Generally speaking, most criminal dramas are pretty straightforward: a horrendous crime is committed, the police investigate and later catch the bad guy. It’s a great pattern that always seems to work time and time again, but one that the show Covert Affairs doesn’t seem to stick to. Instead, infiltration is the name of this game, where the good guys (or girls) pretend to blend in with the bad guys (or girls). Of course, this should come as no surprise given the fact that the mere definition of “covert” means to never be openly acknowledged or displayed. In other words, it means to be secretive, making this one affair the audiences will always remember.
Though I’ve never watched a single episode of the show before now, I was immediately intrigued by the amount of ground that was covered in the opening premiere. Unlike some shows that tend to make viewers wait for the slow burn of action, Covert Affairs goes in with guns (or rather explosions) blazing. Just how blazing, you ask? Enough to kill off one of the main characters on the show less than five minutes in. After (SPOILER ALERT!) Jai Wilcox (Sendhil Ramamurthy) gets killed courtesy of a car bomb, Annie (played by Piper Perabo) and the entire DPD team feel a massive aftershock, which involves everyone getting transferred to a bunch of different departments.
For her part, Annie gets reassigned to work with espionage legend Lena Smith, who isn’t above telling her operatives to use any means necessary to get intel on a case — including feminine wiles, which is exactly what Annie utilizes during her first assignment. How do you get the dirt on an insanely dangerous yet insanely attractive man? Apparently, you take a steamy shower with him after a sandstorm. We’ve suspected it for years, but it turns out the quickest way to a man’s deepest, darkest secrets is through his junk… mail (what did you think I was going to say?). Take notes, officers — sometimes mixing business with pleasure isn’t always a bad thing.
And while most of the episode was dedicated to Annie and her undercover operation, we did get a brief glimpse of the other characters, just long enough to want to learn more of their story. Peter Gallagher‘s Arthur Campbell is no Sandy Cohen, but I’ll take what I can get from this guy. And does anyone else find Auggie (Christopher Gorham) absolutely adorable? If I had one complaint for this episode, it would be that there wasn’t enough of him in it. Annie’s got a great storyline going for her with this new job and dealing with the death of a colleague, but it’d be great to see more action from the other characters as well, who seem both unique and compelling.
But nevertheless, if this action keeps up, this little CIA operative could set the tone for all criminal dramas out there. With so many similar shows out in the TV landscape, you either have to go big or go home — and by the looks of things, this series plans on the former.
[Photo credit: USA Network]
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