Sunday, December 16, 2018

REVIEW: 'Counterpart' - Emily Prime Does Her Best to Help Howard While Protecting Her Investigation in 'Outside In'

Starz's Counterpart - Episode 2.02 "Outside In"

Imprisoned on the Other Side, Howard's loyalties are tested. Emily Prime gets a promotion.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Starz's Counterpart.

"Outside In" was written by Justin Britt-Gibson and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez

The season premiere was set entirely in the Alpha world. As such, it should come as no surprise to see "Outside In" set completely in the Prime world. However, it does become apparent that there are more characters of note currently operating in the Alpha world. That also happens to be the side that closed its border following the attack. The Prime world is still proud to declare that their border is open and ready to conduct diplomacy again. It's also fascinating to see how this cold war may not be as isolating as previously thought because the management teams of both sides are still choosing to communicate with each other. That just means that people still have to be monitoring the border to see if the doors ever open and what decides to come through. And yet, all of this also feels very expositional. The show has to introduce a number of new characters in this side of the war in order for there to still be importance here. However, that also mostly sidelines Howard Silk. He has been exposed as coming from the Alpha world. He wasn't able to keep his secret identity from the government. Shaw turned him in. That seemed to be a costly mistake until Emily Prime reached out hoping to work together in a professional sense once more. She sees that as very beneficial for the new mission she has been tasked by management. She gets a major promotion here. She is now in charge of strategy. That's a huge vote of confidence even though she disagrees with the position management has taken regarding the Indigo program and the recent attack. She knows that it's real and dangerous. These terrorists need to be caught as soon as possible so that this war can come to an end. That also means that Mira has to step up and essentially become the face of this organization. Previously, that was seen as Alexander Pope. He was the one pulling all of the strings without having to leave his cushy lifestyle he had built for himself. He was willing to just sit still and watch all of his orders be carried out. He still died though. That's why things have gotten so intense for Howard in this world. He can't just be set free. He is a criminal because he murdered someone from the Prime world. As such, the government has the leverage to use against him in the hopes that he can be turned into a cooperating agent spent back to the Alpha world to spy on Emily. He refuses to turn on her though. He continues to be questioning who he is married to though. He doesn't understand why she would stand in the way of him getting promoted within the Office of Interchange. Emily Prime can shed some light on that thought process because she did the same thing to her Howard. It's just fascinating how much of this is seen through Emily Prime's perspective of everyone's world becoming more complicated because of the truth coming out. Emily Prime is following a trail of bodies at the moment. Things have already become quite deadly in this conflict with Indigo. Mira needs to be captured. Management has ordered Emily Prime to kill her with the certainty that she could never create any problems ever again. And yet, the audience is smart enough to know that this doesn't end with Mira. She is putting a lot of things into motion at the moment - including sending Howard to a black site called Echo. That's certainly ominous. However, Clare is still causing lots of destruction in the Alpha world even with the borders closed. As such, all of this will continue to be intense. The personal drama just seems to be lost a little bit here in order to set up all of the various plots and intrigues of this side of the war.