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Covert Affairs Season Premiere Review: Marrakesh Impressed

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Covert Affairs returned with a bang to start season three, but it was where things went after the shocking opening that made "Hang On to Yourself" a great beginning to this Covert summer.

Yes, Jai Wilcox was blown up by a car bomb in the early moments of the episode, and I was very surprised by it due to the fact that I hadn't heard anything about Sendhil Ramamurthy leaving the series.

Annie Walker Photo

Other than scaring the crap out of me - and freaking out Annie enough to make her afraid to start her own car even after checking thoroughly for bombs - Jai's death led to a number of new developments for the rest of the Covert crew. We can only hope that said developments keep the stories going in new and interesting places, and that the series doesn't simply bring everything back to the status quo within a few episodes.

That happens far too often on shows like this. New and different avenues will present themselves, the series will explore them for a bit, but then everything will go back to normal after a short while. It's as if the writers are too afraid of changing what is working for them, but thankfully Christopher Gorham has assured us this won't be the case in Season 3.

I can only think of a couple of minor situations when Covert Affairs has fallen pray to this fate, but when Auggie was given a new job last season it seemed like that could have created a number of new and interesting stories. A few episodes later, though, he returned to his desk and everything was back to normal.

Now, during and after this Season 3 premiere, a couple of things have changed the dynamic of the series: Auggie is investigating what happened with Jai by running his Special Projects department, Annie is working for Lena Smith in a new area of the CIA and Joan will most likely have issues in the DPD working without two of her best.

If Covert can build on these stories, instead of finding ways to work back to the way things were, the series may be able to grow into an even better show than it already is.

The progress I enjoyed most in the premiere itself, and the one I will be looking forward to most throughout the summer, is Annie working for a new department.

It is not only because I get all tingly seeing Sarah Clarke working for a government agency again, wondering every second she's on screen if Lena will end up dirty like Nina in 24, but it has also already created interesting relationships and questions to be asked.

Who is this Lena Smith? What is she about? And why do so many have interesting things to say about her department? Annie seemed to work well with Lena's you-are-my-equal managing style on this trip to Morocco, but will that continue?

Annie and Auggie Scene

The fact that Annie isn't - and wouldn't be - working with Auggie regularly intrigues me, especially after their phone conversation in which she lied to him about running away from the Germans. Will working in different departments compromise their relationship? Or will they be able to get over that?

All of that is not to say that Auggie looking into Jai's cases, and Joan working with a depleted DPD, don't also seem like a great start to new episodes of Covert Affairs.

The fact that "Hang on to Yourself" ended with Annie still on her mission with Simon, and Auggie opening up a box with an identical symbol to the tattoo on Simon's neck, only gets me more excited about the possible increase of serialization that Gorham referenced.

The return outing was also filled with plenty of foot and car chases, Annie once again using her feminine charms (this time with the new ability to add sex to the mix), the fact that Jai originally came to Annie to tell her something important - and a vicious sand storm!

I thought it was a great start to season three, and hopefully a precursor of good things to come. But what did you all think? Let us know your favorite moments of "Hang on to Yourself" in the comments, and don't forget to follow @CovertTVF on Twitter for news, reviews and live tweets during the show!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (122 Votes)

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

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Josie-leeds

The rest of the last sentence was "What is WITH you, writers??

Josie-leeds

OK....I am SOOO pissed at the writers right now. They have forgotten the prime rule for a successful show: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. A big part of the charm of this show was Annies' naivete combined with her willingness to jump in without over-analyzing. Right off the bat, they have her sleeping with the enemy, the rest of the regular group sitting on the fringes picking their noses while hotshot Lena gives Annie apparent carte blanche to do any damned thing she wants to do. NONONONO!!!! The setup was the appeal--Joan pissing on trees to establish her identity apart from "hubby", Auggie showcasing that a blind person can be a high level producer--Annie trying to repress her attraction to Auggie and learn how to deal with all of the CIA crap.. Jai blown up? Not bloody likely. No one even registered it in their faces or their dialogue. At some point, he and Lena both will be outed as bad guys. Piper P doesn't seem to have her heart in this season and neither does Christopher--WHAT in hell is going on? What is WITH you, writers?

