Episode 3 of Counterpart builds from where the last episode left off as our characters find themselves in a very tricky situation due to Baldwin, a ‘crosser’, being arrested by the local police. Awkward confrontations arise on all sides as the governments of the two worlds try to strike a deal facilitating Baldwin’s transfer. An aptly named episode, The Lost Art of Diplomacy starts slow, and has a thinner plot compared to its predecessors, but finishes off in a rather spectacular fashion.
The mystery surrounding the worlds of Counterpart deepens as more and more signs point to the presence of some elaborate conspiracy.
The episode begins with a little flashback throwing light on how Emily Silk became comatose. Then we jump to present day as Howard makes his ritualistic visit to her hospital room (where there’s a tiny cameo from Flula Borg as a bodyguard). Peter Quayle is incensed after learning about recent developments and instructs Aldrich to interrogate Baldwin. Howard Prime takes it upon himself to try to stall negotiations to get Baldwin back to her world, in order to buy themselves some time to wrench some precious information out of the assassin regarding the people who sent her. Meanwhile, in the prime world, Ian (Emily’s lover) is tasked to lead an enquiry team to the other side in order to gain more information about the mess they are in. Emily Prime pulls strings to get herself on this team so she can meet Howard Prime who, according to her, can help her resolve the fix she is in.
More and more detail regarding the history of the two worlds is revealed through exposition. We also learn how they depend on each other for information. For example, we learn how the original world found the cure for HIV through research on human genome done on the prime world. Therefore it is not surprising when we see Quayle’s father-in-law striking a hard bargain with the Prime ambassador to gain valuable intel in exchange for Baldwin’s release. Peter, however, has his requests to stall negotiations dismissed outright ― something that doesn’t go down well with him. This is also the first time we are told anything regarding Peter’s family and background.
The episode is mostly lacking in any significant development to the storyline, and the material is stretched thin across circular conversations and people reflecting upon previously shown incidents. That being said, the episode did pick up pace towards the very end and through a series of quick developments it makes up for its meandering talky nature. It’s almost as if the director was holding onto his trump cards for the final act, and simply unloaded them to set up some truly exciting prospects for the future. Slowly but surely, Counterpart is ramping up the suspense and putting its intriguing premise to effective use.
P.S.- S01E03 also features some really well-composed background score, used to great effect, to help along the (mostly sparse) plot development.
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Did you like Counterpart S01E03? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more weekly reviews and recap of Counterpart only at The Projection Room.
When not watching films or TV series, Shaswata can usually be found either reviewing them or battling writer’s block. His obsession lies with framing and composition in cinema, something he explores by capturing the most memorable moments through screenshots and sharing them on social media.