Dead Annie Walking: Covert Affairs “Dead” Review
School is out.
The passport-style diploma bears the alias Jessica Matthews, and a mug shot featuring an Annie Walker with dark chocolate tresses and an impatient hunger for justice at any cost in “Dead,” Covert Affairs’ post-hiatus breakout episode.
Perabo’s Walker is a pleasure to watch any day, but her Matthews looks to be a distilled elixir of her former persona. “Dead” is a concise roadmap of the tight wire transformation from babe to bad girl for the rogue CIA operative rumored as gunned down in “Levitate Me” by her assumed adversary in black, Calder Michaels (Hill Harper). Anything but a swan song, the second half of Covert Affairs’ fourth season promises to be a humdinger of a tromp through the underbelly of nastiness cultivated by Annie’s nemesis, Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin).
In addition to Annie’s hair color and affect, Covert Affairs has changed the lens through which Annie is filmed from milquetoast to espresso in both mood and tempo. Just this side of staccato, Annie’s scenes advance at a razor clean pace in keeping with her rapid progress. Though Annie has never been a true milquetoast, a demure and timid flower, the insinuation of “Dead” is that we will look back on Annie’s pre-dead days as mild mannered in comparison to the ass kicking days of her Matthews marathon.
Annie’s is only one of the lives changed by her decision to take herself off the game board, and hers are not the only risks being taken. To cover up Walker’s death-by-Calder fake-out, Michaels has stolen a cadaver, submitted false documents, lied to his superiors, and donned a martini-scented nightie to climb between the sheets with Henry Wilcox who foolishly thinks he’s just getting lucky because of his cute face and stinky cigar.
Meanwhile, Auggie (Christopher Gorham) has been forced to break the ‘news’ to Danielle, and is clearly willing do anything to perpetuate the ruse of Annie’s demise until she gathers enough intel to put Wilcox into a box out of which he will never climb. Joan has been reinstated in the crate-ology department at the CDC in an innocuous position behind a powerless desk, and Arthur has been released on house arrest until he can be cleared. Neither of them appears to be aware of Annie’s undead status; both are devastated and determined to avenge her. Arthur professes to put Joan and baby boy Campbell above everything else in life.
We still haven’t seen hide nor hair of Teo’s corpse, so don’t be surprised if he swings in on a vine in the future just in time to save Annie’s, er, death (life?). Come to think of it, now that they are both dead, they could work together to get Henry. How convenient would that be?
Here’s how it went down in “Dead.” Annie changes her identity, buys some sexy black leathers and an even sexier Ducati, rents a seedy apartment in an ungodly Geneva neighborhood from a tattoo artist called Reese, and parlays herself a job inside target Sana’s (Seeta Indrani) company, working for Sana’s fiancé David (Mike Dopud). Why? Because Sana is Wilcox’s ex-wife and the reason Henry stopped over in Geneva on his way to the massacre in Copenhagen. Annie intends to uncover why.
While working for David, Annie comes face to face with Deric Hughes (Aiden Devine), Henry’s henchman who deployed the Copenhagen missile which Teo was framed for, and who assassinated the CIA operative for which Annie was blamed and reclassified as rogue. Annie swiftly corners and smacks the crap out of Hughes, knocking him unconscious. Sana suspects something’s up and pulls a gun on Annie, who spills the whole truth, and together they bring Deric to Annie’s, excuse me, Jessica’s dingy pad, where Sana freaks until Annie gives her a little not-so-peppy pep talk. While Sana hides her face, Annie interrogates Deric while he delivers an annoying report card of her efforts. Eventually, an electrocution goes bad, and Derec ends up sleeping with the fishes before telling Annie anything useful.
So there you have it. “Dead” is a mere set-up for what is to come in the next five episodes. Fortunately, USA has already renewed Covert Affairs for a fifth season and sixteen new episodes so we can plan on seeing A LOT more of Annie Walker.
Tune in next Thursday, Oct. 24, at 10/9c on USA when “Something Against You” sees Auggie, despite his misgivings, deciding to work with Calder on an alternate method to destroy Henry.