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Counterpart: In from the Cold (2019)
Opposite Poles Meet
I knew that eventually secrets would begin to come out. The two Howards and the two Emilies are at the center of it all. Here we see what happens when sacrifice for the good of the future trumps the needs of a few. I'm surprised at the angry reviews. I thought this was an absolutely necessary episode.
Counterpart: No Strings Attached (2019)
Yes, What's the Plan?
As things become more and more involved, we realize that loyalty is dissolving. People are comfortable with the side they have found themselves in. The problem is there are people who think they can create a better life by destroying the lives of those who would mind their own business. So on it goes. There are two Howrads on the loose. Diplomatically, efforts are being made for a summit. Should be intriguing.
Counterpart: Twin Cities (2019)
This is what we've been waiting for. The backstory of the events leading up to the discovery of the parallel universe. Two scientists on the same path encounter one another. But, as it has happened before, human failings get in the way. Jealousy and anger are a part of us that will be our undoing. I fear that is what is happening in 2020. Yanek, the wonderful James Cromwell, lets his lesser self lose control, but, if not him, someone else. It isn't long before the project becomes so unwieldy that it gets out of hand and, hence, the virus. This is nicely paced and highly informative and sets us up for the rest of this series.
Counterpart: Shadow Puppets (2019)
They're All Human
This is an outstanding episode. Things are going off the rails. The center cannot hold (to quote a great poet). Because both sides have human beings who are of the same ilk, it is really hard to herd them up. But each side keeps trying and what's the endgame. Moving on. Can't wait.
Too Many Klingons
Once again we are back on the Klingon world. Other than the fact that they went to war with the Federation and eventually declared a truce, there is nothing very interesting. Previous Star Trek incarnations allowed us to get into their heads and enjoy their individuality. This has disappeared. Now they are an intergalactic colony of same copies. They growl, grunt, fight, on and on. How could a civilization so boring have become anything. Once again, Tilly is at the center. Did she marry the boss's son or something?
Monk: Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum (2002)
I just had trouble staying interested. I know he is in a mental hospital, but the peripheral characters are just too off the wall. Not only that, it seems that the murderer could have done a much better job of covering his tracks and not protesting so much. The Santa Claus thing is also pretty ridiculous.
The Twilight Zone: The Comedian (2019)
Here He Comes Again
I have to buy in with most of the reviewers. It was endless. Serling kept things snappy and terse. The plot is a valid one, but it was obvious that they needed to drag it out to an hour. Either there needed to be some more character development or a subplot. Once he recognized his power, things could have been a bit more engaging. Unfortunately, I figured out the ending about a third of the way through and was disappointed that I was correct.
Counterpart: Point of Departure (2018)
More and More; Less and Less
As the blood bath continues, we get a little closer to an understandable plot line. I'm wondering what is going to happen to Alpha Howard as he negotiates Echo. He tries to be the substantially kind man who has fallen into this pit, and that doesn't work well. As Yanek works him we see that almost no one has enlightened motives. I guess the question is, "If we had to choose between the two sides, who would we choose." I think the reason that would be a difficult question to answer is that both sides have a center of pure evil. This episode, nevertheless, is really quite good.
Fear of Heights
Monk finds himself in the horrors of the carnival. Lots of people. Food handled by everyone. Clowns. On and on. There are two plot developments. One involves the stabbing of a young man on a Ferris wheel which is blamed on a volatile cop. The other is Monk's efforts to be reinstated on the police force. There is a third, involving counting jelly beans.
Counterpart: Something Borrowed (2018)
Howard is the Fulcrum (the Two Howards, That Is)
Now there are agents all over the place. There are agents on the streets. There are agents in a kind of prison. The former meek Howard has been moved to Echo where information is culled from conversations with a kind of counselor. Mistaken identity is prominent now as Howard as he is blamed by some of the prisoner who were incarcerated because of his counterpart. Lots of things come to the fore. We also have that metal case. What is in there? Good setup to continue the series.
Star Trek: Discovery: New Eden (2019)
Nice to See the Classic Plot
I agree with most of the reviewers that this is what made the series great. A single plot with a new civilization that has complexities to deal with. The Prime Directive makes things much more involved but the crew works out a way to stay true and still manage to accomplish what is necessary. One thing that caused me to drop a point is the pervasiveness of Tilly. I find her utterly tiresome. Her mouth runs and she haphazardly solves things by pulling them out of the air. Perhaps she could be left on a planet to cultivate the cabbages.
Star Trek: Discovery: Brother (2019)
More Controversy Among Fans
I have to agree with those who found the episode confusing. Even after they accomplished their mission, I'm not entirely sure what they accomplished. We are introduced to Chris Pike who previously lived in a box, deformed and paralyzed. We are obviously pre-Original Star Trek. The visuals look like a Fourth of July extravaganza. Perhaps we are just getting the table set for the next part of the series. I'm a patient man and will give it the benefit of the doubt.
Counterpart: Outside In (2018)
Yes, They Certainly Make Us Work
This is like watching a car accident. You want to look away, but you can't. Yes, I am confused, but I do have a feel for the characters. The two Howards and the two Emilys are where I get lost. Are we to believe the statement at the end that there are only two terrorists left? Mira also keeps my interest. She is as cold blooded as anyone I have encountered in fiction. She is cyanide. It will be the obligation of the writers, going forward, to bring to bear a final confrontation to pique our interest.
