they had great chemistry. Though the writers really fumbled at trying to add conflict and tension between them.

  • thatstp Jun 26, 2014

    As usual I am in the minority about Annie and Eyal. I don't like them together. I think he's too old for her. I would love to see Eyal again but as someone said downthread, I think the last time we saw him it was the last time. If I recall correctly he wasn't with Mossad anymore.

    I don't know if I like this new Annie or not but I understand the character progression. She is definitely more no nonsense and not here for anyone's bullshit.

    I do not like her new love interest though. Not just because I don't really care for the actor but because I feel like they keep throwing men at her every season. Let her work through some things and be a super spy for a minute before she becomes involved again.

    All in all I'm in for the season thus far. I just hope it it doesn't turn me off. I really like this show.

  • stevei Jun 25, 2014

    To take your questions in order:

    1. I think she may be having more than panic attacks, but we will see.
    2. Stole the bomb idea from Dark Knight, not cool.
    3. She is now thought of as a superspy, which is realistic, if a person in the real CIA had done what she has done.
    4. I agree.
    5. Not if they want to keep their story lines open.6.
    6. None in particular, but I thought this was a good start.
    I really enjoyed this episode and thought it was both a good episode and a good reboot for the series.

  • LiseLotteDive Jun 25, 2014

    I am really gonna sound like a nagging old lady, but PLEASE get Annie out of the high heels, its too distracting. Give her realistic foot wear.

  • kanniballl Jun 25, 2014

    Was it a panic attack, or a heart thing.

    It looked to me like she injected something into her leg... like when we see someone use an epi pen. Only obviously it wasn't a nut allergy.

    I'm not an expert or anything... but I haven't heard of a quick-inject drug to help with panic attacks / PTSD / whatever. But who knows.

    So I'm thinking something is more wrong than we're hearing. Maybe something was done to her (captured, drugged, forced-surgery, etc.).

    Or maybe she's finally snapping due to the long list of cr@p she's had to deal with.

  • Ugmiwatogla Jun 25, 2014

    it looked like an asthma attack.

  • Kallenprice97 Jun 30, 2014

    No, I don't think asthma. More like heart.

  • jacobwright984 Jun 25, 2014

    The Producer of the show said in an interview her mysterious health problem is physical so what do you guys think? her being a double agent would make the show better

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