Covert Affairs: Chris Gorham Previews Auggie's Big Day in the Istanbul Sun

One of Covert Affairs‘ biggest mysteries will be solved this Tuesday at 10/9c, when the USA Network series flashes back to how Auggie (Chris Gorham) lost his sight. It all begins, however, in the present, when Auggie travels to Istanbul for a jazz festival only to get a lot more than he bargained for.

“He’s recording a concert that he’s at,” previews Gorham, “when he thinks he hears a very familiar voice that sets him off on this adventure.”

Being blind in a foreign city, however, makes spying a little difficult — “He can’t do it alone,” says Gorham. Enter the lovely Rebecca Mader (Lost, No Ordinary Family) as a flight attendant Auggie connects with, if you know what we mean, on his way to Istanbul. She thus “becomes his eyes.”

To find out what really went down in Istanbul, on- and off-screen, TVLine chatted with Gorham, who also spilled about the state of Auggie and Annie’s relationship.

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TVLINE | This week’s episode finally delves into Auggie’s backstory. Was it what you imagined?
Essentially, yeah. The specifics – I wasn’t sure what it was going to be. I had lots of different ideas. And we dropped hints. Auggie has revealed pieces of the story before, but he’s never revealed the whole story. What I was most happy about was that the thing that haunts him from what happens is not the fact that he lost his sight. What haunts him is something different, and something that real disabled vets feel after going through an experience like that. The emotional price is something I was hoping would be there and is. [That’s] what I’m most happy about.

TVLINE | What kind of things are we going to learn and explore about Auggie in this episode?
We actually learn a lot of things, some expected and some not expected. On the unexpected side, there’s lots of little things for real fans of the show, people who’ve been following Auggie closely. For instance, you find out that before he lost his sight, he wasn’t into jazz at all. In the episode, you find out why he loves that music so much. On the expected side, we finally get the full story of how he lost his sight. And then back on the unexpected side, you get the reason that he doesn’t share that story with many people. There’s a lot of both. And in that, you get a great action scene, and there’s some romance for Auggie…. You still get enough of the charming and funny side of him. And at the very end, I think you see a deepening of the relationship between Annie (played by Piper Perabo) and Auggie, which is nice.

TVLINE | Was there something about his backstory that surprised you?
[Something] that was surprising and really exciting about the episode is the location that we did. The episode starts with Auggie going to the Istanbul Jazz Festival, and we actually shot for three full production days in and around the city there. The scope of the episode was surprising to me, how big it was, because we actually went to Istanbul. For the Iraq scenes, we sent a camera crew to Jordan to shoot the establishing shots – these big helicopter shots of Humvees driving through the desert. It’s an impressive episode. It’s a great example of the thing our show does well.

TVLINE | Judging from the Twitter pictures that you and Rebecca Mader were posting, it looks like you two had a lot of fun in Istanbul. Lots of drinking, lots of eating….
[Laughs] Lots of eating. Some drinking. It was just an extraordinary trip. I feel like if you can’t stop for a minute and appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to do what we do… that our show sends us to a place like Istanbul and we’re completely taken care of and we get to do this amazing job and also enjoy this incredible city…. If that doesn’t make you feel grateful and a little humbled, you’re a different type of person. But for me, it was just extraordinary.

TVLINE | Is there another location you’d really like to go to, as Auggie?
I would really love to go to Tokyo. Auggie’s such a tech guy, he’d be so into it. It would be amazing to see him in this city that is the nexus of everything that is tech and hi-tech — and is also a city that’s visually so stunning. To have a character that can’t see it would be interesting.

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TVLINE | You share a lot of this episode with Rebecca’s character. What is her relationship with Auggie?

Rebecca plays a flight attendant named Franka, who meets Auggie on the flight to Istanbul. They really hit it off. Her character is just a great girl who’s game and up for anything. That’s exactly the type of girl that Auggie likes best – someone who isn’t afraid to take chances and enjoy life – and so they have a lot of fun. She ends up being a big help to him as he starts to unravel this mystery.

TVLINE | Will we see her again?
It’s certainly possible, yeah. They get along great, and at the end of the episode [that relationship is left open]. It’s absolutely possible that we could see her again. I don’t know if we will or not, but it could happen.

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TVLINE | How are things progressing between Annie and Auggie? There’s a big contingent of fans who think they belong together.
I think it’s a potential long-term arc for the show. What Piper and I are enjoying right now is playing that sizzle, that simmering chemistry that certainly can turn into something at any moment. But you’re never quite sure when or if it’s going to happen. That’s an exciting place to live and an exciting thing to watch. For now, that’s where we’re keeping things.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jerz89 says:

    With the Annie and Auggie together thing i hope it doesn’t happen they really seem like brother and sister on the show i don’t get a sexual tension verbal more of a loving and friendship verbal. just my opinion

    • Amanda says:

      I agree. I like them better as best friends. I’m actually kind rooting for Annie and Jai after last week’s episode

      • Tej says:

        I agree. It would be a nice change to have two attractive television characters have JUST a best friend relationship. And I like Annie and Jai a lot too. Better him than Ben.

        • Jamie says:

          Agreed! So few shows can resist that temptation but It would be nice if they tried to not end up there. Fraiser was also a show where Roz (arguably the female lead) and Fraiser never ended up together (except for one drunken night that is).

  2. DL says:

    Chris and Rebecca look adorable together in those photos… Melts my heart. ;)

  3. Garnet_and_Gold47 says:

    I’m so excited for this episode! I love Annie and Auggie together. I like Ben, but he will never be available for Annie. Auggie is the perfect counter-balance for her.

  4. Amber says:

    I’m so happy Auggie finally gets his origin story. Chris is amazing. Auggie is my favorite character on the show. I love the friendship between Annie and Auggie as well; I hope they keep that quietly simmering for awhile.

  5. maggie says:

    I’ve been waiting for them to tell us how Auggie lost his sight. I can’t believe they actually went to Istanbul to shoot the episode. It’s going to look great, because Istanbul is a beautiful city.

  6. Ro says:

    When did Chris Gorham get so sexy?
    I’ve been a fan since Jake 2.0 (the original Chuck, and maybe better) but there’s a depth and soulfulness and maybe a little more meat on his bones that give him major mojo magnetism than his Jake or Ugly Betty roles.

  7. Piper says:

    He needs to graduate to the big screen. He has the potential to be the next Richard Gere.

  8. Charles says:

    I’m impressed that a show like Covert Affairs has the budget to actually go to Istanbul to shoot on location. Usually shows use stock footage and shoot locally to save money and create the illusion.

  9. murley says:

    i am such a chris gorham fan, he is the reason i tuned into covert affairs in the first place. i am excited to see auggie front and center in this episode. i like annie and auggie’s relationship and think they have great chemistry. still i would like that relationship to have a slow build and maybe see annie and jai together in the meantime. don’t care for or about ben. the character is not entirely likable and the chemistry doesn’t match what chris or sendhil bring to the screen.

  10. Tego Livi says:

    He probably doesn’t really go blind, he just can’t see because of all that hair. It’s as if his hair is an alien being eating his head.

  11. Eva says:

    More, more, more Auggie please!
    Chris Gorham, the BIG screen is just around the corner for you.
    Impatiently waiting!

  12. Maria35 says:

    The backstory of Auggie reminded me of the stories my grandfather would tell of his time serving in the Army during WWII. My grandfather was injured when one of his buddies step on a land mine. Thank You for portraying that side of the war from a soldier’s stand point. It made me understand my grandfather even more.