Covert Affairs' Season 3 Premiere: Cupcakes, Death, and Reassignment

Covert Affairs S03E01: “Hang on to Yourself”

It was no secret that someone was going to die in Covert Affairs’ Season 3 premiere. That fact was the crux of the series’ promos for the past month. Personally, I thought it was going to be Arthur, so I was pleasantly shocked when the casualty turned out to be Jai, if only because it wasn’t the turnout that I was expecting. With that said, Jai Wilcox, the potential romantic interest that just sort of fizzled and whose daddy issues always kept me intrigued, you will be missed.

Act 1 of this four-act teleplay opened on Independence Day in Washington, D.C. Big sister Danielle moped about Annie having to work on the holiday, reminding us all that Danielle really has no understanding of what her sister does for a living. She was there to provide back-up cupcakes for little sis to take to the office, though, when Annie destroyed hers. Danielle made Red Velvet cupcakes, a particularly poignant choice, uniquely American in origin and named for the color the cake develops during baking due to a reaction between cocoa powder, buttermilk, and white vinegar. The reaction reveals the red pigment in the cocoa—its “true colors,” in way. Langley’s reaction to Jai’s death similarly revealed Annie’s own true colors in revealing the lengths that she is willing to go to in order to do her job.

So, Jai Wilcox was taken out by a car bomb, Auggie was given Jai's old job and ordered to use his new position to figure out who wanted Jai dead, and Annie, having witnessed the whole thing and conveniently avoided going KABOOM due to leaving her umbrella in the diner, was treated to her very own lie detector test because forgetting her umbrella didn’t look suspicious or anything.

In the aftermath of Jai’s death, Annie found herself reassigned to Lena Smith’s department. Lena Smith is an espionage legend, responsible for many of the big victories at Langley. In fact, Auggie claimed that she “only does big wins.” Annie was initially apprehensive of her reassignment, worried that it was punishment for her (non)involvement in Jai’s murder, but Auggie claimed that it was a good thing: “Congratulations, Annie Walker, you’ve graduated.”

Lena claimed that she would treat Annie like an equal. There was the obligatory ham-fisted indictment of the male-oriented spy world in which these two fierce ladies operate. For example, male operatives were encouraged to sleep with their targets to elicit information while females were not. Fair point, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the entire exchange was included solely to justify Annie’s newfound quickness to lose her shirt in a convenient spy situation. I mean, we got Sexcapades Annie TWICE in this episode alone. But on the other hand, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right? And Piper Perabo certainly has it.

In her first assignment for Lena, Annie was sent abroad to learn more about Simon Fisher, a suspected assassin and “born spy.” Annie posed as a Smithsonian employee and the two bonded over the extensive collection of passport stamps. Simon was charming (why are Annie’s targets ALWAYS charming?) and suspicious. Annie followed Lena’s advice to ditch protocol and get to the bottom of Simon’s activities. She acquired a swipe drive to pull files off of his computer and arranged a date, which Simon was casually late for. They frolicked merrily in an oasis that Simon owned and claimed to want to turn into a nature preserve, but were interrupted by a sandstorm before Annie could do the spy thing with his computer. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Simon was suspicious of Annie’s knowledge when it came to weathering sandstorms, and honestly, their mutual suspicion of one another was one of the most thrilling parts of the episode. I wouldn’t mind Simon sticking around for a little while. What do you say? Lena argued that female spies were discouraged from sleeping with their targets because they are too “emotional” (ugh, barf). But Annie does have a bit of a habit of growing attached to the pretty guy spies she works with. It’s not a female thing, it’s an Annie thing. I predict that unless Simon tries to throw her off of a mountain in the next episode or two, there’s a decent chance that Annie’s heart may swoon.

After surviving their brief stall in the sandstorm and safely returning to Simon’s apartment, Annie found the opportunity to swipe his drive while he was in the shower...before joining him in the shower. Man, she didn’t hesitate at all, despite having gathered all of the intel that she had set out to find. Is this a new ruthless side of Annie Walker or was she just a girl out to have a little fun? Personally, as much as I’m convinced that Annie will follow Annie-tradition and fall for Charming Assassin Simon (eventually), I wouldn’t mind it if she went full Lena Smith badass either.

