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‘Covert Affairs’ season five: Who is Ryan McQuaid?

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When “Covert Affairs” season five premiered last week, a new character emerged: Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop), a CEO of a security company. While he helped Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) track down a terrorist suspect in the premiere episode, his role in the USA Network drama for season five remains unclear, according to "Variety" on June 30. That’s in large part because of what happens next, in episode two of the season, “False Skorpion.”

In this video here, Annie walks into a place where she unexpectedly encounters McQuaid and points a gun at him. The problem is, one of his goons is pointing a gun at her too. While this implies that McQuaid may be Annie’s foe, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. He might just be a potential love interest for Annie, too. As Bishop said in a recent interview of Annie and Ryan’s relationship, “I think they are really good sparring partners. I think that she won't admit it initially, but I think she really enjoys sort of jousting with him as much as he enjoys it. I just don't think that she's really come up against somebody like that in a while.”

But their relationship is even more complicated than that, because McQuaid's character is introducing a new theme for the show: if it’s possible to really have both a personal and work life, something Annie was already struggling with in the premiere episode. After all, she kind of put the kibosh on any personal relationship with Auggie (Christopher Gorham), claiming she just wants him to be her handler from now on -- and not a lover.

Nic Bishop's role on the show also isn’t just limited to his relationship to Annie. He’s also involved with Arthur (Peter Gallagher), as he’s offered a job to him. As such, McQuaid promises to bring a breath of fresh air to the show in its fifth season, offering both new relationships and a new theme. But the only question now is: will fans take to him? Or will they automatically root against him, because he might be driving a wedge between Annie and Auggie?

“Covert Affairs” airs on the USA Network on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern.

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