Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9 Review: No Man's Land, Part One

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If you were waiting for the action to start, your time has come!

Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9 was full of revelations and that moment when characters who have gotten sick of standing around expecting something to happen took matters into their own hands.

Do you have questions? I know I do.

Baldwin Hoists Her Bag - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9

My first question goes out to those of you reading. Has anybody else become disenchanted with Baldwin's storyline? 

The character has so much potential, but it's being wasted. She's not particularly tied to the group and shuffling around town living while waiting for another call from Clare isn't all that exciting. 

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Love the Lie

If she's going to continue to be a part of the series, she's going to have to do more than what she's doing now because when the show drifts over to her part of the story, I'm too eager to get back to anything else but her if she's with Greta or eating soup. 

Being discovered by Nadia's girlfriend was a nice way to show the dangers of just showing up without a good plan of inserting yourself into your other's life after having killed them, but if any other Other was going to come over permanently, they would probably not live in the same town. That's a terrible plan.

Ian Shaw Ponders Life - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9

Shaw going after Pope revealed he's known all along Howard wasn't OHoward. Really, how could he not know that? Any agent worth their credentials would have to have been able to figure that out.

Pope being THE MAN who is trying to take down both worlds, though, is maybe a bit much, and it feels like wherever there is a bad guy, they need only show up at Pope's door because he's it.

Pope arranges for the sleeper agents, Pope was in on the school, Pope ran down Emily, Pope promised Kasper he could see his kid. Frankly, I'm going to need a lot more backstory on the creep before I accept he's so all-powerful. 

Have we not been told he's the underground ruler of the other side or something? Why does everyone want to follow him? 

What Does He Know? - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9

Quayle didn't do such a great job throwing Howard under the bus. 

Even when he's trying to save his own ass, the guy can't manage to get it right. I will allow for some errors given what he's just learned about his wife, but honestly, given how he treated Clare throughout their relationship, he can't be thinking of anyone but himself anyway. 

Quayle: What am I to you? Am I a mark or am actually your husband? Just make up your fucking mind.
Clare: When I first met you, I despised you. The other girls, the lying, bullshit wedding. I went through with it because that's what I do. I spent my whole life becoming this perfect version of someone else. This stupid girl they wanted me to be. I've never had anything of my own. Until she was born. Spencer was mine. Not hers or theirs. For the first time in my life, I had something that belonged only to me. Peter, I know our marriage has been one giant, fucked up sham, but you're the only one who knows me, both sides of who I am.

Clare did fall in love with their family, but not Quayle. Even he had to look back at his poor decisions and drive himself into a garbage bin over it. Not that I'd consider that bravery. 

It's fun having Quayle around for comic relief and idiotic quotes, so I'd be sad to see him go. But will Clare and Quayle be written into the second season? They're major characters. Surely they're not being written out after all of this development.

Related: Carissa's Corner: Why Spoilers Are Bad, This Is Us Misstep & More

I suppose Aldrich doesn't know about them yet, and maybe OHoward will take pity on the guy when he realizes the lengths to which Quayle was willing to go to shut the whole thing down.

Now, I wouldn't ordinarily think OHoward would be the kind of guy to take pity on anybody, but when someone asked for help, he leaned down and helped instead of walking away. Being Howard has changed him a bit.

A Clandestine Gathering - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9

Being OHoward has changed Howard, too, and he didn't like it. 

The lure of living in a different world with people so familiar is challenging even for those deeply in love with their regular lives. But when he pinned launched after Kasper when he learned of his involvement in running down Emily, Howard had to take a step back.

Howard: I can't be here anymore.
OEmily: Where are you going?
Howard: I'm sorry, I ... I miss my wife. I need to go home.

Emily was carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders before she was struck. She knew the sleepers were coming over months earlier. The question I now have is why didn't she tell OHoward about them if he was her contact on that side?

Did she not trust OHoward as much as he thought? I'm even more eager for her to wake up now.

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The sleeper agents only planned to shoot up the place and get to the border. Considering it's a mass tragedy, I now wonder if their hope was to get attention for both sides of the crossing on the crossing itself.

We know nobody in the Embassy below a certain clearance level knows about it. Howard worked in the building for a long time and had no idea why he was there. Will they be able to keep the secret from all of those left alive or the families of the deceased going forward?

Will Howard be able to get back home with what happened? Surely they'll consider closing the border given the tragedy. There has to be a catch to what's coming, and I can't think of a greater one than the Howard's being stuck in the wrong lives.

So what about you guys? Do you have any answers or remaining questions? What do you hope to see in the finale? Nobody participated in a conversation after Counterpart Season 1 Episode 8, so I hope you're ready to jump into a conversation.

If you want to see more of this brilliant show, watch Counterpart online. Otherwise, start typing!

No Man's Land, Part One Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

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

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Counterpart Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Peter, I gotta tell ya, this is a bad fuckin' plan.


OHoward: What the hell happened, Peter?
Quayle [shakes his head]: Aldrich came over last night, started asking questions about you. It's pretty safe to say you're blown.