Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Love the Lie

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No, no, no!!

Only the women were making rational decisions on Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8, and with just two episodes to go to wrap Counterpart Season 1 and a guaranteed Season 2 on the way, I feel assured a heap of trouble is landing on everyone before the closing credits finish this one.

It was very frustrating watching otherwise intelligent people let their emotions get the best of them.

Information from the Indigo School - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8

Once the scenes of the school and OEmily and her team stumbling upon the fire merged, I felt almost silly for not recognizing earlier that's where they were. 

But like the teacher said, there is so much more for the school to accomplish that killing all of the children seemed like the last option available to them. Not only was years worth of pain and suffering and intensive training cast aside (being pragmatic here), but the loss of life was atrocious. 

That they had no better plan available than treating the members of the school like stains being eradicated at the dry cleaners doesn't do much to endear that government to me. I want to watch Alexander Pope disappear after he's been covered in hydrochloric acid. While alive, thank you very much.

Clare: My side doesn't know anything about what is happening! They wouldn't know what to do about it if they did. Do you think we're all so blind over there? The flu killed hundreds of millions, my parents, decimated Europe. And all that time, your side wasn't affected.
Quayle:, you don't think if something like that happened, you don't think I would know about it? An operation of that size?
Clare: You're so naive. Pretty soon, people are going to take a long, hard look at this charade we call diplomacy. Sooner or later, everything is going to change.
Quayle: I'm turning you in.
Clare: That would be a mistake. Think about your life!! What will people say when they realize it was your wife all along?
Quayle: You are not my wife.

Would Clare still be as interested in defending her side if she knew of Operation Dry Cleaners? 

After the events of Counterpart Season 1 Episode 7, I'm still of a mind to believe Clare has humanity worthy of saving because she gave birth to a two-world child. Having Spencer did change her. She stills struggles with what this side did to theirs, though. 

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I'm not even sure this side didn't do it. Thinking back to the meeting her father and Quayle were in when daddy was thinking up ways to barter with the other side, it was easy to get angry about how little any concern for people entered the discussion. Government generally sucks. They do bad things to get what they want.

But they also do bad things to control their own people and after seeing what just happened to the Indigo school, believing the flu occurred naturally and lies were spread about another world having a hand in it to rally people against that world doesn't seem like a stretch.

OEmily Looks Annoyed - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8

It's funny that OEmily is under suspicion with her office when she's currently the only person using her noggin to solve problems. Then again, if they are actively trying to infiltrate the other world and she's skeptical of Pope, they'd make it seem like she's doing crap work to keep her at arms' length.

For whatever reason, OHoward has been unwilling to see the possible deceit in Pope's actions. Pope as a blindspot was working in OHoward's favor for some reason, and we're bound to find out what that was sooner or later.

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

It's worrisome that Emily wanted the help of both Howards to discover what's going down with the sleeper agents since she cannot count on them.

Maybe two Emilys will ultimately be better than two Howards. With Emily on step one of her process of waking up, she may be the only person who can help OEmily once she does. My thoughts on that come strictly from Aldrich's account of his other, not what we've learned from the Howards.

Men are a match intelligently for one another, so we have to hope women are a match both intelligently and emotionally. While men might think ordinarily women don't get along, women often have a short period of arguing and then become best friends for life if they're of a similar mindset.

OHoward Deciphers the Message - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8

The disappointment with the Howards, though, was deep. Howard had one job: Tell OHoward about what's going on so he could help. Giving him the name of three sleeper agents without any background wasn't good enough. For shame, Howard.

Instead, it became a pissing match about each other's lives and the Emilys. It was a highly entertaining pissing match because it starred J.K. Simmons and Amy Berg wrote the dialogue, but oh, how I wanted to bang their heads together.

Look out because this isn't a quote so much as it is a section of dialogue I couldn't pass up copying down. It was so intense and caught the best of what the two men have been feeling while they've been apart.

