Counterpart season 2 episode 4 recap: Point of Departure


Counterpart continues to ask metaphysical questions, but they never get in the way of the action or plot.

“Point of Departure,” episode four of season two, has many characters making choices that they won’t be able to take back.

Point of Departure was written by Gianna Sobel (True Blood), who has proven her talent to write theory-heavy episodes of Counterpart that still keep you on the edge of your seat with their spy games.

It was directed by Lukas Ettlin (Black Sails), who manages to frame Baldwin (Sara Serraiocco) in a way that makes her look even more hardcore than she already did. This episode leads up to a big assault that looks to take place next week. But let’s talk about this week’s episode.

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The teaser is fairly simple and to the point. Yet, it’s the culmination of a plan whose ramifications loom large over the entire episode. Mira (Christiane Paul) is driving in the countryside.

This isn’t for rest in relaxation. She’s tracking Howard Alpha (J.K. Simmons) via the device Osman (Karan Oberoi) had him swallow. The whereabouts of Echo Station seem to be top secret. Given Indigo’s quest to terrorize Dimension One, the information that’s being extracted by Yanek (James Cromwell) would be a prime target.

Mira surveys the fenced in Echo Station. She makes contact with a security guard on the other side of the fence who repeatedly asks her if she’s lost. When Mira turns to face him, the guard almost seems to recognize her. Mira asks him what his name is. And then we get the opening credits for the episode.

Cady Claude

We quickly get confirmation that Claude Lambert (Guy Burnet) had set up Clare (Nazanin Boniadi) in last week’s episode. He wanted to see if she was blown. Lambert meets with her, in public, for a couple of reasons. He wants to know if Clare is feeding Quayle Alpha (Harry Lloyd) information or if he’s actually doing his job and spying on her.

Clare has made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. She naturally takes offense to Lambert’s taunts of her being a traitor. It’s clear Lambert suspected as much and reassures Clare that he hasn’t told Indigo about her problem. If he did, they might suspect he was blown as well. That would be most uncivilized for our fair Claude. He has prostitutes to meet and a possible twin brother to cuddle with.

Counterpart-Peter Quayle-Courtesy of STARZ Entertainment, LLC

All of those plans get dashed by Howard Prime’s plan. Remember, at the end of last week’s episode, Howard Prime eloquently told Clare and Quayle Alpha that Lambert needed to go in order to make all of their lives safer. Lambert is quickly swept up by Howard’s stranded recon team and taken to their safe house. He is placed in defacto prison with Baldwin under the guise of being traded for favors.

Howard Prime slips Baldwin a pocket knife and leaves for work. His team thanks him for his efforts, which sort of foreshadows how this will go. Baldwin cuts her restraints and quickly kills Lambert. As she’s trying to make her escape out of a window, the team makes a poorly timed bed check. They pull her back in and she warns them that they don’t want this.

The team won’t stop. Poor Remy (Caleb Frederick) gets his throat slashed and bleeds out in the foreground of the scene while Baldwin takes on the other two members of the team in the background of the scene. It’s one of my favorite sequences of the entire series. While it’s ultra-violent, the choreography is saved for the actors. The camera remains in place in order to capture the precision of Baldwin’s blows. She quickly kills the entire team.

Baldwin checks in with Clare, who is clearing out Lambert’s safe house. She finds files that reveal her parents were not victims of the flu. They were murdered so that Indigo could gain access to her. Side note: arsenic poisoning mimics the symptoms of Dimension Two’s flu plague. That’s horrible and scary.

Meanwhile, Clare notices two identical pairs of shoes in the safe house. It strikes her as weird, but it doesn’t make her think that Lambert could have a twin or be working with his Other. I get it, but she did have to chase down both Alice’s (Lisa Hagmeister) in the season premiere. So, it wouldn’t be a complete stretch.

Howard Prime goes to his team’s safe house to check in on them. He’s expecting the bad news that Baldwin escaped after killing Lambert. He wasn’t expecting to find his entire team exsanguinated with Lambert. Although Baldwin had told Clare to apologize to Howard Prime for the carnage, I have a feeling this is a grudge he’ll keep.

