Previously on Counterpart, “Act Like You’ve Been Here Before”
If you thought an hour of Counterpart that is almost completely free of J.K. Simmons would be a bad thing, you were wrong. Howard Prime makes one brief appearance when (surprisingly) Quayle makes up an excuse to get Clare out of the house before his birthday party and calls him over to confirm what he already knows deep down: his wife is an imposter.
Via flashbacks, we’re shown The School’s methods of indoctrination. First, they take children who have lost their parents to the Munchen Virus (as Clare did) and tell them the virus was the fault of the other side. They train them to study their counterparts, but also hate them and everyone else beyond the corridor. Because they don’t have the benefit of going through all of the joys of their counterparts’ lives, this makes them effective in having a natural jealousy and disdain for them. Clare is shown pictures of her counterpart with her parents, living the life she’ll never have. She’s also hardened into the perfect soldier because while she doesn’t get to experience the good aspects of her counterpart’s life, she does have to withstand the pain; like, getting her legs broken without anesthesia when Clare on the other side brakes hers in an accident. Of course she grows to resent her counterpart.
When The School learns Clare’s father on the other side is in line to head Diplomacy, her value as an asset increases. And when they learn she’s engaged to marry a man being fast-tracked to directorship thanks to her father, Clare is sent over to prepare for integration.
Watching Nazanin Boniadi become a voyeur to her own life was terrifying. She consumed elements of her other’s life in ways that were robotic, but also childlike and sinister. She spies on Clare losing her virginity to Quayle before their wedding, and tries to recreate the same experience with a stranger in a bar. Of course, it’s not the same. Something that is supposed to be beautiful and special is carried out with nothing more than a sense of duty.
As Quayle’s birthday party goes on, he drinks more and more. During a toast, he tries quizzes Clare on the early days of their relationship, but she passes. More than the idea that he’s responsible for the leaks, he’s particularly bothered by the fact that he has no idea when “his” Clare was replaced. We learn it was right after she’d broken off their engagement when she caught him cheating. The School could not afford to lose such a valuable position within Interchange’s hierarchy. Clare Prime ends up killing Clare Alpha during a staged home invasion and takes her place before a concerned Quayle arrives. The two make up and the rest is history.
Unable to hide it any longer, Quayle confronts Clare after their guests are gone. He offers her the cyanide pill he found hidden in her bathroom only to learn she purposely let it go bad. She finally has something of her own, and she’s not willing to give that up: their daughter.
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Counterpart S1E7 Review Score
"The Sincerest Form of Flattery"
Counterpart – S1E7 – “The Sincerest Form of Flattery” | Starring: J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Williams, Sara Serraiocco, Ulrich Thomsen, Nicholas Pinnock, Nazanin Boniadi