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Counterpart
#1

Surprised there's no thread for this.



At any rate, caught the first episode this past weekend and thought it was solid.  In a world where the same actor playing twins/other versions themselves has become somewhat old hat, Simmons' performance makes it feel fresh.  He is able to embody two versions of the same person and completely make you feel as if they are two very different people.   Looking forward to where the series goes, as it was a nice start.

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#2
ADouble the Simmons? Definitely worth a few epidodes. I think Sepinwall / Grubb liked it.
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#3
Quote:

Originally Posted by Agent of Chaos View Post
 

Surprised there's no thread for this.



It's on Starz, so not a commonplace market. I'll have to wait for it to hit Netflix like I did with Ash Vs. The Evil Dead.

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#4

Just caught the first episode and it was excellent - Smiley's People meets Fringe meets Bourne!



Everyone was solid but JK Simmons is just incredible. As AoC stated above you never doubted that he was the same person/two different people which completely sold the show's concept.



Also, my wife really nailed


the missing flower in the vase!

Definitely on my watch list!

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#5
AI didn't buy that they were 'the same person'. Far too different in personality for one to become the other, no matter the enviormental influence.

Otherwise I'm on board for the season.
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#6

That's funny since part of the appeal for me was that I could see we were watching the same man but two different versions based on a - so far - mysterious incident that sent him on widely divergent paths. I would expect it has something to do with


his wife, especially in the bad ass Howard version. BA Howard's reaction to the news that there was a marriage in the first reality is telling.

Also appreciated the action scenes - brief but intensely violent, felt "real" not action TV stuff Smile

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#7

Well this was an unexpected and very enjoyable series premiere.  J.K. Simmons in a series about two parallel worlds? Fantastic stuff.

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#8

I enjoyed it quite a bit, I'm in for the first season at least.  I can deal with a more serious version of Fringe with hopefully a less convoluted mythology.

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#9

Watched the first episode today and was pleasantly surprised. It's a testament to Simmons' performance that I could always tell which version of the character I was watching, without the need for any gimmicks. My favorite line was the meeker Howard admitting his temporary hope that, if there was another version of himself then there might be another version of his comatose wife.



Really looking forward to seeing how this develops!
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#10

Second one was excellent as well - almost a stand alone story with the opening and closing of an alternative character arc. Everyone is outstanding but Simmons carries this like a pro Smile

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#11

So I'm really sold on this now:



1) Every episode has done a great job exploring a different aspect of the genre - the first set the world/plot in motion, the second explored the violent consequences of the shadow war on completely innocent/unknowing characters and this third ratcheted up the "puzzle box"/spy drama plot twists and fleshed out the sci-fi elements of the world.



2) I want an hour long episode of just Bad Ass Howard chatting with the Inquiry team in the embassy. Every line and delivery was pure sizzle.



3) Really enjoy the depth they are just starting to plumb on the two worlds' relationship. The negotiations over tech and resource data hint to a lot bigger puzzle pieces being laid out.



4) Solid action beats - quick, brutal, consequential.



Oh, yeah, and J.K. Simmons is a beast.

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#12

Whatever happens they must must get Anna Torv to show up in a future ep.

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#13
AAbsolutely!
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#14

I really like this show. It reminds me a little of 2010's short-lived Rubicon (which also largely consisted of good actors having interesting conversations in rooms), with some science-fiction thrown in. I like how low-key the dimension crossing is, as well as the continued world-building regarding how our dimension might have done something REALLY BAD to the other dimension.



One thing that baffles me is the large number of Brits which populate the show. You think we'd have more Germans involved.

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#15

Another very interesting episode.  More little glimpses into the Prime universe are appreciated but what I really love after episode 2 is Baldwin.  Her encounter with herself was great as was her conversation with our Howard in this episode.

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#16
AWeird idea, but one I doubt the show will explore: Taking what AlphaHoward told HowardPrime (ours) as true, that a single universe split and diverged as the unforseen result of an experiment, what if there shouldn't actually be parallel universes? Imagine we later learn that there are severe negative effects/consequences for keeping a doorway open . . . ones that will eventually require it to be shut. It needs to be cooperatively shut on both sides. Shutting the door balances the equation, a coin flip resulting in one of the two universes ceasing to exist. Closing the door juuuuust riiiiiight on your side may give your universe the edge if they simply just close the door on their side. Thus all the Cold War Spy Shit.

