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Covert Affairs intrigues with fourth season opener 'Vamos'

Covert Affairs poster

Written by : published Wednesday 17th July 2013

Covert Affairs intrigues with fourth season opener 'Vamos' main image

The USA Network series Covert Affairs returns to it’s old spy tricks with a stunning debut episode to the fourth season entitled “Vamos”.  In “Vamos”, we see Annie (Piper Perabo) has aligned herself with the infamous former head of the Department of Clandestine Services, Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin). Wilcox has placed Annie into a dangerous, undercover mission that puts those closest to her in jeopardy. Then there is also the new ambitious young and cocky CIA station chief based in Latin America who plots his way into a bigger position back in Washington named Calder Michaels (Hill Harper). Will that push her further away from Joan (Kari Matchett) and Arthur (Peter Gallagher)? Or have they honestly done that themselves with the secrets they’ve apparently kept from her..? What about Auggie (Christopher Gorham) and Annie’s relationship? What is Wilcox really planning?

This season, I won’t try to cover it up, I have no idea where Covert Affairs is trying to go. Usually I have a general sense of direction of where the show is heading, or a tone that the show appears it will present and then shift as the series continues. With this season though, with “Vamos”, I have no idea where they are taking this. And my thoughts… well, I have had an interesting take on Covert Affairs, be assured. Here is my odd but unique look at my random Ninja Turtles-esque look at the series plotline last season. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

But this time, I got nuttin’, yo.

Secret Talks, y0.

Well, not necessarily. Lemme rephrase: I really have no ‘clear’ idea where they, they being the writers of Covert Affairs, are going.  I have a vague clue that Wilcox is up to something, but what if Arthur actually is a bad guy?

When a show gets up in age, or see: past two seasons, usually a show continues the back-story on beloved characters. Sometimes it paints them in less than favorable lights, showing them to be the villain all along. What if this is the play Wilcox plans to do, uncovering his evil schemes for allowing the murder of his son? Perhaps. But perhaps not. Covert Affairs has always dangerously skirted around Arthur and Joan’s true alliances (are they with Annie, are they not, do they like pie, do they not like pie, etc). The answer has always been that in the last minute, Arthur reveals himself to be of sound and pure mind. There is always a reason Arthur does what he does and for good reason.

So there are two alleys that Covert Affairs can go, but the reveal that Arthur has a son, illegitimate or not, feels true with a hint of falsehood or just completely false. Why would Arthur send 10k a month or so to him? That feels a bit much. So there either is some truth that it is his son but he is doing something else with the funds, or it is all a damned lie.

What is also crushing to me, is that Auggie is in on the whole Arthur situation. Auggie even lies to Annie about what Arthur is ‘really’ up to, whatever that exactly is. And that feels suspect too. Auggie is the guy to stick to his guns about keeping secrets but with Annie, it feels a betrayal. Which is what I’m sure the writers of Covert Affairs are expecting. We as audience members to feel conflicted about not just Arthur but also Auggie.

While I am in the boat that Auggie and Annie, might not stay together by season end, will remain good friends though, instantly quells any fears. But Covert Affairs has been known to somewhat rock the boat a bit, and that definitely plays to its advantages with any fears I may have. Yet… “Vamos” is the beginning of the story.

That means that the Covert Affairs team could completely surprise me in terms of completely playing with the tropes I expect, or they suspend my belief enough that I buy into the tropes themselves. There is the other possibility that it takes me completely out of the whole shebang, but it could be a fun pop corn ride. Honestly, I hope they surprise me, mixed with a hint of pop corn fun. I do feel that, despite any odd projecting of the teenage mutant ninja turtles onto Covert Affairs last season, my beef with Covert Affairs and the Nina character being quickly silenced was a genuine concern, one that I hope that Covert Affairs will learn from and apply this season. Another USA Network show has a similar problem, in regards to introducing new characters only to quickly kill them off right as they begin to get interesting or before they can add anything further than a macguffin and that is Burn Notice.  *

(*) – Note, I understand the argument that Nina wasn’t exactly a macguffin but with how quickly they killed her off, it ultimately felt like one.  The idea that Annie had to kill someone, had to go off the grid, and go down a dark path, Nina felt more like someone to push her there, more of an object than anything, to push Annie to where the writers felt she needed to go. Nina did bring up some amazing ideas and concepts, some that were introduced but then not really followed through with. This is more likely due to money, time and actors schedules, and possibly networks wanting a season finale where Annie kills the baddie, but I digress.

Overall, Covert Affairs is just starting off an intriguing storyline that could be a lot of fun, but could also go south quickly for long-term fans who really dig Arthur and Auggie as 100% on Annie’s, and thus, the audience’s, side. While the show will most assuredly take the long way to tell the story, it is too early to say for sure thusly if Covert Affairs is going to a dark path or be reciting Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.  I remain highly optimistic until it proves otherwise.

About the author goodbadgeeky


Nick ‘Nitro’ Arganbright has an extreme love for a good story, whether it be in film, tv, video games, comic books, music or more and it shows in each article and podcast he produced. The titular podcast he produces is called The Good The Bad & The Geeky with co-hosts Jon Bettin and Nathan ‘DJ Meat’ Haley. The podcast has helped him make a few contacts within in the industry which he hopes to use to entertain and inform readers of his reviews on Examiner.com and The TV King, offering an average joe opinion that is often overlooked in major print and online publications. If you’d like to e-mail him, please do so at [email protected] or you can tweet him on twitter at @goodbadgeeky.

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