Previously on Counterpart, “The Lost Art of Diplomacy”
This week, the inevitable switch occurred with Howard Prime remaining on the other side to temporarily take over Other Howard’s life. Other Howard crosses over with strict instructions to “keep his mouth shut” lest he blows his cover. Since Howard Prime doesn’t take chances, it’s no surprise that he intends to keep Other Howard locked in an apartment with a bodyguard for the week. However, Emily Prime’s “overdose” throws a wrench in those plans. Their daughter, Anna (Sarah Bolger), summons Other Howard to the hospital, making it clear that 1) she didn’t die of cancer as Prime said and 2) overdoses are nothing new.
Other Howard then engages in some very un-Prime like behavior when he doesn’t argue with Ian and takes Emily home from the hospital. She quickly calls out the ruse. Even though his presence there could draw suspicion, he stays and makes dinner for her and Anna. Considering his Emily miscarried their child and the fact that she’s currently in a coma, it’s hard to begrudge Howard this opportunity to spend time with his “family.” As he explained his routines to Prime, it’s clear his life is quite lonely — even when Emily was awake.
Meanwhile, Prime almost immediately deviates from what the Other Howard would do when he walks out on his new position in Strategy Accounting. Filing timecards isn’t going to get him closer to uncovering who hired Baldwin or Lambert is up to, so he meets with a plant from the other side to vet Emily’s accusation against Pope. Turns out Pope is very much caught up in the more radical groups within Interchange and has been ferrying over spies for years. His contact also warns of a mole on the 3rd floor, working right under Quayle’s nose for years.
A lot of trouble went into retrieving Baldwin only to have the powers that be decide she needs to be killed. Lambert gives a reluctant Clare the order, and goes so far as to suggest she use her personal connection to Baldwin to get it done. When Clare later seduces Baldwin it appears she might not go through with it, but after sex she slips out and takes Baldwin’s gun with her. When the true assassin attacks, Baldwin manages to kill him with his own knife. Now that she knows her group has turned on her, I’m thinking it won’t be long until she turns to Other Howard for help. The fact that he’s really Howard Prime only makes this possibility more intriguing.
Other Mysteries and Questions
When Prime was questioning Howard’s life, I found myself questioning it as well. Emily Prime said he never forgave her for not telling him what she was. Prime tells Quayle (much to his surprise) that the other Emily was in Housekeeping under Aldrich and his contact. How did Prime find out about his Emily? Is it possible that Other Howard also found out about his Emily and just pretended not to know?
It’s also suspicious that Emily Prime wasn’t killed, but simply discredited. Why would they risk letting her live considering she was clearly and loudly looking into the conspiracy. I’ve now got my eye on Other Howard. His swagger at the end of the episode looked quite comfortable, and like a man who is exactly where he wants to be.
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Counterpart S1E4 Review Score
"Both Sides Now"
Counterpart – S1E4 – “Both Sides Now” | Starring: J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Williams, Sara Serraiocco, Ulrich Thomsen, Nicholas Pinnock