Even if by honest accident, we totes caused their pandemic, right?
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#17

Ok - that's four for four. Just a fantastic episode - now with more emotional punch:



Other Howard looking through the still born Anna's abandoned crib and clothes was just...Sad
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#18

Now, this is what I like about this site. Things I quite possibly otherwise wouldn't have heard of are brought to my attention this way. I caught the first episode. Things I liked, it had a very Fringe Season 4 feel, especially the opening episode of that season when Lincoln Lee crosses over to the Red Universe. The idea of there being one reality that split into two due to a catalysing event is very much like that film Another Earth which is in my opinion excellent and I highly recommend it. Like Orphan Black, the performances really sell the idea of alternate versions and being divergent.



However, I do have to dock several points for that business with the flowers. It was so forced and obvious that was going to trip them up well before it happened. First he doesn't mention it. Then when he does, he doesn't mention the exchange (which I was dubious about - they would have spent all that time walking through his routine over and over again because the alternate Howard had already shown he got where he did by being determined and precise about what he wanted) and it's a case of wait for it wait for it oh there it is.



And, I'm going to have to say I was unconvinced by that chain of events to. The nurse would have just thought he was especially preoccupied that day because something or other came up so she would have put it straight back so he could exchange it the next time. Or called him back. Very badly executed all up and lots of other people in comments elsewhere thought so too.



Finally, they would have set a better trap and covered the potential exits, staircases, brought more men etc etc. Still, all up a very good start and I'm already a sucker for these sort of things/concepts from the outset, so provided you don't totally drop the ball (which they didn't), I'm totally in for this. Looking forward to the rest of it as soon as I can see it. I really like the retro/future tech execution of it all.

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#19

I'm thoroughly enjoying this and I'll stay mum so you don't get spoiled but I'm beginning to think (based on events in episode 4 and 5) that Other Howard's "Bad Ass Precise Spy" reputation is not entirely earned. He wings it A LOT and not always very well. In fact, I think we are slowly learning that his private and professional lives have pretty much been a wreck for a while now.

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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ejoiner View Post
 

I'm thoroughly enjoying this and I'll stay mum so you don't get spoiled but I'm beginning to think (based on events in episode 4 and 5) that Other Howard's "Bad Ass Precise Spy" reputation is not entirely earned. He wings it A LOT and not always very well. In fact, I think we are slowly learning that his private and professional lives have pretty much been a wreck for a while now.



I wouldn't be surprised at that development but that still leaves us with Regular Howard and I find it hard to believe (as in suspension of disbelief suspended) that he'd remember to mention the bit about the name of the nurse but not the bit about the swapping the flower (OK, you've mentioned she has a name ... and is that like a prelude to something you do - conversation - ask about her family - the weather - fantasy football league - what? Why mention it and not follow through?).



Really sloppy business all round and took me (and other people) right out of things (oh that's right, we're watching a TV show which needs something to happen so other things can happen. A telegraphed forced contrivance. One slip-up in an otherwise good start but I mention it because it was that big a slip-up. Basically, if I notice something like this coming and it knocks me out of being immersed in the story, then you've really slipped up.

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#21

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#22
Quote:

Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post

I didn't buy that they were 'the same person'. Far too different in personality for one to become the other, no matter the enviormental influence.

Otherwise I'm on board for the season.


It totally does happen in real life, though so it's not like it's unrealistic.



Episode 6 was brilliant. After having circles run around them for the entire series, the West Germans (our side, better mobile telephones, generally more chill) are finally tipping the balance of power against the East Germans (their side, zealots, worse sense of humour, telephones of all sorts from so last century). The moment it clearly happens for sure at the end of the episode, extremely well executed indeed. I guess in retrospect I should have thought of it (and some people on Reddit did) but testament to their skill how they executed their slow burn of a narrative that it really didn't cross my mind because I was so engrossed in what was happening now as opposed to speculating ahead.

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#23

Does this have a "our world" versus a "mirror universe/Terran Empire world" vibe to it?

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#24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 

Does this have a "our world" versus a "mirror universe/Terran Empire world" vibe to it?



No, it's much better than that.



It's not so much Mirror Universe as just like the movie Another Earth. There was just one reality and then some unspecified incident split them into two which diverged from a common point (so, a Jonbar Point or Hinge, basically).



It certainly started off with the East Germans (as I like to think of them) as more humourless and zealot-like than their Western counterparts (I wouldn't be surprised if the choice of setting it in Berlin was quite deliberate) but one of the things I thought they might have gone too far in at times in Star Trek's Mirror Universe is that the villainy goes too far over the top too often (it's frequently not subtle).



