Counterpart: Shaking the Tree
February 18, 2018 7:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Howard and Emily search for answers about a mysterious drop site. Aldrich and Quayle seek intel from an old friend.
posted by oh yeah! (6 comments total)
 
I was a little confused at the beginning of Howard's scene with Anna, wondering why he was making such an effort to reconcile with her, considering he must realize that whatever progress he makes is going to be undone when HowardPrime returns. But then when made that "Tell me what I've missed" plea, and I realized he knows it, and can't help doing it anyway. It's so beautifully sad and fucked up.

The TV Fanatic review seems to be operating under the misconception that the entire PrimeEarth blames the other Earth for causing the virus, but I think they've established that only the upper levels of the secret agencies know about the counterpart worlds, not the general public. Still, I have to agree that it seems unlikely that a loss of 7% of the world's population would leave the city looking so empty 20 years later.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:24 PM on February 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


But then when made that "Tell me what I've missed" plea, and I realized he knows it, and can't help doing it anyway. It's so beautifully sad and fucked up.

That bit made me tear up.

posted by thedward at 8:01 PM on February 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


This was a great episode. So far, the show hasn't made a misstep.

The ending was so affecting -- I don't know about anyone else, but when a TV episode ends like that, I end up just sitting through the end credits while thinking about what I just watched.

This episode sure did answer a lot of questions, didn't it? I feel like I have a good handle on what's going on, although there may be more things going on with this Emily.

I thought maybe the housekeeping guy was going to be shot while wandering around in the dark, doing research to find the mole.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:20 AM on February 19, 2018


Oh man. I was so sad to learn with East German Howard that West German Emily didn’t love West German Howard either - that in fact there was nothing that could have saved them, no happy ending.
posted by corb at 10:28 PM on February 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


it seems unlikely that a loss of 7% of the world's population would leave the city looking so empty 20 years later.

Taking a devil's advocate position - transmissible viruses tend to spread more quickly when their hosts are packed in, like in a city. Perhaps similar to how people prefer not to shake hands anymore, that people prefer to live in smaller lower density communities?

A deeply flawed analogy but parts of the city I live in has a self declared (ie., if you declare, you pay an additional tax) unoccupied residence rate of 8% (the overall rental vacancy rate in the entire region, otoh, is around 0.8%) - the streets in some parts of the city are eerily empty given the number and density of luxury residential high rises; most of the very few people on those streets are tourists or from other parts of town.
posted by porpoise at 9:08 PM on March 21, 2018


(late to watch) I take the emptiness of alternative Berlin as being mostly about the analogy to East Berlin under the DDR. Not just "Modern Berlin, but with 7% dead." They haven't explained the government or economy yet, but in my head I'm watching this as if the DDR never stopped existing. Explains the empty streets, the giant vistas, the Stasi-like bureaucracy.

I'm still having trouble with the whole pandemic setup. The 7% solves my earlier complaint, it's a number that's large enough to startle the shit out of everyone but not so big as to destroy society. But I don't see how it explains all the other differences between the worlds. Maybe it's not meant to.
posted by Nelson at 8:53 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


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