Is there anything better than USA Network over the summer? Answer: no. Beautiful Bromances. BAMF Babes. Awesome Alliteration. Wait… I’m getting side tracked. The point is, USA brings the fun over the summer and finally Tuesday marks the return of Covert Affairs.

For those of you who have followed my reviews of this show in the past, you’ll know I get frustrated with it pretty easily. There are things I like, for sure. The effortlessly charming cast being the primary thing. But I’ve had issues. Storylines that make no sense – is someone out to destroy Arthur’s (Peter Gallagher) career? Why was Henry the mole again? How does Annie (Piper Perabo) run in those Louboutins? But I stick with it because it is fun. Then I heard that this season brought big changes.

I was skeptical. What sort of big changes? Does she buy a pair of Jimmy Choos to replace those inevitably worn out Louboutins? Does a guy she meet not fall instantly in love with her? Well, those aren’t it. She still seems to have the shoes, and the guy she meets does seem to fall in love with her as soon as she fires off that trademark grin.

What changes, then? Well, one character dies. Yep. Big death. And with that death leads a domino effect of changes. Auggie (Christopher Gorham) has a new job. So does Annie – and hers comes with a new boss, Lena. Played by Sarah Clarke who played Nina on 24. Every time someone called her Lena, I thought they said Nina so I’m predisposed to assume she is evil. I won’t say whether her actions lead me to believe that yet or not.

piper perabo

COVERT AFFAIRS -- Season: 3 -- Pictured: Piper Perabo as Annie Walker -- Photo by: Andrew Eccles/USA Network

And what do I make of all of these changes? Well, I’m actually happy. Annie is venturing out into real spy territory. Her assignment/possible-love-interest (Richard Coyle) is fun, although I still hold out hope that Oded Fehr will return as Israeli Agent, Eyal Lavine. Oh, you Auggie/Annie shippers, don’t worry your adorable little heads off. There is still some A&A time on deck for the season. But if you were hoping one of those changes would be we magically forget about Auggie’s galpal, Parker… sorry kids. She’s still in the picture. In Africa. But in the picture.

As for the big shake-em-ups over at the CIA due to that certain death – also good stuff. The show was in danger of becoming far too formulaic and this prevents that from happening. Plus, the inclusion of a death of a series regular shows that there are consequences to be a CIA agent. Sure, Annie and (most likely) Auggie aren’t going to die. This is a USA show, after all. But there needs to be some sense that people can die when working (or being around people) in this agency. And Annie’s new job means we get a stronger Annie. She is thrown out there on her own a little more allowing her character some growth.

The best thing I can say about the premiere – when it was over, I cursed the fine people of USA Network for not putting the next episode up on the press site as well. I was ready for more. I’ve seen the White Collar premiere too, which you can find a review of here, and they pair well together. Exotic locales (thanks for that seemingly endless budget, USA) and pretty pretty people. The perfect summer Tuesday night!

So will you watch? Who do you think is the one to bite the proverbial bullet? Joan (Kari Matchett)? Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy)? Arthur? Or maybe you think I’ve been trying to mess with you the CIA talk and it’s Danielle (Anne Dudek)?

Kick back in your Louboutins (or Converse… or go barefoot. You’re at home, relax!) and watch the premiere of Covert Affairs Tuesday, July 10 on USA and find out!

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

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