"Covert Affairs" season 5 will be wrapping up its summer episodes with the finale, "Sensitive Euro Man," and on Thursday, Aug. 21, we joined a conference call with Piper Perabo and Nic Bishop, and they talked about their characters and what to expect in the episode.
This season of "Covert Affairs" hasn't been the easiest for Annie and Auggie. Not only did their romantic relationship come to an end, but they've had their ups and downs professionally as well. Big picture-wise, Perabo attributed that to what Annie went through going back to last season. "When Annie went dark, she was having to work all on her own and she also found out about this heart condition, which she was so worried would take her off the board for working for the CIA, and so it's been a process of her coming back into the fold and learning to work with the team," she explained.
Not only that, there's also the stress of their jobs. "I think the kind of friction of what they've gone through as a couple and come out the other side can't help but be underneath all the conversations they have," she added. "Especially at work, they can't really think about their personal relationship, but it's always there." Given what has happened this season, should Auggie still trust her? Perabo thinks so, and she wishes that "Auggie would be more understanding," but she acknowledged that she sees things from Annie's side.
The actress called Annie's instinct one of her greatest strengths, at least when it comes to work. "It's one of the things that keeps her safe, because she's often operating without a net, and her sense of when she should trust someone and when she should run is often what saves her." But was that why she let McQuaid go? Perabo said that they talked at length about why she does that and points out that while she doesn't put the gun down, she also doesn't shoot and she does let him leave. "It was all these tiny increments of, if you really trusted him, you'd put the gun down and help him with whatever he needed," she explained. "So how do you kind of work in that gray area and how do you not cross the line with somebody so that you can never go back and they can never trust you and could he ever come to ask her for help again. How you act in that scene and how you treat each other starts to set up their whole relationship for the last seven episodes."
When it comes to playing McQuaid, Bishop loves it. "He's got a great sense of fun and adventure, but he's also really good at what he does and he's very specific about the way he goes about getting results and tries to have a good time while doing it," he shared and admitted, "If a guy is sort of overtly charming or seems like he's always got everything together then that also lends itself to a character that could be suspicious or dodgy. So it's got that kind of fine line, and I just try to pay that to the best of my ability and have a great deal of fun doing it."
As for the summer finale itself, Perabo called it "so big" they had to shut down part of Toronto and shoot on the weekends. "One of the things that I liked about McQuaid and the mission in the end is it comes all the way back around. …[What happened in episode 9] has brought us all back together again, and we need all those pieces to sort of launch forward into the finale, because the mission and what McQuaid's being folded into, it's so big it's not just Annie that can handle it." Annie's going to need "all the different pieces of her spy network to be able to go forward," and that means putting aside any problems she has had with Joan in the past to complete the mission.
Perabo also took the opportunity to clear up any confusion about Annie's heart condition. It goes all the way back to when she was shot in the heart in season 3 and the resulting scar tissue. Finally, looking beyond the summer finale, which is episode 10 of the season, she teased that episode 14 will see them go to "this really cool faraway place" that she couldn't name specifically. All she revealed was that Annie speaks the language.
The "Covert Affairs" season 5 summer finale, "Sensitive Euro Man," airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. on USA Network.