Previously on Counterpart, “Birds of a Feather”
The lost art of diplomacy indeed. With Baldwin’s very public killing of a police officer and arrest, there’s little anyone can do to stop more departments within Interchange from getting involved, and that goes for both sides. Emily Prime meets a source who reveals the name of the person who gave the order for Howard Prime’s retrieval in last week’s episode. The name and the news of Baldwin’s arrest leaves her shook, so she calls in a favor and gets put on Ian’s team as he prepares to cross over.
Quayle’s morning “run” with a prostitute is interrupted by his father-in-law, Roland Fancher (Richard Schiff), who just so happens to be the head of Diplomacy within Interchange. Roland wants to leverage Baldwin’s return to the other side for something major. He turns to his son-in-law to understand just how valuable Baldwin is as an asset. Quayle, of course, has his own agenda. If Baldwin is returned without revealing who sent her to begin with, everything they’ve worked towards so far has been for nothing. And once she is returned, she’s likely to be killed to ensure her silence. Quayle hopes to delay the negotiations with the other side’s ambassador, Claude Lambert (Guy Burnet), while Aldrich questions Baldwin.
Aldrich pulls some strings at the police department to see Baldwin, and Howard Prime pulls Quayle’s strings and demands Howard’s promotion to Strategy and placement at Aldrich’s side. Essentially, Howard Prime doesn’t trust Aldrich and wants Other Howard to act as his eyes and ears. This ends up being a smart play because Baldwin refuses to speak with Aldrich, and will only deal with Howard. She doesn’t reveal what they want, but warns Howard that sooner or later he will come to the place where he and Howard Prime meet, the place they are the same.
Despite numerous pleas from Quayle for a delay, a deal is struck and Baldwin is to be returned. However, the transport carrying her, Howard, and Aldrich is attacked and she escapes with her people. Aldrich should thank whatever higher power he believes in for Howard’s involvement since he’s the only reason Baldwin stopped her men from killing them.
Howard Prime believes the negotiations were all a show and that Lambert must be working for the people/person who contracted Baldwin to begin with. When his current visa expires, he’s to return home where his travel privileges will be permanently revoked. He proposes that Howard return in his place so he can stay behind and investigate Lambert and keep Emily safe. If you are rubbing your hands together at the thought of Other Howard crossing over and seeing that Emily Prime is alive, don’t get too excited. Emily Prime is killed as soon as she returns to her apartment, and her death is made to look like an overdose.
Other Mysteries and Questions
Emily tells Howard Prime that it was Pope who ordered his retrieval death, and he doesn’t believe it at first. If this is true, what kind of danger does this place Howard in when he crosses over in his place?
Emily was Howard Prime’s original secret contact and gives Emily Prime a clue that leads her to this information and a letter Emily sent him asking that he protect Howard if something were to happen to her. She kept him in the dark about her true role at Interchange, much like Emily Prime did to Howard Prime. The only difference is, the lie seems to be what tore their marriage apart. And whoever killed Emily Prime now has Emily’s last letter. This, plus a glimpse at the accident which landed Emily in a coma, seems to confirm that it wasn’t a simple car accident after all.
The most interesting reveals this episode confirmed my suspicion that there’s some sort of health crisis on the other side. Lambert mentions a pandemic that ravaged their cities and there’s a public service announcement playing in the movie theater where Emily Prime meets her source; it stresses the importance of health screenings and how failure to do so is punishable by law. Also, we learn that the other side doesn’t appear to have advanced technology like cell phones, but their oceans are cleaner. Just how much of their problems are due to actions by the other side remains to be seen.
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