Christopher Gorham, Piper Perabo
[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Tuesday's episode of Covert Affairs. Read at your own risk.]
From Russia with love in Paris.
Auggie (Christopher Gorham) got a blast from the past on Tuesday's Covert Affairs when he reunited with his Russian hacker, fugitive ex Natasha (Liane Balaban) on a case (and in bed, of course). But there was also some love lost in the City of Light between him and Annie (Piper Perabo).
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After tracking down the bank that funded the Chicago facility bombing, Auggie and Annie swap handler-operative roles and head to Paris to ask Natasha to make a key to open the back door to the bank's security system. Still burned from Auggie not jumping off the train with her four years ago — after she told him "I love you" — Natasha refuses initially, but eventually agrees after a night together — if Auggie can get her immunity and if he promises not to lie to her.
When Calder (Hill Harper) can't get the charges against Natasha dropped, Auggie rejects Annie's plan to get the key before telling Natasha the truth. After he tells Natasha the bad news and that she can trust him, they hit the sheets, but Auggie gets violently awakened by Natasha. Turns out Annie had snuck in, stolen the key and successfully extracted the data.
Outside in the streets, Auggie, drunk and angry, chews out Annie for going behind his back. "The point is, my friend violated my trust and I would never do that to you," he says. "I always choose you over the mission. Always. ... But you, you choose the mission. And you think that makes you better ... but the truth is, turning your back on your emotions doesn't make you a better spy. It's just cutting you off from anyone close to you." Ouch.
With Auggie still ignoring her, Annie explains the whole situation to Natasha, who surprises him at home — while Hayley (Amy Jo Johnson) calls him for the umpteenth time to no avail.
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So what's next for Annie and Auggie? How long will this rift last? Will he dump Hayley for Natasha? Is Natasha here to stay? Gorham gives us the scoop:
I had been waiting for Natasha to come back. Were you guys always planning for her to return?
Christopher Gorham: It's funny. It was in the air for a while. We brought her back for the webisode I produced last year. They've been wanting to bring her back, but as always, it had to make sense. We found a way in that webisode, doing that flashback stuff. And seeing how that relationship played on screen again, I think that got them thinking of ways to get her back in the main story. I was thrilled that she came back.
It fits with the theme of the season of juggling your professional and personal lives.
Gorham: Exactly. I don't think she could've come back any earlier.
Natasha is his kryptonite. Does he regret not jumping off the train?
Gorham: I think he's totally emotionally vulnerable with her in that moment. In thinking about it, in that moment, had he not been blind, he would've jumped. But he couldn't because he would've brought her down and they would've gotten caught. I think what he's telling her now is, "If I could've then, I would've." But now maybe they've got another chance.
Does he really think he could've gotten the key without Annie coming in? Or is there part of him that knows Annie was right — that he was compromised?
Gorham: I don't think he had given up on it yet. I think he thinks there was still time and I do think Natasha would've given him the key. He is genuinely upset — not that Annie got it because he knew they needed the intel, but she did it behind his back.
And that she didn't trust him to be able to do his job.
Gorham: Right. I think he would've been just as upset if [Natasha] wasn't involved. It was like the team disappeared, and it became her and the mission. That's the thing that he's never done to her. I think that comes from his military background. You take care of the guys next to you first. He's starting to feel that maybe she doesn't understand that at least until the end of the episode.
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He has to feel even more betrayed since he doctored her medical records last week.
Gorham: Yeah, for sure. He definitely feels betrayed. He put his whole career on the line for her, so for her to do this is a big betrayal to him. We haven't explored it too much on the show, but this job is incredibly important to him. Outside of it, people see him as this blind guy who needs help getting across the street. Inside Langley is the only place where people understand his value and all the things that makes him great.
The argument scene in the streets was great, and obviously what Auggie said sat with Annie. Will she amend her all-business work mantra?
Gorham: The McQuaid (Nic Bishop)-Annie relationship gets very interesting. ... She now sees that it's harder to keep emotion out of the job than she thinks it is and that it doesn't make it easier, so she'll have that in mind. She just got into a fight with her closest confidant. That scene was a lot of fun to shoot. My wife was actually was part of it. It had been lovely in Paris the whole time, but that night it got cold and rainy, and they didn't have any covers. Piper was freezing in a sleeveless dress and they had no jacket for her planned in wardrobe. We came walking up, and Piper takes one look at Anel's Burberry jacket and was like, "Can I try that on?" So Annie Walker's coat was borrowed from Anel Gorham! She didn't have a coat in the house if you notice. It was great. ... Piper sent a really nice email to Anel, "Thank you so much for your jacket."
She saved the day! Where do Annie and Auggie stand going forward? She did get Natasha to come back.
Gorham: That sets thing back on the right foot. Once Auggie is made aware of what she did, he accepts it for what it was as kind of an olive branch. Neither of them is petty. But there are more rough waters ahead for them. This was just the beginning.
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Is Natasha sticking around? She still doesn't have immunity.
Gorham: Natasha's sticking around for a little while, and it makes things difficult. She is not a character who is used to being kept in. Auggie makes it pretty clear to her off the bat that she needs to keep a very low profile and that's difficult for someone like her. And Auggie still has this relationship with Hayley, so he needs to figure that out and how to tell her. It gets very complicated. Who would you pick?
Between Natasha and Hayley? Natasha. Hayley is like a "right place, right time" kind of situation.
Gorham: Yeah, I think so too. It's entertaining. ... We're gonna see him struggle with his lady problem through the summer episodes -- not just the two ladies he's in a relationship with, but his relationship with Annie being the paramount one, and there's going to be a lot of conflict between the two of them.
Covert Affairs airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA. Catch up on last week's episode here.