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Counterpart (Starz) - Season 2 (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Season 1 thread

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Premieres tonight at 9/8c, following a new episode of "Outlander". One of my favorites of 2017.



At the Office of Interchange, those who have high enough access, safeguard a crossing into a parallel dimension not unlike our own. And if their world is like ours, who are we over there? Are we better? Are we different?

Season Two finds Howard and his counterpart getting to live out these questions. With the Crossing closed following a devastating attack in the Alpha universe perpetrated by covert operatives from the Prime universe, both Howards find themselves stranded in the other's world, forcing them to adapt for survival. Howard Prime takes on his other’s life: going to his job, living in his home…with his wife. Howard Alpha is locked in a mysterious black site known as Echo, cut off from everyone he knows. As a cold war escalates between worlds and deepens a fickle divide, both men find themselves growing increasingly like the other.

J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd, Nazanin Boniadi, Sara Serraiocco, and Nicholas Pinnock return as series regulars for the second season. Betty Gabriel joins the cast for the second season as Naya Temple, a former FBI agent brought in by the Office of Interchange to clean house in the aftermath of the attack. James Cromwell joins the cast as Yanek, the warden of the Echo blacksite in the Prime universe where Howard Alpha is being held captive.

Creator Justin Marks continues to serve as executive producer and showrunner. The season two episodic credits are as follows:
  1. Written by Erin Levy; directed by Charles Martin
  2. Written by Justin Britt-Gibson; directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
  3. Written by Tom Pabst; directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
  4. Written by Gianna Sobol; directed by Lukas Ettlin
  5. Written by Maria Melnik; directed by Lukas Ettlin
  6. Written and directed by Justin Marks
  7. Written by Maegan Houang; directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper
  8. Written by Erin Levy; directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper
  9. Written by Gianna Sobol; directed by Charlotte Brändström
  10. Written by Justin Marks and Maegan Houang; directed by Charlotte Brändström
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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The interesting thing about Emily Alpha's brain damage and resultant memory loss is that it puts her on a similar journey to the one that the two Howards went on in the first season: She is learning about this person who is her but not her, and she isn't sure she likes that person very much.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I wonder if they'll continue spending entire episodes on one side, alternating between Earth Alpha and Earth Prime, until the crossing is reopened on a more permanent basis.

I was happy to see Sarah Bolger pop up tonight as Anna. I was a bit concerned that with her more prominent role on "Mayans M.C." that they'd recast the role or write her character out of the show. It probably helps that both this show and that show film primarily in Los Angeles.

Every scene that J.K. Simmons and Olivia Williams share together has me leaning in a bit closer to my TV set. Two performers at the top of their respective games, elevating each other.

After a season and change of hearing the fourth floor used as a metonym for Management, it was a real subversion of expectations when we finally made it there. The heavy fortifications are protecting... nothing. The entire floor is in a state of disrepair, frozen mid-renovation -- either at the time the universe experienced mitosis, or at some later date when Management decided it was no longer safe to operate on site.

We know from the end of the season premiere that Management has human beings at the other end of those cameras, at least on the Alpha side, because we got a brief glimpse of Avalon. Early in this episode, Mira hunts down a different old man Juma (played by Louis Mahoney), evidently part of Management on the Prime side, in a scene that helps justify Management's extreme security measures.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I have mixed feelings on this flashback episode telling the origin story of the interchange. The answers to mysteries are rarely as compelling as the mysteries themselves.

That being said, it was an interesting story to watch in its own right, with some surprising reveals: first and foremost, that the deaths of tens of millions of people can be traced back to a single audio cassette tape.

It also cleared up some ambiguities about the nature of the crossing. I had assumed that it had always existed as a tunnel, and for whatever reason that one spot had become a portal as a result of the experiment. But no; it was originally just a basement room, and the two universes were connected at a 180 degree angle from one another at the location where the equipment had been operating at the moment of divergence. It is only a tunnel because the two universes are connected at that point, which is why the two rubble piles along the stairs are identical on both sides. The remainder of that basement room has almost certainly been inaccessible on both sides since the moment of divergence, since the only way to access it would be by digging a hole into it.

The interesting question for the remainder of the series is whether Yanek and Mira are right -- and the only two possible outcomes are either total permanent segregation/isolation or annihilation -- or the remainder of Management are right and carefully managed co-existence is possible.

It's also possible that only the next several decades are tricky, while people conceived before the moment of divergence still walk both Earths. Within a century or so, the two Earths will be completely different, with completely different populations. The whole idea of Others, and the complications they introduce, will be a historical oddity.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Starz has cancelled this series.
Not a surprise, given that its audience is measured in the thousands rather than the millions.

But definitely a shame; it's my vote for the best show that nobody's watching.

MRC is shopping it around to the streaming services, but I just don't think it has the necessary buzz for some other platform to pick it up.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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At least it ended on a pretty satisfying ending. There were two major cliffhangers -- the crossing being welded shut from both sides, and Yanek inadvertently spreading the virus throughout a significant chunk of Berlin -- but otherwise all of the plots that were set up were wrapped up satisfactorily.
 

Simon Massey

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Ill still miss it. I was glad they wrapped up most of the threads but it was an intriguing show. Perhaps they didn't fully explore its potential in Season 2 especially with half the season keeping several characters from crossing over, but the mid season pushed the show forward and I really enjoyed the second half.
 

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