In the new drama series “Covert Affairs” on USA Network, Piper Perabo stars as Annie Walker, a 28-year-old CIA trainee yanked from her training at “The Farm” for a critical mission in D.C. and then kept at CIA headquarters rather than finishing her training.
What makes this spy thriller believable (as a TV drama) starting with the first episode is the scene in which Annie is hauled in to speak with a trainer and she believes she is about to be cut from training.
She blabbers that she’ll take retake the exercise. She asks if it was the driving course or the deception training.
The reply is that she was better on the driving course than any woman they’ve ever had and better on the deception training than anyone in a decade.
Then she is told she is being yanked from training to immediately report to Langley – CIA headquarters.
And, yes, she does silly newcomer things and is then introduced to her new secret world by Auggie Anderson (played by Christopher Gorham), a Langley analyst blinded on a special ops mission. (His computer has a Braille keyboard.)
What I like best about this new series is that it is relatively realistic. Perabo is not Angelina Jolie in the new movie “Salt,” a CIA operative who functions more like Spider Man than a real CIA field operative.
Perabo’s Annie Walker is an active field agent but she doesn’t do any superhuman feats.
What’s more, during her polygraph exam in the first episode it is established that she speaks six languages. (Thanks to having traveled around the world in search of herself.) And this language ability is integrally woven into the episodes.
Although “Covert Affairs” takes the usual TV dramatic license with the realities of jurisdiction between the CIA, the FBI and local police, it does provide an interesting insider’s look into CIA covert operations.
I highly recommend this show for its entertaining plots and for its realistic portrayal of a female action heroine. And the show rightly takes its place alongside a sister show on USA Network that I also highly recommend – “Burn Notice” – in which a female operative is also realistically portrayed.
Learn more at www.usanetwork.com/series/covertaffairs/
Phyllis Zimbler Miller writes about social media and military-related topics. She is the author of the novel Mrs. Lieutenant and co-author of two other books. Read her blog at Miller Mosaic Power Marketing.