Season 2, Episode 10: “Better Angels”
Directed by Charlotte Brändström
Written by Justin Marks
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “You to You” – click here
* Starz cancelled the series. Maybe it’ll find new life with another network? Fingers crossed, fellow fans!
Yanek (James Cromwell) is left with the aftermath of his daughter Mira’s (Christiane Paul) decisions. He’s gone to visit the other Mira, who’s surprised to see her father again. It’s an emotional reunion. She embraces him. Meanwhile, Mira Prime is using the two Management comm devices to enact the rest of her plan. Roland Fancher (Richard Schiff) reads the statement she’s sent, from Management, to the Office of Interchange. The Crossing will be closed “permanently and irrevocably.” But that’s not all she has in store— this is the tip of the iceberg, and the whole ugly beast will be revealed soon. Emily Prime (Olivia Williams) simultaneously discovers Mira is out of her cage and Ian Shaw’s (Nicholas Pinnock) nowhere to be found, escorting the Indigo terrorist in order to save Nomi (Krissi Bohn) from an untimely fate.
We see Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) talking to the OI about his illegal crossing to the Prime world. He admits it was simply to protect Emily and that he has no information about any impending attack. Luckily, he’s not kept any longer, however, it’s not so easy to just go home with Emily and forget all that’s happened.
Howard Prime has scooped up Clare (Nazanin Boniadi) and Spencer, along with help from Baldwin (Sara Serraiocco). He wants to use Peter Quayle’s (Harry Lloyd) wife as a bargaining chip. He’s determined to get info about what Indigo is plotting. This means she has to sit with Spencer, who’s chained to a wall, and dig out more of the sleeper cell’s plot. Can she? He’s lost in fanaticism, seeing only loyalty to Mira. Somehow she breaks through to the other side.
At home, Howard and Emily are together once more. He’s discovered things about his wife and has to reconcile the distrust. He believes “cowardice” prevented him from admitting the truth about her. Can they repair their wounds? Can Emily change after all she’s lied to Howard about? Can Howard shed the feeling he and his Other are, at their core, the same in many ways? Perfect timing for a visit from Howard Prime. He tells them of Mira’s cabin and the virus they’re planning to toss like “a hand grenade” over to the Alpha world.
“But what if this is all nature’s plan, and the real test isn’t whether we can eradicate this other side of ourselves? What if it’s about acceptance?”
Emily and Howard, as well as Howard Prime, go with Naya Temple (Betty Gabriel) and a team from the OI to check out the cabin in the woods. A lady emerges from the house— one of Clare’s former students, Ethel. The cabin’s rigged with explosives. Emily wants to talk with Ethel. The young woman expresses wishes for another life, rather than having to end the one she’s currently living for Mira’s cause. “It‘s all fake here,” she says. Ethel steps on a tripwire detonating a massive explosion. There’s debris everywhere. Emily’s barely breathing underneath the rubble. In an ambulance, she writes a note to her husband. So tragic Howard only just got back to his wife after she came out of a long coma, now he watches her go back into an emergency room. Soon he’s told she’s died from her wounds.
Outside, Howard confronts his Other, holding a gun to him. He orders Howard Prime to his knees. The Other Howard admits he’s partly responsible for what’s happened, lamenting Emily’s death nearly as much as her actual husband. He accepts his coming fate. Except Howard’s not that type of man, no matter how much hurt he feels inside. He chooses to give his Other the note Emily left.
Because the Indigo sleeper agents are on the move, ready to deploy their attack in various cities across the world. Howard Prime finds them in a subway station. He executes them all, putting an end to their cell. Only one left now is Mira.
“Nothing I am is real”
Clare gets a pass for stopping the Indigo plot. For now, she and Peter return to a somewhat normal life. He gets to talk with Spencer, too. Their conversation sends Peter away with questions about what his wife’s been through in her other life. He chooses not to ask Clare to relive whatever pains exist in her past, hoping they’ll forge an entirely new life going forward.
The Crossing is still going to be closed. Things are too dangerous. All those kept on the Prime side are allowed to go back to the Alpha world, including Baldwin and Howard Prime. A great scene features Naya praying towards “the Mecca I never knew,” embracing duality within herself. For now, the duality of worlds must exist apart.
Emily Prime goes looking for Ian, discovering only a note left for her. He explains he’s gone away, and he had “another life” in the Alpha world as Wesley before becoming Ian. His last act was to put a tracker on Mira.
In her apartment, Mira feels a prick on the finger as she enters. She’s been given a “lethal dose” by Emily, who’s sitting on the couch. They speak about their Others briefly, then the Indigo leader dies. Fitting end for a horrific villain: no fanfare, only death.
Naya talks to Howard about a position in strategy at the OI. He isn’t keen on becoming more like his Other. He doesn’t want to return to the office, choosing to find a new life to live. Elsewhere, Yanek watches his granddaughter play in the park, just as he notices an outbreak on his arm, realising that his daughter infected him with the virus before they parted company. He’s become a living vessel for the flu. He collapses dead.
Will this cause something worse? Will the outbreak happen anyway?
Oh, man. Shitty time for Starz to cancel this series.
Let’s pray that Counterpart is given a home on a different network. This could lead to a fantastic Season 3. All the initial storylines have clued up, so there’s room to expand further within the universe Marks & Co. have created. We’ll have to wait and see if anybody picks this up to give us another round of awesome episodes.