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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Counterpart 1.9: The Spy Who Came In From The Fold

With all the killings these days of expatriate Russians in London - presumably on Putin's orders but what do I know - the doings in Counterpart, and its facsimile to Cold War East and West Berlin, seem ever closer to our own reality.

Not to mention the harrowing massacre in the our-side offices near the end of the episode - brilliant as as a piece of fiction, all too reminiscent of the massacres in places much more innocent than spy centrals in our own world.

And if that isn't enough, we now have Baldwin set against Howard-prime.  They haven't fought it out yet, but when they do, that should be something to see.

All of which is making Counterpart a prime piece of spy-game fiction.  As I said in my review of Hard Sun last week - another meld of crime and science fiction story - the crime is diamond-hard in Counterpart, and the science fiction soft and blurry.  We have no idea how the alternate reality was  brought into being - not even a nod to the science that somehow made that happen.  Which means the series, strictly speaking, is not science fiction at all.  It's science fantasy.

But who cares?  Labels are not the most important thing in this or any reality.  That would be the contents in the package, the narrative that the labels seek to describe.  And whatever you want to call it, Counterpart is one superb spy-ride of a story, and I'll be back here with a few thoughts on the season finale after it's aired two weeks from today.


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