Covert Affairs Review: "In the Light"

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Ben Mercer didn't just ruin Arthur's plans on this week's Covert Affairs.

He almost ruined the best episode of the season.

I'm still willing to be patient and to see where all this goes, but the show simply doesn't need an overriding, lingering storyline such as this right now. It's clicking so well on its own that any flashbacks or references to Ben feel more distracting than interesting.

That was especially the case throughout "In the Light." For the first time, Annie questions CIA tactics and realized her job would entail a lot more than mere undercover missions. She was getting herself in very deep and, as Christopher McCauley told her, there was mud all around her.

Could she sort through it enough to differentiate between the necessary dirt and the dangerous, over-the-top kind? And was such an effort even worth it? Those were the questions she had for Auggie during a nice heart-to-heart between the friends and co-workers.

The series is mostly based on action and quickly moving developments, but it does a solid job of slowing down once and awhile and showing us the sensitive, vulnerable, scared side of Annie.

Eriq LaSalle on Covert Affairs

We also learned that Jil Wlcox isn't just a douche. As Sendhil Ramamurthy told us this week, he's actually very good at his job - and also seems to have a firm grasp on his father. While this individual's reputation may be that he rode those parental coattails, it's clear that he has no interest in doing so.

His father, former CIA director Henry Wilcox, is played by Gregory Itzin. My only complaint about this great casting choice is that Itzin is playing a character almost exactly like the one he earned an Emmy for on 24. Both are government authority figures who talk about "grey areas" and taking extreme, often unpopular measures to ensure America's safety.

Still, this is a role perfectly suited for Itzin and he's a terrific, recurring addition to the show.

What did you think of the episode? Are you intrigued by the inclusion of Ben - or, like me, do you think this storyline is extraneous and slows down an otherwise fast-paced action series?

And does Jai really have a shot with Annie? Do you want him to have one? Or should we all send Auggie a brail text message and tell him to up his game?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I feel this is a one-season show. Piper lacks acting skills; that from Coyote Ugly. How anyone can believe this stumbling not-too-bright always in stilettos tweet of a girl could be a CIA operative is posing a downtick for me having any faith in the real CIA. Gorham and Wilcox's son (don't know his name)along with flashbacks of Ben Mercer hold me to the show hoping Piper's acting skills improve; however, very doubtful.


The romance with Ben is the surprise twist that keeps me hooked to this show. His 30-second apearances are what keeps me addicted, and the "not knowing" whether he'll turn up makes it even more addictive, like waiting to see whether there might be a few minutes of the Bloodhound Gang at the end of an episode of 3-2-1 Contact. Having him in every episode makes it predictable, and as much as I'd hate an episode without him, I think we need that to stay interested. This episode almost gave us too much Ben Mercer. Don't get me wrong, I loved every second. But I feel like we're too close to getting an answer. It's like the eighth season of Who's Boss, when Tony and Angela finally started to admit they were interested in eachother. From then on, we knew the show wouldn't last. That said, I don't think either Auggie or Jai should get a chance with Annie. As much as I'd love to see her with Auggie, I'd stop tuning in if it were a done deal. It's like when Jim got married on The Office, it suddenly was't as interesting anymore. And if she dates Jai, she'll seem like a sellout. So while I'm the biggest fan of her and Ben Mercer getting back together again, I have to vote for another few episodes, or even seasons, of suspense.


Do you guys even watch the show the only reason they brought her into the CIA was to find him and once they do she done and why is there romance because not every gay some of us me are straight


Personally. I think the Ben thing add into the whole Annie character.She wouldn't be who she is in the show, if she didn't have a past, and if Ben wasn't a part of it. The fact that he's still in her life unknown to her, intrigues me even more. Every week he gets closer, and every week I can't wait for the next episode. Whether it seems to be extraneous, or to slow down the speed of the show... It adds to the mystery of what we have yet to know. I don't believe that it will ever climax to her and Ben being together... He's wanted by the CIA, and she's already looking at other men. There will be twists and turns in the season, and anything that seems to slow it down, brings us closer to Annie herself.


I do think the romantic whatever- it-is waters down the punch of the show. I don't know why there has to be a romance at the beginning. Esp. considering how compartmentalized CIA lives are, especially in Clandestine. In any event, I think this is a one-season gig, will run its course per the writers, and I think any romance with Jai will screw the intrigue of the action, too (as if Ziva and DiNozzo seal the deal, it would ruin the series!)....I LIKE however the marriage between Arthur and the blonde DPD director.....that works, for once. Auggie is a player. Don't "like." However, he could be true blue. Why DOES there have be a romance anyway???????? Can't it just be action, intrigue, secrets and professional development?

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