Season 1, Episode 9: “No Man’s Land – Part One”
Directed by Stephen Williams
Written by Erin Levy
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Love the Lie” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “No Man’s Land – Part Two” – click here
Seven weeks prior to current day.
Howard (J.K. Simmons) winds up meeting Andrei (Bernhard Forcher) in the waiting room of the hospital, as Emily (Olivia Williams) is in the ER. Of course, we know the truth of this meeting now; so does Mr. Silk, too. Poignant watching them at this point, after understanding the betrayal(s) Howard’s had to sit through.
Back to the moment. Howard Prime gets a quick call from Quayle (Harry Lloyd), who’s recently ratted him out falsely. Peter warns that Aldrich (Ulrich Thomsen) and others are on their way. So, Howard gets going before they arrive.
Ian Shaw’s (Nicholas Pinnock) tracked down Alexander Pope (Stephen Rhea), looking for a location on Casper. Their conversation doesn’t exactly go well. Shaw threatens to end Pope and his “wretched little life,” but you know that Pope has got backup always lurking. There’s no sense in trying to ambush him like that. However, things really change when Pope reveals that Howard is actually the real Howard, not Prime, and this gets Ian well fucked up. Fans the flames of betrayal; a common theme in Counterpart.
Now that Baldwin (Sara Serraiocco) has killed the counterparts of the trio from Indigo, it’s time for them to assume the lives of their Others. Although it seems the assassin is reluctant. Not that she stopped before killing any more people, but there looks to be some sadness in her about continuing down this path. Does she have a choice, though?
Nevertheless, the Indigo trio – Angel Eyes (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ringleader (Lotte Verbeek), and Mr. Glasses (Junes Zahdi) – are on their way into the daily lives and routines of their Others, working themselves into the everyday fabric of their worlds in preparation for their broader scheme.
Meanwhile, Baldwin attempts to contact Clare (Nazanin Boniadi). Only problem is Clare’s still handcuffed, she can’t reach her secret cellphone she uses to conduct her clandestine business. The most troubling is that Baldwin runs into the first love of Nadia in a store, the woman is horrified, having believed her lover was dead, and even worse she’s rejected by Baldwin, obviously. Messy stuff. I hadn’t thought about this situation; what it’d be like for someone to see the Other of a significant other they lost, still alive and walking around.
“It‘s like you grew up on a different planet“
Shaw’s man, Casper (Adeel Akhtar), is secretly alerted that something isn’t right, on his way to meet Ian and Emily. Casper heads off, and a man goes for him in the subway. Emily and Shaw both get there before he can kill Casper. The poor guy’s shaken, he’s worried, and he’s reluctant to believe Emily immediately.
Things go sideways at Quayle’s place, when Peter pulls a gun on Howard Prime, after the latter suggests they’ve got to start talking to Clare. He’s made a “big fucking mistake” because Prime is too bad ass for someone like Peter to take hostage at gunpoint. Bigger thing is, there are many threads starting to unravel, and so many people are working outside their regular parameters to get things done that soon enough everything’s going to implode, or explode.
On the Other Side, Howard talks with Casper, whose son died at a young age; the source of his pain. Pope offered him a chance to see his still “living son” – the Other of his dead boy – in exchange for his help, which has now led to all his current issues. Casper tells them all about the original Emily’s supposed accident: it was arranged by Pope because she’d been trafficking information across and all the rest. This drives Howard mad.
At home, Peter discusses things with Clare, and she wants to try having Howard taking out by Baldwin. Although Peter’s not thrilled by that prospect, mostly because he’d rather not trust his wife with anything ever again. There are so many things out of control. Aldrich’s also still looking for Howard. Speaking of, Prime is stashing some cash and other things in Andrei’s apartment; the man is willing to do whatever he can for Howard, after all he and the original Howard have been through.
With a bit of extra reach, Clare gets to her cellphone stashed away. She calls Baldwin, who updates her on the kill list. Clare offers “double” for a contract on Howard Silk. And now there’s yet another person for Prime, and the original Howard, to dodge. At the same time, Peter’s still off work, and his father-in-law Roland (Richard Schiff) isn’t happy. Oh, and Roland’s secretary? One of the Indigo trio. They’re preparing to do some nasty shit over at the United Nations. Clare urges her husband not to go to work, then he realises what’s happening, and she reveals the truth of her life as a lie in that world. A sad, devastating scene between these two.
Afterwards, though, Peter takes Clare for a drive. He has people following them, but he rushes through traffic, not even worried if they crash. Uh oh. Once he gets to the right street, he charges the vehicle ahead straight into a bunch of other cars.
Howard Prime shows up at the UN, to Aldrich and his men’s surprise. They take him to an interrogation room, despite telling them of Clare being compromised. Simultaneously, Angel Eyes, Glasses, and the Ringleader are putting the Indigo plan into action; they’re heavily armed, to say the least. And so begins a massacre, as people are gunned down in the halls and the offices.
Gunfire everywhere. Prime gets himself out of the locked room, after Aldrich and his man go on. He finds a gun amidst the carnage, then goes about taking the Indigo counterparts down.
However, Angel Eyes makes it down to the border between the two worlds, if not bloodied. And so what does this mean? Will they irreparably damage or open the border? Will it begin an interworld war because of a cross-jurisdictional crime?
Many implications. We’ll see which ones are theory, and which are true, when “No Man’s Land – Part Two” comes to us in a couple weeks.