[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about the midseason finale of Covert Affairs. Read at your own risk.]
Annie's (Piper Perabo) gut was right again.
On Tuesday's midseason finale of Covert Affairs, we learn that McQuaid (Nic Bishop) was framed for the Chicago bombing by his right-hand (wo)man — and confidant after his wife died — Caitlyn (Perrey Reeves), who plants a GPS tracker in McQuaid's laptop.
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After hitting the sheets floor in his house, Annie and McQuaid lure Caitlyn's goons there and kill them. On their bodies, they find a blueprint of the Beaudmont Hotel, where a peace treaty signing — for which McQuaid Security had been hired — was scheduled to take place. Believing Caitlyn will bomb the hotel, Annie warns Auggie (Christopher Gorham), who's pissed since he had earlier insisted to Hayley (Amy Jo Johnson) that he doesn't believe Annie was working with McQuaid. He subsequently tells Annie he's done lying for her.
When a hotel sweep comes up clean, McQuaid confronts Caitlyn in a hotel bathroom and she shoots him. Turns out, Caitlyn's working with Aleksandre Belenko (Shawn Doyle), a diplomat from Georgia who organized the treaty signing, and they're bombing the motorcade. Annie, with some help from Hayley, evacuates everyone before Caitlyn detonates the bomb. Annie and Caitlyn get into an alleyway tussle before Belenko shoots Caitlyn dead as she tells Annie, "You'll never stop us."
Problem is — no officials will believe Annie that Belenko is bad news without proof. In the closing minutes, as Annie watches news coverage of Belenko's statement on the motorcade bombing from McQuaid's hospital room, Belenko makes a call to "move forward as discussed in Istanbul" because he wants to "finish what I started."
Meanwhile, Sydney (Nazneen Contractor) is back in Calder's (Hill Harper) life when he goes to her for her Russian Embassy connections after Joan's (Kari Matchett) contact comes up cold.
So what is Belenko up to? Will Annie and Auggie's relationship ever be the same? Is she going to date McQuaid? Executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord answer our burning questions.
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Caitlyn is behind Chicago! Had that always been the plan? Was there ever a version or idea that McQuaid would be?
Matt Corman: That was always the plan. We wanted to play with McQuaid's allegiances and we wanted the audience to question McQuaid and put McQuaid through a thorough vetting process, just the way Annie does. But in the same respect, we always intended Caitlyn to be a co-conspirator of the Chicago event and more.
What is the scope of the conspiracy she and Belekno are part of, since he wants to "move forward" in Istanbul and "finish what [he] started"?
Corman: The scope is both vast and also intimate. I think what fans will really enjoy is they'll see this plot really affects our key, core characters in a way that is going to hopefully be surprising and it will definitely be exciting. It hews back to our characters in a very intimate way.
Will the back six episodes just deal with taking Belenko down or will there be other arcs?
Chris Ord: It will deal with all of it. [Laughs]
Corman: Shawn Doyle has been fantastic. He's in several episodes going forward.
Ord: You see [Annie] staring daggers at Belenko in the end. She certainly knows what her mission is going to be. The size of this conspiracy that Matt is alluding to is going to affect all our characters in ways you'd expect and in a lot of ways you wouldn't expect. We platformed in the finale that Calder's going to hopefully be working with Sydney going forward, making her operational. That will challenge and deepen their relationship. There's a lot that's going to happen with Auggie ... that we don't want to spoil, but suffice it to say, there's a ton of story that he's going to contend with.
Does Belenko have ties to the Russian Embassy and Roger's intel files?
Corman: I think it's safe to say there's a Russian connection.
Annie's become so self-reliant that she in some ways doesn't need the DPD anymore. Where does she stand with them now since she works for McQuaid?
Corman: Right now she's still out of the fold. I think you're right, she's grown as an operative, but I also would argue that there's a part of her that has the DPD in her DNA, whether she wants to admit it or not. The folks that are regulars are a proxy family for her. She was able to do stuff, like at the end of Season 4, in the dark, but that was no picnic. I think that took a real toll on her. She's moved on, but I think she recognizes that that's her family of sorts.
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Betrayal was a major theme in the episode with the big one being Annie and Auggie. She shut him out again and he says he's done lying for her. What will their relationship be like? Is he going to stick to his word? Is she going to try to make amends?
Corman: I think it's both. Their relationship is the bedrock of the show. They've been through some very difficult times together, but what's great about Annie and Auggie is they keep working on it. They need one another, they love one another in a way that's deeper than just mere romance at this point. They're always going to be interacting. They have a lot to figure out, but they're going to be trying to do that.
You said at the beginning of the season that the theme was, "Can you keep your personal and professional lives separate?" Is Annie going to reevaluate that after sleeping with McQuaid? Are they going to be together?
Ord: Thanks for reminding us! [Laughs] That has been the core thesis of not only the season, but of the show, really, when you think about it. You can't choose when you fall for a person, so it's definitely a complication, but something Annie likes. It'll be a big part of what's on her mind, which will evolve ... and lead to some big decisions at the end of the season.
What about Auggie? He went from two girlfriends at once to zero. Will he have a love interest the rest of the season?
Ord: Yes, but not in the same way we saw in the summer.
What can you share about Kenny Johnson's character beyond being a former op?
Corman: He's great. He's somebody who will orbit into Auggie's story. Beyond that, we don't want to give away too much.
What else can you tease about the remaining episodes? Have you planned how the season ends?
Corman: Yes. We're always refining stuff, but we have a game plan. ... It's a real roller coaster ride. It intimately deals with Auggie and his backstory. There are going to be a lot of twists and turns in the back six that I think fans of the show will really appreciate and enjoy. It's quite a thrill ride. We're going to Istanbul and Argentina.
What did you think of the Covert Affairs midseason finale?
(Additional reporting by Kate Stanhope)