Four months after killing Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) in Hong Kong, and eight months since her last official assignment for the agency prior to faking her own death, Annie (Piper Perabo) resurfaces to return to work for the CIA. Despite several unanswered questions as to what Miss Walker has been up to since we last saw her (which have left her with a medical condition she decides to hide from her coworkers), Calder (Hill Harper) has no choice but to immediately reinstate his best agent back into the field when an old enemy (Haaz Sleiman) of hers resurfaces in Chicago as part of a terrorist plot.
Back in the field and paired with one of Auggie‘s (Christopher Gorham) oldest friends (Michael Goorjian), Annie prevents one terrorist attack only to accidentally play into the hands of the enemy and allow a more personal attack at a secret CIA facility to happen. Despite her time away, the delicate nature of the attack involving inside information provided by someone experienced with the inner workings of the CIA, Calder puts Annie back to work with a new mission to find those responsible for the attack and stop them from whatever else they may have planned.
The season opener certainly keeps several facts close to the vest involving what happened to Annie since we saw her last. Introducing the new recurring character of Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop) as the head of a private security firm and Arthur‘s (Peter Gallagher) old friend and boss, I’m also wondering if the well-informed businessman will turn out to be more enemy or friend to Annie while I’m not quite buying McQuaid taking over as the major love interest in Annie’s life as the show (at least for now) has put Annie and Auggie’s personal relationship on hold.
“Shady Lane” gets Annie back in action with a minimum of fuss while rebooting her professional relationship with Auggie and teasing us with what the CIA’s best may have been doing since the end of last season. Putting Joan back in charge full-time of the DPD, it’s Calder who gets to remain in Arthur’s old job. The choice allows the show to reinstate some of the tension between the two characters which faded after Joan learned how Calder helped Annie take down Henry Wilcox. The episode also introduces Nazneen Contractor as Maria Martinez, a love interest for Calder whose relationship may threaten his new promotion (for reason not yet disclosed).