Covert Affairs Season 3 Preview: New Attitude, New Boss, New Love and a Devastating Loss

Covert Affairs Piper PeraboCovert Affairs‘ spy gal Agent Walker is growing up.

“We’ve always thought about Season 3 as Annie’s teenage years,” says executive producer Matt Corman, which means we’re about to see her give in to some adolescent impulses. After all, Corman notes, teenagers tend to “push boundaries… and also act a little bit frisky and maybe act out.”

As Annie tests some limits this go-around (premiering Tuesday at 10/9c on USA Network), she’ll be dealt quite a few new challenges. Below, Corman and fellow EP Chris Ord preview a loss, a new boss and some heartache ahead for our favorite field op.

RELATED | Exclusive: Covert Affairs Taps Lie to Me Vet Brendan Hines

THERE WILL BE A DEATH | As the latest trailer not-so-coyly teased, someone will bite it — and soon! The death was designed to “remind the audience that there are real stakes to this job,” says Ord. “Just because Annie survives week to week doesn’t mean that it’s not a dangerous job… We had planned to make a move like this as early as writing the pilot.” And before you conspiracy theorists get up in arms, Corman confirms that the victim of the deadly car explosion really is Covert Affairs Piper Perabo Sarah Clarkegone for good — although we won’t see the body. “It would have been charred and grotesque,” he explains. But the questions left behind after the demise, including who was responsible and “how this affects everyone in the world of our show drives the story in the third season,” adds Corman.

NEW BOSS, NEW ANNIE | As if the loss of someone close to her wasn’t enough to deal with, Annie soon finds herself working in a new division headed by Sarah Clarke’s notorious spy, Lena Smith. While Joan was the “tough-but-fair mom,” Lena “brings more of the cool step-mom vibe, who is a bit more lax about the rules and seemingly a lot more fun,” says Ord. But is Annie’s new mentor – and the freedom she gives the younger operative – good for her? “As teenagers try to learn and become themselves, they make a lot of mistakes,” he replies. “Annie’s going to be learning the hard way a few times this season.” Adds Corman: “What remains to be seen is whether this leads her to a dangerous place or not, but I will say that the seismic nature of the first episode is not an outlier. There’s going to be a lot of big moves and exciting turns.”

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Covert Affairs Piper Perabo Richard CoyleTHE LONG PLOT | With several new story threads unraveled, there’s “a lot more long arc storytelling in this third season,” says Corman. “It’s a more novelistic approach, where we are weaving themes from week to week much more fully than we ever have.” One such beat will concern Annie’s conflicted feelings for a charismatic baddie-turned-love interest played by Richard Coyle (UK’s Coupling), who will appear in multiple episodes. “Being a CIA operative always means trafficking in human emotions and manipulating people,” previews Ord. “But that’s a dangerous, two-edged sword, because in order to use real emotions, sometimes it means you have to have real emotions. For Annie, lines will be blurred.”

SECRET FEELINGS | Although the season opener doesn’t offer any information about Auggie’s trip to Africa, the EPs tell TVLine that he did indeed visit Parker, and we’ll be seeing more of Auggie’s girlfriend. Couple that with Annie’s new love interest, and you may be wondering if there’s any good news for Annie-and-Auggie fans. Well… “They go to Barcelona, and they have to pretend to be a married couple, which has its own complications and humorous situations,” teases Ord, who adds that the hour is “one of the best episodes we’ve done. It’s just got such heart and emotion and action and the backdrop of this beautiful [city].”

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. Steph says:

    “Oh Jeffery!” I couldn’t be more excited that Richard is joining the cast. Sounds like a great season.

  2. Evan says:

    Isn’t it unfortunately unfair with all the news about who Annie’s new boss is a giant spoiler on who’s no doubt dying tomorrow night? And she’s possibly getting into a relationship with Jeff? Wonder if they’ll be porn buddies.

    • ben says:

      I really believe it is quite clear and you are right, but there are many who believe it to be a significant piece of misdirection and have good evidence to back up a different person dying. And I’ve checked their evidence and its compelling. So… my advice? Don’t go hunting for it before tomorrow, just sit back and enjoy the show tomorrow and have doubt, and if it isn’t Joan then you can be surprised.

  3. JP says:

    Richard Coyle? OK, I just got super-excited about this season.