Between an Alpha and a Prime Place

As a new day starts at Echo Station, inmates straggle into the common area looking for coffee. Howard Alpha wakes up on the floor where Marcel Prime (Karim Saleh) had left him the night before. He’s dazed from his beating. Quayle Prime offers him a cup of coffee and companionship. Quayle Prime is a nice guy, but sad.

Counterpart-Season Two-Courtesy of STARZ Entertainment, LLC

Yanek will explain to Howard Alpha that there are points of departure for Alpha’s and Prime’s. The points where they changed after the Dimensions were discovered. Quayle is a subtle example of this. Quayle Prime is afraid of having the responsibility because it can get you in trouble with people.

Quayle Prime laments that it’s difficult to be the kind one. While we don’t know the point of departure for Quayle, we know Quayle Alpha basically feels that same way but has used his arrogance and lack of empathy to achieve that station that he has.

In another session with Yanek, Howard Alpha is told that he should not rely on his emotions and attachments as much as he has. Yanek stresses that he shouldn’t care about empathy. He should be more interested in clarity.

Yanek allows Howard Alpha to shave and bathe. He also administers a shot that will somehow make him more like Howard Prime. Howard Alpha is stubborn, though. Instead of standing up to Marcel Prime the next time he saw him, Howard Alpha instead sat down next to him and tried to use empathy to win him over. This ended up with Howard Alpha being knocked down with another knock to his poor head.

Cat on a Hot Tin Drum

Before there were two versions of Emily (Olivia Williams), her mom would take her to this countryside resort. In a car ride there, her mom, who bears a creepy resemblance to Mira, teaches her how to play a game. Most of us know this game as the art of lying through your teeth.

Counterpart-Emily-Courtesy of STARZ Entertainment, LLC

I’m going to cut to the chase here. Emily’s mom would go to this resort to have flings. At some point, it was probably a better cover story to bring Emily along under the guise of a mother-daughter getaway. One of the most chilling pieces of advice Emily gets from her mom is to not over-lie. If you lie a lot, people will see through it. Yikes.

Emily decides to go by the name Belinda because she likes Belinda Carlisle. This is important to both Emily Alpha and Emily Prime in different ways. Emily Alpha used this as an alias when she would stay at the same resort when she was undercover in Dimension Two.

Emily Alpha lets this slip out when she uses the name Belinda at the library when returning a book. Emily Prime has to think hard but remembers that she used to use a hole in the wall of the exterior of the resort to hide secrets. Emily Prime finds Emily Alpha Intel in the same spot. It includes a file on Osman.

That book that Emily Alpha returns to the library is The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. It’s the book that originated the phrase ‘beat on a tin drum until something happens.’ That’s the loose creed of Indigo. Whenever she returned the book, Claude Lambert would get a notification.

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Sure enough, he shows up. Lambert is on alert because his Other is missing. You read that correctly. There are not a very odd set of Lambert twins running around. Lambert Prime was killed by Baldwin. Lambert Alpha is meeting Emily Alpha. This is more of a sinister version of the Alice dynamic from season one.

Emily Alpha is a little unnerved by the meeting. When Howard Prime learns of it, he’s irate. Emily Alpha sets up a meet with Naya Temple (Betty Gabriel). They apprehend Lambert Alpha and show him to Quayle Alpha, who is shocked and devastated at the same time.

Emily Prime, on the other hand, is now tracking Osman. This is important because he has the Management Com Case that Ian (Nicholas Pinnock) lost.

Based on the preview for next week, Mira is planning an assault on Echo Station. Emily Prime will track Osman there. And everyone is going to learn about Lambert Alpha, aka the Ghost to Clare’s Shadow. Next week’s episode of Counterpart should be exciting!

Are you keeping up with season two of Counterpart? Do you like the twists and turns? Let’s discuss in the comments!