Counterpart – Season 2, Episode 2: “Outside In”

Starz’s Counterpart
Season 2, Episode 2: “Outside In”
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Written by Justin Britt-Gibson

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Inside Out” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Something Borrowed” – click here
Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 3.59.19 PMIn the Prime world, not everyone from Indigo feels so great about what they were forced to do. Aldus (Jakob Diehl) is having second thoughts, though he isn’t exactly running away. He and Mira (Christiane Paul) are both very much together, and she keeps him by her side by any means necessary.
While Howard Prime (J.K. Simmons) is on the other side, Howard Alpha is kept at a facility in the Prime world. If he doesn’t cooperate he’ll be sent to a “black site,” as if it’s any worse than where he’s being kept currently. A man named Osman (Karan Oberoi) interrogates Howard about his wife Emily (Olivia Williams), and this is when he hears about his wife coming out of her coma. A devastating moment for him to not be there. These people will try anything to break him down further.
At the United Nations, Head of Diplomacy Irina Markova (Vera Cherny) is dealing with the fallout after the incident at the Crossing. There are people stranded in the Prime world from the Alpha world. Ambassador Sy (Ramon De Ocampo) feels like he’s being kept in a prison cell. Emily Prime understands the man’s position and she feels “shared fucking incompetence” is preventing them all from doing their jobs and tracking down the “Indigo terrorists.” It’s a case of two sides being divided amongst themselves when they could be doing better work together. Not unlike many real life border issues. Ironic though, how the ambassador feels trapped, and Howard’s literally being kept like a suspected terrorist in an Abu Ghraib-style location where Emily’s not allowed to see him.
Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.06.05 PMMira goes to see an old acquaintance. She’s continually unrepentant about her actions with Indigo. She wants to tear everything new and build it back from the ground up. Others don’t see it so clear cut like she does, especially given the mass murder, including children. Being an old friend doesn’t help this man when he comes up against Mira. Only question is, will she leave him alive?
At home, Emily Prime finds Anna (Sarah Bolger) making a meal for the two of them. The daughter’s found out her man has been cheating. Mom’s not totally surprised, she never liked the guy. Anna’s also asking about her father and where he’s disappeared lately. Of course mom can’t say anything about where he’s gone, making things all the more tragic.
Out of nowhere, the Crossing’s doors open. Irina is called down, but nothing seems to be happening. After a moment, a man comes down with a file “for Management.” Then, just like that, the Crossing is closed once more. Curious. When Emily shows up at the office, she’s escorted directly to see Management. Can’t be a coincidence, right?
She’s led onto an unfinished floor, taking her into a room where she sits with a man at a table with one of those strange devices. The man asks her about the “seized Crosser” Howard. He tells her she’ll be the Director of Strategy. He then talks about Mira and a previous embassy bombing, which eventually resulted in the Indigo attack. The U.N. in the Alpha world will reopen their doors at the Crossing if the Prime world can locate Mira and “terminate her without doubt or delay.” Emily won’t be a part of anything further until they release Howard, to which Management agrees.
Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.20.38 PM

“Work got you pulled in two directions?”
“Something like that”

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.24.32 PMIan Shaw (Nicholas Pinnock) and his team infiltrate an apartment where they find bloody dog footprints leading to a dead body on the couch. Indigo’s been cleaning house to try and cauterise any “loose ends.” This gets Shaw and the OI no closer to any concrete evidence. How many more will die?
In the interrogation room, Howard is played a recording of Emily trying to keep him out of the Strategy department in order to keep her cover from being blown. No matter what he’s shown or told, he won’t break. He refuses to spy on the woman he loves, despite any of the lies she’s told him about herself.
Emily goes looking for clues about Mira. She starts with the epidemic from 1997. She talks with an older couple whose son she believes is one of the Indigo agents on the other side. She wants to reunite the parents with their boy, though they’re reluctant to agree to help in any way. They don’t want to believe what she’s telling them. Or at least the wife doesn’t want to believe it. The husband finds Emily later to offer what help he can give.
Howard gets a visit from Emily Prime, who wants him to face the reality maybe there’s more to his wife than he realises. He can’t yet come to terms with this possibility. Yet he already feels horrible about how his own wife deliberately held him back professionally for her own sake. Emily Prime is defensive, relating to her Alpha self. She did the same thing to Howard Prime, too.
Aldus gets a call from his father to meet. He’s told about Emily looking for Mira, though has no idea his father’s in league with Emily about their meeting. This puts Aldus on Emily and Ian’s radar. He’s followed back to his apartment by the team. They wait outside to confirm whether Mira’s inside. Their man Eli won’t wait and rushes into the apartment himself, forcing Ian and Emily to follow. Aldus shoots Eli, then makes a run for it through the stairwell. Emily confronts Aldus on the roof. He seems to know her and she doesn’t recognise him. Except he jumps to his death below before giving her any information, and there’s no sign of Mira. When they look through files left behind, Emily sees a picture of Emily Alpha amongst the pile. This means the other Emily was, at some point, in the Prime world. Whoa— sinister implications!
Back in interrogation, Howard is told he’ll be sent to the black site and he refuses to break. So he’s slated to be taken to a facility called Echo. We further see Osman is close to Mira. He tells her about Howard being sent to Echo, where there’s somebody Mira wants to contact.
Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.49.36 PMGreat stuff! Counterpart manages to be intricate without being overly confusing, at least without reason, anyway. Can’t get enough, as usual. “Something Borrowed” is next time.

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