Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that was certainly the case on Tuesday’s Covert Affairs, which saw a framed Annie faking her death and going on the run.
TVLine chatted up executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord to find out how the spy gal will survive in her new surroundings and how it will change the show moving forward. Plus, will Eyal — who made a surprise return in the finale — provide Annie with some assistance? Or will Auggie come to her aid? Read on to find out.
TVLINE | Is Teo really dead? You never know with this show…
MATT CORMAN | [Laughs] Yeah, he’s dead. We love Manolo [Cardona] and what he brought to the character, and it’s awesome if fans are wondering that, but he’s really, truly dead. In the “end game” mode that Henry was in, this was a terrible unfortunate casualty of his reign of terror, but it’s a true one.
TVLINE | Can you speak to the impact that his death is going to have on Arthur going forward?
CHRIS ORD | It’s going to have an emotional impact, certainly. He’s lost his son, who he was just reconnecting with. And then it’s going to have a life impact on him because he’s being framed for all this, for abetting terror, and he has some serious legal troubles ahead of him going forward. It also makes it harder for them to just put a bullet in Henry’s head because if they do, Arthur still goes down. So he’s got a lot of problems ahead.
TVLINE | What does Covert Affairs as a show look like with Annie on the run? How is it different?
CORMAN | That’s a great question. Our hope is, and I think fans will see, it’s very different. We’re really honoring this concept in the back six [episodes], that she’s totally on her own, totally alone, making her way through the world without any of the support of the CIA that we’ve come to know and love. So the shape and the feel of these episodes is going to be drastically different, and we think fans are really going to enjoy it. She’s out in the cold on her own, like a master spy.
TVLINE | What sort of challenges and tools or surprising allies might Annie find?
CORMAN | There are a lot of challenges in that she doesn’t have Auggie as a support. She doesn’t have the CIA’s resources or stations, so she has to be very intuitive about making decisions on her own. She also will make some allegiances with people she might not normally make in other missions. It’s a slightly darker complexion because and operating on your own is dangerous and lonely and it forces people — and particularly spies — to be a little more wary of others.
TVLINE | Since Eyal (played by Oded Fehr) came to her rescue, will he continue to help her out?
ORD | Eyal is a part of the family, and he’ll always be around, but you’ll see that the first two episodes really focus on Annie working in this new capacity in the dark, and really being forced to rely on her wits and her smarts and not lean on the people that we love, who are off doing their own thing. But in the same respect, it’s very fascinating to watch these moments in the back six where Annie normally could call in all the resources, any of her friends like Eyal, but can’t, and has to think of a way around the problem.
TVLINE | I also understand that she has a new look.
CORMAN | Yes, she does. She’s dressing differently and her hair is dark. She looks beautiful, and it’s very striking and different. It all serves, from a story standpoint, to allow her to take on a different persona more fully than we’ve seen so far. In the spy genre and in true espionage, disguise is one of the key components, and it’s not something we’ve trafficked in yet really at all in four years. But we thought it would be interesting for Annie to have a different look in order to stay more under the radar and rather than doing it in a one-off type of way, she’s embracing a new character and a new look for the entire back six episodes.
TVLINE | Auggie doesn’t seem like the type who would just give up and let her go, so how is he going to be dealing with her absence?
ORD | He’s a soldier and always going to support the mission and do everything he can to help achieve that goal, which is bringing Henry to justice. So he is going to be taking an active role Stateside trying to find ways to bring [Henry] down on their side. Certainly, Annie will always be in the forefront of his mind and vice versa, but in many ways that longing is a very interesting shade for us to play in those early episodes, where we get to see them have to work without the other, but knowing the other’s out there.
TVLINE | Rewinding a bit, the Annie/Auggie break-up came maybe sooner than viewers were expecting. What was the thinking behind that move?
CORMAN | We were just trying to be honest to what they were going through and how difficult it is and just follow the contours of the relationship in a real way. And it wasn’t because of Helen. The central question of the show is, “Can you have relationships and be in the CIA?” The answer to that is always very difficult. It’s always a halting “yes,” if it even is a yes. So… it felt really real and earned that they might split at that moment in time.
TVLINE | This was a very serialized, very dark, one person-threat kind of season. Is that a template that you’re hoping to continue to follow?
CORMAN | It’s certainly intriguing. Last season, we had two characters that were focal, Simon and Lena, [who were] pretty enjoyable to write and for fans. When you can hook into somebody and you get a great actor, it can really be engaging. So I would say that’s a template we would love to continue going for.
ORD | As far as the darkness goes, we’ve always said this has been a series that tracks the career of an operative. As she gets stronger, the missions are going to get higher stakes, and with higher stakes come darker, more challenging situations.