'Covert Affairs' post-mortem: Chris Gorham talks 'Suffragette City'
Spoiler warning: Do not read if you have not watched last night’s episode of Covert Affairs.
Auggie certainly had more than a few touching words to say to Annie during last night’s Covert Affairs. The catch? She was unconscious for the whole thing!
But what can’t be denied is that this episode put a lot of things on the table and provided more than a few memorable moments between the lovable CIA pair. So when Christopher Gorham stopped by earlier this week to film an upcoming video edition of Spoiler Room, my colleague (and fellow Covert Affairs fan) Mandi Bierly and I grilled the star about the episode.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about the whole idea for this episode. We had bedside confessions, dream sequences, dream dance sequences, dream kisses — it was awesome.
GORHAM: The idea was that they wanted to push the Annie/Auggie relationship forward without having to push it forward. Based on everything that’s been happening and if you think about them as real people, [Annie] fell in love with another dude and for a second was going to run away with the guy. Then she’s shot, she wakes up in a coma, she wakes up in the hospital — you’re in no place to start considering dating one of your best friends. It’s just the furthest thing you’d ever want to think about. So, we have to deal with that reality. At the same time, the idea of that relationship is really popular among the audience so they wanted to find a way to give the audience something to hang their hat on, so they came up with this idea, which I thought was great.
Let’s talk about the hospital scene. It’s obviously a big moment that fans are going to want to know about. Tell us about filming that.
It is. It’s a big moment. It’s moments like those that I actually like to get really hands-on, and our writers are great about being open to that. I have clear ideas about what those moments should be, how they should be shaped, and what should be said and what shouldn’t. I think an earlier version of that had him going much further in what he was saying, and I think even with her unconscious, this guy, he’s a dude. He’s not a guy who talks about his feelings. The guy hardly talks about anything outside of work. [Laughs] I think even at his most open and vulnerable, he’s still a guy. He’s not going to come out and gush. It’s going to be very simple. And I think that when it’s simple and declarative, it is at its most powerful.
The dance scene was another favorite moment. How long did it take you all to choreograph that? Did you practice a lot?
I know how to Waltz because I used to teach ballroom dancing when I was in high school. So I actually had to teach Piper on the day how to do the Waltz. And on that day, we choreographed a little thing with the turn and tried to match it, kind of, to the opening credits because it was an homage to the opening credits. But we just did it on that day.
We didn’t even pick that up.
It happens after [the dance], when I spin her out and she goes to the door and does the key card swipe.
Back up, you taught ballroom dancing?!
I did. I taught at a cotillion. I was one of the teenage helpers when I was in high school. But we’re talking very basic.
So, I’m surprised that Lena got away. I thought for sure she’d meet her end in this episode. Preview what’s next for us.
It takes a couple of more episodes to wrap up this story. Lena is a woman who is every bit as connected as Joan. She’s so incredibly resourceful — and not just with the CIA but also with the Russian spy service. So when they talk about the fact that she has escape plans in place, she’s the kind of person who could disappear. So it takes another two episodes to wrap up that storyline.
What’s Auggie going through in these next episodes, following his big hospital speech?
It’s tough because we had a lot of conversations about what to do with them, and we have some really nice moments coming up in the next couple episodes. He’s dealing with it in the way [we’d expect him to] deal with it. This is really the episode where he realizes that he really has feelings for her. While he’s talking to her at the hospital bed, you see him realize it. That’s when it happens. That being said, he’s not a kid. He’s not going to rush to make anything happen or do anything about it. He just now has to deal with these emotions and you see him struggle with it a little bit. And that really plays out through the rest of the season.
So is there a time jump next week?
Yes. There’s a time jump. It’s [a few] months later. She’s not fully recovered but is mostly recovered from surgery. We pick up when she’s coming back to work.
Lastly, settle an EW geek debate. Why did Auggie pull the fire alarm? Was that a smart move? On one hand, [we] understand why he did it, but on another, it sort of allowed Lena to escape easier.
I actually had very mixed feelings for that exact same reason. It kind of has the opposite effect. It gives her a cover to escape. And, also, who acts like that when a fire alarm goes off, really? When has a fire alarm ever gone off and the entire building evacuates? Usually, everyone just sits around like, ‘What happened? Who pulled a fire alarm?’ [Laughs] But the idea is that he’s trying to do anything he can do to help. Also, the idea is that they have them separated from the rest of the hospital. They’ve got their own private section. It was actually interesting, because it reminded me of when Piper got hurt during the first season, and I came to visit her at the hospital here. It was super quiet. It was weird having her in a hospital bed again.