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Review of 'Counterpart' 2.10

Relative Better Selves

An excellent season two finale of Counterpart last night—which is the series finale as far as Starz is concerned—but I'm expecting it won't be that because Counterpart will show up and continue on another venue, but more of that at the end of this review.

My favorite scene last night was between Howard and Howard Prime. Howard has his counterpart on his knees, and a gun to his head. But rather than killing him—which is what Prime said he would do—Howard gives Prime the gun and tells him to take care of business, i.e., act on the information that dying Emily placed in Howard's hand. That info called for Howard to wipe out all the carriers of the virus at the train station, before they deliberately spread the virus across our Europe, in a scene that harkened back to 12 Monkeys. Our Howard knew that although Emily gave him the location of these terrorists, Howard Prime was the better person to do this. The better self.

A lot of was said about better selves in this episode—"Better Angels" is the title of the episode—and the Howard and Howard Prime scene shows that the notion of "better" in this series is context-dependent, as it is, for the most part, in life. And, in this case, relative—in both senses of the word. Bad Howard—Howard Prime—might be not as good as our Howard, but he's better when it comes to carrying out a mission in which a bunch of people have to be quickly killed. A basic, inexorable moral arithmetic.

Meanwhile, good riddance Mira Prime—thank you Emily Prime—but I was sad to see her father die from her poison or whatever it was. And, actually, if what Yanek died from was that virus... well, that means our world is not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. We'll find out about this and much much next season—

But not on Starz. Why they cancelled the series is beyond me. True, its audience of half a million was small, but, like me, deeply devoted to this rarity of a science fiction and espionage mix. One good thing about the cancellation, if it leads to Counterpart on some streaming service, is that we'll be able to see it all at once. See you here next year or whenever and wherever that happens with a review or reviews.

Love Across Alternate Realities

Alternate Orson Welles in this book...

Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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Review of 'Counterpart' 2.10
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