I’m pretty excited about where Annie Walker may end up this season. Covert Affairs has managed to capture my interest with its third-season premiere, which is something that it has, quite honestly, rarely managed to do in the past. This new, slightly darker, less starry-eyed Annie is fascinating in ways that she previously hasn’t been, and the best part about her is that she may have been there all along, just waiting to be revealed.

What are your thoughts on the season premiere?


Super Secret Spy Notes


1. Poor Annie was terrified to get into her car after Jai’s death. I don’t blame her. If I were in her position, I would have totally looked into public transit.

2. Arthur and Joan continued to have issues with keeping home out of their work life and work out of their home life. It’s getting kind of tedious at this point.

3. I was totally bummed to see Annie turn Auggie down when he offered to help during her chase. I mean, I understand why she did it, but still, those two are one of my favorite dynamic duos. Do you think they’ll end up back together again?

4. How do we feel about Lena Smith? Everyone seems to be in awe of her, while at the same time, apprehensive about her. Is it really in Annie’s best interest to work with her?



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Sorry to let everyone down, but any "suspicions" that anyone may have had about Jai not really being dead are incorrect. In an interview with TV Guide that was published on the Seattle Pi website, the show's co-creators were asked if Jai was really gone. Co-creator Matt Corman said, "In the world of our show, when people die, they're dead. There's nothing up our sleeve here. From the earliest conception of the show, we wanted the world of the show to have real stakes. We always recognized that we'd have to kill people because that's how you invest the audience and make them realize that week in and week out, this is a dangerous job that these people are doing. This seemed like a really dramatic way to do it that would really kick off a season with a mythology." You can read the full interview at http://www.seattlepi.com/ae/tv/tvguide/article/Covert-Affairs-Bosses-on-Premiere-s-Shocking-3697810.php#page-1
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I like the show because of how it is shot and how sharp all the colors are, but she really does make for a terrible spy. What's the point of having a secret code with the guy selling stuff out of his stall if he is just going to invite her inside and suddenly lock up? Also, almost immediately asking the guy she is trying to gather intel on about the random area of the desert she believes he is buying up for some nefarious reason is not very subtle...



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Yeah I agree, Annie isn't a great spy. She's certainly not Sydney Bristow or Michael Weston or Sarah Walker. But we have to keep in mind that she is a rookie, her promotion as a field operative was not expected in her side. Maybe in time she'll be an awesome spy.
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I think Lena is someone who is going to screw Annie over but covers it up very well so that Annie won't suspect anything (or Lena is going to have a very good answer for why she did what she did). I hope the Annie and Auggie duo comes back!! I LOVE how they work together! Can't WAIT for the rest of the season!!
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wow that was an amazing episode i hope the rest of the season will be like this i find it thrilling and interesting and i am so glad they are keeping Simon Fisher as a recurring character he and Annie have amazing chemistry and that should make for an amazing season + Annie's new attitude
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I just want to know, and have for 3 seasons now, what Annie's fashion budget from the CIA is. I think I spotted ANOTHER pair of Louboutins (how does she run in those things?) and a couple of suits that could easily have been St. John or Channel.
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its stupid! she runs in heels common! And that sex thing thats just wrong! i liked this show before but now i found it kind a stupid. Look at The unit, or other spy shows they are action and thrilling and most and more real that this beauty queen on heels being cia common.. i fastforded some moments because it was just boring.

This is not cia wordy!

And blowing jai up and get her to another department why? I dont like lena *the actrice* and i dont trust her at all.



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Agree with your #1 & 2 notes above; #3 - of COURSE they'll get back together; #4 - Don't trust Lena Smith any further than I could throw her and no, don't think it's in Annie's best interest to work with her. She'll teach her bad habits and other miscellaneous nasties when Annie is/was always up front (except with her sister of course). Thanks for info on what she did after she got info out of Simon's safe because my recorder cut off JUST as she took it! One of my favorite programs - which is usually a death sentence for them but I can always hope for a long, continued series.
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He was in the credits coz he was in the episode, no point in reading too much into it
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According to an interview with the show's creators, Jai is permanently dead. They stated emphatically that they would not be resurrecting characters they kill off and that Jai will not be coming back.
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So Jai was the casualty. I know they said someone would be killed off but I never thought about who it could really be. I must say I felt for Sendhil. He's a great actor and he was underused most of the time he was on the show. He did go from being a potential love interest and friend of Annie's to that guy in the background who they'd cut to when they were making scene transitions. I always hated that. That being said, I don't think I buy that Jai's dead. I mean it IS the CIA afterall. God only knows what could have gone on there. Plus he was in the credits after being shown blowing up and it just seemed off to have him in the credits like that unless they plan on doing flashbacks or something.



