Covert Affairs Season 5 Review “Shady Lane”

Covert Affairs Season 5 Episode 1 Shady Lane (2)

This season of Covert Affairs is going to be the first one without a Henry Wilcox storyline, and I couldn’t be happier. Gregory Itzin is always fantastic, but USA shows have had the tendency to draw out certain storylines, and the Wilcox arc was one of them. Season 5 will have the remnants of Annie’s actions in Hong Kong reverberate throughout no doubt, but I think having a new “Big Bad” (to borrow a Buffy term) will give the show a fresh spin. Annie is back from Hong Kong wanting to be the same person as before knowing that’s not truly possible. Auggie is her handler again and Joan is heading the DPD, but Annie is not the same girl who walked into the CIA in Season 1 and neither are her coworkers.

Besides the emotional fallout of killing Wilcox, there was the moment of Annie’s respiratory problem while following Borz Altan. It looks to be a complication of being shot last season and also adds to the mystery of exactly where Annie was in her 4 months of being AWOL. She passed the lie detector test by saying she was on a beach (which reminded me of Ben- I miss Eion Bailey) the whole time. This is obviously not the case since she has a doctor who is treating her for the respiratory problem (Annie also uses the name Lisa when calling the office). Is this the only thing she’s lying about to Auggie, Calder, etc or is there more? Annie’s attack and subsequent call to the doctor is some of the best work I’ve seen from Piper Perabo on the show. I like her well enough, but there are some times that I just don’t buy her being this CIA agent who’s able to do everything. Granted this works in the character’s favor when there are people who underestimate her, but we as the audience need to truly believe in her as well. The things that Perabo does have going for her though are a likability and a certain fragility. I felt this in Annie’s health scare and worried more about her in that instance than I have in a while. This material should suit Perabo well for the season, and I’m looking forward to what she does with it.

Annie’s health secret will also give an extra layer to her relationship with Auggie. His eventual discovery of her condition will probably open the door to their “will they or won’t they” relationship again, but for now we’re back to them being “friends” and co-workers. We can also add the new development of Ryan McQuaid (played by Nic Bishop) to the equation and Amy Jo Johnson making her first appearance next week. Annie and Ryan already had their meet-cute/sparring session, and I have a feeling Auggie and Johnson’s character will do the same. My hope is no romantic entanglements will ensue, but this is Covert Affairs so you can basically count on it. It would be nice if Annie and Auggie didn’t have a new love interest every season to create conflict. Annie is already a spy. That’s conflict enough. And if you add Eyal in there then Annie has two guys she basically would be perfect with. Also, I hope Ryan or Johnson’s new character don’t end up becoming the secret bad guy. That’s something that’s been played with often on this show as well (I had a doubt about Ben at one point; Simon thankfully turned out good; Lena). Calder’s new girlfriend could definitely fit that description, but that wouldn’t bother me as much mostly because we saw so little of her in the episode. Whoever the person is, it’s not Henry Wilcox, and I’m thankful for that.

More Thoughts After Going Back for My Christian Louboutin:

– I didn’t bring up Arthur above but am intrigued about his joining Ryan McQuaid’s private eye firm. Arthur may not be in the CIA anymore but realized the importance of the building that had the explosion in Chicago. And anything that gets Peter Gallagher more involved has me onboard.

– Poor Joan got passed over working for the DCS (with Calder being the interim head) and is back at the DPD. I’m glad to see her back with Annie and Auggie but you know she’ll get her well-deserved promotion sometime. She better.

– James Gilbert only had this one episode to make an impact as Charlie and he did. Should have known that he was going to die the moment Annie picked up one of his son’s toys in the car. Nice work by Christopher Gorham too in his discovery of Charlie’s death.

– We also got to see Khalid again but that was short-lived. I wish his appearance had been longer actually.

– The one thing I truly love about this show is that Annie and company travel to the actual cities mentioned. If I have to see another show use the desert outside LA as the Middle East I may crack. This season it looks like Annie will visit Colombia, Paris, the south of France, Istanbul, and maybe Rio. Yay!

– So… when are we going to get a Oded Fehr appearance? I need some Eyal stat.