Counterpart season 2 episode 3 recap: Something Borrowed


Something Borrowed, Counterpart’s latest episode, is like the third movie in a trilogy.

The season premiere caught us up on life in Dimension One. Last week’s episode caught us up on life in Dimension Two. This week’s episode finally shows us how both dimensions are overlapping, or borrowing, from each other.

In typical Counterpart fashion, Something Borrowed asked almost as many new questions as it answered. The episode was written by Tom Pabst (Extant). It was directed once again by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (13 Reasons Why).

The teaser made me happy. We see the outside of a club setting in Berlin. The camera slowly pans down and to the left to reveal Baldwin (Sara Serraiocco).

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This is the first time we’ve seen her in season two. At the end of season one, Howard Prime (J.K. Simmons) and Baldwin had accidentally worked together in order to ensure each other’s freedom within Dimension One.

We know Howard Prime didn’t run. And, as it turns out, neither did Baldwin.

For Howard, part of the allure of staying was his newly conscious wife, Emily (Olivia Williams). Even though it’s Emily Alpha, she’s a version of Emily that still has warm feelings for Howard. They just happen to be warm feelings for Howard Alpha.

But, Back to Baldwin. Her scar has a two week fade on it. Her hair is perfectly flipped. And, her eyes still have that thousand-yard stare mixed with regret and melancholy.

We know she’s waiting for Greta (Liv Lisa Fries) before we see her. Der Engel Der Verbannten (Angel of the Morning) by Juliane Werding is playing loudly in the background.

Counterpart-Something Borrowed-Courtesy of STARZ

When Greta walked out of the club, I got butterflies in my tummy for Baldwin. She locked on to her so hard that Greta felt the stare. When she saw it was coming from Baldwin, Greta paused and then walked away with other people.

This whole scene had zero lines of dialogue in it. Yet, it had me feeling some type of way. Baldwin still felt regret, melancholy, and loneliness when she was with Greta in season one.

But, she got to feel alone with somebody. You kind of, have to experience that to get it. The scene ends when a crestfallen Baldwin is drugged and kidnapped.

Unlike last week, I won’t break down every scene. There’s too much here. Instead, I’ll break down Howard Alpha’s dilemma, Howard Prime’s growing mess, and Clare (Nazanin Boniadi) getting dragged out of the shadows.

Rogue Two to Echo Base

As promised in last week’s preview, Howard Alpha is shipped off to Echo. It’s cold, desolate, and hidden. Naturally, it reminded me of Echo base from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

But, this place isn’t packed full of good guys fighting a super big bad. No. This is more like something out of The Matrix. People are incarcerated at Echo in order to harvest information about their others in Dimension One.

Howard Alpha gets this information after he’s been processed and meets Yanek (James Cromwell). We finally get a lot of the dialogue that we heard from Yanek in the season two trailer.

That’s actually the bulk of his dialogue here. He suggests that it would be a good idea for Howard Alpha to spy on Emily Alpha for Dimension Two. Yanek offers to make Howard Alpha into the man that Howard Prime is today.

This isn’t the first time this offer has been to Howard Alpha, so he easily takes a pass. As their first meeting is abruptly ended for some reason, Yanek tells Howard Alpha to have a good sleep. Uh oh.

A buzzer goes off and wakes up Howard Alpha. He believes it’s the beginning of the day, so he gets dressed and walks out of his room/cell. He is immediately confronted by a pack of upset inmates led by Marcel Prime (Karim Saleh).

What no one told Howard Alpha is that Howard Prime is responsible for the capture and incarceration of most of the captives of Echo. Marcel and his band of merry others don’t care when Howard Alpha protests by explaining that he’s, well, Howard Alpha.

While he’s beaten to the ground, the security camera, undoubtedly manned in some way by Yanek, is watching. It’s not a particularly extreme beating. It’s bad. But it’s not Oz level bad. This is likely the first step in Yanek’s forced training of Howard Alpha.

Counterpart-Something Borrowed-Courtesy of STARZ

Oh, and how sad was it to meet Quayle Prime (Harry Lloyd)? He’s a sad man obsessed with station and appearances, yet he spends his time in a bathrobe with a scraggly beard rewatching old soccer matches. The sad part? He’s almost exactly the same as Quayle Alpha.

A lot of times, characters on Counterpart discuss the moment that changes the paths in the Alpha and Prime versions of themselves. Here we get the strongest indication. The one thing that separates Quayle Alpha from Quayle Prime is that Indigo made sure he married into Management Leadership.

