TV's 14 Best Spies, Ranked
By Sharon Knolle We're loving The Night Manager." He plays a hotelier-turned-spy who's trying to take down a ruthless arms dealer. We're also excited about the return of TURN: Washington's Spies." But how do they stack up against some of TV's best spies, like Sydney Bristow and Peggy Carter? It was almost an impossible mission, but we ranked TV's espionage elite from the past 15 years... give or take a year.
14. Chuck Bartowski, 'Chuck'
Chuck (Zachary Levi) is killer at fixing your PC and playing Missile Command, but kinda new at saving the world. He accidentally became a walking CIA database, but was lacking in field know-how, until he was zapped with Intersect 2.0. and could say, like Keanu, "I know kung fu."
13. Martin Rauch, 'Deutchland 83'
At the height of the Cold War (and '80s New Wave!) naive East German Martin is forced to adopt a new identity and spy on his Western comrades. The spy newbie proves surprisingly adept, but fate has a way of tripping him up.
12. Ichabod Crane, 'Sleepy Hollow'
Among his many other talents, this long-lived Englishman spied for General Washington once he was convinced that his country was on the wrong side of history. And staying one step ahead of the Headless Horseman and the town's other ghouls requires quick wits and even quicker reflexes.
11. Jonathan Pine, 'The Night Manager'
Since it's early days so far in this mini-series, we've yet to see if this cool-under-the-collar hotelier can cut the mustard against the world's most ruthless gun dealer (Hugh Laurie). But we're not going to count out his expert crisis management or his compelling motive: Revenge!
10. Annie Walker, 'Covert Affairs'
An expert at languages -- she speaks 7 fluently and knows at least six others -- but less skilled at hand to hand combat. Good thing this trainee learns quickly.
9. Abraham Woodhull, 'TURN: Washington's Spies'
Beginning as a cabbage farmer and graduating to indispensable informant to none other than George Washington himself, Woodhull (based on the real-life spy) was unfortunately caught by a mercenary at the end of Season 2.
8. Kim Possible, 'Kim Possible'
Sure, she's just a high school student, but she's got mad spying skills, great hair, and fantastic gadgets (thanks to techie pal Wade). Weaknesses: Still has to do homework. and sometimes hampered by pal Ron Stoppable, unless he's in Mystical Monkey Power mode.
7. Carrie Mathison, 'Homeland'
So she's a bit unstable and has a tendency to fall for the wrong guys: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) still has some of the best instincts in the business and an impressive talent for recruiting well-placed informants.
6. Lana Kane, 'Archer'
TV's most self-absorbed and clueless spy Archer is damn lucky he's got the highly proficient Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) by his side in this hilarious, raunchy animated series.
5. Michael Weston, 'Burn Notice'
Although stuck in Miami after getting essentially banned from the game, Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan) is still the same endlessly resourceful spy he always was, ably aided by IRA-trained Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and well-connected buddy Sam (Bruce Campbell).
4. Elizabeth Jennings, 'The Americans'
It's hard to root for someone trying to undermine our country but when it's Keri Russell in a series of sexy disguises... just like all of her targets, she's even harder to say no to. All while maintaining a perfectly ordinary cover.
3. The Agents of 'MI-5'
The show's original line-up of Zoe Reynolds (Keeley Hawes), Tom Quinn (Matthew Macfadyen), and Danny Hunter (David Oyelowo) helped prevent bombings, assassinations, and government coups. Damn, they were good.
2. Peggy Carter, 'Agent Carter'
Here's an agent who's so capable, it's kind of scary, actually. She not only has to ferret out information and thwart evil, she also has to rise above her painfully sexist colleagues. Luckily, it's all in a day's work.
1. Sydney Bristow, 'Alias'
A master of disguise, numerous languages and, of course, kicking ass: Is there anything Sydney Bristow couldn't do? Her only weakness: Her effed-up family dynamic that reached Shakespearean levels.