An assignment in Stockholm put Annie and Danielle in jeopardy during their vacation, and Jai must choose between loyalties to his father and Arthur after a failed lie detector test.

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Little Magnus (as Joakim Natterqvist)
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Nils Crofft
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Emily
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Patrick (staffer) (as Scott Yamamura)
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Storyline

Auggie hoped to be a prime candidate for an experimental procedure which might return his eyesight, but gets a negative diagnosis. Jai is tempted by his father Henry Wilcox to advance his career by testifying on a delicate mission against Arthur, who didn't even inform Joan, but Jai seizes an even more ruthless opportunity. Annie is on holiday in Stockholm with sister Danielle, who after her husband confessed repeated infidelity shamelessly flirts all the way with local pen-friend Magnus, a florist. The CIA instructs Annie to pick up documents at a fancy trade exchange for local agent Petr, but the anonymous contact's place is taken by a killer who mixes up and pursues the sisters, who seek refuge in host Magnus's country retreat. Written by KGF Vissers

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7 December 2011 (Canada)  »

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Trivia

One of the filming locations was Keswick, Ontario. Film crews were on location for 3 days, but only got 3 minutes of usable footage. See more »

Goofs

When Annie is struggling with the assassin in what appears to be a kitchen she lands on the floor in the back ground behind her on the right is a power outlet which is clearly North American. See more »

Soundtracks

Can You Save Me
Written by Apple Trees & Tangerines
Performed by Apple Trees & Tangerines
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User Reviews

Season 2: Uses its confidence from getting a second season to improve and strengthen in the way all second seasons should
21 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 1 of Covert Affairs felt like a show that sort of knew what it wants to be but doesn't have the resources or the aptitude to totally get there. By contrast, season two feels like it is a dying man who has decided to spend all his money and make the most of what little time he has left – the difference being of course that on the strength of this season, Covert Affairs isn't going anywhere soon. It doesn't totally make the transition into the second season as smoothly as i would have liked but it was really encourage to see that, regardless of how clumsily it was done, they clearly looked at what worked and what didn't and what could be done better and made changes for the benefit of the show – in terms of response to a successful first season it is just what you want to see happen in a second season.

The downside is that the show does need to go from where it is to where it wants to be and there is a certain amount of awkward "clearing of the decks" that has to be done. Despite him being a thread all the way through the first season, we get rid of Annie's lover really quick. It isn't quite a matter of Ben Mercer saying "I must go, my planet needs me" but it isn't far off that! Likewise Danielle's husband is kicked off-screen and a few other bits of clutter that weren't adding much but were demanding time are moved out (sadly for Wire fans, Peters is one of these things – although the show never really used him anyway). All the shuffling around doesn't totally work but it is a necessary evil I suppose because the end result is that the show is leaner and a little bit more focused in terms of its characters and what it wants from them.

Once everything is out of the way in that regard, we are set up for a season that pretty much stays close to the genre mould in regards a case a week with some basic overall threads that are touched upon each episode. Annie may be the agent of choice for some reason, but I don't think there is a mission she is on that doesn't get messed up and these make up the majority of the season. It works better here than before mainly because the cases are better written and presented with a bit more seriousness and urgency than they were in the first season; the show is still light entertainment but it felt like there was a bit more clout to it this time round. The overall threads are OK but I think they could do with making them a little stronger next time, just to hold it all together better.

Part of the reason the show feels like it has more clout is that the budget has clearly been increased and they are clearly doing more with their money. In the first season terrible back projection was everywhere – even the big fight in the finale was ruined by it. However from the very start of season 2 we see that a lot of effort has gone into external location shots. Not only we get more externals generally but I presume they did a shooting tour across Europe because they get lots of good shots and action in loads of places. The parkour sequence across French rooftops and the central square in Venice are just examples but they are frequently out and about and making good use of every penny by the look of it. OK it is just location, but it is part of the show being more "proper" and it does add to the feel of the quality – this wasn't just bashed up in a studio, this was made with purpose. There are still moments of terrible back projection but they are minimal compared to the previous season and annoyed me much less.

The cast have a bit more to them as well. Perabo continues to be attractive but seems more comfortable in her character. In season 1 the material expected her both to be a rookie and also the agent of choice for every job, and she couldn't get the balance but here that is less important as the rookie aspect moves out. Gorham has a bit more to work with but there is a sense that he is still being used for his looks (which is ironic I guess). Matchett and Gallagher get more to do work with and to be fair to him, although I don't care for Ramamurthy, his movements do make for a good subplot and hopefully the politics can continue to get stronger in the third season. Dudek benefits from more or less losing the distraction of her family and husband – they haven't totally got rid of him (they will) but she is actually not too bad when the focus can be on her relationship with her sister – still don't think she is an important part of the show but she was better than before.

Convert Affairs hasn't suddenly become an amazing show that will push Deadwood or Boardwalk Empire off my shelf, but it is a solidly entertaining show and one that I can appreciate for the extra effort and confidence put into the second season. Some shows get a second season and freeze – scared to mess with formula or change too much so they just continue repeating and repeating. Covert Affairs does it right – keeping the core strengths, trimming what is unnecessary, messy or just didn't work and improving things like the writing and the use of locations. It is still very much a genre light entertainment show, but it is doing the right things and I do hope that the third season can improve again.


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