If Quayle Alpha’s cheating had been allowed to run its course in Dimension One, he’d be the same sad sack we see in Echo in Dimension Two.

Howard the Ducker

It turns out that some of Howard Prime’s stranded compatriots are the ones who kidnapped Baldwin. The bring Howard Prime in because they know he’ll be able to extract the information they need out of her.

That information? The whereabouts of Ambassador Claude Lambert (Guy Burnet). Howard Prime’s friends want to capture or kill Lambert and use him as a bargaining chip to get back home to Dimension Two.

This presents a few issues for Howard Prime. First off, it seems like his old team was trying to bring him in over the past couple of weeks, but Howard Prime was busy settling into the life of Howard Alpha.

This is further evidence that while Howard Prime didn’t run away, he’s still hiding in plain sight. Although he finds Howard Alpha’s life of habits and the aphasic Emily Alpha to be extremely tedious, Howard Prime is really trying.

Baldwin’s emergence is a problem for Howard Prime. She wants him to get her out of the situation and suggests force. Howard Prime refuses on the basis that these are his people and he knows their families.

I’m sure he does in all of the ways. But his people want to take action sooner rather than later. While that’s a good plan for everyone else involved, including the populations of both dimensions, it’s inconvenient for Howard Prime.

He has an identity and life to consume. (We are far passed simply assuming Howard Alpha’s identity).

Counterpart-Something Borrowed-Courtesy of STARZ

Meanwhile, all of this Baldwin and Lambert business takes Howard Prime away from trying to figure out what memories Emily Alpha is regaining.

While he’s away for the day, Naya Temple (Betty Gabriel) pays Emily Alpha a visit at home. She starts to give a lot of details that seem to be the outline of her meet up with Alexander Pop (Stephen Rhea).

Is Emily Alpha blowing her cover on accident here, or was she really working for Dimension One Management all the time? On her way out, Naya informs Emily Alpha that her former boss was determined to be Shadow. But Emily Alpha is adamant that Shadow was a woman. Uh oh.

The Shadow Knows

Shadow is out for a night run. Being a super secret spy leading several cells of interdimensional terrorists can cause edginess and an excess of energy. But, alas, we find the real reason for Clare Prime’s run is to meet with Claude Lambert.

He tells her to activate the second cell like she should have done weeks ago. He also tells her to pay off some counterfeiters. Lambert makes an effort to repeat the address twice.

Clare Prime never acts on this. If anything, she seems irritated by it. Perhaps she knows this is a tradecraft/countermeasure type deal. If anyone is listening to the conversation, they’ll show up and be eliminated. If Clare is being listened to, it’s her issue and she’s blown.

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Enter Quayle Alpha. He’s inserted a listening device into Clare Prime’s running shoe. This was interesting because, while I’ve never worn those shoes, I know they are designed to be light and balanced. So, he must have added something to both shoes?

Anyway, Quayle hears that address and acts on the information. Naya Temple tags along and ends up covering for Quayle Alpha when they discover the Intel lead them right into a bullet-ridden ambush that leaves one of their team dead.

Quayle Alpha confronts Clare Prime. He thinks that she set him up and wants him out of the way. Clare Prime gets a desperate look of realization on her face. She tells Quayle Prime that they’ve been blown. Just then, the door knocks.

Is it a polite assassin? Is it Quayle with a polite assassin? Nope. It’s Howard Prime. He sits down at their table and announces that they all have the same problem: Claude Lambert. What are they going to do about it?

Honorable Mentions

So. Are Lambert Alpha and Lambert Prime working together to stay ahead of all of the people coming after them? The Lambert’s debrief while one of them has sex with a hooker while the other one ‘actively watches.’

After the sex, one of the Lamberts tells the other that they’re sorry they couldn’t bring anything back from home. But, no one is crossing.

So, this could be the first appearance of twins in Counterpart. If these are, in fact, Lambert Prime twins, it would be an interesting variable in the weeks to come.

Based on their post-coital cuddling, they suffer from creepy twin syndrome the likes of which I have seen since, well, Luke and Leia. Man, alive. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back sure did feature in the weirdest ways this week.

Also, Ian (Nicholas Pinnock) finds a Management comm case in the yard of the dead guy who was being interrogated by Mira (Christiane Paul) last week.

Next. Counterpart season 2 premiere recap: Alpha is Inside Out. dark

Management seems to know way more than they let on. Will the cat and mouse game that they’re playing get some our heroes killed off in the coming weeks? We’re going to have to tune in to find out.

Did you watch the latest episode of Counterpart? Are you enjoying season two? Let’s discuss in the comments!)