Counterpart: No Man's Land, Part Two
April 1, 2018 8:28 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

I wonder if the passing of Stephen Rea's character will leave the kind of hole that Charles Dance's departure did in Thrones?

Also, apparently no one in Housekeeping is worth a wet fart in a gun fight. Good news is that there is now a great opportunity to re-staff.

Also, also: 'Nothing happens to your wife so long as nothing happens to mine." Wait, what!?
posted by mojohand at 8:31 AM on April 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I wonder what the hell Management is — some kind of AI? Are there separate Alpha and Prime Managements, or is there only one operating across both worlds?
posted by oh yeah! at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

So was provoking a diplomatic incident that closes the border the whole point of Project Indigo's plan? And that would have played out even if dude hadn't died on the border line: there would still have been a "Prime need to take responsibility / Prime refuse to take responsibility" standoff.

Pope's "If you don’t become him, he will become you." line: I felt the show was showing the Howards being moulded by their environment. Howard Original becomes a killer after being in Prime world; Howard Prime becomes sentimental after being in Original world.

Are there separate Alpha and Prime Managements, or is there only one operating across both worlds?

That pair of mirrored scenes felt very deliberately staged to raise, but not answer, that question.

(Also I wondered: was there a Wizard of Oz thing going on? The steampunky teleconference all smoke and mirrors concealing the fact that the man in each room acting as oracle to it was actually giving the orders.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:24 AM on April 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

So was provoking a diplomatic incident that closes the border the whole point of Project Indigo's plan?

I think their plan was to close the border and diplomatic relations and then proceed to run amok in West Germany. Maybe mine it for usefulness, maybe worse - but to start acting to destabilize the world such that it is ripe pickings for the other world.
posted by corb at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think corb is on the right track - step 1, close the gate; step 2, plunder, step 3, profit!

I wonder if the three Indigos were acting on a "sub project" to take advantage of a situation, where as the extended goal of Indigo was to get as many agents ready and placed, and then be ready to act when a quick-and-dirty plan could be executed. Plan for opportunity, not aim for a specific opportunity.

I like how things are set up. Season one has a clear ending, but now the pieces are in place for part 2. Lots of things to explore, and the little bits we've gotten now point to much wider opportunities for exploration down the road.

Plus, we never learned how the split happened, just that it did. And all that led from that...
posted by jazon at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2018

So now other Howard figures out the detail of leaving a flower for the nurse? Whereas he couldn't be bothered to do so before while it was vital to protecting his cover. I swear he's the sloppiest spy on two worlds.

I haven't participated in these posts because I tend to view this after the air date, but I've enjoyed reading everybody's comments.
posted by sardonyx at 7:36 AM on April 3, 2018

Oh, please do participate anyway! I think it’s done to show that he has been visiting her regularly and is starting to think of her as more his wife than East German Emily.
posted by corb at 8:01 AM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm sure that's exactly what it is, and that he's becoming more comfortable in this life. It's just that throughout the season, I kept seeing stupid, sloppy mistakes he made that even a rookie spy would know better than to commit. It just felt wrong for such a top-level experienced spook to be making such errors.

Other than that, I did enjoy the show. It's just that at times I was weeks behind, so I didn't really feel like I could contribute anything to the ongoing discussions, although I certain read them all, as I don't know anybody else who was watching this.
posted by sardonyx at 8:12 AM on April 3, 2018

In the opening minutes in the hospital, I didn't immediately recognize Peter Quayle because I was watching the subtitles for the TV, and thought, for a juicy moment, that it was the shooter, waking up in a hospital having been pulled out of the neutral zone, and not necessarily knowing which side he was on. Maybe he's home in Prime (flu), or maybe he's in Alpha (smartphones), being elaborately mislead to think he's in Prime. It reminded me of "Goodbye Lenin," the comedy about a patriotic East German woman entering a coma in East Berlin and waking, months later, in a unified Germany, with weak health that her son shelters by re-creating East Germany around her.

I hope we see, in the future of this show, either an innocent person kidnapped to the other side they weren't aware of, or a knowledgeable person who wakes up without knowing which side they are on. But there is that difficulty of getting a body through the portal.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:14 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

With the mystery of Management introduced, I'm wondering if maybe it will turn out that the Project Indigo conspiracy theory of the flu epidemic having been deliberately engineered will turn out to have some truth to it? Not that the Alpha-world did it to them, but that Management did it for some social engineering reason, that it's some sort of AI, maybe in a dimension separate from both Prime and Alpha.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:27 PM on April 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm sad that they killed Pope (Rea), as well as Aldrich (Ulrich Tomsen). I thought that Tomsen's Aldrich, in particular, had a depth that had yet to be mined, and seemed such an interesting character, not to mention the particulars of why Pope hated the Alpha world so much (ie, in a flashback like that for Nadia or Claire).

Management is an intriguing character to bring in the last episode. My money's on a single ... entity. I'm not sure what, perhaps someone/thing beyond the split that made the two worlds, but definitely a single voice - that's the gut feeling for me.
posted by eclectist at 5:55 PM on April 6, 2018

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