Act Like You've Beeen Here Before is the sixth episode of the Starz Original Series Counterpart. This episode is directed by Jennifer Getzinger (Mad Men, Outlander) from a script by Justin Britt-Gibson (The Strain, Banshee).
In Dimension One, the D2 sleeper agent known as Angel Eyes (Nolan Gerard Funk) can’t sleep. The noise from a bar on the corner near their safe house apartment is raging and the newspaper seems to have come unstuck in just the right place so that the streetlight outside is shining in his face. He gives up on trying to sleep and looks through the glass as a group of friends meet up and laugh on the sidewalk below.
AE (real name Oskar Wolfe) walks outside. He makes it to the corner before he is gently assaulted by a drunk woman who asks him to take a picture of her with her friends. He is confused by the smartphone (they lack this technology in D2) and she shows him how to operate it. He takes a series of photos.
The agent known as Ringleader (Lotte Verbeek) is waiting outside the apartment. He explains that he couldn’t sleep and just wanted to see it. She is concerned he might have been recognized. She asks what he thinks of D1. He says it’s filthy and “They all deserve to die.”
Prince is Still Alive in Dimension Two
In an underground garage in Dimension Two, an Office of Interchange Customs agent (Matthew Luret) is running. A man with a cane (Stefan Kapičić) trips him. He and another customs worker are questioned at gunpoint by Ian Shaw about a Prince CD he was apparently smuggling over to D1. His Purple Majesty is apparently still alive in Dimension Two and his new work in D2 is thought to be the best in years.
Ian explains that they are tasked with protecting the most important secret in the history of mankind. The man pleads saying he is broke and his kid is sick. Ian doesn’t care. He places his gun to the man’s forehead and recites “the code”. “Fuck up the code, you get fucked up.” Ian is interrupted by a phone call from “Max”. He informs him that, thanks to a wiretap, they know that “Edgar Braun” (the embassy courier) was shaken down by Emily Burton and her ex-husband Howard Silk for an address.
Ian takes off, ordering that the suspect custom agents be sent to the “black room” for three months. The beg him not to do it.
In Dimension Two, D1 Howard finds a compass Emily gave him as a gift in 1993. It’s still in its box in a closet. The inscription reads “Howard, May you always find your way home. Happy Birthday, 1993 Love, Emily”. Howard opens the compass and finds the glass and works inside broken.
In Dimension One, the same compass can be seen on Howard’s bookcase as his counterpart begins to search through D1 Emily’s files.
D1 Howard’s new boss in the Office of Interchange Strategy Accounting Department (Mads Black) is very angry because his newest employee (Howard) has not been to work in days. He vents to Peter Quayle, but the director seems distracted. He promises to do something about it and ushers the man out of his office.
Quayle quickly exits his office and visits D2 Howard at his apartment. They exchange information, Quayle says they’ve confirmed the presence of a mole in strategy. Howard explains what he’s found so far in Emily’s files. They’re documents bearing Quayle’s floor code that were taken from his office and passed to the outside. Howard says the search for Baldwin is on hold for the moment because finding the mole is the priority.
Howard gives Peter a few of the documents and says he should try to find how they got out of the OI. Peter explains that he can’t bear to spend another minute in the office so he’ll be at the Walcott Hotel (the Hotel de Rome at Bebelpatz). Peter points out that it’s his birthday and the mole may very likely be in attendance at the dinner party he’s having at his home tonight.
In Dimension Two, D1 Howard exits his apartment and visits a café where he is greeted warmly by the proprietor who apparently knows his counterpart well. Ian Shaw and his men enter one by one and sit nearby. Ian orders the Hazelnut Pudding, which he claims is the best in Berlin because they grind the nuts in-house. He comments that it’s strange Howard has nothing pithy to say.
Shaw’s man Lieber (Stefan Kapičić), who walks with a cane, is apparently wounded due to an encounter with D2 Howard. Shaw says it’s good news that the leg won’t need any pins or any more surgery.
Ian says he wants to talk about Edgar Brant (the embassy courier) and demands to know what Howard and Emily are looking for. Howard suggests he talk to her. Ian’s pudding arrives and he asks if he can get it to go as they take Howard out of the café.
Anna Burton Silk (Sarah Bolger) visits her mother’s apartment for tea. They discuss the fact that Emily is trying to go back to work. Anna refuses sugar in her tea citing a new study linking it to high blood cholesterol levels. She says she’s inherited the health problem from Howard. Emily points out that it’ll be the only thing she inherits from him.
Anna broaches the subject of Howards recent odd behavior explaining that she went to visit him and they talked about everything and he genuinely seemed interested in her life, which is completely out of character. Anna says that when Emily left Howard, all obligation on her part to feel anything toward him was gone. Now though, she finds herself worried about him. Emily warns her not to put too much stock in Howard’s current behavior because sooner or later he’ll be back to his old self.
Nothing You Are Is True
Clare is cutting strawberries as a news report explains that the body of an unidentified man was found stabbed to death in the same hostel on Karl Marx Street in northern Neukölln where she last left Baldwin. Witnesses noted that a white female in her 20s was seen leaving the crime scene.
- EDITOR’S NOTE: Karl Marx Street in Neukölln is in the same area where Heinrich’s butcher shop is located.
Baldwin attends Nadia’s funeral and watches from afar as her ex-girlfriend explains that she never really knew Nadia but loved her deeply. She says she was unknowable as all interesting people are.
Later, Baldwin stalks Clare at a grocery store. She confronts the woman and tells her that she will complete the contract and expects to be paid the 100,000 euros she’s been promised so that she can be free. Clare protests saying that her employers want Baldwin dead but says she’ll make it work. Baldwin says she pities Clare because “nothing you are is true.”