  4. Rick Katze says:

    Who is the least likely? How about Annie’s new boss. Maybe she just a one-shot(sorry for the bad pun–actually I’m not.)

    • ben says:

      “As if the loss of someone close to her wasn’t enough to deal with, Annie soon finds herself working in a new division headed by Sarah Clarke’s notorious spy, Lena Smith.”

      If you were right, this sentence would be a massive fake out.

  5. Josh says:

    I don’t think it’s Joanne. If it was Joanne, she wouldn’t be going to a new division to get a new boss…

  6. prish says:

    I liked the scenes with Joan and Arthur, best. I want a tv show about their characters. They were the only reason I watched Covert Affairs, other than Bailey. Of course, now that he is on Once Upon a Time, I hang out there. Please, give us a Joan and Arthur show.

  7. BrianR says:

    Its going to be Ben ! Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

    • prish says:

      Well, the actor who plays Ben is on the Once Upon a Time show. I got hooked on the Covert Affairs because of him. I was thrilled to find him land on the Once show, and I forgave Covert Affairs for writing his character out. However, Covert Affairs lost me when his interaction with her ended. I understand why, and the Annie actress is doing a great job, but without the Annie/Ben being the heart of the show, it lost me. Eion Bailey makes a great character in Once Upon a Time. Drop by, sometimes.

      • stacey says:

        Could not agree more, I loved Ben! The show just didn’t quite have the same magic without their relationship

      • jen says:

        never saw the actor before CA. could never understand the mercer storyline except he was prevented any contact with her by arthur, despite using her to bring him back in. (security risk).thus making it look like he dumped her. why? as he’s probably the one who dies, who was he? some sociopathic assassin,like the guy annie killed or stas? first season showed piper as the wonderful character actress she is. second season made me not want to watch anymore. did catch him on OUAT. didn’t realize he was ben. wow. he’s terrific. my #3 favorite character,next to rumple & regina

  8. Mick says:

    I like that the show actually goes on location to shoot the international episodes. Its a relief not to see a green screen Paris or a fake Sweden on television. So yay to Barcelona.

  9. Jessica says:

    I doubt it’s Joan. Kari Matchett has an interview on USA previewing season 3 and I think I’ve seen some clips with Joan interacting with this new boss. I’ve got a couple of ideas, but I’ll hold off until I watch it tomorrow

  10. Katie says:

    It’s not Joan. IMDB has her in episode 3 of this season. My first thought would be Jai, but they set up the Jai/Arthur/Joan storyline at the end of last season and it seems like they would want to play that out first.

    Second thought would be Ben, although he’s not credited as being in this episode on IMDB. Maybe we just don’t see him on camera. Better not be Eyal! Although, he’s not a CIA agent, so hopefully it’s not him!

    Can’t wait for tonight’s episode!! White Collar AND Covert Affairs? My night is complete : )

  11. Pinky_77 says:

    Could it be Annie’s sister (Ann Dudek)????

  12. Temperence says:

    Oooooh! I LOVE Rochard Coyle. So sexy… I wish they’d make him the next Dr. Who.

  13. Ric says:

    I like the show, but it seemed that in an effort to make it more edgy, they went out of their way to see how many times they could fit the word sh!t in one episode. Kinda disappointed by that.

  14. Marcia says:

    Love Richard Coyle!!!!!!! Now I will start to follow the show

  15. melred says:

    What happened to Covert Affairs? Not on tonight at its usual time slot and no explanation or line up of future episodes in the USA website.

  16. Joe says:

    Who played Analise Pound?

  17. newfan says:

    Been watching c.a. intermittently. Since Richard Ciyles became a guest, I’m an adamint follower from week to week. Love the chemistry between him and Annie. Although the last episode made it more edgy..can’t wait for next week. Pls don’t kill Simon. I want to watch more of him. Make him a permanent guest.

  18. where is Ben Mercer: he is supposed to be looking after Annie

  19. says:

    Please dont kill off Simon!!!!!!!

  20. Irene says:

    I knew it was Lena !!!! I got a bad vibe the moment I saw her !!!

  21. alice says:

    I did not watch for a long time after they killed Jai. What a rotten shame. No reason except that some writers just like to kill because they have no imagination for anything else.then I got back in the middle of three and I just love Ayal. Watch them kill him off. What a bunch of jerks your writers are. s