In Counterpart, you can see the differences (J.K. Simmons is amazing, you can tell which version of him you're looking at immediately just from how he carries himself - we're approaching Orphan Black-class levels here) and there's definitely true believers in the cause to wage war against the West among the East Germans but many of them are clearly conflicted.



I think what makes it even more interesting is that the characters and their alternates are the exact same person with the same memories, experiences and actions until the split which caused the divergence. Over time, a lot of people really changed from their counterparts. Though now they've met themselves, some of them are starting to converge again (most notably with J.K. Simmons as we see the most of his two characters).



I guess my point is that even though there's a lot we're yet to find out, the two worlds have increasingly gone in different directions and there's a lot of tension between the two. Definite East/West Cold War parallels with each side having its own factions and hidden agendas.

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#25

Godammit. I keep falling for the same twist -



where the bad guy is related to a character we know somehow, and we simply never see them together until the big reveal


- but I can't be mad. It's surprised me every time, and this was no different.



I don't care much for the assassin storyline, but everything else is really working well for me. I hope we get at least one more season, because one season of JK Simmons definitely won't be enough.



The other world may have a ton of problems, but it's good to know that Prince is still alive and well over there.

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#26

The actor who is playing Quayle was bugging me for ages because I knew I recognised that smarmy public schoolboy looking git from somewhere. Then it dawned on me that it was Baines, that smarmy public schoolboy git from The Family of Blood Doctor Who two-parter! (I never cheated and looked it up, I was determined to work it out for myself.)



The next episode looks great, the balance of power (in this show, knowing what the other side doesn't is power) has definitely shifted to our (we of the better camera phones) side and the others don't even know it (we know their prime agent and they don't know we know). They're in for a rude surprise, I hope.



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#27

Ok, loving the show but kinda feel dumb for asking this question:



How did Quayle figure out about the mole based on the cup stains on the documents?
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#28
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ejoiner View Post
 

Ok, loving the show but kinda feel dumb for asking this question:



How did Quayle figure out about the mole based on the cup stains on the documents?


I had to go here to get the answer to the exact same question. I kind of was there but this really helped.

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#29
AYes!! Danke ????
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#30

I am liking this. One episode in.



What other gems are out there I haven't heard of yet.

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#31
The Clare episode was fantastic, I barely noticed the tiny amount of JK Simmons. What a truly horrific life to have, you lose everyone you love and then that fucked up "school".
I think these screen captures and giant (Dildi? Is there a plural?) are just the next step in the JJ Abrams online adventure series. Very slyly played, Bitches Leave.-Tom Fuchs
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#32
Loved the Claire episode as well. What a fascinating and well acted show.

I honestly don't know where it's going and that's a good thing.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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#33
I got to tell you guys, those before and after pictures of Bezos really freak me out, especially since he looks so much like Siskel in the before picture.  Cameron said he always wanted Lance Hendrickson to play Terminator, because he could "blend in" - the point of a Terminator is he's an "infiltration unit".  That's why I like Simmons so much in this - you can buy that he's someone nobody would notice, but it's also plausible that he can kick everyone's ass and he married Olivia Williams when she was 19.  It's a good show.


[Image: DX9rPmZWAAAW3M1.jpg]
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#34
So I've petered out ... at episode 4. I'm sure I'll get back to it, but here's my main concerns at present:

1.)It's a Simmons showcase. The only other duality I thought might become compelling they terminated pretty quickly. .

2.)The action has been really uneven. For a show with amazing production values, I'm surprised how many scenes just fall completely flat.

3.)Simmons, as great as he is playing the dual role (really, he's mesmerizing), is cast too old for some of what they want him to do.

4.)The cinematography on the show must have been done by the guy who did the Godzilla blu-ray transfer. It is so. fucking. dark. I had to give in and turn the goddamned brightness up, which means I then have to turn it back down (my TVs are properly calibrated) when I'm done.
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#35
Yeah, I stalled after episode 5. I like it well enough... but this is clearly a show that will work better as a binge watch. It's just so.... dense. By the time one episode ends is about when I'm really starting to "feel it", only to wait again? Yeah, Netflix culture has spoiled me I suppose.

I'm saving the episodes and plan on watching the entire season in one or two days once it's completed. Simmons is amazing, and this show feels like the show I always wanted Fringe to be. I'll definitely be back.
-"You're not going insane - you're going sane in a crazy world!"
-The Tick
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