USA Network's latest original program Covert Affairs is an easy show to watch: Piper Perabo is trying to do her best as brand-new CIA operative Annie Walker, the cases of the week involve various explosions, fights and shoot-outs, and everyone goes to sleep safe and sound in the end. If this were a CBS show, that would be fine. But on USA Network, their slate of character-rich original programs have proved they're better than that. Earnest speeches from humorless characters belong on run-of-the-mill police procedurals that your mother-in-law likes. Not here. Perhaps USA Network is a victim of its own success, but if you're a fan of their well-written, well-acted, well-produced "action shows" like Burn Notice, Psych and White Collar, then you know there's something missing from Covert Affairs. It's the characters. They just don't cut it.
The plot of this week's episode concerned Walter, a boy genius, who deciphered a secret code embedded within a radio frequency - a code that led him to discover an IRA member picking up an envelope from a dead drop. Fearing he was discovered and in danger, he and his mother went to the CIA for help. Given her status as low woman on the totem pole, Annie was manning the walk-in desk that afternoon. After dealing with odd-balls, crack-pots and conspiracy theorists all day, the boy's story had a ring of truth, but she needed his recordings to verify the story. Unfortunately, the mother and son were too scared, so they went off the grid, leaving Annie to find them, save their lives and stop whatever plan the IRA was about to put into motion.
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