HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Inside Covert Affairs Season 5
HTS Overall Score:75
It’s with a sad heart that I start this review by saying that this will be the FINAL season of “Covert Affairs”. The future of the show was on rocky ground for quite some time, but recently USA Network announced that they wouldn’t be renewing the action packed she-spy series for a 6th season. This leaves the show with a slight cliffhanger, although not a really detrimental one. I began watching “Covert Affairs” back when it was just a filler show on USA network, but watched as it took root in the viewers and became a smash hit overnight. Action oriented shows are great for a few seasons, but unless you’re “24”, the longevity of a semi-serialized action show like “Covert Affairs” has only a limited amount of time before the viewership waned. Season 1 and 2 were excellent, and season 3 became INCREDIBLE as Annie Walker moved from being a rookie agent in the CIA to a full-fledged and seasoned operator by the end of season 3. Season 4 announced the romance of Auggie (Christopher Gorham) and Annie (Piper Perabo), which fans had been begging to see happen ever since the show began, and one of the biggest Nemesis to the CIA, and American in general has been taken out and Annie comes out of retirement for one more season.
SPOILERS! Annie finally was able to take down the CIA’s greatest threat. Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) had threatened them long enough and his misdeeds came to light, leaving Piper no choice but to take him out of the picture, permanently. Going dark after that assignment she resurfaces after four months and wants to resume work at the CIA. However, it doesn’t take long before she’s out of the game, or at least it so it seems. Working as a contractor with a character by the name of Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop) she basically continues an off the books relationship with Joan and Auggie, so her leaving really didn’t mean much. Much havoc ensues and once again you can guess that Annie beats the bad guys. There’s a few surprises along the way, Annie has a heart condition that may throw her job out the window, Arthur and Joan have a baby boy, Arthur considers a job in the private sector, and Annie has to deal with TWO proposals at the end of the season.
As I mentioned up above, seasons 1-3 were fantastic, but around season 4 the series started to taper off the constant uphill climb in ratings and quality. The show is still quite a lot of fun, but it’s plateaued as the audience realized that no matter what happens, Annie will always come out on top. That tends to remove a lot of the tension from the situations, as we have no fear that Annie will actually be in any REAL danger. The same goes for the romance with McQuaid. We’re supposed to take it very very seriously, but it happens out of the blue and feels a little shoe horned in, especially with how long it took for the Auggie/Annie pairing of season 4. The show wraps up all of the major plotlines, taking out the terrorist who has been haunting them all season, wrapping up some personal storylines as well as even leaving a few small cliffhangers for the inevitable season 6, that didn’t actually pan out.
While I’m very sad to see “Covert Affairs” go, I’m actually rather glad it ended now instead of stretching out 2-3 seasons past when it should have ended, like “24”. I would have preferred a proper ending to the show, but the major plot points have been wrapped up and the series is basically over except for a few small tidbits. With “Covert Affairs” ending, that leaves only “Suits” as the only really great show left on “USA”, and that one most likely only has one or two seasons left in it anyways. All my favorites have ended, “Burn Notice”, “Royal Pains”, “Covert Affairs” and my suspicion is that “Suits” will wrap up very shortly.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=44513[/img]“Covert Affairs” is one of the unlucky shows that has had a DVD release the entire show even though it was aired in HD. Still, one can’t be too choosey in the physical media for TV show market as a myriad of shows that WERE being released in HD or Blu-ray are only getting DVD releases recently. The 1.78:1 Mpeg 2 encoded DVD-9s are impressive considering their 480 lines of resolution. Colors are notoriously bright and glossy on USA Network shows and the plenty of color pop along the way. Detail is solid and black levels stay deeply black. The show is a bit softer than I expected, but still decently sharp and very little macroblocking to mar the image. Solid A- for the encode.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=44521[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital track fares just as well as the video does,with some great action oriented scenes that really amps up the action during the show. Dialog is clean and centered in the front channel, but there are some awesome use of the surrounds and good directionality in the mix that comes out when it heats up. Gunshots are pounding and carry a weight and sonic signature that is a treat to hear, and the LFE channel knows how to flex it's TV muscles when need be. ambient noises, such as footsteps along cobblestones, or the roar of a boat on the causeway light up the surround channels with great detail and the overall impressiveness for a TV series is excellent.
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
“Covert Affairs” is very much a “USA Network” show if you catch my drift. It’s light and breezy with just enough action to keep it interesting, but not enough darkness that it goes into “24” territory. The wit and charm are off the charts and it’s about as ridiculous as “Mission Impossible” in terms of reality based spy dramas. All that being said, it’s a load of fun to watch a female version of Michael Weston beat the tar out of bad guys and come out with her hair still intact after the fight. The season 5 DVD set is par for the course in terms of quality and looks very solid, considering its still in the SD world. The extras are a bit light, but that shouldn’t keep fans from completing their favorite TV show. Definitely worth checking out.
Starring: Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett
Created by: Matt Corman, Chris Ord
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime: 678 Minutes
DVD Release Date: April 28th 2015
Buy Covert Affairs Season 5 On DVD at Amazon
Recommendation: Check it out
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