Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Both Sides Now

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The differences between the two Howards played out well as an "Other" was on both sides of the crossing for the first time.

On Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4 Howard spent more time trying train OHoward on his activities, so he could fit into his life over here for a week, while OHoward spent no time at all priming Howard for his life when he crossed over.

OHoward's plans for Howard were to simple: lock him up and throw away the key.

You Can Leave Now - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4

Of course, OHoward had no idea his Emily was in a spot of trouble, opening the week-long stay for Howard to a much different trip than was initially planned.

Emily is alive! They might have wanted to kill her, but as she apparently ODs quite frequently, they probably didn't give her enough to do the trick. See? Sometimes a drug history can save you. 

It's about time something went Howard's way instead of always leaning toward OHoward. When they were playing poker before Howard crossed over to live OHoward's life, it stung hearing how hurt Howard was by the way his other treated him again and again. 

Howard: You do realize we're the same person, right? Essentially. I mean, the same flesh and blood, the same DNA.
OHoward: Yeah, believe me, I do.
Howard: Then why do you feel compelled to treat me so badly?

OHoward was so worried about winning and forcing the subject, making HOWARD want to win as badly as he did, but at the same time, he didn't give two hoots if Howard was going to be locked up in his apartment for a week.

Lockstep - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4

Visiting an old pal from the other side, though, did garner him some evidence about an other who has been in the embassy for years. Quayle was shocked to discover there is someone on his floor, someone he likely trusts and has been sharing information with who is feeding it back to the other side.

But you had to love all of his chatter about that and being the best at his job, knowing everything and how nothing gets past him only for OHoward to ask if he knew, then, that Howard's Emily was one of Aldrich's agents, and in fact, OHoward's contact.

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 3 Review: The Lost Art of Diplomacy

Considering how the two sides communicate, it's surprising any information gets through at all.

I loved the opening when what we'd consider the old-fashioned spycraft was how OHoward communicated with his man on the other side to prepare for Howard's arrival. Little snippet's of paper rolled into tubes.

Out in the Open - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4

Howard held himself together really well crossing over. Considering he's never done anything even remotely exciting, to the point OHoward is practically crawling out of his clothes with the thought of the boredom Howard's life is about to impose on him, he worked it like a pro.

He got no information about the other side. None. "It's a germ thing," was the reason he was told they don't shake hands, but that couldn't have prepared him for the spartan streets, the billboards and hand sanitizers on the street corners. That's jaw-droppingly different from his world, but he kept quiet.

When his grown daughter came pounding on the door and about an accident her living mother had, Howard handled it as if it was just another day. Meanwhile, OHoward took a personal day when faced with one day in accounting doing payroll.

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Birds of a Feather

Which of the two men handles the shock of new surroundings better? I'm going to have to hand it to Howard.

Meeting Anna, imagining what his life would have been like if his daughter hadn't died before birth was difficult for Howard to process. But being the sweeter Howard that he is, it didn't seem to cross his mind that HE should have been the Howard with the wife still cognizant and the daughter who lived to be a beautiful girl like Anna.

Look, I don't know how bad it is between you and him. I can guess knowing him, a bit. But however bad it is, you're both very lucky.


He is more deserving than OHoward, but Howard only used his time with his other wife and other daughter to his advantage, maybe even smoothing some things over for OHoward in the future.

Colluding - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4

I wonder how what he didn't know of his wife and what he'll learn about this Emily will impact his feelings overall. OHoward already knew both women, but now Howard is getting the same opportunity, as is Emily. It's bound to change them, but how?

At the very least, it gave Howard some confidence, and he agreed to help Emily help OHoward. Maybe he's got all the makings of a great spy, but a different kind since he has compassion. 

They clearly enjoyed meeting each other, and it makes you wonder what it was like for the other two to meet and work together. They got out of each other what they didn't get from their initial partners. 

There is a draw to knowing your other and the others of your friends and family. The key would be not to lose yourself in the mix.

Deciding What To Do - Counterpart

Clare and the ambassador met to talk about Baldwin and the big plan that's underway. 

It sure seems like they're trying to overtake the government in some way. Since an ambassador is already playing both sides, he's fine and dandy, but Clare is someone's wife. Whoever she is married to, it's someone big, but calling their life "quaint" is strange if he's a government higher up.

Then again, everything on this side is quaint in comparison to the other. Doing payroll using punch cards and IBM Selectric II Typewriters? Yes, that's quaint alright.

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 1 Review: The Crossing

Clare's a tough nut, though. I believe her when she says she's lonely, and she does have a connection to Baldwin. But her job is more important. Clare didn't know Baldwin as well as she thought if she believed taking Baldwin's gun would be the key to killing her. 

Baldwin is going to be in the wind now. Side-less and on this side of the crossing. I'm interested in where her story goes from here.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm interested in where everything goes from here. OHoward will crap his pants when he learns Howard is living his life. I bet he'll regret not giving his other some pointers to get him through!

Will Emily's life be under constant attack on both sides? Will Howard be able to protect Emily over there, and how will Ian take to knowing what's going on?

Who is the mole? Who are the three people left to kill? Have we met them yet? 

Make sure you watch Counterpart online if you haven't seen this wonderful series yet, and comment below on all the latest action!

Both Sides Now Review

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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 4 Quotes

You know, they say it's so great to meet yourself. Bullshit. It's like losing your virginity, you know? You wait your whole life for it and then 20 seconds later you're disappointed.


OHoward: Howard, what are you doing in there? Packing? Are you packing?
Howard: You said it might be a week.
OHoward: You're going to be living in MY life. [Howard just stares back at him] Forget it.