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

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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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