Christopher Gorham, Covert Affairs Christopher Gorham, Covert Affairs

"Don't mess with a winning formula," is Covert Affairs' motto.

Last summer's breakout hit returns for Season 2 on Tuesday (10/9c, USA) with a serious case of déjà vu — in a very good way, Christopher Gorham assures.

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"What everybody should know about the second season is that we've taken all of the things that really worked last season and turned them up a notch. It's the same show, but a little better," Gorham tells TVGuide.com. "We didn't feel like there was anything that needed to be fixed, so it's the same show. Nobody's going to tune in and see a bunch of new people and a bunch of new things. It's still going to be the best action on TV. You can jump right back in. Everything is going to be familiar."How familiar? The pilot opened with a flashback of Annie (Piper Perabo

) on the beach with her beau/fellow CIA operative Ben (Eion Bailey) and the sophomore premiere kicks off in similar fashion. Ben, of course, was hanging on for dear life at the end of last season after getting shot while on a mission in Sri Lanka with Annie. "Does he live? That's answered right away," Gorham, who plays blind CIA special ops officer Auggie, says. "I think people are going to be pretty happy with how they chose to resolve that."Regardless of whether Ben lives or dies, Gorham knows the thing that would make the majority of fans the happiest is if Annie and Auggie get together. Production on the 13-episode season is only halfway done and thus far has been hookup-free.

Lost alum Rebecca Mader to guest-star on Covert Affairs

That's not to say ladies' man Auggie is going home alone at night — though it's not with intrepid reporter/CIA leak Liza Hearn (Emmanuelle Vaguier)."We haven't seen the last of Liza, but he moves on to other ladies. Plural," Gorham says. "I told [creators/executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord], 'Listen, you guys need to give me some warning if Auggie's taking his shirt off! I need to know a couple of weeks ahead of time so I can be prepared.' ... He'll have his shirt off quite a bit, so get ready, but not with [Annie]. Piper and I like to keep that relationship at a nice simmer. They are good friends and they do have a great, fun chemistry, but the danger there is if you go to that place early, it might spoil everything. They're not getting together any time soon. Now's not the right time."For now, it's still all business, as Annie gets assigned as a handler for an Estonian tennis player who is a long-term CIA asset immediately after returning from Sri Lanka. Auggie will get his own work arc when he's offered a promotion that he doesn't necessarily want. "That's a real turning point for him. Someone comes in and takes his old job," Gorham says. "This is a big deal job, but it would actually keep him in the office more."

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Fear not — Auggie will get out in the field more this season, most notably in another Auggie-centric episode that will delve into his heretofore vague and closely guarded past. "Because he's blind, he's not going to be sent out for a lot of things, but they have found a couple of really great ways to get him out," Gorham says. "I'm going to be shooting internationally this year. We are going to get big chunks of his backstory. We may even see Auggie before his accident. [Everyone's] really excited about it. I love that every time he talks about his past, it's a little different. This season is the first time Annie says, 'Didn't you say it was this last time?' Of course, he just brushes it off and completely ignores her."But how much longer will they continue to ignore their palpable chemistry?"You can cut it with a knife!" Gorham says with a laugh. "I'll say I like the idea of those two together and I absolutely enjoy playing that possibility. At some point, they'll be great together. But you'll have to wait. Sorry!"