Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham Talk COVERT AFFAIRS, the Season 4 Finale, Completing Their Mission, and Big Bombshells on the Way

     November 21, 2013


In the Season 4 finale of the USA Network series Covert Affairs, called “Trompe Le Monde,” Annie (Piper Perabo) and Auggie (Christopher Gorham) work together to bring Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) to justice, once and for all.  Meanwhile, Calder (Hill Harper) returns to the States with a win for the Agency, but Joan (Kari Matchett) may remain his only true ally within Langley.  Everything this season has been leading to this moment, and it’s sure to be explosive for everyone involved.

During this recent interview to promote the show’s season finale, co-stars Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham talked about what happens, if Annie and Auggie successfully complete their mission, if they could start up their romantic relationship again, what it was like to add Hill Harper to the mix, whether there could be a connection between Henry and Annie that she’s not aware of, the big bombshells that are coming, and what locations they would like to travel to, in the future.  Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.  

christopher-gorham-piper-perabo-covert-affairsQuestion:  Because Henry Wilcox has been the total focus for both Annie and Auggie, what happens, if you do finally bring him down?

PIPER PERABO:  Well, one of the problems was that getting to Henry Wilcox and trying to bring him down is a security risk.  Annie and Auggie are working without the backing of the CIA, and Henry has quite a large security force working behind him, so it’s very dangerous to try to take him down. 

CHRISTOPHER GORHAM:  While Henry has been certainly the focus of this season, the show, overall, is really about Annie and her career and her life experiences.  Regardless of what happens at the end of each season, we can always look forward to what’s coming next for Annie, in the following year. 

PERABO:  Whether we take down Henry, or bring him into custody, or don’t get him at all, the fallout will be the cost of that for Annie and Auggie, just to hunt him down.  It’s already cost them their relationship, and I think Annie has changed in some pretty major ways, in what she’s had to do to go after him.  Playing Annie, I think a lot about, can we get back to what she was before?  How has this changed her, as an operative and as a person?  Can she salvage her relationship with Auggie?  What about her normal life?  Can she go back, no matter what happens to Henry?

Since Auggie cheated on Annie, can they get past that?

PERABO:  You really don’t want them to be happy because then there’s no story. 

GORHAM:  I have to say that I don’t think it’s quite as cut and dry, as you present it.  

PERABO:  We were on a break.  It’s like on Friends, we were on a break. 

GORHAM:  Quite definitely.  They broke up, and they barely saw each other.  And then, she ended up coming back, months and months later. 

PERABO:  And your wife being alive is a fairly extenuating circumstance. 

GORHAM:  It’s very easy, and certainly tempting and juicy, to say that Auggie cheated on Annie, and I completely understand that kind of gut feeling.  But, one of the things our show has really started to explore, and I hope it’ll continue, going into Season 5, is just how complicated these people’s lives are and how, on the surface, it may seem very simple.  Sometimes, it’s really not.  With the kind of vulnerabilities that they have to offer up secret lives that they live and how lonely it can get, at times, the boundaries are different for these people than they are for an accountant and a school nurse who are married.  Part of the reason Auggie argued so strongly against all of this was because there was no guarantee that Annie was going to come back.  Even if she lived through the mission, there was no guarantee that she was going to be able to come back to their lives, as they were.  And there were a lot of things that happened, that we didn’t really see on screen.  Auggie had to call Danielle, Annie’s sister, and tell her that she was dead.  There must have been a memorial and a service.  Her family has mourned her.  I don’t know that that’s something that you can just walk back into.  And when Annie is talking with Joan, in Episode 14, about coming back in from the cold, Joan says, “Well, there’s really no precedent.”  There’s really no one way to do it.  I don’t think that what happened between Auggie and Helen is the only complicating factor between Auggie and Annie.  Therefore, by itself, I don’t think it’s necessarily a deal breaker.  It’s complicated.  At the end of the day, these two really do care about each other and trust each other.  So as long as they have that foundation, I think there’s always a chance. 

covert-affairs-season-4-finalePERABO:  Auggie is one of the few people in the world that Annie trusts, so it makes a relationship always possible.

Many fans of the show wanted to see Annie and Auggie get together, so it was great that it finally happened.  How do you feel that changed the dynamic of the show?

PERABO:  For me, I think one of the dynamics that shifted is that Annie and Auggie, together as a couple, were at the center.  At least the story that was being told in Season 4 was that, as a couple, they were the calm at the center of a world swirling out of control. 

GORHAM:  As I look back, one thing that I’ve enjoyed, just as fan of the show, is watching the growth of Annie Walker, from the beginning up until now, and seeing how the choices that she’s made affect her.  For a long time in the show, the Annie-Auggie relationship has been this mentor-student relationship that was slowly converging to a peer relationship.  When they started dating, it didn’t quite feel like they were in the same place, in all aspects.  Now that Annie has been going through this period of going dark, and this trauma of being alone and having to risk her life, some of the effects of that are not dissimilar to some of the things that Auggie went through when he was at war, as a soldier.  By the end of the season, and going into the next year, they may actually bring them closer than ever and make them more peers than we’ve ever seen them.  Long-term, if you’re looking towards a potential relationship, it might actually open things up for things to go better, should they ever get together again.  They’re on more equal footing now, if that makes sense. 

What was it like to add Calder to the mix, and how was it to work with Hill Harper on that relationship?

