7.5 / 10
55 min
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" gives "Counterpart - Season 1" a 9."
Written by on 19 July 2019.
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Counterpart - Season 1

Just imagine you are a contestant in a game show and you are shown a number of identical twins, just for a few minutes. They all wear name tags. They disappear backstage and when they return the name tags are gone. Your task is putting the right name tag on the right person. This introduction has nothing to do with the series Counterpart, or does it?

The fact is Counterpart is not about real identical twins, but about two worlds in two different universes which got connected somehow. Each character in one world has a counterpart in the other world. They look exactly alike and their lives are also quite similar. For example, in both worlds people have a relationship with the same person. Professionally there are fewer similarities and their lifespan and course of life can also differ.

Only a limited number of people are aware of the existence of the other dimension and governments are trying very hard to keep it that way. But not everyone wants to maintain the status quo and some organisations have a growing wish to infiltrate the other world.
Aside from some diplomats, it is forbidden for people to cross the border between the two worlds. Of course there are exceptions, but there is only a limited number of visas available for a visit to the other dimension.

At the start of the series we meet an illegal crosser slash assassin and in order to arrest this assassin a man named Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons, The Closer) is sent across the border. Silk is an experienced agent who always achieves his aim. But to successfully complete this assignment he needs the help of his counterpart who turns out to be a dutiful civil servant who, outside of work, spends all his spare time at his comatose wife's bedside in the hospital.

Especially the way he portrays dutiful Howard's growth during his stay in the other dimension is phenomenal.

Silk soon discovers there is more going on and that besides the one illegal crosser there are more people who are in the other world illegally. In order to fully investigate the matter, the two Howards switch places. The dutiful Howard finds himself on completely unfamiliar terrain, while the investigating Howard is clearly very capable. Slowly but surely it turns out that he has a hidden agenda besides his initial reason for switching with his counterpart.

Counterpart is a mysterious and suspenseful story which is difficult to make heads or tails of at times.
That is why I made that twin comparison, because you will often find yourself wondering in which dimension a particular scene is taking place. As a viewer try not to get distracted or else you will get completely confused.


Still, we came to the conclusion that Counterpart is an excellent series and all the secrets that are revealed in the first season provide enough material to make a second season, and perhaps more, just as intriguing. The writers have successfully created some interesting characters and J.K. Simmons gives a very convincing rendition of the two different personalities of Howard. Especially the way he portrays dutiful Howard's growth during his stay in the other dimension is phenomenal.

Counterpart is a series for viewers who like their series to have some depth and some elements of a detective story, but where there is also room for drama, love and action. The series also offers food for thought because whether two countries are at war or two dimensions, doesn't really make a difference.
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