I always get a kick out of the Lie Detector dudes. They catch all sorts of hell from their subjects. LOL! I've noticed USA has gotten very liberal with with swearing...even on shows that don't typically have much of it. I mean Covert Affairs wasn't one of their shows known for the adult language so to speak but they were very free with it this go round. I could care less either way but it was noticeable.



This should be interesting. Annie taking a walk on the darker side of things. She has less rules and protocols and red tape to deal with so it makes things more dangerous and unpredictable. She had no qualms about embracing it either, she fell into bed (well the shower) with her assignment quite easily. She does tend to have soft spots or fall for almost every guy in the field she comes into contact with, so the lack of structure in regards to having sex with them should make things complicated. I was pleased with the little Auggie and Annie time they showed! Can't wait for next week, looks to be more!
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I like the innocence of Covert Affairs -- the irony of innocence amidst CIA operations. I didn't appreciate the sexploits of Annie with Simon, and I also didn't appreciate the more vulgar language. I hope the show can recapture its innocence from the first two seasons -- I liked that -- it drew me into the show!

I've always loved the close camaraderie Annie and Auggie have, but I did think that it was way too sudden at the end of last season when Annie seemingly wanted to begin a romantic relationship with him just because her sister mentioned how close Annie and Auggie were. That didn't fit well, in my opinion. Let them stay best friends without the baggage of a relationship.

Also, just before the song with the opening credits began -- were those first few notes missing that would usually lead into the actual song? I've always loved those introductory notes -- they remind me of music from older TV shows, but then it leads into a very current sounding song.
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I also have a sneaking suspicion that Jai isn't dead.
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2 things: 1) Jai isn't dead and 2) Piper Perabo gets prettier every year.
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Maybe Jai isn't dead. They never showed him getting into the car..., and who was that guy that bumped into Annie on his way out? Maybe Jai will re-appear in a later episode, when Annie is out of options in a situation, and then "poof"..., "is that you Jai???" Then..., Cliff Hanger.
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Ironically, the pastry chef lead protagonist in Bridesmaids was also named Annie Walker. She didn't know how to operate a firearm, and was less than graceful at the seductive arts, but at least she could make cupcakes.
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parallel universes!
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I was done with this show the moment USA called Annie "The female Jason Bourne" in commercials! Piper Perabo can do the pouty lip thing, but she is not credible as a bad ass! Fiona on that other (much better) spy show has that thing covered. Having Annie begin to turn tricks, I mean sleep with marks does not make me want to tune in each week, I'll just wait until Thursday and watch a better spy show.
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I kind of watched it with an eye on my FB status so I lost out on a few of the details. But, I kind like this show, however stupid it might be, high heels in the desert for one. I also don't like the suspence build up with the guy in a shower and you, the viewer, not knowing if the safe can be opened in time. For some incredibly strange reason that creeps me out and I fast forward on my computer screen. What I do love about the show is the filming on actual locations. I've been to Marrakesh and loved it, and I live in Stockholm Sweden - last season. Thanks for that.
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Nope, they're trying to turn the show into Burn Notice, and it's simply not up to that show's standards for hard core action and intrigue. The producers and writers forgot that the show was fun BECAUSE it didn't take itself too seriously, and we were able to overlook (in fact, enjoy) all the ludicrous action and plot devices just to oogle the main cast and guest stars. As a serious drama/action show, CA fails on so many levels, it's painful.