Counterpart: Inside Out (2018)
The Seen and the Unseen
I have to agree with a previous reviewer. There are so many balls in the air now that it's really hard to know who is dissin' who. What are the current loyalties. Also, when it comes to two entire worlds (not just a gate in Berlin) how do they avoid cross contamination without upsetting the order. There are spies and possible counterspies out there. And how was the virus really introduced. Perhaps it was an act of nature. Can this all be sustained through another entire season. I admit that first episode was quite good. I'll hang in until the end.
I agree that the way things play out with each relationship dealt with in some way leads me to believe that the second season was already in play. I wish I had a chart to show me where everyone is as we move on. Which are of substance and which have been replaced by their shadows? So this is aftermath and not conclusion. I'm intrigued about the next offering to see how things are resurrected.
Not Always Sure I Know the Rules
Where are people allowed to be? Where can't they be? The first half of the two parter ending Season 1 is full of all kinds of violence and gore. It would test one's belief in the rules being played by. The governments are so intent on not crossing over, they seem to be totally accepting of the actions against one another. Where is the line drawn? So we move into the second half realizing that there is cross contamination. Ultimately, that epidemic is what has fueled all this. But did the Alpha side really have anything to do with it. Was it contrived for the benefit of the power hungry. We'll see what's next.
Counterpart: Love the Lie (2018)
Wow! and Wow! Again
This is one of the most creative series I've seen. When the premise came up, lots of factors could have made it awful. Not the case. Things get cooking, including the destruction of a Nazi-like school where all but a couple people die, either by their own hands or in a shootout. The two Howards meet again and it's incredibly unpleasant. But the trouble at home for Quayle is probably the most interesting of all and that will need to be resolved as the series moves quickly to its conclusion. At least some things must be played out so the Second Season has a solid foundation. Excellent television.
How and Why
Focusing on Clare, we see how the venom developed by the Prime universe came to be. Did the original universe actually cause the epidemic with malice aforethought, or was it happenstance? And the creating of a little girl for the purposes of revenge and destruction seemed to be more the actions of a few than a culture set on destroying another world. We still need to know these things. But Clare's infiltration was utterly captivating.
Everything here hangs on a delicate balance. Obviously, one slip and the house of cards comes floating down. The problem sometimes is the whole orchestration, people coming and going, with or without real permission. Some deaths occur which erases a life from one side and creates complications on the other. What it ultimately comes down to are that the characters on both sides are human, with love, hate, strength, weakness. No matter how indoctrinated, keeping up the facade is very hard.
Counterpart: Shaking the Tree (2018)
Slow Moving? I Don't Think So
I know in our modern culture, our attention spans are so short. If there is not a major gunfight or car chase every fifteen minutes, people talk about how slow things are. Since that's the formula for about 95 percent of our entertainment, how about something more introspective and psychological. The strength of this show is that the characters are revealed bit by bit, faced with situations they must maneuver through. Think for a minute the milieu they are thrust into or are trying to control. I thought there was extensive effort at characterization in this episode. We also are let in on some activities perpetrated in secrecy that will drive things forward.
Counterpart: Both Sides Now (2018)
Tension Through Situation
We needed this episode to get some perspective on the Alpha world. Silk goes in in his normal buttoned down way and soon finds out he has to play it a little stronger or nothing will happen. He meets Anna (his daughter?) We also get to see what might have been but for some reason can't. Howard on the other side does a little more conventional serving and volleying. I know it was slow moving, but there were some nice moments of realization.
Intense Political/Social Drama
The Silks are in an interchange. They are at the core of everything. The true differences involve the wives, one seemingly lying dead on the floor of her apartment; the other on life support in the hospital. Baldwin is the other focus. She is confused and uncertain, and yet driven by an almost inbred sense of revenge (or is it that she is more of an automaton?). It's going to be an interesting ride as we find out more about the motivations of this world.
The Large Appearance of Dale the Whale
Adam Arkin plays an 800 pound man who Monk knows from the past. He is mean and cynical and totally immobile. He may have been responsible for the death of Trudy, Monk's late wife. He is really despicable and that's what makes him so interesting. The murdered woman shouts Dale's last name as she is being killed. Also, there is a girl who saw an enormous man through an upstairs window. Fun episode which sets up the future of the series.
Counterpart: Birds of a Feather (2018)
So Intense and So .......
I won't try to re-create the wonderful synopsis put forth by a previous reviewer. Thank you! I believe I'm getting a grasp on things. The issue that is always on the table is that once characters know their connections with the other side (or know they have crossed over), does this dehumanize them in some way? As they try to figure out what their roles in life are in Berlin and the world (hard enough) what about they fact they are being stalked or worse. I will follow along here.
Monk: Mr. Monk and the Psychic (2002)
Nice Twists, but Strength in the Characters
The wife oof a big shot police commissioner is murdered. It seems like a car accident, but when Monk arrives on the scene, he begins to smell a rat. Once again, he must overcome his OCD to continue to investigate. He takes the suspects and some tiny bits of evidence and weaves them. The woman who plays the psychic underplays her role (which makes her more endearing, rather than a bona fide nut case). Once again, Tony Shlhoub shines.