One thing I really liked this week’s episode of COVERT AFFAIRS is that Annie’s mission was relatively low-key. While the issue of CIA losing top recruits because their identities were exposed is a big deal to the agency and the hopefuls who saw their dreams crushed, the fate of the entire world was not trusted to Annie, who, let’s face it, needs a little more seasoning to really deserve the high-profile missions she’s been getting, such as last week’s Paris trip.
And, in this case, Annie (Piper Perabo) really was uniquely suited for the mission: She actually needed to complete her firearms training after being plucked from the academy prematurely, so she was sent to Camp Peary, the CIA training facility known as the Farm, to discover who was burning new recruits by posting their identities online. Suspicion centered on grizzled instructor Roy Gaskin (Tim Guinee) because he was acting…well, very suspiciously. Meanwhile, Arthur (Peter Gallagher) was having trouble with nosy Senator Godfrey (Greg Ellwand), and Arthur’s ex-wife, Gina (Rena Sofer), tried to act as intermediary – when she wasn’t simultaneously needling his current wife, Joan (Kari Matchett). Annie was able to avoid being burned herself long enough to figure out that fellow trainee Corey (Sebastian Pigott) was exposing his rivals in a bid graduate at the top of his class. Annie also made another key discovery when she ran into handsome emergency room doc Scott Weiss (Ben Lawson): He likes cute, flighty aunts who bring nieces to the ER.
Does Annie need another potential suitor? I think not. With Ben, Auggie, Eyal and Jai already queued up, Dr. Love just muddies the waters even more. But perhaps he looked around, saw everyone bowing before Annie and figured it was a requirement. (And, I must admit, Perabo is quite charming…) Annie needs to stop pining after Ben – if for no other reason than portrayers Perabo and Eion Bailey have so little chemistry, sexual or otherwise. What Annie does need, however, is a weapon, and I hope that (presumably) completing her training will lead to fewer “Annie get your gun!” surprise ambushes.
I liked the idea that an agent who works for a clandestine agency felt the need to try to have a clandestine family. Sure, Roy was keeping a secret, but it wasn’t the secret everyone assumed. The resolution was a bit underwhelming, because the baddie’s motive was so petty – he didn’t like being outshined by other recruits. Bleh. Still, after the reveal, Annie got to do a spy classic: The ol’ fight-for-a-parachute-while-tumbling-to-Earth routine. I was especially impressed that the fight was over so quickly – which it needs to be, because the ground comes up fast! Speaking of fast, Annie put her defensive driving skills to good use getting her niece to the ER, but her spycraft deserted her during the actual mission, when a careless move behind the wheel allowed Roy to slip away with his secret wife and prolong the mystery. Most of the mechanics of CIA training remained a mystery, as viewers saw only brief snatches of life at the Farm; instead, the script focused on the recruits’ off-duty hours.
One could be forgiven for assuming that Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy) spends most of his time off-duty, because he’s so rarely seen. (I know, he’s supposed to be keeping tabs on Ben, but…) Perhaps Ramamurthy should take a page out of Jai’s book when he confronted Joan about being underutilized. Even Auggie (Christopher Gorham) gets out in the field more! This week again showcased Auggie’s gift for thinking on his feet. We need to see a full episode devoted to Auggie on a mission. And we need to know more about this guy, because Annie noticed that he slightly changed his story about how he was blinded. Was Auggie pitching the tale to best appeal to Roy sympathies, or did Auggie forget what he told Annie previously? Interesting…