Covert Affairs Review: The Return of Ben Mercer

at . Comments

Ben Mercer showed back up in Annie's life on Covert Affairs this week...

... within minutes of the episode "What Is and What Should Never Be" airing. This took me by surprise. When the show first set up this over-arching arc, I would have guessed that the final scene of the season would have been this reunion.

Whoa, Ben!

Instead, the series appears to be using Ben less as a player in Annie's personal life than as a cause for her to distrust the CIA and question those around her at work. That was the focus of this episode, far more than Annie's actual feelings for Ben.

It's a welcome change. Covert Affairs loses momentum any time Annie and Jai do more than flirt at work - was anyone really hoping they'd go home together after the barbecue? - as I prefer it as an action-based, light-hearted spy drama. Here's to hoping it steers away from any real romance.

After all, if viewers are to believe Annie as a legitimate operative, she can't be all doe-eyed over a man she's known for three weeks. I'm all for sweet love stories, but come on: faced with whether you trust a man who you've known for less than a month (and who mysteriously abandoned you) versus long-time, decorated bosses at the CIA, it shouldn't be a difficult decision.

But this episode did continue the theme that not every mission Annie is sent on results in black and white consequences. It would be a great twist if Ben truly is evil, but my assumption is that the answer is far more grey - and Annie may soon have to decide if she wants a job that requires such moral flexibility at times.

That's where Covert Affairs really shines: take a gorgeous, initially naive rookie agent; thrust her into the challenging real world; watch her accomplish what is asked of her; and then also watch her wrestle with the implications.

I applaud this installment for leaning in that direction. I don't know when we'll see Ben again, but I hope the result is more questions for Annie at work, not in her heart.

What did you think?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

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


I would like to see more Ben/Annie. I think they have real chemistry. But, I agree she needs to get herself out of trouble. Jai is creepy!


jai really freaks me out
i dislike/distrust charm
annie an his convos r akward 2 watch


i was totally disapointed with this eposide, i must be the only one who wants more annie and ben!!!! I thought there first scene would have much more "pow" but it just left me annoyed. their relationship was to built up in the show and then when they finally reunited it was a let down, no excitment.
i also do love annie &auggie- so i wouldnt mind seeing more of them, im totally ok with that :) :)


Okay, finally got around to watching the episode.
I loved it. As long as they stay clear of romantic Annie/Jai interactions...
I'm not sure yet if I want Ben to be around more, so the amount was just fine for now. Stirred up some trouble without putting too much focus on him.
And I'm much more interested in Joan and her husband anyway.
I LOVE those two! Great scene at the end when she told him she didn't wanna use Annie anymore. Showed the soft side of her and made her look a whole lot tougher at the same time. Great stuff!


annie and auggieeeee are the reason I watch this show hahaha...they need to be the romantic coupling...and auggie should get his vision back someday...they remind me of that main Dark Angel Couple Max and whatshisface

Matt richenthal

@Jeff: I very much agree. She dominated those scenes in the interrogation room.


I was actually somewhat disappointed in this episode. Yes Annie is green, but is she so green she can't get out of a scrape or two on her own without having someone else save the day? She should have been dead at least two times this episode alone had it not been for the intervention of others. And please give the girl a GUN. Jai's got one. The Ben thread is becoming a cliche. A former associate/lover who vanished under mysterious circumstances who shows up out of the blue with instructions not to trust anyone. Agree with you about the Jai/Annie stuff. He creeps me out. The highlight of this episode was Joan/Kari Matchett. She stole the show.

Tags: ,