Love this USA Network show. The first season ended with a double-header: two unrelated back-to-back episodes that aired September 14. The cliffhanger finale means that the CIA drama is not over. The USA Network has picked up the show for a second season that kicks off Tuesday June 7, 2011.
Covert Affairs is just plain engaging and fun to watch. A little action. Some romance. Occasional humor. Lots of office politics. But it’s the cast, not only the personality of the leads but the supporting characters as well and ergo, also the director and writers, that have made this first season so entertaining.
Piper Perabo plays Annie Walker, a new recruit for the agency. Christopher Gorham is Auggie Anderson, her ally in tech ops who happens to be blind. Sendhil Ramamurthy is Jai Wilcox, an agent who keeps an interested eye on Annie. Kari Matchett plays Joan Campbell, Annie’s boss and the wife of Arthur Campbell, director of Clandestine Services, played by Peter Gallagher. Two more characters are central to the plots: Ann Dudek in the role of Danielle Brooks, the sister Annie lives with who can’t know that she doesn’t really work for the Smithsonian, and Eion Bailey in the role of Ben Mercer, a rogue operative that Annie fell in love with before joining the CIA. (There is one actor this viewer could do without: Gregory Itzin as Henry Wilcox.)
The first of the two final episodes takes Annie to London where she is assigned to infiltrate a diamond smuggling operation. The second hour, titled When the Levee Breaks takes place in Sri Lanka and involves the rescue of a kidnapped scientist, an old contact of Ben’s. Ben comes in from the cold to enlist the CIA’s resources in finding and freeing Dr. Anton Sabine. Sri Lanka is where Ben and Annie first met and on the mission, they rekindle their romance. Jai was Ben’s handler at the time and he also shows up again to help. The cliffhanger comes when the threesome nab Dr. Sabine in a fight-and-shoot sequence and are in the process of boarding a helicopter. At the last minute, one of the bad guys appears. He fires and hits Ben. Is Ben about to die in Annie’s arms as they fly to safety? It looks that way. But we won’t know until the series returns.
Credit for the Covert Affairs concept goes to Matt Corman and Chris Ord, both of whom have backgrounds as writers and producers. Although the production notes say the show is shot on location in Toronto, London looked like London and Sri Lanka looked like Sri Lanka, as did the other locations in the season (no first-hand knowledge on this except for the Niagara Falls episode).
According to the IMDB Web site, viewers were up to 5.4 million with a 15% increase among adults 18 to 49 since the premiere on July 13. The USA Network has picked up the show for a second season that kicks off Tuesday June 7, 2011.