Wednesday, May 28, 2014

TV on DVD Review: Covert Affairs - Season 4

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action, suspense, and character development - this season has it all
Cons: Needless tease to open season
The Bottom Line:
Action, tension mounts
As show finally hits its stride
In must watch season

"This is a Bribe."  "It's a Latte."

The one thing I have long lamented with Covert Affairs is their lack of good story arcs.  Oh, they try, but they never quite seem to pull it off.  All that changed with season 4.  In fact, it was very focused on story arc and I could hardly take my eyes away from the screen.

The season picks up where the last one left off, which means that our favorite couple, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) and Auggie Anderson (Christopher Gorham) have finally gotten together!  However, it's not all good news since Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) has been released from prison and has vowed to take down the people he holds responsible for the death of his son.  That would be Annie and Auggie as well as Joan and Arthur Campbell (Kari Matchett and Peter Gallagher).  The results will be a roller coaster ride as Annie tries to walk the line between getting Henry to believe she is on his side while still really working with the others.  Meanwhile, Arthur has a few skeletons in his closet and Joan learns she is pregnant.

Believe me, this season is one wild ride after another.

While many shows on the USA Network have gone with case of the week and story arc, that's not the case here.  Almost every one of these episodes ties in to the Henry story line.  But that's a good thing.  With the show actually focused on it, they do a remarkable job of upping the stakes and keeping us guessing until the very end of the season.  Believe me, I didn't want to miss a single moment, and I was thrilled that we had a very short break between the first part and the back half of the season.

I will, however, mention one complaint.  They start the season with an exciting scene and then flashback to show us how we got there.  Not only do I hate this narrative technique, but it wasn't needed.  The action was exciting enough with out.  Not to mention that we don't get that scene in context until multiple episodes into the season.

The acting is uniformly great.  The core cast knows their characters, and they do a wonderful job of bringing them to life.  The new recurring characters and guest stars are just as interesting.

We also still get the exotic locations we've come to expect.  Annie does work for the CIA after all.  We get episodes set in Columbia, Germany, and China to name a few.

The story plays out over sixteen episodes, and they are all here in this four disc set with wide screen picture and full surround sound.  Extras include a few deleted scenes, a gag reel, an action reel, and a prequel about Auggie's life before the series started.

While Covert Affairs has never topped the list USA Network shows, season 4 made me glad I've been watching.  I'll be curious to see where the show goes from here.

Season 4 Episodes:
1. Vamos
2. Dig for Fire
3. Into the White
4. Rock a My Soul
5. Here Comes Your Man
6. Space (I Believe In)
7. Crackity Jones
8. I've Been Waiting for You
9. Hang Wire
10. Levitate Me
11. Dead
12. Something Against You
13. No. 13 Baby
14. River Euphrates
15. There Goes My Gun
16. Trompe Le Monde

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