Previously on Counterpart, “The Sincerest Form of Flattery”
“Love the Lie” deals with the fallout of Clare’s unmasking and the tip-off delivered to The School. It’s an apt title considering the viewer is left wondering if Clare has truly come to love her life on the other side and left reeling from Howard Alpha’s confession at the episode’s end.
First, if ever there was a time to take a sick day, the day after finding out you’ve been married to your wife’s doppelganger is it. Clare Prime has been handcuffed all night, leaving Quayle to deal with their infant daughter Spencer while figuring out his next move. It’s no surprise that Quayle is particularly shit at taking care of his own child, and Clare convinces him to let her feed the baby. She swears that she loves Spencer, and warns Quayle that they’re in this together. Turning him in won’t end well for him or their daughter. It all makes sense, but it’s hard for the audience to trust her when we’ve seen how committed she seems to their cause - she was downright disgusted with the butcher for “turning on his own kind.” Also, she lies to Peter when he asks what happened to Clare Alpha. She says she was sent to the other side and given a new life. Peter has to be smart enough to realize this isn’t true, but he’s also the same man who’s been living with a spy for years and didn’t know it, so…
Emily Prime, Howard Alpha, and Ian and his team arrive at the address acquired from the courier, it turns out it’s The Indigo School. They’ve been warned and are in the process of extracting the students, burning evidence, and getting their suicide vials ready when the team gets there. After a shootout, Howard Alpha discovers the children were all given poison. Between that and the evidence that wasn’t burned, they figure out the school was training children to replace their shadows on the other side. With the identity of the three operatives recently sent over, Howard Alpha uses Prime’s contacts to discover they only just recently left. This news needs to be given to Prime.
Meanwhile, Baldwin makes good on her deal with Clare and takes out Angel Eyes Alpha (Nolan Gerard Funk). This is a bit of puzzler. We don’t yet know all of the names on Baldwin’s original hit list nor why they’ve been targeted. It would appear they weren’t killed to be replaced with their counterparts (like Clare), because this is now the second body killed and left to be discovered. If Angel Eyes Prime’s target was his shadow, and he doesn’t know about the agreement between Clare and Baldwin, what will he do when he discovers the job has been done for him?
Howard Prime is called to the hospital by Emily’s visiting mother, Charlotte (Jacqueline Bisset). Emily is awake, though unable to communicate and she’s not responding to their voices. This is big news that Howard Prime keeps from his counterpart when they meet later.
Thanks to Emily’s colleague (Christine Adams), the two Howards are able to meet in one of the conference cubicles introduced in the first episode. Prime is surprised to see Alpha (he was expecting Emily), and even though he’s shocked to learn about their raid on the Indigo School, he takes exception with Howard Alpha’s use of “we” when describing what they uncovered. He senses his shadow has grown quite comfortable with his life, and Alpha only makes it worse when he talks about how just his attention and kindness has fostered a better relationship with both Emily and their daughter. Prime lashes out by dropping the bomb that Emily was having an affair with Howard’s Go partner, but… Alpha already knew. Not only that, it wasn’t her first affair, but he’s learned to love and forgive her anyway. Though, he claims to not have known what she really did for a living. Hmmm. My Howard Alpha knew about the other side theory has legs!
Last week’s episode was fantastic even without much J.K. Simmons. “Love the Lie” more than made up for his absence this week, as their confrontation was a masterful display of acting and filled with tension.
Other Mysteries and Questions
After a creepy visit from Aldrich, in which the head of Housekeeping told a chilling story about ruining the life of his counterpart and not-so-subtly accused Quayle of being the mole, Quayle meets Aldrich at a bar and admits he’s been the source of the leaks without realizing it. He claims to have been manipulated by Howard Silk. How can he possibly think he can make this lie stick?
Interesting that Mira (Christiane Paul) instructed the School’s staff to kill the children and themselves, but made off with another staff member and a car full of documents. Was that always the plan should they be caught or did she flake out?
If you’re a Premium member, head over to Patreon to leave your thoughts on the episode and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
Counterpart S1E8 Review Score
"Love the Lie"
Counterpart - S1E8 - “Love the Lie” | Starring: J.K. Simmons, Harry Lloyd, Olivia Williams, Sara Serraiocco, Ulrich Thomsen, Nicholas Pinnock, Nazanin Boniadi