Saturday, February 10, 2018

Take Three: Counterpart

Counterpart: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Lost Art of Diplomacy” (B+)

Things are getting more intense and more stylized on this increasingly dark show, which in this episode was amplified tremendously by its score by Jeff Russo. I couldn’t be more thrilled about the addition of Richard Schiff, Emmy winner for “The West Wing” nearly two decades ago, as Peter’s father-in-law, who is apparently very high-ranking in Diplomacy. Schiff is great in pretty much any role, but this seems particularly fitting for him, not all that villainous but still determined to get his way rather than be convinced by someone else’s arguments. The way that they discuss the two worlds and their connection so casually is intriguing, but not as much as the subtle differences in technological advances like the fact that the other side doesn’t have cell phones! The other Howard getting our Howard promoted to Strategy and making sure he’s there all the time was a good move, and he’s going to need all the help he can now that his number one ally is gone. The reveal that our Emily was his source and was hiding her knowledge of the other side from our Howard the whole time was a big surprise, and how unfortunate that it was followed up immediately by the other Emily’s murder. I like that our Howard was able to bond with Baldwin and convince her to spare him and Aldrich, and I’ll be very curious to see if things go well when our Howard goes over to the other side to pretend that he’s a far more self-assured, less friendly version of himself.