Watch Covert Affairs Season 1 Episode 1 - Pilot. Annie Walker is removed from CIA training and thrust into the inner sanctum of the Agency for what appears to be their need of her exceptional linguistic skills, but there may be something or someone from her past that her CIA bosses are really after.
USA Network's slogan is "Characters Welcome." In order to follow that credo, every original series they put on the air has to have a central character or characters who are quirky, troubled, or have a checkered back story. Most of the time, the character has all three. The formula has been mostly a success, as a fair amount of the shows they put on the air attract sizable cable audiences and usually go on multiple-year runs.
'Covert Affairs,' which debuts tonight, July 13 at 10PM ET, could be one of them. The show's lead, Piper Perabo, is appealing and brings more to her femme fatale role than most. But the pilot was crammed so much quirkiness into Perabo's character of newbie CIA agent Annie Walker that viewers don't have a good feel for what the show is going to be about by the time the 75-minute pilot is over.
We've seen this formula before: Walker is a master of language who has traveled the world trying to find herself. After a whirlwind Bora Bora romance ends in heartbreak, she joins the CIA so she can use her skills for good. Walker gets pulled from training to work in a high-profile (for the CIA, of course) domestic protection task force. While she thinks she's there for merit, her bosses might have other motivations.
Sounds kind of like a CIA version of 'La Femme Nikita,' doesn't it? Well, think of it as 'Nikita' crossed with a Cathy comic, and you start to get the idea. You see, Annie's personal life is a mess. Her sister (Anne Dudek, who played Amber on 'House') sets her up with "nice guys" she knows from work. She's fielding questions from everyone on why she hasn't met the right one yet. She's still recovering from her overseas heartbreak. And, oh by the way, she's encouraged to date within the agency to keep the "circle of trust" intact. So what's a single girl who's got a dangerous job ever to do?