Sunday, December 30, 2018

REVIEW: 'Counterpart' - Emily Makes a Big Discovery About the Work She Was Doing in 'Point of Departure'

Starz's Counterpart - Episode 2.04 "Point of Departure"

Howard Prime, Quayle and Clare must unite against a common enemy. Emily Prime turns her investigation towards her other. Yanek probes Howard's past.

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.

"Point of Departure" was written by Gianna Sobol and directed by Lukas Ettlin

The first season proved that Howard and his other were more alike than either would care to admit. Despite some different life experiences, they could still see the similarities between them. They understood that they make up the same life. However, there are striking differences as well. Howard is horrified by the way his other carries himself through life. He has made a vow to never become just like him. He doesn't care what this line of work requires from him. He will always remain empathetic and try to communicate with whomever he is with. Sure, that may make him naive and vulnerable in the spy game. He was assaulted in the previous episode by Marcel Prime. He reaches out in kindness only to get hurt again here. Echo may entirely be a program in which Prime management is trying to force the two identities into better associating with each other. Yanek is very intrigued by the points of departure. He wants to know how the two lives are different from one another. The first season already explained that Howard and Emily got married while their others eloped. Meanwhile, the Prime world saw the couple welcome a child and get divorced while the same wasn't true for the Alpha version. And now, the show further explains that Howard and his other have vastly different relationships with their fathers. Howard revers his father and still sees the best in him despite him being a man's man of a certain age who succumbed to illness a long time ago. He still reflects on him fondly with the idea that he was simply trying to be the best that he could. Meanwhile, Howard Prime had more time with him. That unveiled a pattern of addiction and dependency. It was enough to lead to an estrangement between them. Howard would never speak of his father like that. But that's the relationship that Howard Prime had. That's the response that Yanek is trying to provoke. He wants to see if the same impulses exist within Howard. He ascribes to the theory that everything can be traced back to some point. He can experiment until he finds his conclusion and make Howard do whatever Prime management wants him to do. He may not have the time to do so though because Mira is already putting her plan into motion. It's a plan that Emily Prime already seems to be aware of as well thanks to the information provided by her other. In that sense, it seems like the show is introducing these ideas and concepts just to immediately put them into confrontation with each other. And yet, this is such a dangerous and drastic environment for Howard that is only going to worsen the longer that he stays here. But he remains the source of so much uncertainty and chaos as well. This place holds importance for Mira. That means something significant especially since so much of the conspiracy is playing out on the other side of this world.

Elsewhere, it can be a struggle to keep up with which version of the character is actually making the decisions onscreen. That uncertainty is taken to a new level with Lambert and his other. Their connection was only introduced in the previous episode. And now, it's clear that they are effectively a team. They are in this fight together. So, it doesn't matter if one is taken out. The other is still armed with knowledge that could lead to so much exposure for everyone. Right now, Naya only has Emily's faint memory pointing her to Shadow actually being a woman and still operating in this world. However, Emily also delivers Lambert to the Office of Interchange. That's something that Quayle and Howard Prime weren't able to deliver. That shows her value. It means that Naya is absolutely right to trust her and her instincts even though her memory only comes back in little pieces. She didn't even know that Lambert was a source of hers. She doesn't know what information she has gotten from him. She can't even ask him because his Alpha counterpart is the one who responds to the signal. He's the man who is currently sitting in Naya's custody. She only trusts Quayle with that information as well. He may know more than anyone is expecting even though he's not actually the Prime ambassador. However, he may be oblivious to some details as well considering Lambert only just recently confirmed that Clare had been compromised by Quayle. But again, Naya is wrong to put her trust in Quayle because he is working with Clare and Howard Prime to just tease this investigation along enough to make it seem like progress is being made. Howard Prime actually wants to help his friends get back to their home. He understands that he can't turn Lambert over though. It's convenient that Baldwin is still around to take care of this problem for everyone involved. It just comes with the huge complication of her killing all of Howard Prime's friends. That's devastating. It means that Howard Prime returns home furious. He doesn't seem to have control over any aspect of his life. He is growing more unsettled. That's frustrating for Emily as well because she recognizes the man standing in front of her but also knows that he isn't acting like her husband. She hasn't yet questioned if he is his counterpart from the Prime world. That has to be a pressing question at some point though. Moreover, it will be interesting to see who Clare remains loyal to moving forward. At the moment, she may just do whatever it takes to protect her daughter. She learns that her parents were killed. They didn't die from the plague. Indigo just wanted Clare for the program. She proved her worth. She was executed this massive attack. And yet, her passion and loyalty may be fading. She is working with Howard Prime and Quayle after all in order to kill Lambert.