Covert Affairs Review: Annie Got A Gun!

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I am not a believer in fate, but there's something awfully disconcerting about the fact that Covert Affairs ended with Annie finally getting her hands on a CIA-sanctioned firearm the same week I'm called upon to fill in for your regular weekly critic, Dan Forcella. In fact, I'm a little giddy about it.

Not giddy enough, however, to overlook a few things I just didn't enjoy about "Horse to Water."

Annie and Danielle

As far as plots go, this wasn't one of the sexier outings the show has had this season. I much prefer the international missions when Annie gets sent abroad, but I suppose we can't have the European romanticism every week. Be that as it may, I was fairly well taken by this story of an imprisoned former CIA analyst (the under-used Bruce Davison) pulling strings on the outside via one of his daughters - until they made it about Annie's relationship with her own sister.

At first, I liked that Annie and Danielle seemed to be mending fences after weeks of strained interaction, even enjoying a laugh or two. Then Annie's struggle with her involvement with the CIA affecting her ability to connect with her own sister suddenly hampered her ability to take on a case which required her to, what? Try and drive a wedge between two sisters, the daughters of the aforementioned analyst.

Are such distinct parallels really necessary? We get it! Annie has sibling issues, and it's eating away at her, but life is rarely - if ever - that coincidental. Perhaps I'm just growing weary of other shows which conveniently make the mission of the week somehow mirror what is going on in the personal lives of its characters (I'm looking through a wormhole at you, Fringe), but it doesn't always have to come full circle like this. Joan's assertion that this is what made Annie the best operative for the job didn't make it less bothersome. I felt like one of those horses and someone had shoved a bit into my mouth, trying to forcibly drag me to the point. 

Sibling angst aside, the second Grace added the part about "banana cream pie," I knew it was a code to warn BeBe to run. Maybe I've seen too many spy movies, but a random comment like that appended to a voicemail was a dead giveaway and was actually a bit of a disappointment. I much prefer twists when I don't see them coming.

The little chat between Jai and Auggie at the bar was unnerving, and provided me with even more reason to dislike Jai. He's up to something, and his little move at the end in stealing some of Auggie's best assets was even further evidence of it, although I'm not certain if I really care at this point. I don't believe Sendhil Ramamurthy possesses the ability to successfully pull off what the writers are trying so obviously to make an ambiguous character. I don't revel in being unable to determine his allegiances the way I should. After every scene with him, I just feel like I had a conversation with a particularly shady car salesman. I think that if they'd make him choose a side and play one path or the other (preferably bad!) I would be more invested and likely to embrace the character - as long as he's not trying to hit on Annie again! 

What I did love, and what I've gradually come to learn are what really propel this series, are the tiny little moments between some of the core characters which give us insight into their backgrounds and personalities.

I enjoyed getting a glimpse, however small, of Annie and Danielle's life growing up. Something happened, evidently on the part of their father, which caused a familial rift. That explains Danielle's reactions to learning that her own sister had deceived her, despite her good intentions. Danielle and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Annie, have more baggage than I realized, and I'm hoping this is something they are able to explore in more depth in season three.

My favorite scenes were between Joan and Annie, in the office and then later at the pub. While most people are taken with the Annie/Auggie dynamic, Annie's interactions with Joan are rapidly becoming my favorite. Joan is Annie 10 years ago. She's tough, yet tactful. Forceful, yet sympathetic. Joan never coddles Annie, but always knows exactly what it takes to draw out Annie's courage and best qualities. She's quickly becoming a stabilizing influence in Annie's life, which is going to enable Annie to go much farther in her career as long as she continues to pay attention.

And come on, just how superb is Kari Matchett in the role?

Now that you've heard my thoughts, what about you? What was your reaction to the week's mission? Do you like where they're taking Jai's character? Are you as excited as I am that Annie finally got her gun? Let us know in the comments below!


Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

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


I think Joan the manager of her CIA group is more like Annie in 15 years as a forty-something.


This ep was a big snooze fest which isn't a vote of confidence for a spy show. Too much emphasis on the whole trouble in sister land = boring!! I do agree that Kari is dynamite in this role! Funny Jai was like a hound dog after Annie in earlier eps and now doesn't even seem to know she exists. Really guys just give up and go away that easy.............NOT!


I don't think I would want to mess with Auggie. Jai better watch And yes Jeffrey, Kari Matchett is wonderful as Joan. I first saw her on Leverage and thought she was great there, but love her in this.


Thanks KCG, I know both you and I will let Jai have it one way or the other! I hope the next episode Auggie gets him back for taking his tech men away!


not military secrets,jeffrey. more like having a parent(s) up and leave at a moments notice. being told (or not) a half truth,such as "he's gone to germany",when the final destination is iraq. learning he's been killed outside baghdad and you were lied to. these two women have serious coping issues. annie mentioned her father taught her how to shoot(s2e3). thought then maybe he was special forces.
lynn....i'll hold him down and you go,girl! always thought jai was a snake.


I actually loved the episode it definitely hits close to home for Annie on a personal level on mending her relationship with her sister and trying to learn more about Annie & Danielle's parents on why they are not together anymore and it would have been good to learn more about there father's background in the military that is mystery to us viewers I hope they do more of a backstory on their father! It also explains a lot about Danielle's feelings toward Annie about her job as CIA!Annie's personal feelings about someone leaving her without explanation even though not understanding the rationale reason for it. I was really happy at the end that Annie is finally going to use a gun which is about time! I was happy that she was finally taking gun practice! What shocked me the most was Jai? How can he be so underhanded taking Auggie's Tech staff away like that after Auggie was nice enough to meet with him at a bar at this restaurant giving him advice on how to run his Special projects job and then dissed him at the end oh man! I would have punched him out! I like it when he told Jai that he was taken that was very cute and I agree with the other fan it was romantic. He definitely loves Parker!


@kcg I sort of got the feeling from the way they were talking about only hearing their mom's side of the story that there was more to it than simply military secrets, but you could be right.


part about their father lying to their mother...he was in the army and the family lived in base housing(security reasons?). was their father special forces? would explain danielle's overreaction towards annie's deception/lies. and annie's anxiety disorder(possibly dysfunctional phobia) over someone leaving her without explanation and her nonacceptance,despite understanding the rationale behind such actions. not easy being a military brat. glad about the gun,annie oakley.
why did jai go to auggie for information on setting up his own power base? joan said auggie has the whole place(langley) wired, for what purpose? always felt there was more to auggie anderson than some frustrated tech op. cute how he told jai "i'm taken". romantic. good but not great episode.

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Covert Affairs Season 2 Episode 14 Quotes

If this is an elaborate scheme to get you out of running I'm actually pretty impressed.


What do you call a CIA analyst convicted on twelve counts of treason? A patriot?