We were totally there for the twist.
We loved seeing another side of Ian and we really liked the development of the relationship between him and Emily Prime.
Harry Lloyd’s stunned face when he realized he was the unwitting leak was fantastic.
There has to be more to Baldwin than the brood.
Right now the stakes don’t seem particularly high for either side. We want action, not talking!
Counterpart tosses the series on its head with a tetris-like twist
Counterpart has been obsessed with finding the mole in Howard Alpha’s (J.K. Simmons) world and this week we finally find out who it is. But first we have to follow a few folks on their individual journeys before it all comes together. Ian (Nicholas Pinnock) is coming on strong and he definitely knows something is up with Howard Alpha and his new secret agent mission with Emily Prime (Olivia Williams). The good news is he isn’t yet suspicious that he isn’t Howard Prime and after Emily breaks up Ian’s interrogation of Alpha she tells Ian the truth and they all go off to the mysterious address. Too bad Alexander Pope had a spy in the office and when Ian, Emily, and Howard Alpha show up they’re burning everything that was in the house.
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Baldwin (Sara Sarraiocco) is on a journey of her own. She’s attended her other’s funeral. She’s confronted Clare (Nazanin Boniadi) about ordering her hit and gets her to promise to help her. Plus she’s even got time for hanky panky with a bartender. But the big news is Quayle (Harry Lloyd). Despite Aldrich being convinced it was Quayle himself who was the mole for the other side, who do we see at the end of the episode sitting with the baby? Why it’s Clare, lover of Baldwin and all around murderous bad girl. Quayle figures it out just as the episode ends. Oh man is he in trouble. Let’s get cracking!
Baldwin: Supervillain or super sympathetic?
When we first met Baldwin she was trying to kill Howard Alpha’s beloved wife Emily but that was a long time ago. Since then we’ve gotten a lot more information about Baldwin including her totally messed up childhood. And even though she almost killed her other she didn’t actually follow through with it herself so it’s like we’ve been seen the redemption of Baldwin and the Counterpart powers that be are certainly manipulating our feelings about her. But this episode manages to put us further off balance where she’s concerned.
“One hundred thousand euro. What you promised. I finish the contracts, you pay.” -Baldwin
She starts this episode attending her other’s funeral and though her other isn’t a contract killer it’s clear she’s had the same trouble making connections Baldwin has had. But she’s in the other world and Clare doesn’t know where to find her so why does she go back to connect with her? And why does she want to finish the job? For a hundred thousand euro? How far is that really going to get her? Is it worth the risk of exposure to the people she’s working for who we still don’t really know yet? This twist seems a little manufactured. Sara Sarraiocco can brood effectively but we’re interested to see if Baldwin has another side. And we’re definitely confused as to why she’s putting herself back on the radar for a sum that doesn’t seem particularly high.
Ian goes tries to go toe to toe with Howard but misses what’s right in front of him
This episode finally gives us more insight into who Ian might be other than a person standing between Howard and Emily. It’s taken six episodes but for the first time we finally get the impression that Ian Shaw actually does care about Emily and isn’t using her to stick it to Howard. We were also really intrigued by how much he really does seem to trust Emily down to taking Howard Alpha (who he thinks is Prime and someone he absolutely detests) with him to get to the mystery address. And we really were in love with the image of Ian sitting beside Emily’s bedside night after night just like Alpha reads to Emily Alpha.
“And where were you, Howard? Where were you years ago when she was at her worst and bottoming out on detox? I was there, sat by her bedside, reading to her every night. I was there.” -Ian Shaw
What we really don’t understand is why it doesn’t occur to Ian that Howard has been replaced by someone on the other side. He seems like a smart, ruthless guy and he clearly knows that something is up with Silk. He also knows Howard Prime is an accomplished liar. The two Silks couldn’t be more different nearly everyone has remarked on it. Why must Ian seem that slow on the uptake? He asks Alpha point blank what he’s missing. Why doesn’t the most obvious thing occur to him?
Quayle’s world gets flipped upside down in a moment
And now for the biggest plot twist in the show. Justin Marks has been teasing that this is the episode that turns Counterpart on its head. And it does connect some dots that we’ve been itching to find out. We’ve been getting the sense that Quayle was the mole for a few episodes. Someone high up. Someone with connections. Someone who knows a great deal of information. And to be honest the hints were pretty obvious. Of course Quayle must be a mad genius! This whole moderate bumbling must be an act!