PERABO:  I love how they wrote the Calder character, and that he was a real nut.  He was not on our side, at the beginning.  It took a whole season for the three of us to become a team.  I thought that that was really fun.  I like the dynamic of the three of us together.  I don’t know if he trusts Annie, but I think she trusts him.  I don’t know if she always likes him.  There was a scene when Auggie was listening to music because it was better than small talk with Calder.  I feel like there’s still a closeness between Annie and Auggie that is its own unique thing. 

GORHAM:  Auggie and Calder have discovered that they have the same goal, but they go about things in a very different way.  The way that Annie and Auggie operate is not how Calder is comfortable operating.  That being said, I did something very deliberate, that a couple people that very closely follow the blind stuff that we do on the show picked up on, which was that, in Episode 14, when Auggie and Calder have this walk-and-talk scene at the World War 2 Memorial, and it’s the first time that Auggie had walked with Calder with his cane folded up.  That’s something that I really only do on the show with characters that Auggie trusts.  I felt like that was him saying to Calder, without saying it, that I know we’re on the same side, so let’s work together.  I trust you.  So, I think that they trust each other.  Part of what’s interesting about Calder and makes him so much fun is that he’s not always likeable, but you know where he stands and there’s value in that. 

covert-affairs-piper-peraboWhen Annie decides to give herself up to Henry, does she have hope for the future, or does she believe that she’s making a sacrifice?

PERABO:  I think that when Annie decides to turn herself in to Henry, it’s in a last-ditch effort.  If she can sit next to Henry in his car, and she can be in the same building where he is, and she knows Auggie is in that city, she knows Auggie will find her.  She’s almost like a tracking device.  It’s not a great plan.  It’s a really dangerous idea.  When I read it, even on the page, I was like, “Wait, that’s how I do that?”  But, I like that Annie is willing to go way out on a limb.  Part of the reason that she feels like there’s still hope is that Auggie is there and he won’t leave without her. 

GORHAM:  From Auggie’s point of view, he trusts her judgment.  He’s been standing up for her since day one.  He’s been to battle before and he knows what it is, and he knows there are no guarantees.  But, he’s going to stand with her and whatever decision she makes.  He’s going to do his best to make sure that they walk out of there together.  What she decides to do is not the ideal plan, but under the circumstances, I don’t know what the other options are because the risk of Henry disappearing is very real.  If they lose him, he’s gone, and they’ll never get him again, so this is it. 

Is there a lot of action for Auggie in the finale, even though he and Annie are separated?

GORHAM:  He’s very busy.  He doesn’t have a fight scene, like he did in Episode 15, if that’s what you mean. 

PERABO:  I have to say something about his bad-ass fight scene in Episode 15.  That fight scene was shot at the top of Victoria Peak, where we also shot the giant shoot-out.  It was an incredibly busy day and we were in the middle of shooting the big shoot-out with Henry, and the sun was starting to go down, so the light was starting to change.  And then, as the cameras were all running to film the fight scene of Auggie at the car, I was not aware that any rehearsal had even started.  Chris and the stuntman had worked it out on their own and had been rehearsing while the shootout was going on.  It was such a testament to Chris Gorham and his commitment.  When I watched it being filmed, it was so fun because I know the logic that Chris holds onto, very seriously, about what can and can’t happen for a blind character.  He always knows his limitations.  I just thought that fight was so awesome.  Knowing that he was choreographing it with the Hong Kong guys, I was so impressed when we came over and I saw that filmed.

Is there any kind of connection between Henry and Annie that she is not aware of, right now?

PERABO:  When the writers created Henry, and especially in this season, Henry and Arthur were always foils for each other.  We’ve never met Annie’s parents, and Arthur is the light and Henry is the dark side.  I think that they were often thinking of Henry and Arthur as parallel forces to Annie.  There is a thematic feeling that the writers always have about Henry, and which side Annie would chose to be on.

covert-affairs-season-4-finale-piper-peraboWhat can you say to tease the huge bombshell, at the end of the episode, that will change the whole trajectory of the show for Season 5?

PERABO:  It’s so funny because somebody said that to me the other day and I was like, “A huge bombshell?!  There are multiple bombshells at the end of the finale!”  It’s pretty exciting.  I certainly can’t tell any of them, but it definitely changes things.  There are both negative and positive bombshells that go off, at the end. 

GORHAM:  It’s such a good episode.  It has such a powerful ending, and it leaves things in a nice place to start Season 5.  It’s funny because I hesitate to say if it’s a big cliffhanger, at the end of the season.  I think it’s powerful, and it definitely leaves you begging for Season 5, as quickly as possible. 

PERABO:  Right down to the final frames of the episode, it’s amazing.  I can’t wait for you to see it!                                                            

What locations does the show have yet to take place in, that you would love to see it go to?

PERABO:  My gosh, that’s such a good question.  I started a list of places that I wanted the show to go to because I really think, politically, it’s so interesting, all the places we could go.  With the border of Pakistan and India, both of those cultures are so interesting. 

GORHAM:  I think much more along the lines of nice vacation spots.  I’ve been thinking of the Great Barrier Reef. 

PERABO:  I would like to shoot also in the Middle East.  It’s just a matter of where it’s safe to go.  Although I know that they’ve been researching where we could go because it’s so pertinent.

The Season 4 finale of Covert Affairs airs on USA Network on November 21st.

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