Season 2 is the last one for me, given the direction Season 3 looks to be going. CA was fun when it was lightweight and didn't try to be So Serious It Hurts.
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Good start to a good show. This new riskier side of Annie was fun to see. I definitely hope she keeps it up for a while. I was pretty much happy to see all the characters and the show back.
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Don't care. It's just so good to have this great show back because it just wonderful wherever they go...
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Music from Of Monsters and Men and Young Galaxy was heard during the premiere:

http://heardontv.com/tvshow/Covert+Affairs/Season+3/Hang+on+to+Yourself

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Really enjoy this show! Did anyone else think it was weird that right after Jai was (allegedly) blown up in his car, he was smiling at us in the opening credits? I say, if he's still in the credits next week, he's not really dead. Perhaps he even detonated the car himself and is using Annie as a pawn in whatever game he is playing. Such as exposing something going on with Lena Smith and her super spy division? Just a guess, but I could be wrong.



Great to see Richard Coyle (Simon)! He's effing awesome and will always be Jeff to me (from Coupling), but it's great to see him transition so smoothly to a very different, bad ass type of role. Mad props. Definitely hope he's around for a season-long arc.



1. Yep, bus and T passes for me!

2. So played out. Either divorce or stop working together, just pick one already.

3. She had to, but they are so awesome together they won't keep them apart for long!

4. I'm leery of Lena Smith. She seems to be dangerous, plus the whole "what do you think the mission should be?" thing is just plain weird, not to mention hard to regulate.



Love the darker tones, as well, but okay that it took a while to get there. She can't go from being a completely green recruit from college to a Jason Bourne-type of kick ass spy in just a few episodes. Seems more realistic this way.
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They'll probably replace him in the credits with Lena next week.
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I thought it was a little weird to see Jai in the opening credits too. Definitely going to be paying attention to them next week. I'm pretty excited about this season so far. I'm usually pretty ambivalent about Covert Affairs, but they really roped me in this time. :)
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Considering Sendhil's contract is done, and he's moved on (rumored to be doing a romcom movie), and the producer/writers are claiming he won't even be doing a flashback scene, I think we can safely say Jai is Gone For Good.
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does this mean Jai is no longer around anymore?
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Thank God, can't stand him.
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This has always been a USA show that I was abivilant about it was vat hey enough to enjoy an episode here and there but was consistently lame and cliche enough to miss and not mind that you missed it. Generally because you didn't miss much. However I have to say I like the new side of the show. I want it to go a little darker. I want super agent Annie walker to be a badass. Not stumble into a solution and save the day by chane more than guile. I hope they are going this way, because last season was stale and it needed to be shaken up without changing the core of the cast that wasn't that bad. Aside from jai who thankfully was taken care of. Or at least we think he was. Don't forget they work for the CIA. And not all is what it appears to be. And the only way a magic trick works, you have to remember, is to first have an audience. But either way he is way a whiny kind of a character and dead or not that is out of the picture and we can focus on Annie and the convenience of it all. Obviously the guy that bumped in to her was in on the explosion. But whom does he work for? Top candidates are Joan, Arthur and Lena. Now I hope it isn't Lena due to the actress playing her is Sarah Clarke who played the notorious double agent in 24 Nina Meyers. So that might be a little on the nose. I am rooting for joan personally. Either way between this and white collar this is a way to shake up the show. It was done well and furthers the show. Burn Notice could learn a lesson from both of these shows.
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Honestly, I was just geeked that it was Richard Coyle. I loveeeed him in coupling and to see him not be the goofball is simply awesome. The Jai thing I didn't see coming either.
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What a transformation!
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my dvr didnt record the last 2 minutes!!! did anything happen after the shower or did she just just the info and then well... want to make sure not to miss anything
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The only thing I would say is that there was this cryptic symbol that was on Jai's case files that also was a tattoo on simon's shoulder
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Thank you, I'd totally forgot about that, just finished watching it about an hour ago.
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Very intense. Well, did she go to the shower to divert his attention from what she was doing? She had to ditch the passports and what better way to accomplish that feat? Next week previews showed Annie and Auggie on a mission and nothing of Simon so that left me with questions. Oh, I liked it ... a lot. Yes, Annie has graduated into a new kind of spy rank and it is going to be interesting to watch her come to full force. I still want her to hook up with Eyal...oh, yeah. Now she is learning to be the level of spy that he is in the Mossad, but not an assassin.
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