Covert Affairs: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (13 Jul. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 317 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

New CIA recruit Annie Walker is brought in to retrieve secrets from a Russian spy seeking asylum, but he is assassinated by a sniper before the exchange can be finished.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Niluge Eleek De Mel ...
Sri Lankan Kid
Kelley Grando ...


Annie Walker is removed from the CIA training school 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. At the agency, she meets Auggie Anderson, a CIA military intelligence agent, blinded while on assignment, who quickly becomes her friend and confidant; Arthur Campbell, the CIA's formidable director of Clandestine Services; and her new boss Joan, who happens to be married to Arthur. Annie meanwhile lives with her older sister Danielle, a married mother of two, whom she keeps a very large secret. Written by USA Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

13 July 2010 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


"Kiisu" means "kitten" in Estonian, but it's a fairly common word and its usage isn't regionally limited as Dr. Mark Ramsay claims. However, it's true that a Russian probably wouldn't have used it, also because it's not the most common way to say "cat" in Estonian, as Dr. Ramsay correctly notes. The most common word for "cat" is "kass". See more »


When she says, "DEC method; determine, evade, coerce," during the car chase, the background behind the car can be seen to jump. See more »


Auggie Anderson: [Annie walks away] Gotta love those kitten heels.
See more »


References Casablanca (1942) See more »


Can You Save Me
Written by Apple Trees & Tangerines
Performed by Apple Trees & Tangerines
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming protagonist, convincing performers, exquisite partner, awkward backstory telling, questionable production and action scenes, twisted but not captivating story
18 July 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The beautiful and talented Kari Matchett was the only excuse I needed to give Covert Affairs a chance. Seriously a show involving a hot female spy is hard to resist.

Annie Walker is portrayed by Piper Perabo and I found her both convincing in her role and quite charming. But she's not just a pretty face as her personality is a mix between the funny girl next door and a femme fatale. There was also something cute and intriguing about her abruptly stopped training. I was also curious about her linguistic skills but they were under exploited. They could have used them to read lips or make the investigation more puzzling but instead they chose the easy way of seduction. I didn't mind but I was hoping for something more subtle and surprising. As for Matchett she's her boss and even if I found her role far too anecdotic I think their relationship has potential. Indeed she wasn't as despicable as I thought she would be and even if her story doesn't seem epic I'm sure the writers have planned something special for her.

The other reason that convinced me to check out the pilot was the visually impaired guy. I thought he would make a great partner and found the idea quite original. And it was well executed because the actor's performance was exquisite and the very first minutes their chemistry was excellent. But don't expect the usual romance and other sexual tension we have already experienced a thousand times. It's a nice and refreshing approach. Moreover the story revealed that her heart is not ready yet to fall in love again. In fact her past was covered at the beginning during an awkward interview with misplaced flashbacks. It seems they over estimated their capacity to be creative. I think a simpler approach would have been more appropriate, like first showing us what happened a few years ago then going straight to her new career. The problem is that their solution made her story less authentic and I couldn't really relate to it. Furthermore these scenes were too short but I have to admit that they were well directed.

It leads us to the production quality because I found it questionable in general. On the beach the lighting was immersive but during the other scenes, that represents 99% of the episode, it was really poor. It jarred with the professional acting and overall realistic universe. At times it was almost like watching a cheap homemade movie. It was really an issue because it should prevent you from believing in it. It got even worse during the action scenes. The shooting was all right but the pursuit on wheels was a mess. If you don't have the budget to pull a 007 then go for mind games and twisted investigations. But the real disaster was the diner scene. I still can't believe how bad it was. The filming actually reminded me of Batman Begins and the whole Christopher Nolan incident. It was short and the idea was to simulate drunkness so let's forget about it. However it should definitely inspire Nolan for his next film ! I also can't help pointing out how annoying some subliminal advertisement was because it instantly pulled me out of the fiction.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed it but it was just decent entertainment. Following Annie in her adventures was exciting at times and I also found a gorgeous reporter quite intriguing. However in the end it didn't convince me to stick around. The cliffhanger was unexpected but it wasn't mind blowing. In fact it's quite difficult to impress the audience when it comes to spy fiction because we can't help comparing to James Bond and other masterpieces of the genre. Despite these issues I recommend it for the moments she shared with her partner. And I also never thought I would learn dating tips from a blind guy ! Last but not least let's consider that for once the procedural recipe should be mixed with a heavy format. So it's apparently not your usual episodic show. My advice is just to at least watch its pilot to make up your mind. If you find Annie's journey as refreshing as diving into a pool in the morning then you'll definitely want to learn more about her past and future.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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