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Covert Affairs Review: Not The Thinker

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When the news broke, I wasn't a fan of Covert Affairs splitting up its second season into summer and winter segments, especially knowing that the back half of the order would consist of only six episodes.

Following the third straight mediocre hour - "What's The Frequency Kenneth?" - I stand by my prior claim: this was a bad idea.

Annie and Kenneth

Three out of six is a troubling trend, one I'd rather not see out of Covert Affairs. Luckily, next week's season finale - previewed HERE -can make up for most of that with an all-out classic.

It's not that "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" wasn't enjoyable. It just didn't force any emotions out of me. I wasn't excited during the few action sequences, I didn't get mad at Jai for his lackluster efforts to pull a fast one and I certainly didn't get sad that Parker had to leave Auggie for the Peace Corps.

The main plot had all the workings of an interesting story - a British MI-6 pretending to be on official business, sneaking around the Smithsonian like Ben Stiller, and of course, escaping from the trunk of a car - but I found it to be a bit too boring.

In regards to Jai, I agree with Jeffrey Kirkpatrick, who did a great job filling in for me while I stuffed my face with turkey during Thanksgiving week. I continue to not care what the character is doing. Ever.

The five minutes of action that Gregory Itzin was in were more fascinating than anything I've seen out of Jai the entire season. Henry's attitude toward his son is extremely interesting. When he told Jai "At the CIA you get a very small window to prove yourself, and I fear yours is closing," I had high hopes.

Unfortunately, Jai then continued to take intriguing stories and make them extremely forgettable.

Then there was the Auggie and Parker bit. If they wanted the audience to feel sad in this situation, they needed to put a lot more effort into building this relationship. Maybe they've been together longer than it seems, due to the space between episodes or what-not, but the amount of time we've seen them spend quality time together has been minimal. I'm not going to get emotional over a brand new couple that has spent a total of eight minutes together during the past four episodes.

"What's the Frequency, Kenneth" was still fun to watch, as all Covert Affairs episodes are. Annie being happy that Kenneth was promoted to field agent was especially rewarding. In a weird way, the girl saw some of herself in Ken. They had similar instincts, so when he succeeded, it was like a win for all of them.

What did you all think of the episode? What do you expect/hope to see in the second season finale? And was this six-episode sub-season a good or bad idea?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    i agree with the Auggie/Parker thing cause i never liked her much in the first place and have always been a die hard AA fan.
    I like the look of the next episode but i don't really like the idea of Annie seemingly being Auggie's rebound chick.
    If they are going to get together make it because he really likes her and realises his feeling and does it totally unselfishly like it seems he might with getting with her when he under normal circumstances should still be hurting over Parker.
    Can't wait to see how the next ep turns out though.

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    I agree with the auggie/parker relationship. I would have felt more emotions for the couple if we had more time to see the pairing. Also I'm not ready for annie and auggie to get together! I wanna see ben come back into the picture, it just seems weird he was cast aside so easy. He has potental to be an amazing character, and a lot of good action/plots could come from him!

    Fortyseven

    I liked Kenneth but the episode was mediocre.

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    episode good but not great. agree with everyone about auggie/parker. too bad because she seemed as sweet & laid-backed as he is. preview does suggest him rebounding on annie. danielle's husband is coming back? good. who's he working for that we haven't seen him all s-2? wierd. arthur fixed jai's major screw up by sending in a rescue mission to bolivia,right? anyone die? a different clip & an ominous episode title suggests i'll be watching s-3 CA alone,self dialoguing without my significant other(ben fan).

    Avatar

    I thought it was a good episode not great! It was interesting to learn about Kenneth who he was and what he was doing! He wanting to prove himself to MI6 that he can be a good field operative and he had in the ending of the episode! As for the relationship for Auggie and Parker it wasn't enough on time screen between them indicating how long the relationship was so I have to agree with other fans. Obviously seeing it last night he does have deep feelings for her. I was sad because I like the relationship between the two of them but the character is going to go to the Peace Corp and be at this place for two years! That relationship won't work out! He is definitely better off with Annie! Last episode Annie's going to tell him how she feels about him!Can't wait for Auggie's reaction for that what he has to say! I hope he mentions about Parker to her. As for Jai, He needs to get a clue what his father is doing! He is trying to ruin him. Wake up Jai! Stop your dad, you know he has an alterior motive to put u in Special projects come on!

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    I had to watch it twice to pick up the mumbling, cockney accent of the supposed MI6 agent, Kenneth. How could Annie have missed that he was a wanna-be? She's a lot smarter then that! But she always was one to champion the underdog! Your review was right on! I am a big fan of Covert Affairs, so the episode was enjoyable, but definitely not one of their best! Just wondering when Jai is going to smarten up, his father drop dead, and Auggie gets a clue that he's missing the best thing out there in Annie.....next week, maybe? I'll take one out of the three, and it doesn't include Jai or his father! Can't believe another "season" is over already! What a bummer!!

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    I totally agree with your summation of the Auggie/Parker relationship. We've just seen too little of it to really feel anything about it, at least that's how I feel. Sure, they've given plenty of indications that Auggie really feels deeply about her, but a few scenes just isn't enough to build it IMO.