Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Shaking the Tree

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Howard's doing a bang-up job stepping in for his other.

On Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5, he was part of a mission in which he didn't exactly succeed, but he didn't fail, either. And he also reached out to his other's daughter in a way that will be beneficial to them both.

OHoward is even discovering that he has a little bit more of Howard in him when he realized as the disappointment when he discovered who Howard had been playing One with for six weeks hit him hard.

Seeking Intel - Counterpart

OEmily and Howard working together feels pretty natural, as it would, I suppose, given they're just two halves of their other selves. 

Getting out into the public gave Howard a chance to ask questions, and we got answers from just about everyone concerning the flu epidemic in the early 90s.

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From what was said, an incredibly virulent strain of the flu broke out in the early '90s that killed off 7% of their world's population within a span of four years. Seven percent seems like a small number, but it's over half a billion people.

And if we put it into television perspective, The Leftovers were changed forever when 2% of the world's population disappeared in an instant. Granted, dying by the flu can be explained, but when the explanation is the other side did it there is cause for grave concern.

At the Mall - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5

What I find most somewhat contradictory is how life-changing the event was. It was twenty years ago, and the streets are still barren. If it was a natural disease and the threat was imminent because nobody knew what caused the outbreak, it would make more sense to me.

But the idea it was a planted virus as a war-like act would seem to me that people would get up and out a lot sooner than what they've done so far. Look at all of the smaller but still deadly acts of violence we've suffered as a world in recent decades. Despite 100% death tolls in something like a terrorist attack on a plane, nobody stops flying.

Related: Counterpart Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Both Sides Now

Would the world stop going to the malls and remain indoors (where from what I know of today's people they believe viruses flourish without fresh air) to fester and rot? My gut says no, so I'm interested to see if there is more of an information coming.

Nonetheless, getting to know more about how the two worlds decentralized is appreciated.

Keeping Watch - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5

It would have to be the other world's desires to seek revenge on this one that opened up their information about the two worlds and even crossing over as an option.

How else would factions form and the wealthy recruit for things like the Indigo project?

It reminds me a lot of the Russian spy schools (Hello John Travolta!), in which people are brought up from childhood to believe they are living in the United States so they can easily fit in when dropped into our society to delivery information back to the motherland.

The people Alexander Pope's consorting with, what do they call it? The School. I've heard rumors about that place.


There wouldn't be nearly as much to learn, though, given how recently the two worlds have been one. 

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We've seen the doppelgangers of the new recruits around the office, and if they are going to fit in, they better have prepared to stifle their gut reactions to things like smoking. They're all stiff as boards, and that's not the people generally react to such situations.

Granted, in a work environment, it is a lot easier to be stiff and uncomfortable. If they don't know everything about their marks, it could be one false move and they're discovered. We know Lotte Verbeek is an assistant on the fourth floor, and I can't quite place where I have seen the two men.

The person running the school is a woman, as Verbeek's character said to Clare "SHE speaks of you in the highest regard." There haven't been many women introduced on the show so far, so that's a character to look forward to meeting.

Alice - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5

Aldrich or "Mousy" was a lot different once outside the office than expected, too. If he has other state secrets up his sleeve, I want to know about them.

The women, Alice, was a cool way to get to know of Aldrich's capabilities. Why do they call him Mousy, I wonder? Seeing more others together would be a pleasure. It helps to understand exactly what the split meant. The women are duplicates in so many ways, even thinking the same thoughts now when living together.

There is so much that others share it's got to be tied to the root of the series in more than a superficial way. 

Alice: Mousy, I tried to believe your man, I really did. It would be better if I was only fooling myself and they didn't really exist.
Quayle: Who the hell are we talking about?

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

Poor Quayle, the man who doesn't let anything get past him, was more in the dark than we were. After all, we at least were privy to the discussion with Clare and Heinrich!

I wonder if Alice was talking about Alexander Pope as "his man." That man has his hands into everything, but we know relatively nothing about him. What I know is they didn't hire Stephen Rea to play a "runner," as he called himself. The man is in it up to his eyeballs.

We're discovering more to OHoward by the way he reacted to what he learned about Emily, for example. Would you have expected him to be disappointed in Emily for having an affair? 

Hidden Files - Counterpart Season 1 Episode 5

OHoward wanted Emily to be different. He almost seemed ready to brush her off and fend for herself against future potential assassination attempts, coma be damned. 

It proves at the heart of all the others is one person who wants the same thing, but they don't know how to express it. Whatever happened when the world split sent them on a corrupt journey.

With some people left to kill before the new arrivals can return, will Clare return to Baldwin with a reduced rate to complete the mission? Baldwin has no money and no way to return home. At least she seems to have made a friend.

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

Baldwin reminds me of a woman in a storybook now. Lost and living on the good deeds of others to help her survive. Still, she has a good heart. If I had any idea which side was the good side, I'd want her on it. I only know I don't like Clare. How do you guys pick good and bad at this point?

Howard is getting his hands wet not only by the introduction to Alexander Pope but by reaching out to Anna. How deep is he doing to get into OHoward's life before OHoward even has any idea of what he's doing? At least most people know Howard is Howard. Anna could get really hurt here.

Think about what's going on, watch Counterpart online if you need to delve into it more deeply, and come back to jump into the discussion.

"Shaking the Tree" was another excellent episode of Counterpart, and the mystery gets more intriguing all the time.

Shaking the Tree Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (7 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, 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 5 Quotes

Clare: What did you tell Howard Silk?
Heinrich: It won't make a difference, will it?
Clare: If you somehow compromised me or my associates, there are things that must be made right.
Heinrich: When I tell you, what happens?
Clare: You've already chosen your side.
Heinrich: A decade here, three on the other side. You know what I know? There are no sides. We all go to the same hell.

All these years with you, I'm still out in the cold.

OHoward [to Emily]