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Counterpart Recap: Better Angels

  • Season: 2 / Episode: 10 (20), Better Angels (Season / Series(?) Finale) / Starz

    ***Spoilers be wandering out in the open having no idea of the carnage they’ve wrought***

    I know…its late. I needed…time. Please allow me to bask in this last bit of genius before it goes off into sunset (or infecting a bunch of innocent muthafuckas trying to enjoy the water on an otherwise pleasant day). Same difference. Alas, let’s begin again for the last time.

    Maaaaaaaan, listen. Tragic Yanek walking the used to be familiar streets of his original world. He done took all of Mira’s advice and went to visit his Mira. Used to rock that cassette tape, Mira. Even though TY look like he done been through hell and back (which is an accurate journey for him), they embrace cuz it has been 30+ years since they’ve seen each other. Also, kind of fucked up seeing this very domestic version of Mira with children and someone that can show base emotions.

    Well, its time to receive orders from Management so everybody gets in the booth, turns the volume up in their headphones and awaits instruction from Management. Ya know…Mira. Cuz Management is on a the fourth floor of the afterlife right now. TLDR version is that Mira tells both sides to permanently seal off the Crossing. Diplomacy is reading this shit to their respective offices and announcing this whole experiment is done.

    Emily Prime in the back like…yeah, this shit don’t sound right.

    Mira makes her way downstairs with the communication cases, drops them shits in the back and hops in the whip with Wes-Ian. Jesus. Your boy is the liberator and the driver. Driving Miss Terrorist my dude? Shit is rough for our guy.

    Which EPMD is learning considering she went to relay that new comics solicitation brief to Wes-Ian and sees that him and Mira are both missing from the holding cell area. Yeah, now she knows shit is all kinds of fucked up.

    Wes-Ian asking where his not-world-not-wife is and Mira is like, look fam, I ain’t gonna kill her cuz…I might need to use her against you again in the future. That’s now how this new age terrorism works. Wes-Ian helps her with her bags and shit when transferring to her crew. Your boy is all up in the middle of this shit.

    Meanwhile, Howard is getting the shakedown. Again. Like, again. Howard done been interrogated more Roger Stone by Mueller’s office at this point. My man is literally like, I ain’t even do nuthin’ for like the 40th time.

    Ballad of Fallen Pete’s phone is ringing from Snake Ass Clare and considering that he and Naya lost her last episode, this is the call they’ve been waiting on. Except it ain’t Snake Ass Clare on the phone, its Howard in Black. He’s like, listen up pleighboi, I got your wife and her friend. And by friend, I don’t mean they have tea occasionally. HIB strong arms BFP into a deal. He’s gonna find out more about the attack and he gonna trade that for his freedom (I’m assuming this is one of those grammatical rules where the Baldwin is silent?).

    HIB takes SAC out of captivity and tells her she gotta get the truth from OG Spencer. She’s like, he ain’t talk to me, and HIB, like he always does, drops this square root of shade:

    “You have a great talent for manipulating people. So I have confidence in you.”

    SAC looking at him like, excuse the fuck out of you.

    After Diplomacy does their dance one last time, SAC is back talking to OG Spencer. Man, the indoctrination is strong af. OG Spencer straight says he don’t have parents. He has Mira. My dude, there’s a mothering version of Mira, you ain’t met her. But also, HIB wasn’t wrong. SAC finally gets OG Spencer to give up the location of where the operations were. SAC basically breaks down that door to give up that intel.

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    Howard BAAAAAAACK. Man, put me in a hotel or some shit. Ain’t no place like home but literally home gotta fee like no place at all. Especially since HIB was playing house. E-Amnesia is like, I didn’t know and Howard looks at her like…yeah, ok fam. Also, Howard is fed up. With everyone. Even E-Amnesia at this point. She think she’s confessing to some shit and Howard is like, yeah, I already knew that shit. He confesses he thought he stayed for love, but now he’s realizing he was probably a coward and didn’t know how to deal with it except to stay. E-Amnesia wants to start over and Howard is like, later for this fairy tale shit yo.

    Damn, when Howard has lost faith, that shit don’t really exist fam.

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    And to make things worse, HIB comes to pay a visit in the middle of this shit. Of course he waltzes in like this shit normal. He tells E-Amnesia that they know the place where shit is going down, but not the location. They try to leave Howard in the cold again and he’s like, yeah, we not doing that shit anymore and grabs his coat too.

