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Covert Affairs Review: Introducing... Jessica Matthews!

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Annie Walker's dead. 

At least the CIA Operative Annie Walker is gone. She was shot to death by Calder Michaels and in her place a new woman was resurrected, Jessica Matthews. This new dark-haired woman has one single focus: bring down Henry Wilcox.

The transition from Annie to Jessica was more than just physical appearance. She showcased her hardcore determination through her hair, clothes and even in choice of a motorcycle. Piper Perabo rocked the long, dark hair and kick-ass look.

The New Annie

In order to uncover Henry's plan, Annie's first target was Henry's ex-wife, Sana. Annie believes that Sana has some knowledge about what Henry's planning since he had lunch with his ex-wife before the helicopter explosion. 

Annie may be determined, but she's definitely not the most subtle person. When she first met Sana she immediately brought up Henry. Even though it was indirect, it was a huge tell. Sana may not be in the intelligence game (though she could be), but she was married to Henry.

With only six episodes left in Covert Affairs season 4, the story moved along at lightening speed, which worked well. Annie and Sana bonded extremely fast, yet it felt authentic. Sana knew that there was something suspicious about Annie and as she said keep your enemies close. 

Even though Annie and Sana were suspicious of each other, they had a natural ease when together before the truth was revealed. At some level, they saw the good in each other. Even after Annie kidnapped Andrew Goodman, Henry's guy, Sana trusted Annie enough to go with her. 

Their partnership, even if temporary, is extremely dangerous for both of them. If Sana believed that Henry would send someone to watch her, it's likely that he's done that. The longer Annie stick with her the greater the chance that her fake death will be found out by him.

With Goodman dead, the trail will get hot very fast and the blow-back could easy hit Sana and David. Will Annie be able to help them? It's difficult to know because Henry's plan is such a mystery. Did he want Sana back for love? Or, did he want to use her and David for his mission?

Back in DC, the CIA was left to deal with the aftermath of Annie's death. With the exception of Auggie and Calder, everyone believes she's dead, including the Campbells. That's not going to go over well when they eventually find out the truth.

Though, it makes sense to keep both Joan and Arthur in the dark. They have enough troubles of their own. It was tough to watch Joan grieve for Annie and get so angry about Calder's relationship with Henry.

Auggie and Calder's fight after the interrogation was believable. At first, I even bought it and was confused. They have done an excellent job of covering up the fact that they are working together. That will help make their own mission to investigate Henry all the easier to maneuver. Auggie can work it from the outside, while Calder can inflitrate and manipulate Henry from the inside.

The idea of planting the seed of a blue file in Henry's ear will surely make him watch his step. And, since Calder revealed the investigation, it bought him some trust from Henry. Annie may not be working in direct cohorts with Auggie and Calder, through their various angles, they should be able to make a dent in Henry's plans. Well ... if anyone can.

They've put themselves in a very dangerous position by working outside official CIA channels, but it's the only way. Too many people have died due to Henry and no one else seems to be wise to it.

Only five episodes left. Will Annie, Auggie and Calder be able to outsmart Henry? 

"Dead" Odds and Ends:

  • Eric wore a black ribbon for Annie, "Will all due respect, she was still a friend."
  • Henry was concerned that Annie said something before she died. Nice response by Calder, "Nothing."
  • Joan is stuck analyzing photos? I guess she's lucky to even be allowed back into Langley. As respective as ever, "Every department matters."
  • Annie's "fake dead brother" was Theo. It was all about Teo. So sad. Covert Affairs writers -- it's not too late to change your minds and say his death was faked.
  • Nice callback to explain why Henry supported Calder's appointment to the DPD.
  • Annie: I'm already dead. | permalink
  • Goodman: You know, if you were any good at this one of my fingers would already be gone.
    Annie: Too much blood. | permalink
  • The back and forth between Annie and Goodman during her interrogation of him was hilarious and well-written. He put up a good front trying to school her. He did get an opportunity to escape, but he ended up dead instead.
  • Where to now, Annie and Sana?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (63 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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It's was a really awesome episode! This season is the best! I love this show and Piper was so... perfect! Can't wait for more!

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Good acting, plot, directing -- the tempo & timings of Dead are just right, steady & brutal clip just like a prizefight -- Perabo has gotten really good, yes, fun to watch the improvement / development of both her and Annie. :-) Henry superb, as before. My bet is that we get Theo baack -- I hope so -- good foil for Annie and he needs his revenge, and Arthur needs him. Only question for me is whether we'll see Theo this Fall or *Next Season*! Really enjoying this series, seen all 4 seasons several times now: no tv at our house, all via iPad -- up close & personal.

Gigi2776

This episode made me think that Covert Affairs may have snatched up some of the writers from the now-defunct Burn Notice because Annie is finally bad-a** enough to roll with Michael Weston. I love her as a Brunette! I don't suppose she's a bottle-blonde because this color looks much better on her. Because of the two observations above, I have dropped all of my wariness about this show. I've always deemed it implausible because of the character's naivete and the ridiculous situations. But now...Bravo Annie Walker/Jessica Matthews!! Bravo!!

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I thought this was one of the best episodes of the show. It was incredibly well written. They told a lot of story in a very short time in dramatic fashion. The tension was palpable. The action, Annie's ability to respond in real time, her ability to improvise, her trade craft, it all added up to a credible evolution of the Annie Walker of season 1. The girl who grinned, then jumped out of a plane, is now living the adventure she signed up for. I hope the writers are able to maintain the intensity for the remaining episodes. This was amazing. One final comment: Perabo's acting has improved tremendously over the series. Her portrayal of Jessica in the therapy sessions was really well done. Early, she's all closed up, arms tightly crossed over her chest. The pain on her face when she finally breaks down and talks about the brother she lost was perfectly done. It sold me. She gotten much better at doing the fight scenes as well. Then, when the chips are all down, it's all on the line, and she has to manage both Henry's ex wife and her prisoner, she gets blunt, clipped, direct, professional, and manages to project a low key intensity that is both 'business as usual' and stressed. It seemed completely appropriate for the professional spy she's supposed to be, and the situation she found herself in.

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I say one thing better than the second half of the last season

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Loved this episode. The acting was superb, as usual, but what really carried this return episode, in my opinion, was the writing. The dialogue was spare, economical and direct. The plot, complicated and convoluted during the first ten episodes of the season, is beginning to come together.

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what a great episode for the start of six episodes i agree hope she comes back to dc in last episode but probly keep us hanging til next summer. henry has got to go. liked interaction between auggie and calder. i luved the choir commercial with all the usa characters awesome

Terrie

My hope is that is not carried over into next season. I hope they take Henry down. Can't wait to see the look on Henry's face when he finds out Annie is still alive...........

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That was definitely one of the best episodes this season!!! Was a little annoyed at the direction this season was taking, missing the "old" Covert Affairs. But if the remainder of the season is like tonight's episode, I'd be happy with that! It finally seems like they are making some headway in taking Henry down. Maybe they will finally get rid of him and be able to go back to the Covert Affairs we all know and love!

Covert Affairs Season 4 Episode 11 Quotes

Auggie: Don't even talk to me
Calder: I'm not the enemy here.
Auggie: Really? I think you are.
Calder: Annie W alker died because she went rogue.
Auggie: She was not a traitor. You shot her in cold blood before she could explain herself. You did this, Calder, all of it.
Calder: You want to know why I didn't save her? Whey the hell didn't you?

I'm already dead.

Annie
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