Counterpart: A Tale of Two Worlds

What happens when you add John Wick to the Adjustment Bureau?

Everyone can think of that one moment in their life that changed everything. The moment that defined them and made them who they are today. Maybe it was making the tough decision of selecting a university to attend. Maybe this decision made this person decide they wanted to change majors. This decision to attend this university put them on the path to meet their eventual spouse. What if that person made a different decision? How would their life be today? Would they have still ended up with that same person for the rest of their life? Would they still be the same person today?

Counterpart, the newest show on Starz, contemplates these questions. Long story short, Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) is an ordinary man working for the UN in Berlin. In a strange series of events, he’s brought face to face with a man who looks exactly like him. This man looks exactly like him but his tone is more direct and his stature is physically brooding. Turns out, this man is Howard Silk as well.

Circa Cold War, the UN discovered a gateway to another dimension. The other world is a mirror image of ours: everything looks the same but it’s all in reverse. Although your other-world counterpart shares the shame experiences, they are the polar opposite. Counterpart is pretty intriguing because it makes you wonder about how things would be if you reacted differently to that watershed moment in your life. Also, what if the internal battle we all faced forced a wedge and separated the person we wanted to be from the person we really are?

Apart from all that philosophical, metaphysical motifs, Counterpart is pretty kick-ass as well. Since we’re pondering questions, ask yourself how it would be if we dropped John Wick into the Adjustment Bureau. I forgot to mention other-world Howard Silk ends up meeting the Howard Silk of this world because he’s tracking down an assassin who wants to kill his wife. Other-world Howard Silk is well equipped for the job because he errr, has a unique set of skills. Aesthetically, this world still has the cold war feel although it’s set in present day.

None of this could work without J.K. Simmons’ great performance. At times, he seems like two different actors although he’s playing two separate roles. This show also seems like it will have layers underneath the basic plot. There are still questions remaining about the how and why of the other world.

Basically, Counterpart definitely deserves a shot if you’re looking for a new TV show to watch. If you’re interested, check out the first episode below.


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