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Annie got bumped by a passer-by in the dinner before the waitress called her back for the umbrella. I don't know what it meant, but I don't think it was an accident.

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As a fan of 24 I thought they kept saying Nina, her name on 24. I kept wondering if things would turn out the same. She is an interesting addition. I think Auggie sensed that Annie could not talk. He probably gets it, so long as she knew she could call him if things went beyond a point she could handle.

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If Sendhil Ramamurthy left the series then why was his name listed in the opening credits as a star of the show instead of a "guest star" or "special appearance?" I think his character is still alive. We'll see next episode if his name is still listed in the opening credits.

Deann

I am so glad that Covert Affairs is back! I really missed Anne and company, and I really, really missed the very hot Chris Gorham, who I long to see without a shirt again! :) I hope that Chris and Anne will make their relationship stronger this season, and though I am sad that Jai is dead and gone, (I agree that he really didn't fit in) I am glad that Auggie and Anne are both on assignments in different parts of the agency and are working hard to solve their various mysteries. I also like that Anne is working for a boss who will treat her as an equal and who allows her to play by the same rules that the guy agents play by, ie using sex to get close to someone to find out what they're doing.Besides, shower sex is yummy, and I think Anne will find out whatever she needs to know from this guy by seducing him.

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I thought the season premiere was outstanding. The pace was great, alomost like Raiders Of The Lost Arc kind of pace. The character of Jai added nothing to the show. With Henry in jail, he's expendable in a story sense. He had zero chemistry with Annie. He and Joan got along like sodium and water but not in a fun way - it was just a bureauacratic pissing match - interoffice politics. Yawn. So he's gone and his exit kicks off a whole new story line. Yea. Several of us who are fan-fic authors predicted Jai would be the one killed. He's the only character that made sense. I think having Jai assasinated was a brilliant move if they have the courage to capitalize on it. I believe he's gone. It opens up a number of interesting story arcs that can last several episodes, even a couple of seasons, though I hope they don't go beyond this fall season finale. Annie got intel from her 'target' using the sweep drive but we don't know what it was or what it will lead to. We got the clue that there is a connection between her target and the box of files in Jai's office. I like the concept of the Lena character. All in all, I thought it was a terrific episode. Looking forward to them carrying this boldness into the rest of the season.

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It was great season opener,but I was disappointed that Sendhil is leaving the show. He is such a great actor and his character was cut off too soon! The Writers could had other ideas to do for the Jai Character. Sendhil you will be missed. I love you such a great actor good luck in your acting career. I can't wait for the whole season to find out what Jai know, How he got killed and why? I'm glad Auggie is going to investigate at Jai's old job special projects. I hope we will find the answers about Jai and if the explosion was also meant for Annie too. As for as her new boss Lena Smith. I don't know about her. I don't trust her. She must have an agenda taking Annie away from Joan. So far we know there is a history between Joan and Lena can't wait to find out. I hope Joan kick her ass. Lena's methods are dangerous. Curious to know about the relationship with Auggie and parker going in this season. I hope they focus on that and his relationship with Annie now they are separated and working in different departments now. Hopefully if our two dynamic duo will get together at some point.

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...to it's end. Then there is also the possibility that Jai's evil daddy was disappointed Jai did not bring down Peter so he could get his old job back, that he had Jai killed (but that would make dad more evil than imaginable!). Auggie will be good in the position, as long as he can still be in contact with Annie. As for my favorite Annie moment, it's a toss-up to Annie's inability to decorate cupcakes (finally something she's not good at) or her response to the dumb questions on the lie detector and her ripping the detectors off and almost stomping out! Great review...it's good to have Covert Affairs back.

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I liked Sendhil Ramamurthy in Heroes and I liked him on this show as well. Funny thing though, if you notice the opening credits, they still show him as a major player in the cast. I would have thought that if they had planned to kill him off that would have revamped the opening and would have credited him with a Special Guest Star status. Glad to see Nina (Sarah Clarke )on the series I liked her from 24 although an equal amount might disagree. I like the new direction of the show, Annie is in her place now were she can go on her instincts and not be told held back.. Good move on the part of the writers.

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