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No More Walkerson? 6 Things to Know About Covert Affairs Season 5

Annie's back — and blonde! — and she's got a gun secret.

The last we saw Annie (Piper Perabo) on Covert Affairs, she had killed Henry in Hong Kong and was seemingly on her way back to Washington, D.C. It turns out, she took a little detour.

When Season 5 premieres Tuesday (10/9c, USA), Annie will finally make her way back to the Dpd after four months away, but she won't be sharing many details, other than to declare that she's ready to get back to work. Fortunately for her, she immediately gets thrust into a case involving a familiar face and a couple of new ones, including Ryan McQuaid (Nic Bishop), a Navy Seal-turned-private contractor billionaire who may or may not have a secret agenda, and Borz Altan (Michael A. Goorjian), a disillusioned former U.S. soldier.

Exclusive Covert Affairs sneak peek: What is Annie hiding?

"We wanted to take the the characters and themes to the next level," co-executive producer Matt Corman tells "We started by thinking, Annie's been an operative for a while and she's evolving, but we wanted to see what's the next chapter in the life of a spy."

So what does that look like? Here are six things you can expect this season.

1. Where in the world was Annie Walker?
On a beach. That's all she'll reveal during a polygraph when she returns, but Auggie (Christopher Gorham) and Calder (Hill Harper) know she wasn't just working on her tan. "Many of our other characters have had secrets and we've never had Annie have a secret, so we wanted to see what that is like," co-executive producer Chris Ord says. "Will she tell anyone? How long can she keep it for? That's what we want to explore. [The secret] will unravel over the season."

2. The way we were
Sorry, Walkerson 'shippers. When Annie comes back, she asks Auggie if they can go back to "simpler times" — aka handler and operative. "The real question of the season is, 'As a spy, can you have it all?'" Corman says. "Do work and your personal life have to be separate? When or should they even try [to be a couple] again?" Not mixing business and pleasure may be what Annie wants, but what about Auggie? Well, he certainly won't be lonely...

3. Love is in the air
Auggie will be moving on by romancing Amy Jo Johnson's Hayley, a National Counter Terrorism Center investigator, and will too be faced with the work life vs. private life dilemma. He's not the only guy getting some action. Calder will be bedding Sydney (Nazneen Contractor), a mysterious woman who will play a "big role" in unlocking Calder's own secrets this season. "We thought it was time to explore Calder more," Ord says. "Last season, we just knew him as an ambitious operative and now that he's acting DCS and fully part of our world, we're doing to dig deeper."

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4. Job hunting
Speaking of Calder's temp gig, Joan (Kari Matchett) is back from maternity leave, which means the still-unseen DCI will formally name a DCS replacement between the two of them. Needless to say, the person who doesn't get it will not be happy. Meanwhile, Arthur (Peter Gallagher) will head to the private sector to work forMcQuaid, who will cross paths with Annie on her mission. "He's a very confident guy ... and the dynamic between him and Annie is going to be very fun," Corman says.

5. Mission... impossible?
Said mission will see Annie try to stop a terrorist attack after an old face, whom we haven't seen since Season 3, returns and commits a deadly act. Be warned: Before the hour is over, plenty of blood will be shed. "It's a very vigorous episode. We wanted to pack a lot in there and we feel like we have," Ord says. "This [mission] is definitely different from past ones. The threat is much greater."

6. WTF?!
There will be one gasp-worthy moment during the premiere that will have you begging for answers. "That's the one scene we hope everyone will go, 'What is going there?!'" Corman teases. "And I think they will."

Covert Affairs returns Tuesday at 10/9c on USA.

- Joyce Eng/TVGuide

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