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Counterpart - S1E5 - Shaking the Tree

Previously on Counterpart, “Both Sides Now”

Last week, I floated the theory that Other Howard isn’t as clueless as he seems. If Howard Prime’s marriage didn’t survive Emily’s secrets, it’s entirely possible that Other Howard found out about his wife’s secret life as well. “Shaking the Tree” does a little to move the needle on my theory, but the big reveals come when several characters are exposed for having more to them than previously thought.

Photos: Starz

Shadow of a Doubt

After he catches Quayle searching through the third floor offices on the weekend, Aldrich takes him to a safehouse where a defector from the other side has been residing in exchange for valuable information. Her name is Alice, a former secretary in Strategy, who warned Aldrich’s team that a high-level mole had been planted on the third floor years ago. More specifically, the other side “created” the opening (either in Strategy or Housekeeping; probably by having the person killed) in order to plant their spy. This person, Shadow, has had a quiet, but powerful, influence on the operations at Interchange.

Alice also drops another bomb that shed more light on (at least to the audience) what Clare and her associate’s motives are: there are those on the other side who blame them for the epidemic that — we later find out — killed 7% of their global population. There’s a school, funded privately by radicals within the company, that trains children to adulthood, and then place these spies on the other side. Their endgame is still unclear.

Aldrich’s interactions with Alice, her counterpart, and (their? her?) spouse showed a compassionate side I would have thought him incapable of having.

The School 

Clare plays Heinrich (Bjron Johnson) a visit at his shop, and demands to know what he told Howard Prime. His blatant lie that he doesn’t remember all but seals his fate. Later, Clare meets with three operatives who recently arrived from the her side. Whatever their mission is, it didn’t include killing the remaining marks on Baldwin’s list. When one of them becomes upset upon learning this, another cautions him to treat Clare with respect. Apparently, they all attended The School and Clare is a bit of a legend.

The Other Lover

Howard Prime witnesses his Go buddy, Andrei (Bernhard Forcher), throwing a fit when he’s not allowed into Emily’s guarded hospital room. He confronts Andrei (real name Michael) at his apartment, suspecting he was Emily’s mark. Prime learns he was Emily’s lover for the past ten months. Later, he tells a comatose Emily that he thought she was better than that.

The Other Emily

While Prime was finding out the other Emily wasn’t who he thought she was, Pope was trying his damndest to turn Other Howard against Emily Prime. Of course, his warning not to trust her just sends Howard back to her apartment for answers. Even after learning about her role within the company, it doesn’t seem to occur to him that his Emily isn’t “just a clerk.” This is why I suspect he’s playing a game. He can’t be this slow; can he?

Things That Won’t End Well

Other Howard is being very un-Prime like as he tries to build a better relationship with his daughter.

Baldwin is following Clare and knows all about the people brought in from the Other Side. Why wouldn’t they change up their plans with Baldwin on the loose after a botched assassination attempt?

If you’re a Premium member, head over to Patreon to leave your thoughts on the episode and we’ll read them on Tuesday night’s podcast.

Counterpart S1E5 Review Score
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10

"Shaking the Tree"

Counterpart - S1E5 - “Shaking the Tree” | Starring: J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Williams, Sara Serraiocco, Ulrich Thomsen, Nicholas Pinnock

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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