Auggie had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day on Covert Affairs last week.
After getting promoted to interim DPD head, Auggie (Christopher Gorham) was swiftly relieved of his duties after the Chens — whom Henry (Gregory Itzin) had attempted to buy off to cover up his involvement in the ALC bombing — were found dead in a safe house Auggie had set up for them. His replacement? None other than Jaguar-driving, overconfident Calder (Hill Harper).
That, of course, wasn’t the only Auggie twist. He finally confessed his big secret to Annie (Piper Perabo): He was MIA for six months in 2006 to train Teo (Manolo Cardona), during which he fell in love with and married fellow spy Helen, who died after they received bad intel from Teo.
But surely that is not Auggie’s only secret, right? Where do Annie and Auggie go from here? And can they trust, let alone work with, Calder? Co-creators and executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord give us the scoop.
Auggie had another undercover lover! Did you decide that was going to be his secret after he and Annie got together?
Matt Corman: We decided a while ago. We teased it as early as [the season premiere] that this was what it was going to be. We wanted the audience to understand that there are things Auggie couldn’t talk about and that was going to challenge their relationship. We owed it to the audience to reveal it now and see if Annie and Auggie can navigate that situation.
Are we going to see a flashback to that time? Is Helen really dead?
Corman: [Laughs] We just might!
I’m taking that as a yes.
Chris Ord: [Laughs] Without spoiling anything, there’s a good chance of that. Soon! You’ll get a much fuller picture. You’ll understand Auggie and Helen much more intimately.
That can’t be Auggie’s only secret.
Ord: [Laughs] Again, you’ll get a much fuller picture very soon. … That’s what we wanted to explore this season. It’s not very easy to have a relationship within the CIA. You’re continually challenged by co-workers, by secrets, by everything the CIA presents. It’s a rarefied workplace romance. The challenges are heightened. Auggie’s been doing this for a while, and six months is a long time for someone to be off the grid. Let’s leave it at that.
Auggie had a pretty bad day on the job, but he was almost set up to fail as DPD head. Obviously, Henry ordered the hit on the Chens, but did you want Auggie knocked down a little bit and have this new alpha male in the building?
Corman: I think it was an up-and-down day. [Laughs] We weren’t trying to purposefully create a terrible situation for Auggie. He always rises to the occasion and Calder’s role in the DPD will create a foil for him, and it’ll be interesting to see how Calder fits into the world of our show now that he’s no longer in Colombia and working on a day-to-day basis with them. He’s obviously got some pretty specific ideas of how he wants things to be done.
Ord: And when in doubt, blame Henry! [Laughs] Henry created the conditions in which Auggie went after the Chens in his first mission with the DPD, and we all saw how that ended. Henry’s presence is really the true villain.
This of course raises the question: Is Calder working for Henry? It’s so convenient for him, of all people, to pop up now.
Ord: That’s a really great question. You’ll get more clarity on that [in Tuesday’s] episode.
Joan (Kari Matchett) says that she, Annie and Auggie can only trust each other. How much does she know about Calder?
Corman: They’re learning more a little bit at a time, just like the audience is. They know a little bit about him, but he’s this unknown quotient. They have his resume and everything, but he’s a guy who’s very difficult to understand. As the episodes go on, his actions will be puzzling and sometimes alarming for the characters on our show. … He’s going to be Annie’s handler, a role that Auggie previously had. He’s inserting himself in a very direct way into Annie’s life and thus Auggie’s life.
And he knows because he has that role, he can push both of their buttons.
Corman: Oh yeah, and he will do that. He’s his own man. He’s always going to do things his way and do what he thinks he’s best. Our characters have never dealt with anyone like him before. His choices and his actions are always surprising.
Ord: And with him and Auggie — these are two alpha males who both have specific views on the CIA, life and Annie, and those views are almost always in conflict.
Is he going to drive a wedge between Annie and Auggie? We know they’re still together in the midseason finale.
Corman: That remains to be seen. But he does start by geographically separating them [in Tuesday’s episode] when he sends her to Vienna and she can’t contact [Auggie]. … Honestly, we haven’t even begun the big reveals of the season. This reveal is the ramp-up to the big secrets and big reveals. Between Episodes 5 and 10, it’s just a fireworks explosion of new stuff — about everybody. Everybody has a secret going forward that will come out.
Henry knows Annie is playing both sides, right?
Corman: Well, a smart spy trusts no one. He certainly looks at every angle and plays every angle, which is what makes him so good at what he does.
I love that he threatened Joan and Arthur’s (Peter Gallagher) unborn child.
Ord: Yeah. [Laughs] He’s a guy who isn’t afraid of going for the low-blow. … but everything he does is emotionally driven. In that sense, as awful as he can be, he’s essentially human. He’s doing this for Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy).
Are we going to see him interact with people other than Annie?
Corman: Yes. As we get into [Episodes] 9, 10, 11, he’ll interact with more people and we’ll learn more about him. Greg’s in a lot of the episodes. We love him as an actor and he makes Henry fun to watch.
Where are Joan and Arthur at now that she’s taken him back?
Ord: I wouldn’t say all is forgiven, but they do need each other at this time. They’ve always been tested since we saw them in the pilot. They understand what it means to have a relationship in the CIA. It’s not easier for them, but they understand it in a way that Annie and Auggie don’t. … Teo is back and forth in D.C. He’s not permanently in D.C., but we’ll see how that familial situation shapes up.
Have you dropped more clues about the flash-forward we saw in the premiere?
Corman: You’ll gain a little more insight into what we saw in the elevator right at the top [of Tuesday’s episode] actually.
Is the midseason finale going to end with the shooting or are we going to see more?
Ord: There’s going to be more. We’ve already showed [the shooting], so you will see more. We always try to make our cliff-hangers satisfying, so I think people will feel a sense of closure as well as feel titillated for more. I think the fans are in for a thrill ride these six episodes. There are some revelations that will change the course of everyone’s lives.
Covert Affairs airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on USA. Watch an exclusive sneak peek from Tuesday’s episode below.