The most implausible but entertaining spy show on TV hits DVD once more with its second season release. When we left newbie spy Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) at the end of Season 1, the lover who’d abandoned her and then suddenly reappeared in her life, Ben (Eoin Bailey), had been shot and they were trying to escape on a helicopter. Once the fallout of that is dealt with (and Ben’s disappeared again), it’s on to 16 more episodes of silly but fun CIA shenanigans. At least I desperately hope it’s silly, as if the CIA is really like this, it’s a miracle we’re not being blown up by terrorists every day.
Annie is settling into her role as a spook, continuing her missions which entail everything from getting held hostage by the Belarusian military who don’t want the CIA knowing their secrets, to having to return to spy training school to smoke out a mole who’s published sensitive information online. While she’s nipping all over the world (or at least standing in front of a green screen pretending to go all over the world) foiling the bad guys and trying to ensure spying seems as glamorous as possible, things at home prove problematic. Annie finds the constant lies to her sister (Anne Dudek) about what she’s up to increasingly difficult to handle, but discovers that perhaps telling her sister she’s a CIA operative and not a museum worker will cause problems of its own.
There’s also Auggie (Christopher Gorham), the blind tech op. who’s provided Annie with constant support since she was thrust into the heart of the CIA. He’s got the opportunity for promotion, which causes unexpected problems, not least that he will have to give up his covert status and suddenly gets thrust into the political machinations on the public side of the Agency. With Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy) revealing himself to be as tricky as his ex-CIA head father, it’s becoming as tricky inside CIA as it is outside.
It’s all extremely daft but a lot of fun and never takes itself too seriously. Piper Perabo is very good as Annie, helping keep things grounded while having just the right level of optimistic spirit to make things fun. It’s simple action-packed entertainment and works well. There are moments where it feels about to tip over the edge into the realm of outright nonsense, but always manages to pull itself back.
There’s a small but okay contingent of special features, including some deleted scenes, a bunch of outtakes, the fun intro Piper Perabo filmed for Comic Con, and a featurette looking at the location shoots for the series.
Overall Verdict: Covert Affairs continues the series’ silly but fun run, with more over the top spying antics and plenty of problems at home. It’s often daft but it’s very entertaining, and this release will set you up for the Season 2, which is just beginning on the channel, Really.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac