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Covert Affairs S05E05: "Elevate Me Later"


Auggie experienced a blast from the past during this week's episode of Covert Affairs, when he reunited with his fugitive ex, the Russian hacker Natasha, for a case (and in bed, of course). 

But there was also some love lost, between him and Annie.

After tracking down the bank that funded the Chicago facility bombing, Auggie and Annie swapped handler-operative roles and jetted off to Paris to ask Natasha to make a key to open the back door to the bank's security system. Still burned from Auggie not jumping off the train with her four years ago—after she told him she loved him—Natasha initially refused. But after they spent a night together, she came around... as long as Auggie could get her immunity and promised not to lie to her. 

When Calder couldn't get the charges against Natasha dropped, Auggie rejected Annie's plan to get the key before 'fessing up to Natasha. After he relayed the bad news and promised that she could trust him, they hit the sheets—but it wasn't long before Auggie was violently awakened by Natasha. It turned out Annie had snuck in, stolen the key and successfully extracted the data.

Outside in the street, Auggie, drunk and angry, chewed out Annie for going behind his back. "The point is, my friend violated my trust and I would never do that to you," he said. "I always choose you over the mission. Always. … But you, you choose the mission. And you think that makes you better … but the truth is, turning your back on your emotions doesn't make you a better spy. It's just cutting you off from anyone close to you." 

Ouch.

With Auggie still ignoring her, Annie explained the whole situation to Natasha, who surprised Auggie at home—while Hayley called for the umpteenth time.

So what's next for Annie and Auggie? How long will this rift last? Will he dump Hayley for Natasha? Is Natasha here to stay? Auggie himself, a.k.a. Christopher Gorham, gives us the scoop:


I had been waiting for Natasha to come back. Were you guys always planning for her to return?

It's funny. It was in the air for a while. We brought her back for the webisode I produced last year. They've been wanting to bring her back, but as always, it had to make sense. We found a way in that webisode, doing that flashback stuff. And seeing how that relationship played on screen again, I think that got them thinking of ways to get her back in the main story. I was thrilled that she came back. 


It fits with the theme of the season of juggling your professional and personal lives.

Exactly. I don't think she could've come back any earlier.


Natasha is Auggie's kryptonite. Does he regret not jumping off the train?

I think he's totally emotionally vulnerable with her in that moment. In thinking about it, in that moment, had he not been blind, he would've jumped. But he couldn't because he would've brought her down and they would've gotten caught. I think what he's telling her now is, "If I could've then, I would've." But now maybe they've got another chance.


Does he really think he could've gotten the key without Annie coming in? Or is there part of him that knows Annie was right—that he was compromised?

I don't think he had given up on it yet. I think he thinks there was still time and I do think Natasha would've given him the key. He is genuinely upset—not that Annie got it because he knew they needed the intel, but that she did it behind his back. 


And that she didn't trust him to be able to do his job.

Right. It was like the team disappeared, and it became her and the mission. That's the thing that he's never done to her. I think that comes from his military background. You take care of the guys next to you first. He's starting to feel that maybe she doesn't understand that, at least until the end of the episode. 


He has to feel even more betrayed since he doctored her medical records last week.

Yeah, for sure. He definitely feels betrayed. He put his whole career on the line for her, so for her to do this is a big betrayal to him. We haven't explored it too much on the show, but this job is incredibly important to him. Outside of it, people see him as this blind guy who needs help getting across the street. Inside Langley is the only place where people understand his value and all the things that make him great.


The argument in the street was great, and obviously what Auggie said stuck with Annie. Will she amend her all-business work mantra?

The McQuaid-Annie relationship gets very interesting. … She now sees that it's harder to keep emotion out of the job than she thinks it is, and that it doesn't make it easier, so she'll have that in mind. She just got into a fight with her closest confidant. That scene was a lot of fun to shoot. My wife was actually part of it. It had been lovely in Paris the whole time, but that night it got cold and rainy, and they didn't have any covers. Piper [Perabo] was freezing in a sleeveless dress and they had no jacket for her planned in wardrobe. We came walking up, and Piper takes one look at Anel's Burberry jacket and was like, "Can I try that on?" So Annie Walker's coat was borrowed from Anel Gorham! She didn't have a coat in the house, if you noticed. It was great. … Piper sent a really nice email to Anel, "Thank you so much for your jacket." 


She saved the day! Where do Annie and Auggie stand going forward? She did get Natasha to come back.

That sets things back on the right foot. Once Auggie is made aware of what she did, he accepts it for what it was as kind of an olive branch. Neither of them is petty. But there are more rough waters ahead for them. This was just the beginning.


Is Natasha sticking around? She still doesn't have immunity.

Natasha's sticking around for a little while, and it makes things difficult. She is not a character who is used to being kept in. Auggie makes it pretty clear to her off the bat that she needs to keep a very low profile and that's difficult for someone like her. And Auggie still has this relationship with Hayley, so he needs to figure that out and how to tell her. It gets very complicated. Who would you pick?


Between Natasha and Hayley? Natasha. Hayley is like a "right place, right time" kind of situation.

Yeah, me too. It's entertaining. … We're gonna see him struggle with his lady problem through the summer episodes—not just the two ladies he's in a relationship with, but his relationship with Annie being the paramount one, and there's going to be a lot of conflict between the two of them.


What did you think of "Elevate Me Later"? Are you happy Natasha's back?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/18/2014

Season 5 : Episode 16

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