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COVERT AFFAIRS Fools the World

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Written by : published Wednesday 27th November 2013

USA's Covert Affairs recently ended its fourth season. This year has been one of big change and high stakes, climaxing in a very important showdown. The finale, "Trompe Le Monde," which roughly translates as "fool the world," is a satisfying conclusion to that story, ending a major chapter for the series.

Annie (Piper Perabo) underwent much growth in seasons one through three, and she needed all of that development in order to be prepared for her ultimate mission in year four. Trapped in China, Annie is captured by Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin), who sells her to the Chinese in exchange for his own escape. But it isn't long before Annie breaks loose and heads after Henry, solo, with little support.

This is a huge test for Annie. In a foreign country with no easy exit route, she's cut off from not only her loved ones, but the help the CIA can usually provide. She does this for an extended period of time, letting the world think she is dead. Not many people have the emotional strength or the intellectual cunning to stay isolated and carry through a complex, long-running feat as Annie does.

The final scene between Annie and Henry is intense! Both the actors involved give amazing performances. They really do seem like great enemies, even as Henry doesn't really hate Annie, at least not fully. There's a real spark between them, not at all romantic in nature, but still a compelling chemistry. Very well done.

The China trip has taken its toll. Even as Annie shoots Henry dead, there is no look of relief or satisfaction on her face. She takes no pleasure in killing, even someone who deserves it as much as Henry. Instead, she appears exhausted, ready to rest. She's certainly earned a break, and after Auggie (Christopher Gorham), who never abandoned her, secures her passage, she sets off for home.

Which begs the question, what is next for Annie? By the end of "Trompe Le Monde," as every viewer knew would be the case, Annie makes it away from Asia, her goal accomplished. After such a trying journey, she can't possibly be expected to jump right back in at work, nor will she collapse into Auggie's arms, even if he did prove his love and worth. She needs time to recuperate.

Even after the healing takes effect, which will likely occur between seasons, one wonders what Annie might have to face. It's hard to imagine a more exciting, nail-biting arc than this one, and having gone so big, Covert Affairs has no choice but to reign it in a little. Perhaps there might be some lighter, fun installments to give everyone a chance to take a breath before launching into another epic tale?

Annie isn't the only one whose story is depressing in "Trompe Le Monde." One CIA leader, Braithwaite (Craig Eldridge), hangs himself in his office when he realizes he made a big mistake. While Covert Affairs does not shy away from action and death, it's still startling to see something happen in the government offices that is so tragic and depressing. Whether you cared about the character or not, and most won't, as even though he appeared in twelve episodes, he wasn't a big player, the sight of the dangling legs is still an effective picture.

In the short-term, there is much to be worked out at the CIA, besides removing bodies. Presumably Henry's misdeeds will now be brought to light, which should reset a few things, clearing the name of good people who didn't deserve to be punished. Arthur (Peter Gallagher) may have the opportunity to go back to work. Joan (Kari Matchett) has a baby to tend to, but also possibly an office to re-occupy. That is, if Calder (Hill Harper) steps back, which he seems willing to do, but politics could conspire against him.

It's likely Covert Affairs will work these machinations into the story, while still keeping the focus on Annie. This would be nice, as sometimes the supporting characters don't get enough story; Joan and Peter were barely in "Trompe Le Monde." If Annie can be involved in this game of musical chairs, it might be a fresh direction to go in, at least for a few episodes.

Covert Affairs will return to USA in 2014.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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