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[Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.]
The world of Covert Affairs is about to get slightly more complicated.
“A lot happens in [the premiere], but a lot is going to happen in every episode,” executive producer/co-creator Chris Ord tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We made a concerted effort this season to do more serialized character storytelling, so you’ll see a lot more moves happening from week to week for all our characters in terms of their lives and the CIA. It’s by far our most exciting season yet.”
Season three kicks off with a bang, literally, with an unexpected death that triggers CIA agent Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) to go through and do things she may not have done previously. The death — the unlucky party is a major part of the Covert Affairs team — was a development Ord and co-creator Matt Corman had been toying with for a while. (And yes, the person is really dead.)
“From the earliest conception of the show, we realized that we wanted to generate real stakes. This is a very dangerous job and the people who do it are taking enormous risks every day. From the pilot, we realized we were going to have to make big moves and keep the audience on their toes a bit,” Corman tells THR. “This emerged to be the best way we could tell the story.”
As a witness to the death, Annie will start to lash out, and as Corman puts it: act like a teenager.
“We’ll see her make some decisions that she may not have made in the past,” he says. “We view this season as Annie’s teenage years. She’s getting her feet under her. She knows she’s capable of doing this job now and as all teenagers do, she’s stretching her wings and asserting herself in ways that are bold but not always prudent.”
Big things are still on the way and the death was just step one, Ord promises: “There are some really big things still lying ahead in Annie’s life that will develop over the course of the season.”
A new boss, Lena (played by 24‘s Sarah Clarke), will open her eyes to a different way of operating than what she’s been privy to with Joan (Kari Matchett).
“Annie’s trying to decide what kind of operative she wants to be and then in comes Lena, who is unlike Joan, and Annie gets to see how she operates,” says Ord. “If Joan’s like the tough but fair mom, Lena’s the cool stepmom who lets you drive the car.”
Coupling vet Richard Coyle‘s Simon, whom viewers meet in the premiere, will also complicate matters for Annie as she moves forward with her spy career. “He is in many ways the biggest obstacle Annie faces in terms of getting close to him, turning him, trying to get her on the CIA’s side,” says Ord.
Though nothing is mentioned in the first episode of what happened with Auggie at the end of last season, the producers revealed that he did in fact visit his girlfriend Parker (Devin Kelley) in Africa.
“The soul of our show is the Auggie-Annie relationship. They’re going to continue to grow closer in some ways but also drawn apart by external circumstances,” teases Corman. “You’re going to see some interesting things happen with Auggie and his relationship with Parker for several episodes as well.”
In fact, the second episode will see Annie and Auggie going on a mission together in Barcelona “so those issues come up pretty early.” Other locales the show visits this season include Marrakesh, Budapest, Paris and the Dominican Republic.
Covert Affairs’ third season premieres 10 p.m. Tuesday on USA. The series also launched a prequel web series, Covert Affairs: Sights Unseen, that centers on Auggie’s backstory.
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