Counterpart: A parallel world spy thriller


Just want to make sure that I have this right.

“Nice” Howard is Howard Alpha.

Rainer Alpha is dead.

Yanek Prime is dead.

That right?


No, the one whose family was intact died. That’s why adult Mira (who witnessed the post-murder flight) says the living one isn’t her father. I admit I was really confused by their pre-fight conversation, though. Were they -both- sneaking into each other’s homes?


Yes. Yanek-who-was-murdered was the Yanek who felt like both families were his (and vice versa), when he learned that Yanek-who-survived was sneakily spending time with his family, he took it upon himself to start checking in on the other family.

Remember when he offered to share his family?

The best part of this episode was realising that Yanek had spent over 20 years trying to find evidence to justify what he did as somehow being inevitable, and not a murderous action that belonged to him - and in doing so turned both Managements against the ideas of trust and co-operation.


Sure, we just aren’t (I don’t think?) shown that Yanek doing that, so it caught me off guard and I was having some trouble telling them apart when they were side by side.

Incidentally, this episode explains why Mira was able to find that particular member of Management - I would guess she doesn’t know who the others are, but that guy was the one that came to cover up the murder.

And finally, I think it’s probably best to treat everything in the episode as true until there’s reason to think otherwise, but let’s just remember that some of that info comes from Mira, who has been already established to be ruthless and perfectly happy to lie in service of her goals. So it’s not 100% reliable.


That’s fair, I think they wanted to keep this ‘origin story’ as one episode to avoid a strange break in continuity halfway through (both a too-long break from the present day story, and a break between episodes within the origin story).


Before their confrontation, we saw Yanek Alpha go home and Mira (I think it was) asks him if he’d forgotten something/why he was back so soon. That’s how he found out. He then confronted Prime about it and Prime told Alpha he was neglecting his own family.


Aaargh, can we just start calling it “our side/their side” or D1/D2 respectively instead of Alpha/Prime?

Yanek D1 was the one whose son died and family broke up, and the one who murdered his other and was turned in to the D2 side authorities and thus ended up in Echo. D2 Mira busted him out.


I thought that was the one who died finding out about his other showing up at that place.


Yup, it was D1 Yanek (Y1) that was “borrowing” D2 Yanek’s wife and family. When the latter confronted his other, the way I remember it is that Y1 said the thing about Y2’s neglect of his family, which made Y2 mad enough to attack Y1. Y2 then tries to apologize, but now Y1 attacks and kills Y2, since during the previous conversation he as much as said that Y2 is responsible for Y1’s son’s death.

BTW, regarding last night’s show, what do we think the Indigo people are planning? Their own bio-warfare attack?


No. Go back and look at the scene again. look at Yanek’s demeanor when he comes home and the number of place settings at the table.


Yes, D1 Yanek was borrowing D2 Yanek’s family. But D2 Yanek was also apparently spending time with D1 Yanek’s family because he says D1 Yanek is neglecting them, and I didn’t think we’d seen that. Apparently the one who’s in the realization shot was D1 Yanek? I dunno.


I think Y1 only said the thing about Y2 neglecting his family as a sort of justification for what he’d done. In essence “your stupid proposed experiment in destroying the cassette tape saved your family, and you’re such a workaholic that you don’t even spend any time with them, and meanwhile I’ve lost mine.”

I’ll watch the scene again, but I don’t remember Y2 saying anything about Y1 neglecting his family.


No, it was definitely Y2 saying that.


So the guy who ended up dead?




Yes. Yanek 1 (who lost his son) was spending time with 2s family instead of his own. 2 felt that both families were like his own and deserved to be cared for. 1s family was suffering and 1 wasn’t caring for them, so 2 stepped in to care for them. We never see this happen, but we know it did because 1 came home and 2 had clearly just been there. This prompts 1 to confront 2, who ends up dead.

In 1s mind, him spending time with 2s family is only getting back what had been taken from him. How dare 2 try to take even more from him than he already had. Furthermore, in 1s mind, he isn’t actually in the wrong. None of this is his fault. His actions were inevitable.


See, I have a totally different understanding of who came home and realized the other had just been there. I thought that with the death of 1’s son, the family was essentially destroyed and the wife and daughter had moved out, so how could the daughter have even been home to make the “oh, did you forget something?” observation?


@Misguided I just watched the critical parts of the episode again and you’re totally right about how it went down. What seals it that 1 was the guy who got home and had his daughter make the comment is that he’s got the missing shirt button and there are three places at the table (not 4) plus the comment he makes in the narration right before. Then he follows 2 home and the confrontation and murder ensue.

What misled me was the earlier scene where 1 is having his breakfast alone all forlorn.


Yeah, the button thing was the key scene. Plus being a nice comment on the butterfly effect.


Yeah, I didn’t actually catch the button thing, but my wife had. Should have mentioned that too.