[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Thursday's Season 4 finale of Covert Affairs. Read at your own risk.]
Annie's got her gun — and her man.
After a season-long pursuit that included faking her own death, Annie (Piper Perabo) finally kills Henry (Gregory Itzin) on Covert Affairs' Season 4 finale following one last cat-and-mouse chase through the streets.
"We felt his demise was the only way you could go," executive producer and showrunner Matt Corman tells TVGuide.com. "He's had so many second, third, fourth, fifth chances. He's always come back to create more and more chaos. He really only left Annie and the rest of our characters with one option."
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After Annie offered herself up to Henry last week — and thus revealing to him that she faked her death — he escorts her to his Lexington Global office in Hong Kong, where he tries some mind games on her before they escape when a tactical team opens fire. The shootout order came not from Auggie (Christopher Gorham) in the Hong Kong op center, but Braithwaite (Craig Eldridge) back at Langley in an effort to, as Joan (Kari Matchett) says, "cover his ass" for trusting Henry.
In his last stand, Henry leaves Annie to be poisoned, but she fights her way out to track him down in an alleyway. "How'd you find me?" Henry asks. "Does it matter?" Annie replies, holding him at gunpoint. "It always matters," he replies, as Annie shoots him twice. After delivering the news to Auggie, she sets sail back to D.C.
Speaking of delivering, Joan gives birth to her and Arthur's (Peter Gallagher) baby boy, Mackenzie. But don't think Joan will get her old job back that easily now that Henry's gone. After Braithwaite hangs himself for the failed attack on Henry, Calder (Hill Harper) is temporarily promoted to the vacant DCS seat, which he accepts after some hesitancy.
So what's next for Annie? Is Calder the official boss man now? Co-creators and executive producers Corman and Chris Ord give us the scoop on Season 5.
I don't think it was that much of a surprise that Annie killed Henry, do you? He had to die.
Chris Ord: He did, but it's funny you say that because we've seen that people are hoping that's the case, but they're not sure.
Matt Corman: We also want to emphasize that it wasn't that she shoots him. We wanted to create a scenario where you see what she's going through and how this changes her going forward. She will have to live with this. ... I think it has impact in a different way than our previous finales. It's more emotional.
Ord: It's a conscious choice. Going into it, she knows it's going to take a big toll on her to commit this act. But she's a great operative and she's willing to make that sacrifice. That's something we'll explore next season.
I love the look on her face when she walks away. It's like a mix of relief, exhaustion and shock.
Corman: I'm glad you liked that. That's something we wanted to convey. There's always mixed emotions. After investing literally all of herself this season in this quest — she faked her death after all — it's finally happened. It's a different paradigm now. She's processing what to feel.
Ord: We've seen her shoot people on the show, but it was either in self-defense or in defense of another person — Danielle. This was literally a conscious choice of taking a bad actor off the game board. It was important to do for the safety and sanctity of our family of characters, but it doesn't mean it's easy.
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How will this affect her in Season 5? She'll be Annie Walker once again, but not the old Annie Walker. What's her sense of identity like?
Ord: It will affect her deeply. But we're just getting our thoughts together as we're starting to break the season. ... But obviously it needs to be recognized as we move forward.
Corman: It remains to be seen how she'll come back to the CIA. We're just now turning to Season 5. What's nice about this ending is it leaves a lot of options open for us. I think it's safe to say that she's never going to be the same again, as a spy or a person.
What do you think she thinks when Henry tells her, "You and I are not so different"? It's kind of true.
Corman: It was such a tactical thing for him to say. I think she's hopeful that they're very different, but there is some truth to what he's saying. It was a very perceptive and very shrewd thing for him to say. It kind of hit her right where it hurts because that's the last thing she wants to believe.
Ord: I think he's also impressed by her commitment, the lengths she would go to catch him, when he said he was surprised [that she faked her death]. I think he did know she had it in her or he hoped she did, but you never know. I think it in some ways he respected her more when she appeared in [Episode 15].
It seemed like Henry had this sense of inevitability about his death, like once he saw her, he knew his time was probably up.
Corman: I think you're right. Greg played it fantastically. Throughout these episodes in Hong Kong, he's shrewd enough to know that his options are getting smaller and smaller. When the gun is drawn on him, it was something he had contemplated happening.
Ord: He's had a gun pointed at him his whole career basically.
Where do Annie and Auggie stand? The episode was their relationship in a nutshell: He was there for her, but they physically weren't together, not even in a scene.
Ord: Right. Their relationship went through the wringer this season. They encountered challenges that they never could've foreseen. I think they need some time to get back and think through where they are and the emotional challenges a CIA couple always faces. Is this something they want? For us, it's exciting to try to think about where they're headed. The nice thing about them is the core foundation of their relationship is so strong. You saw that at the noodle bar. They have a friendship that's so strong that that's the most reassuring thing about their relationship.
Corman: The thing about them is they never had things to digest things. Even during that noodle scene, they were under such duress. They have never yet had the luxury of time in their relationship. Will they have time now? We'll see. ... When they have that phone call when she's on the boat and he's at the ops center, I don't think either of them have any idea what they want except that they're happy Annie's alive and this is over. That question you asked is the question of Season 5 for them.
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Joan and Arthur have to give them hope.
Ord: Yeah, and it's wonderful for them to have a baby. ... It's great for us because we can see how becoming a parent will affect them. Does it make them more tentative at their jobs? How does it change them as they continue in their professions?
A lot of fans think Teo (Manolo Cardona) is alive. Can you confirm or deny?
Corman: [Laughs] We can neither confirm nor deny. We love Manolo, so we'll just leave it at that. Tune in.
Calder accepted the DCS position for now. Will he want to stick with it next season?
Corman: They gave it to him in a provisional way, so there'll be a turf battle and we'll see if he and Joan will get into a fight about that position. He was very chivalrous in saying that he doesn't want to get into it now until Annie's back, but there's a bit of a power vacuum there.
He seemed hesitant, but we know he's ambitious and wants to climb that CIA ladder.
Corman: Yeah. He's very interested in power. He's very self-promotional in a good way. He's also reached a better place with Joan and I think it's legitimate that he didn't want to step on her after she just had a baby after she shot a guy in her kitchen.
Ord: He's a very ambitious guy. That's what we love about Calder. But I think over the season, he's learned to be part of a team. He has an affinity for our characters. Those two ideas will be fighting each other within him.
Last time we talked, you teased that we'd meet the DCI head in the finale. Why was that cut?
Corman: We decided to move it.
Do you have a general plan for Season 5? The past two years have been serialized with a long-term villain. Is that going to continue?
Ord: I think we've found the show to be very engaging as we've done more serialized stories now. We have a lot of ideas for Season 5 that we're collating now that we're putting into a narrative. It will be something similar to this season with serialized storytelling and things that affect all of our characters.
Do you look at Season 5 as the start of a new chapter? Henry has been so tied to the show since the first season. Is the Henry/Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy) world closed?
Corman: Yeah, now we're moving into the next phase. They were such a key part of the show. It remains to be seen how our characters are going to be challenged and where the threats come from. It is a new phase in their lives and the lives of the agency. It will be a natural progression, but a progression nonetheless.
What did you think of the Covert Affairs finale?