“They killed one of ours to make room for one of theirs. And we missed it all this time. He’s the perfect spy. Well-connected, married, smart. Protected by family on high. It’s Quayle. It’s been him all this time.” -Aldrich
We should have guessed it when Baldwin asked Clare if the family thing was real. Clare has been a complete mystery. When Quayle made the connection and walked out to see Clare holding his daughter our minds were blown. We completely missed it, we aren’t ashamed to admit. And as usual with Counterpart we now have so many more questions. How did Clare create this situation for herself? How did she meet Quayle and had she been manipulating her father before Quayle? This twist is a great move forward and we can’t wait to see the implications of it moving forward.
Counterpart connects dots that make us take a tight turn after a big twist
Counterpart tossed us a twist that we definitely needed to breathe some life and momentum going in to the last three episodes. Clare being married to Quayle brings up a whole mess of trouble and boy does it explain quite a lot. We hope that we get an episode that gives us answers about Clare because we’re desperate to learn things about her now even more mysterious past. This episode also made us rethink some characters we had made up our minds about as well. It was the major shakeup the show promised.
Now that Aldrich thinks Quayle is the mole, what will his game plan be? Will Quayle be able to convince him that he’s not the mole? Will he even be given the opportunity to? Why does Baldwin want to finish the job she started out doing and why does she want to do it for so little money? Is anyone else suspicious of this kind bartender? Will Ian ever figure out that Howard Alpha is pretending to be Howard Prime? Who is Alexander Pope working for, or is he the Mastermind? What did he order burned in that house? And why hasn’t he ratted out Howard Alpha? And finally what’s the story with Clare? The questions never stop!
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Quayle has cemented his position as the worst kind of bureaucrat ever. Imagine finding out that you’re the leak in your department because your wife has been manipulating you for years? Since he doesn’t seem to be a man who is in control we don’t see him successfully managing this new turn of events. Second to his stupidity has to go to Ian. Is he really so blinded by hate for Howard Silk he’d miss that the man has had a personality transplant?
It was fantastic to see a different side to characters that were previously one dimensional. We loved getting to know a little more about Ian and finally understand that he actually has deep feelings for Emily Prime. And we really loved the twist that had made a whole lot of questions click into place about Clare and about how the other side seemed to have so much information.
We love the twist and think it has set us moving forward on a really interesting path. We love our television unpredictable and we think that there are dozens different moves forward. Like the game of Go that Howard Alpha plays in the park this game between the two worlds is immensely more complex than chess and right now we can’t see the endgame. And that’s the way we like it! Even though we knew some sort of “gotcha” approached the particular characters it involved was definitely a surprise.
We really are going to need some answers and we’re really looking forward to getting them! This episode has set up so many questions that we need to watch next week to see how things are going to play out. Overall this episode of Counterpart had some elements that drove us crazy because we just don’t know how to feel about anyone at this point. Who are we rooting for? We need to know!
Questions, Comments, & Concerns
- Apologies to that dead guy we called a baker last week. He’s a butcher. And he was important to Howard Prime so we’re still a little sad for him especially since his wife was so broken up.
- Emily Prime loves Ian but she’s definitely got some feelings for Howard Alpha. We wonder what will win out in the end?
- That sinister trio at the opening of the episode, what is their endgame? What are they planning to do and why does Baldwin’s hit list need to be complete before they do it?
- Why doesn’t Howard Prime know anything about Clare?
- Howard Alpha is definitely picking up some Prime traits. We loved his showdown with Ian at the lie detector.
- What are those people burning and why is that house important?
- When is someone going to die? We need to raise the stakes a little more?
- Nadia’s funeral wasn’t very sad and it was interesting to see that both Nadia Alpha and Prime had more in common than we originally thought.
- Why wasn’t anyone who is looking for Baldwin at Nadia Alpha’s funeral? Seems like a given that she would have shown up there.
Stay on the edge of your seats with us for Counterpart!We’ll be diving in deep with Counterpart with reviews and roundtables for the rest of the season, so make sure you stick with us!
Counterpart will continue on Sunday, February 25th at PM ET on Starz
Counterpart Review 1×06 “Act Like You’ve Been Here Before”