OHoward: Look at you, Howard.
Howard: Believe me, I'm looking.
OHoward: Not long ago, I sent you over there like a doe in the woods. Now you're a Spyhunter, bringing me actionable intelligence. I think you owe me some gratitude.
Howard: For what?
OHoward: For waking you the fuck up! What were you before me? Pathetic little meek, sad sack, loyal hubby with your flowers on the nightstand and your fucking poetry. Now look at ya. Now there's something breathing behind those eyes. Are you enjoying yourself with my family?
Howard: They hate you.
OHoward: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Howard: Although, less and less lately. It really hasn't taken that much to steer your life out of a skid. A little kindness. A little attention. You'd be amazed the difference it makes. Where's MY gratitude?
OHoward: You love it, don't you? Running around poking your nose into all the little details of my life, every fiber of my being.
Howard: We've been helping you.
OHoward: We, again.

OEmily didn't know all of the specifics between the two Howards either or she might not have sent Howard into the interface box. He never shared with her how derisive OHoward was about his life, nor did he share that OHoward sent him over without any information or told him she was dead.

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There was a cyclone brewing between the two men that was either going to grow larger or peter out. It's a Category 5 at this point.

Yeah, speaking of your life, we've been sitting here for a while and you haven't even asked about sleeping beauty over here. Her condition is unchanged, by the way. Not sure I can say the same about you. Or even myself. Jesus fuckin' Christ. This is killin' me, being stuck in your life. Every time I look in the mirror now, I see more of you lookin' back. All the worst parts, the weakest, saddest parts are taking hold. I don't blame you for not missing it over here.


It was shocking that Howard didn't ask about his wife. Then again, why would he need to? He had another one he'd been working with every day. The real kicker was he knew everything about her infidelities all along, and Andrei wasn't the first.

An Emotional Toll - Counterpart

He knew things even OHoward didn't. 

Then again, for every bit of information Howard didn't share with OHoward, O left out a very large bit when speaking with Howard. Emily had started to rouse. It's not enough progress to ditch everything they're doing for the greater good of their worlds, but it was worthy of mentioning. 

Remember how much I was waiting for the two men to merge and grow more alike? I'm not so sure I was expecting Howard to become more vengeful, but at least he will never stop loving unconditionally.

And in the end, that, that capacity for love, the ability to love someone unselfishly is the only thing that will separate me from you.


After telling OHoward about the inroads he'd made into his life with such little things like kindness, that zinger about love had to sting. While the comment about her side declaring war on ours was out of the mouth of Peter Quayle, it was an ominous glimpse into what was to come.

An Emotional Toll - Counterpart

Will the Howards be at war? Can they continue working for the same side with so much animosity between them now? What are they trying to prove? It's not world-worthy, is it?

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Act Like You've Been Here Before

The other thing Aldrich said that seemed poised to speak not only about Quayle and his issues (even before he fingered Howard Silk) was when he talked about making the choice between the cause and themselves. Nobody knows that more than the Howards.

Who would have ever guessed Peter and Clare would find their way to each other? While I think they're both utterly f*cked, I think they've chosen their family over their cause. Clare loves Spencer more than her world, and Quayle loves himself (and will take his family) instead of turning them in.

That's why he fingered Howard Silk at the last minute, a confession that -- if Aldrich is still thinking clearly -- shouldn't even make sense to him. It's ludicrous, but I knew from the minute Quayle started talking that's what was coming out of his mouth.

So tell me you guys, what did you think of this one? I can't believe you didn't love "The Sincerest Form of Flattery," so we're clearly not on the same page when it comes to Counterpart.

If you've already seen it or you need to watch Counterpart online, please jump into a conversation with me below. Let's discuss it all as the season winds down!!

Love the Lie Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

OHoward: How is she?
Charlotte: Doctor's aren't sure how much she can understand if anything at all. They're calling it a first step. First, of many, we hope. Good to see you, Howard. Been a long time.

Emily: It's from their side. They're comparing timelines between our worlds. Events, traditions. They're teaching kids about lives over there.
Ian: A school.