    And now, everybody gets to meet. They roll up on Naya and BFP. BFP is wondering why everyone is here and its like, bruh, I need you to keep up. Shit is going down and we trying to stop that shit.

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    On the way to the spot, Howard shifting mad uncomfortable, but it ain’t because my dude don’t like the mission. HIB notices and Howard gotta tell him that he’s been shot. And imprisoned. Interrogated. Isolated. Sleep deprived. Beaten. So how as life as me. Dick. HIB can’t even answer that shit.

    They at the spot and everybody gets strapped up. The house looks deserted as all hell, but they notice that shit is wired to the fucking teeth with explosives. HIB way back at the cars and notices someone come out from the house. Oh man, its Never Been Kissed. She’s got a gun, but she just chillin. Before they take her out, E-Amnesia is like yo, let me holla at her. This is probably our only lead.

    It was nice to see E-Amnesia back on her spy shit. She come through, unarmed, stepping over trip wire and walks right up to ol girl. First, she disarms the girl emotionally, then gently takes the gun from her. Never Been Kissed was supposed to destroy the house a long time ago, but obviously, she been struggling with this shit. E-Amnesia tells her that they’re both gonna be their better selves today.

    NBK thinks that she’s gonna die here today, but E-Amnesia is like, nah, not today fam…

    …yeah, NBK was right. Somebody is dying here today. She put the fucking A-Town stomp on that trip wire and then everything explodes. House looking like when Ariadne first realized she was in a dream in Inception and the fucking fruit stand started jumpin. Howard gotta dig her our from the rubble and everybody covered in NBK and brick dust.

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    On the ride to the hospital, E-Amnesia, how you say, doesn’t look very good. Howard is trying to comfort her, but his wife literally got blown the fuck up and can’t really talk. She manages to write down that terrorist hot spot. And not much else. They rush her in to the hospital…but then a doctor comes out and tells Howard that she ain’t coming back out.

    Yikes. E-Amnesia, we barely knew you. You, barely knew much until the end. But, a hero’s death nonetheless.

    Howard finds HIB outside the hospital and immediately points the gun at him. And HIB ain’t even try no sly shit like trying to take the gun from Howard or protesting. Howard is like, you should’ve stayed away, or she might still be alive. That’s when HIB was like, damn, ok, maybe this is the end then. And its one of the first times we see HIB truly remorseful. My dude got no tricks. He takes off his wedding ring and his watch as if to say, someone gonna need this shit more than me.

    But maybe its him sayin, “Do it. Go ahead. I would, if I were you.” that makes Howard not pull the trigger. And also, because there’s till terrorist out there. He gives HIB the note that E-Amnesia wrote before dying, gives him the gun and sends him on the mission. “I think she meant this for you.” just fucking stings! My god.

    At the train station, all the cells getting their tickets. They really going all over the continent. Until they look up and see HIB standing there. Fam. The moment between them seeing him and when he raises the gun lasts an eterrrrrrrrrnity. But not afterwards. My gawd, HIB went to work on them like fucking Bourne before the memory loss, yo. He takes apart the cell like a gotdamn biologist. Call HIB the fuckin’ splicer. Yak-Yak. Yak-Yak-Yak. Yak-Yak. At the end, everybody dead yo. Some folks got killed twice. The fact that he did that shit solo and didn’t even go get the killer Baldwin. My dude was operating on straight rage.

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    He gets back to the hideout and tells Baldwin that there’s a new deal.

    OG Spencer and SAC are released to Naya’s team. Naya makes a deal with SAC because she suspects that there are more folks as sleepers on this side, even though they’re closing down the crossing. SAC gotta be re-instated in some fashion because he gives her credibility.

    And now…the final crossing. Folks are going back home to their original worlds, including Baldwin and Howard in Black. They get to go home, whatever the fuck that means. The crossing doors are sealed shit. They even turned off the CCTV, yo. Shit is a wrap.

    EPMD goes to Wes-Ian’s house and sees he’s ghost, but not the note he left behind. He breaks down how he gotta go away and how he ain’t really who he been saying he is. But he did leave EPMD with something. He put a tracker on one of Mira’s suitcases and left the tracking device with his Dear John letter.

