I’ve mentioned that I’m a fan of 24 before, so it is time for a story that you may or may not find amusing.
I came into that show for the second season, after reading a considerable amount of praise for the show in British listings magazine Radio Times. I’d actually expected it to be a slow, talky drama, not the action-fest it actually was. I also knew from the discussions about Nina Myers, although I had never actually seen a picture of her. Therefore, when she turned up in a photograph at the end of the fourth episode of Season 2, I had no idea who this woman was. Later on, she killed someone with a loyalty card, which is a memorable manner of dispatch and shortly after demonstrated, as the surviving target that there are some things that money can’t buy – for everything else, there’s hidden snipers.
Nina Myers is one of my favourite characters from the show and when I read in RT that her actor Sarah Clarke was in the third season of Covert Affairs, a show I’d pondered having a look at, I decided to check it out. If the show was no good, I could always hit the delete button.
Covert Affairs, broadcast in the US on the USA Network and in the United Kingdom on female-skewing network Really (uktv’s networks have strange names) is basically Alias with more office politics and less Abrams weirdness.
Our Sydney Bristow in this affair is young blonde CIA operative Annie Walker (Piper Peralbo, who seems to be best known for Coyote Ugly, which I’ve never seen), having fewer wigs and family problems. At the beginning of this run, one of her comrades gets blown up by a car bomb and in the aftermath, she is reassigned from the division she’s spent the first two seasons working with to another division, headed up by CIA superstar Lena Smith (Sarah Clarke). Lena is a great character and Clarke steals every scene she’s in.
For her first assignment, Annie gets her gun and is sent to Marrakech, Morocco to get close to, Simon Fisher, a suspected Russian-employed British assassin. She meets up with him and after they show each other their passports (that’s not a euphemism), she starts to work her feminine charms – and has a brief foot chase as she runs away from a pair of German people trying to kill her.
Meanwhile, back in her old division, her male friend, IT technician Augie (Christopher Gorham – it was really bugging me where I’d seen him until I looked him up and found he’d been in Harper’s Island) is also moved to another, different division.
I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers.
This is an enjoyable, globe-trotting spy show. The action is pretty good (what there was of it) and there is a good overall arc starting to take shape for this run. In addition, there’s some snappy dialogue and I love me some snappy dialogue.
Walker is not the strongest character out there (it’s either my nostalgia acting up or Bristow is really better) and a good bit of the office politics will take a while for me to get into, as I don’t know the characters.
Also, kudos to the production designers. It’s obviously filmed in South California, but not noticeably on the screen.
There’s a great deal of interesting stuff here and Clarke has sealed the deal. Not perfect, but I’m in for the ride.