The purported first twenty pages of Undercovers — J.J. Abrams' married spy thriller debuting on NBC this fall — were leaked to the Italian website Il Post. What's the show about? Sexy espionage action and unsexy married life. Spoilers on.
The leaked script — which is credited to J.J. Abrams and co-creator Josh Reims, and syncs up more or less with the preview released by NBC — opens with the above statement informing readers how fast-paced the show is. The pilot, which will be directed by Abrams, wastes no time introducing the leads and throwing them into the thick of things. The show stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as married couple Steve and Samantha Bloom. The Blooms are Los Angeles caterers/ex-CIA agents. Since retiring from espionage seven years ago, the Blooms now confront a host of more mundane daily challenges: a catering business, Samantha's flaky sister and employee Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy), and a sexless marriage caused by job dissatisfaction. Luckily for the Blooms, they are called back into active service when their old buddy and notorious boozehound Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre) goes missing in Paris.
The pilot opens with Nash evading a cadre of Russian mercenaries. Via cell phone, Nash pleads with an unseen pursuer to call off his men. It looks like Nash has an offer for the mystery man, and he's hidden this offer on a "shiny toy robot" flash drive.
The scene ends with Nash on the verge of being apprehended. It then cuts to the Bloom's catering business. They are harried and struggling to get the vegetarian dishes ready for the next day's wedding. Oh the stress! Suddenly, they receive a call from a suit who works for an international hotel chain. That suit is Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney), who's actually a grizzled CIA agent. Shaw tells them that he knows their past (Steve was an encryption/communications expert, Samantha excelled in burglary/disguise work) and that he needs their expertise. Leo Nash has gone missing. His disappearance is tied to something called Operation Black Swan. What's Black Swan? Surprisingly, Steve doesn't know.
Shaw — who's less than enthusiastic about falling back on this duo of quitters — gives them 24 hours to assess his offer and drops some heavy rhetoric about serving your country, which immediately irks Samantha. The Blooms mull it over, cater the wedding, and are too tired to make whoopie. The next day, both of them approach Shaw independently to assist in Nash's search-and-rescue. Looks like the Blooms have to work on their communication skills! The script ends with both Blooms accepting Shaw's offer and the main credits rolling.
What's my verdict on the leaked script? It's hard to make any sort of definitive judgment thus far, as the opening is just exposition out the yin-yang. It definitely has a strong Mr. and Mrs. Smith vibe. You can also see the Abrams hallmarks - the shadowy cover projects and secret computer files are right out of Fringe and Alias. Furthermore, the "spy family" storyline echoes the Bristow clan's family dynamics. You can watch some previews of the show from this year's NBC upfront.