Covert Affairs Bosses on Annie's Spy Future and What's Next for Her and Auggie
[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Tuesday's episode of Covert Affairs. Read at your own risk.]
Annie Walker is not quite out of the woods yet.
On Tuesday's Covert Affairs, Annie (Piper Perabo) is in a coma as a result of last week's shooting. And just when she's about to wake up, guess who's there to try to finish what she started last week? Lena (Sarah Clarke), of course.
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The FSB double agent's perfect plan was almost complete: Frame Annie for treason (hence the top-secret file she gave Arthur last week) and convince the CIA that Annie and Simon (Richard Coyle) killed each other in a lovers' quarrel. She didn't, however, didn't count on Auggie (Christopher Gorham) relentlessly trying to clear Annie's name.
As Lena attempted to off Annie once again, Auggie and Joan (Kari Matchett) intervene, but Lena is able to escape at the end of the episode, which was interspersed with Annie's dream sequences. And Annie? She was flatlining, but wakes up in the closing seconds — but is it in real life or in her subconscious?
But, c'mon, we know Annie cannot die. So what's next for her? Will she go after Lena? Does she still want to be a spy after her brushes with death? Co-creators/co-executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord answer our burning questions.
How many times are you gonna try to kill Annie?
Matt Corman: [Laughs] Just these two. For now!
And let's confirm: Simon is dead.
Corman: Yes, he's dead. Like we previously said [in regards] to Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy), when people die on our show, they're dead. We're sticking to our guns with that. They're both dead.
Will we see him in flashbacks as we learn more about Lena and their relationship?
Chris Ord: No, [Episode] 9 was the last, unfortunately. We kind of knew this is what we wanted to do when we started out with the character. We were very fortunate to find Richard Coyle, who just took the character, elevated it and made it so great and compelling. Just because of that, you can't change course because it's gonna diminish the character. It was a hard choice to say we're gonna stick with the plan, but we did and we will. Like Jai, his presence will still be felt as we deal with Lena and Annie, but we won't see him again.
Half the episode takes place in Annie's subconscious. Why did you decide to do that?
Ord: It's fun to explore Annie's subconscious. We never have before and this was a great way to do it. It was nice for us to do and we thought it was beautifully directed by Felix Acala. Dream episodes are tricky and we're just proud of it. It also just wasn't about her feelings, but it was about her figuring out that "Blackbird" was Lena and that she had betrayed her.
Auggie opening up to an unconscious Annie and her dream sequence of them dancing were highlights.
Ord: For us, that was a great way to speed the relationship along without a whole lot of fallout. It's something we wanted to see and something the audience wanted to see, with them on the dance floor in formalwear. For us, we've always known their friendship is a slow burn and we'll see if Annie even remembers having that dream, if Auggie acts on the feelings he's sort of talking to Annie about. It brings up a lot of things and it's just a matter of if he's able to access all his emotions.
How much will Annie remember when she wakes up?
Ord: She'll remember everything that happened before she was shot, but her dreams are her dreams.
What's her recovery going to be like?
Corman: That's what [Episode] 10 is about — her attempt to make herself whole, physically, mentally, emotionally. It's almost like she needs to start from scratch. Physically, it takes time to come back from something like that and I think emotionally it takes longer. The questions that will emerge is: Is she acting irrationally? Is she able to contextualize her emotions or do they subsume the spy-craft?
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Does she still want to be a spy? Or is she spooked by this?
Corman: That's what the fall season is about. Eyal (Oded Fehr) is gonna play a bigger role — he'll be in five of the six episodes — and he has so much wisdom and so much perspective on the spy game to offer Annie. These are the events that you carry forward with you and you have to decide if this is the life she wants to lead. It's part of the spy game.
Will Annie be set on catching Lena?
Ord: There's the emotional need to get closure on what happened. Knowing Annie, she has to do that. Then there's the going-forward aspect: Is this really for me?
Corman: [Episode] 10 is all about how do you and should you go after someone who's hurt you. What risks do you take in the name of closure and revenge? It's never been with her character to seek revenge. These are sort of the questions that come up after you and your lover get shot. [Laughs]
And Lena's been the one teaching her to take risks.
Ord: Lena's advice isn't always wrong. There are elements Annie identifies with in Lena, and that's thrilling and scary. If you take some of those passions and you take them too far, you can go to the dark side, like Lena. This is about who Annie is as a spy. Ultimately, this will complicate that issue but hopefully clarify that issue.
Why did Lena wait until Annie was waking up to try to kill her again?
Corman: It's a CIA hospital. Annie's condition was certainly such that you don't want to take that risk and kill her if there's a good chance she could die on her own, which was looking quite likely. She was starting to wake up, so that triggered Lena needing to go and finish the job.
Ord: Lena's plan almost worked. She almost didn't count on Auggie and his deep feelings for Annie to power him through this. She had such a strong advocate in Auggie that it was able to complicate Lena's plan.
Corman: She also didn't count on Danielle (Anne Dudek). If Danielle hadn't sent Annie cookies, she would've been able to check the body, but the delivery guy got there. Danielle saved Annie's life.
Will we see Danielle again?
Corman: We'll see Anne Dudek again, but not in this stretch. We just wanted this season to be about Annie's CIA family more. We've covered so much territory with her and Danielle that we thought it'd be more interesting to focus on the work folks.
Where do Arthur (Peter Gallagher) and Joan stand? He totally bought what Lena was selling and I imagine Joan would be hell-bent on collaring Lena.
Corman: [Laughs] They certainly have a charged history. She's certainly not giving up, let's say that. The Lena stuff will all be wrapped up early in the fall.
Ord: But they'll both face some different problems. Things won't be looking so good for them, but they'll address these issues and come back together.
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After his bedside chat, how will Auggie reconcile his feelings for Annie? Or will he keep it strictly professional still and maybe be more protective of Annie?
Ord: I think to some degree, he'll be more protective, especially with rival male spies. But Annie will question those more fully too. What makes her effective as a spy is her ability to give herself over and to allow parts of her true self to shine and become alluring and turn assets. The problem is you expose yourself a bit. That's a blessing and a curse. Ultimately, she will have new love interests. It's a question of if she's ready to jump back in.
Corman: But Auggie obviously has a few issues that he has to work out himself before he acts on anything. Going forward, we'll address a little more of that in the back six. We have one episode that's tied in with Veteran's Day that will take on the issues of him leaving Iraq. We're really excited about that episode.
What else can we expect in the back half?
Corman: There's a much bigger role for Eyal, as we said. [Episode] 11 is about Annie and Eyal on the most dangerous mission we've seen on the show. He's such a great foil for this back six because he's a guy who never questions what it means to be a spy. In that sense, he's a good guide for Annie as she tries to figure stuff out. It's just a good sounding board for her as she tries to reconcile her feelings about her spy life.
Have you planned out the season finale yet?
Corman: We have a rough plan. We're writing 14, 15, 16 now. It's gonna be an exciting stretch run with these [summer episodes] and the fall ones. We'll see what kind of operative Annie wants to be. ... And you'll get a little bit something with Annie and Auggie in the finale. Nothing major. Small steps.
What did you think of Covert Affairs?