Covert Affairs Review: Not So "Good Advices"

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"I don't suppose you've been issued a gun yet?"

Now the writers are just toying with us.

If you read last week's review, you are aware that Annie's lack of firepower is an area of concern here at TV Fanatic. At least twice last season, she found herself trapped in the sights of a shooter, requiring Jai to step in for the save. Old habits would seem to die hard, for here we are yet again, only this time it was Mossad Agent Eyal Lovine taking out Annie's would-be assassin.

Annie and Eyal Lavin

By now, the CIA must realize that sending Annie on even the most routine missions will escalate into something more dangerous, so why not send her packing - or at least have a pistol waiting for her when she lands? Krav Maga can only get a girl so far, especially when she's in five-inch Louboutins and carrying a $6,000 handbag that could get trashed in the process.

It's distracting that Annie is constantly without any other means of protection. She might as well be the horror movie virgin who trips in the forest while running from a monster; she's about as vulnerable.

Supposedly, CIA operatives don't carry guns on American soil and the plan has been to depict the Agency in as realistic a sense as possible. Hey, if you want to show burn bags, that's fine - but no one went to see Salt because it was an accurate portrayal of the spy life. They went to see a pouty-lipped, hot chick blow stuff up.

Aside from one chase scene (which frustratingly didn't even involve our heroine) and a CGI-blown up truck, the action here was next to none. If this is the reality of the CIA, then someone better start passing out some Red Bull around the halls of Langley.

The minimal action might be easier to swallow if there was more intrigue or character depth in the telling of the story. Even a hint of continuity involving the Ben and Arthur setup from the premiere would have been nice. Instead, we were given another predictable mission for Annie to develop an asset who may have had some valuable intel for the CIA. Virtually no core character connections whatsoever.

Stretching the definition of character development a bit, there were tiny inklings of growth in both Annie and Auggie, such as Annie deciding to tell Danielle the truth about her French destination, even if the details were still obscured. Auggie's struggles with taking the reins in Joan's absence didn't exactly hit the target they were shooting for (pacing back and forth, waiting for Joan to call while Jai hovers like a charm-free vampire isn't exactly fascinating), but at least we saw a bit of vulnerability in his self-doubt.

The big problem here continues to be that the relationships on Covert Affairs are too hollow. Annie and Auggie are the most compatible characters and that partnership needs to deepen. Not necessarily romantically, but there should be something at stake; something that drives them from an emotional center and ties their experiences and those of everyone else around them together.

Sydney needed Vaughn. Michael needs Fiona. Even Shawn needs Gus. Annie needs to need Auggie.

Fehr's Eyal brought little of the punchy banter and sexual tension between he and Annie that existed during his first visit. The dialogue between them was awfully trite this time out, and what passed for tension was stunted silences and awkward looks. There was no believable chemistry between the two at all. Ice cubes generate more heat. Such a disappointment.

Joan's borderline-farcical side trip to the jury box was mostly ridiculous and neither added anything to the story nor to her character. This pursuit of civic duty should have been handled off-screen, allowing more time for Auggie's conflict with the weighty responsibilities thrust upon him.

Despite fine performances from this appealing cast, "Good Advices" was, simply put, a misfire. Let's hope Covert can avoid going too far down the apathetic and, quite frankly, dull direction it seems to be heading in before it is so far gone that no amount of guest stars or exotic locales can help it recover.


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


CA is an awesome show, im fascinated with the more realistic approach its taken to INTL issues (even though its still hollywood). Obviously there is a connection between Annie and Augie, but shes probably still burnt over the first guy Ben i think? And Augies still a player at this point in his life on the show. The slight sexual tension between these two is better then a relationship as they immensely care and look out for each other, but no one seems to want to say anything to pursue it further. The mossad agent and Annie go well together though and always provide entertainment when there paths are crossed.
I dont watch many tv series, but i do watch this :)
Most recent ep i watched as well had me picking the "decietful" character out of the interviews annie was conducting. clearly the under eye scratch was an obvious tell, so i shouldnt feel to smart for picking it before the analysis scene came up..
anyway, terrible review by editor and Piper is stunning in this show!!


Bonjinky Your comment is awaiting moderation.
July 15th, 2011 on 4:51 pm
It’s a great show and I liked this one much as well.
However Annie is a good actress, though somehow I find her totally ambivalent to the specific scene she’s playing!! The bad Syrian Boos was powerfully acting though it could have been more dramatic if the writers would have come up with direct interaction / s with Annie / Auggie for the intensity of the story. The main villein , Farzad Sadrian, could have been given some more clear interactions against our heroes …though he did a fantastic job, with his mouth Shut!!!


My first post on this show and I agree withthe reviewer,, not so good. Besides Alias, has anyone ever watched MI5, the BBC Spooks series. Over the 8 years they never cease to amaze me how the writers can come up with such viable plots. CA needs a little less Louboutins and more actual plots.


I wish that Auggie and Anne d more time together do you think they will ever start a romance?


I agree with the review. It's good to be realistic but Annie would have been killed several times by now. If not a gun then a tazer, throwing knives, or a bulletproof vest/flak jacket. She just stood there waiting to be killed for god's sake!


I, personally, don't see why blowing your cover would be worse than having your head blown off!---but then, that's just me.

Bobbie whited

I enjoyed this episode, i enjoyed last weeks two. I like how they try at least to portray the CIA accurately. I mean the show is called COVERT affairs, Covert meaning not going in guns blazing for all the world to see.
And did anyone really expect Ben to be around long? Hell no, its Annie and Auggie show all the way.


I like CA, last weeks was better than this
week that is a given. In general I feel that Eyal and Annie has a little something but I want her and Ben to be together. Lets get a little more action with that.


Sorry, but I have to agree with Joe Syria...I prefer more reality than gratuitous entertainment. I would rather see Annie work out of a situation than shoot her way out. I love this show and won't let anyone harsh my mellow!!! LOL


Shouldn't the goal of "Covert Affairs" be to raise the bar set by the brilliant "Alias"? Why does USA want to roll back the clock and undo everything that "Alias" accomplished? They tried to squeeze some mileage out of "from the producer of the Bourne Trilogy", but that was not-so-innocent misrepresentation and it isn't fooling anyone anymore. USA needs to up its game with CA, but I don't get the impression that they're making any effort at all.

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Covert Affairs Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Annie: I totally did not see that coming, did you?
Eyal: What is it about you Americans that brings out the worst in everyone you meet?

Joan: Your honor, I know this might sound self-aggrandizing, but I cannot sit on a three week trial. My job needs me.
Judge: You're right Number 9, I do hear the sound of your own horn tooting. Sit down.