'Covert Affairs' Season 5 Predictions for Annie's Fresh Start With the CIA

Annie Walker may be back, but she's not the same. The dark ops and romantic entanglements of Season 4 of Covert Affairs have left Annie wiser than ever, and her time "off the grid" seems to have turned her into some sort of Jason Bourne-esque badass, with deep grudges and lurking, unnameable demons. Although the Season 5 opener seemed stronger all-around than the end of last season, it still is falling into some of the old season's traps.

For instance, the romantic tension between Auggie and Annie seems hidden behind a stone, sociopathic facade, which although interesting for an episode, might kill the rest of the season if their dialogue remains wooden and perfunctory. I'm also not entirely settled on Khalid's terror cell as the "other side." Some of Annie's best work in earlier seasons was with Eastern European foes, and now that episodes set in Eastern Europe would finally be relevant to current foreign affairs, the show has turned to Muslim caricatures, terrorists, and Saudi oil as the great evil? Especially cringe-worthy during the premiere's man-hunt for Khalid, who "likes white girls" and would probably be "using a Western name." Blech.

Nonetheless, I see a lot of promise for this season. Here are the best and the worst predictions for Annie's fresh start with the CIA.

Annie's Going to Have a Fling with Mysterious McQuaid

Annie and Ryan McQuaid have already had a chance to meet, get to know each other, and exchange frowny, heated glances, so there's a high probability they're going to hook up. Although McQuaid's opening line — "I'm asking you out to dinner" — was pretty weak, he's got the rest of the season to win her over. But after Auggie, there's no way he'll measure up, so hopefully their affair is brief.

Annie will Break Down

Annie's panic attack in the latter half of the first episode finally poked a hole in her hardass spy exterior. She seems concerned about her mental health, but not concerned enough to slow down on the super-spy antics. Hopefully this doesn't catch up with her, but it looks like it already is.

Auggie and Annie will Work Everything Out... Or They Won't

The Season 3 finale make-out may be the high point in Annie and Auggie's relationship, but that doesn't mean they can't get back together. The creators told The Hollywood Reporter that they "love them as a duo," but they also vaguely hinted at "challenges in their relationship." This season will either be another turning point in their tumultuous courtship, or it will draw out the "will they won't they" vibe for 16 long episodes, both boring and annoying viewers to death.

Joan will Rebel Against the Agency

Even with Henry dead and gone, Joan Campbell has an uphill battle with the Agency. Hopefully the show will use her non-promotion to highlight the real-life sexism in many areas of government and pseudo-military work. After that, she'll be ready to get into super-badass dark ops mode once again, which would be amazing.

Feminism Won't Prevail

Throughout my on-and-off-again relationship with Covert Affairs, I've wondered whether the show was intentionally feminist, or simply attempting to make interesting female characters and fast-moving action sequences simultaneously. The creators seem to have answered my question: they stated that the central question of this season is "Can we have it all?" Although they're clearly using the royal "we," the continued emphasis on Joan's new baby and Annie's new credo to keep "work and life separate" suggests that women will once again be the magnifying glass for work-life balance. Unless they come at this question from a new angle, a fast-paced show about an relatable action hero will die.

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