    I dunno man, BFP got some fuckin’ nerve. Like, he’s been outflanked, outsmarted, and straight up used by everyone he’s encountering, but he got the nerve to be gloating in front of OG Spencer, his daughter’s namesake.

    That conversation leaves BFP lightweight shook cuz your boy is drinking at home when SAC comes in to talk to him. It all culminates with BFP suggesting another name for their baby…which I’m sure won’t be disorienting at all, haha. How you gonna explain that to the grandparents bruh?

    Mira goes to her apartment and flips the lightswitch on, but feels an immediate pin prick. And she immediately knows she’s fucked. Yeah, EPMD knows something about that shit. They having a last conversation, which ain’t too coherent cuz Mira is like, actively dying. They are talkign about their others and Mira says some cryptic shit like, her other will die in own time. They all will. Then she smiles…before dying. EPMD is full of unease at that shit.

    Naya goes to meet with Howard on the street and offers our dude a job in Strategy. But Howard is like, yeah, I’m not interested in any of that shit. Naya says she would’ve been happy to see Howard like this if she was still with us.

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    Howard: Yeah. If.

    Geez.

    Tragic Yanek is taking a stroll with his grand-daughter as she goes to play with the other kids by the lake. But your dude got a bad cough. And he realizes he’s experiencing some discoloration. Yeah…when dude was sleeping it off in Mira’s care, she was injecting your dude with that West Nile. And even though HIB the Splicer took out the worldwide threat, Berlin bout to get that outbreak when Tragic Yanek fulfills his destiny and dies right there…in the middle of people, just as contagious as he wanna be.

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    Sigh. That’s it fam. An incredible season finale, that if it must, serves as a pretty damn good series finale too. I don’t know the future of Counterpart, but I know that for two seasons, this was one of the best shows on television and a show I looked forward to more than most. I’m like 110 years old in recap years, so I’m super selective of what I’m willing to spend 2K words a week on these days. Counterpart was that damn good. In the world of Counterpart and its cancellation, things are as bad as they’ve ever been. The quality of this show though, as good as it gets. Congrats to that team and ensemble. Now, Need to find someone to play Go with and forget that Starz isn’t bringing us a season 3.

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    • William is the Editor-In-Chief, leader of the Black Knights and father of the Avatar. With Korra's attitude, not the other one.

    • Show Comments

    • Evil Ninja (@EvilNinjaX24)

      Son. SON. This episode left me shook. How can this show be so damn good and yet go so unappreciated? This was masterful storytelling, compelling from start to finish, and incredibly satisfying to watch. The only good thing about this ending is, although there are stories left to tell, it didn’t end on some sort of cliffhanger bullshit. It’s a great ending. THAT BEING SAID, someone needs to pick this up, ’cause I love these characters and the plot. I need more HiB going HAM on some suckers (killing some of them twice). I need more “what the fuckery” from some twist that I didn’t see coming, but that’s perfectly in line with what’s been presented.

      Man, I’m gonna miss this show, and going to miss these reviews. Good looking out, Will.

    • bd73

      masterstroke. slow clap for mira making sure her revenge would be complete no matter what. i mean…that is stone cold vengeance. and another clap for the showrunners adding that slow poison of peter fearing to know just how far clare went to be his wife. that can’t be smoothed over. it will fester in that relationship. meanwhile, surely spencer has a middle name. just call her by that from now on. what a terrible ending for howard. no wife, no daughter…just no one. meanwhile, legendary s.o.b howard in black goes home to his world where he can still patch up his family relationships. he definitely played his last trick, giving back howard’s things and saying he’d pull the trigger. perfect reverse psychology. he knows himself too well.

      maybe the most interesting thing was naya temple, praying to two meccas now. i thought her realization that she’d been dealing with howard’s echo would be more…climactic. guess they ran out of time. anyway, she almost seems to represent a “man of science/ man of faith” dichotomy with yanek. he wanted to treat two worlds as a control and experiment; she just accepted that both can exist.

      will anyone ever go up to the fourth floor and check on management? ever?

      now the question is: if the show were to continue, what would we want it to say? the wrapped up the driving intrigue. now it’s just the unfolding of a plague and character studies of some of the original main characters. it sucks, but at least it was a meaty, satisfying conclusion.

    • Donna

      Thank you, William, for your brilliant recaps. I’ll miss them as much as the show. It’s been good to know that somebody else out there was watching, and what a shrewd and witty companion you’ve been. Hope to see you again soon.

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