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.
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.
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.