JJ Abrams is at it again with his latest television series, “Undercovers.” It centers on two defunct CIA agents who try to live a quiet and normal life in retirement. Too bad, that plan doesn’t stick and they’re pulled back into the field. There’s nothing overtly special about “Undercovers,” besides its fresh cast and blatant “Alias” homages. So, does it have what it takes to break away from its predecessor and stand on its own? Check out the review…

The Players:

  • Directors: JJ Abrams
  • Written By: JJ Abrams and Josh Reims
  • Cast: Boris Kodjoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ben Schwartz, Carter MacIntyre, Mekia Cox, Gerald McRaney

Episode Title: “Pilot”

After being in retirement for 5 years, the CIA reactivates a husband and wife to rescue another agent who’s gone missing. The duo, is Steven and Samantha Bloom, agents turned caterers who give into their past to help out their M.I.A. friend Leo. While undercover they discover that they miss their old ways and decide to once again take on dangerous, top secret missions, full time — while still being caterers.

The Good:

  • Unknown Spy History: The fact that Steven and Sam don’t know about each other’s spy history is the most intriguing element of the show. You can tell that over time, little by little, their background will be revealed to the viewing audience and each other simultaneously. That’s going to make for some interesting TV, because they’re in the dark just as much as us!
  • The Direction: JJ Abrams directed the pilot, which he also co-wrote and you can tell he was behind the camera. It looked like MI:3 mixed with “Alias” throughout this entire episode.
  • Hoyt, the sidekick: Hoyt is the obvious comic relief and he does something that we rarely see: he drools over his fellow man. He’s not sexually attracted to Steven but he idolizes him and in every scene they’re in he (in the words of Steven) “kisses his ass,” while completely disregarding the beautiful Sam. It’s hilarious.
  • Nice Meeting You Again: There was a moment right before Steven went to rescue Leo where he and Sam revealed that being on the mission together made them see one another differently. It was reminiscent of when they first met, which made the following line so poignant: “Nice meeting you again.”

The So-So:

  • The Humor: With Hoyt and Leo, there’s enough snark and comedy to go around therefore we don’t need every scene to be a LOL moment. The clever quips between the Blooms can be fun every once in a while, but not all the time. Gerald McRaney’s Major Dad..I mean Carlton Shaw shouldn’t be the only one with a stiff upper lip.

The Bad:

  • The Action: It was cool to see Sam shoot a missile while driving, and her 3 second fight scene in the basement was killer, but everything else was mediocre. The rooftop fight that Steven got into was either poorly choreographed or poorly edited. They need to do better.
  • The Russians: Why is it that whenever people of Russian decent are portrayed on spy shows such as this they always have a Boris-Drago like quality about them? Are they the go to villains when it comes to espionage? They were so boring in this episode. We could have used someone a little more interesting to kick off the series.


The “Undercovers” pilot was mediocre. The show has a decent start but they definitely need to follow up with something stronger. The protagonists are fine, but the supporting characters need to be flushed out more. Is Sam’s sister only going to be around to annoy the hell out of us, and will Leo only deliver rapid-fire dialogue because that can get annoying after a while.

Rating: 7.5/10

“Undercovers” airs Wednesday at 8 PM on NBC

Photo Gallery:

What did you think of the premiere of Undercovers? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!