Covert Affairs, 1.06 “Houses of the Holy” Review

Last week, I ranted about how I didn’t really enjoy Covert Affairs that much, mostly because of Piper Perabo’s performance. I still feel that way, but for whatever reason, ‘Houses of the Holy’at least kept my interest a little more than the post-pilot efforts. I literally cannot explain it, but I totally enjoyed this episode.

I assume a good deal of my fondness for this episode came from the nice triple-header of guest stars in Lauren Holly, Anna Camp and D.W. Moffett. Guest starring roles on light procedurals don’t usually offer much meat from the characters, but sometimes people like Holly and Moffett can come into dysfunctional married couple roles and spruce it up with accents and bubbling anger that works better than it was probably written on the page. I’m not saying that their respective performances were much to write home about, but with USA series, sometimes it’s just the little things, folks.

Christopher Gorham was able to show some more range in this one with Augie’s story focusing on his former unit forcing him to be much more serious in nature. It’s easy to be the snarky cool guy all the time, especially on a series like this, so it was nice to have the character face some real personal drama. Again, little things!

Finally, another little thing: I really appreciated how the storylines came together and depended on one another. I don’t really recall previous episodes doing that (or if they did, the execution wasn’t so good that I remember), but the connection gave both Annie and Augie’s missions more heft and emotional resonance in the end.

Maybe I need to be less critical and just enjoy Covert Affairs, but when trying to write about it on a weekly basis, that’s difficult. If this episode is any indication, perhaps I’ll be finding enjoyment in some of the little things that make USA procedurals so fun to watch. I still don’t think this series is on the level of USA’s big three in Psych, White Collar and Burn Notice, but hey, it’s still better than Royal Pains. B-

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