In Dimension Two, Ian takes D1 Howard in for questioning. They sit him in front of a device that measures pupillary response, a lie detector, operated by Kasper (Adeel Akhtar). Ian questions Howard about what was said when he and Emily were alone in the D2 Embassy and about his coded message to Emily to visit the church (See ‘’The Lost Art of Diplomacy’’). Howard, who wasn’t there, honestly says he doesn’t know.
Kasper believes Howard’s training is allowing him to beat the machine and tells Ian as much, but they keep trying.
Baldwin returns to the café with a large wallet full of cash and pays the bartender (Liv Lisa Fries) for the free soup she received there “the other day” (See: ‘’Shaking the Tree’’). Baldwin admires a photograph of a boat on a beach and asks about it. The bartender explains she took it in Croatia. The bartender introduces herself as Gretta. Baldwin says her name is Nadia.
Gretta points out that with the wad of cash she has she could go to any restaurant. Nadia says the coffee is good there but Gretta points out that it’s not. Gretta invites her to “hang out” at an “all-day party”. She gives Nadia the address.
Aldrich visits Lamar Jung (Johannes Brandrup) to question him about former OI Strategy Director Walter Atwood. Walter died five years ago of a heart attack at age 49. Lamar was Walter’s former lover and says, in his final weeks, Walter was paranoid that he was being pushed out of his job and being watched and followed.
On the day Walter died, he and Lamar were supposed to meet at the Hotel Concord, but Walter never showed and Lamar assumed it was just his way of ending the relationship. He claims he found out about his death from an obituary.
Love the Lie
D2 Howard gets a call from Heinrich’s wife Delma who tells him to come to the shop right away. Heinrich is dead. His fingers are missing and his teeth. Howard explains this is so he cannot be identified. She’s confused because they have his name, Howard explains it’s not his real name. Howard finds a metal box under the counter with a handgun, a novel, an OI crossing visa, and stacks of money. He pockets the visa and gives the money to Delma.
Delma says Heinrich talked to her about how he and Howard are spies. She believes he must work for Russia or the United States. Howard explains that it’s best she not know because her ignorance is keeping her alive. Howard says he’s helping her because Heinrich was his friend. He tells her to call the police and tell them she found Heinrich dead. He says to hide the money.
She says she didn’t know who he was. Howard questions if she loved him. She says it was a lie. Howard says it wasn’t. He explains how Emily kept secrets from him and based on his experience says, “If you loved him truly, you have to love the lie.”
He questions who came to visit Heinrich recently. She says it was just him and Peter Quayle.
Howard goes straight to the Hotel Walcot, busts into Peter Quayle’s room, throws a protesting sex worker out of the room, and lays into Peter about Heinrich’s death. He explains that he’s gone to great lengths to cultivate his network of D2 operatives in Dimension One and to keep them safe. Since he and Peter were the only ones who went to see Heinrich, he’s concluded that Peter is unwittingly the leak within Strategy at the OI.
The Worst Husband Anyone Can Conjure
In Dimension Two, Emily meets with Bob Dwyer and explains that she’s having some personal issues. He’s not surprised. He doesn’t know what to say. She’s been with the department so long that she’s an institution and she operates with impunity, going over his head in the chain of command whenever she wants. She apologizes and says she’d like to take him up on his offer to take some time off to get her life in order. He says to take whatever she needs.
In the Strategy bullpen outside Dwyer’s office, Emily meets up with another worker and a friend (Christine Adams). She’s been tasked by Emily to find out about the house in Potsdam where courier Edgar was taking the Embassy pouch when he returned from Dimension One. Unfortunately, after a long night of “competitive drinking” with the boys from records, Emily’s friend has turned up nothing useful. It’s a privately-owned home, but it’s not owned by the OI.
She does say she saw Howard and Ian going into “Oversight” earlier which is alarming to Emily. Ian asks how Howard can lie like he does so comfortably. Howard says maybe he just really doesn’t know. Ian is angry because Howard dragged Emily into a mess in which he nearly got her killed (See ‘’Birds of a Feather’’). He questions Howard about what they’re looking for with the address they got from Edgar. Instead of answering, Howard becomes belligerent and demands an explanation for why he’s being questioned.
Ian says he doesn’t have any say in what Howard does in Dimension One, his Section 2 work isn’t his concern. However, in Dimension Two is Ian’s turf and he demands to know what he’s missing.
Again, Howard deflects. He points out that Emily tends to go for jerks in her relationships describing his counterpart as “a colossal asshole” and “the worst husband anyone can conjure.” He says she then goes for Ian whose “tough guy routine” is another version of the same thing. Ian is offended. He says Howard is always fleeing this life for the promise of another.
Ian wants to know where Howard was when Emily hit rock bottom. Ian was there. He says Howard has no idea what it was like when everyone else abandoned her. He demands that Howard take some responsibility. Howard says he’s trying to. Ian asks for the address. Howard says he’s wasting time. Ian says Howard is going to get Emily killed. Howard shouts that he would never let that happen.
Noticing the other man’s sincerity, Ian asks if Howard is still in love with Emily. Before he has to answer, Emily busts in the room and takes Ian outside.
She’s angry. He feels betrayed because she said she’d lay low and they would pursue the conspiracy together. She says Howard is helping her with the investigation. He asks her to let him in. She does and he immediately walks back into the interrogation room and announces that they’re going to Potsdam.
Once they’re gone, Kasper dials out on a nearby phone. In a house somewhere, Alexander Pope picks up one of several cellphones he keeps on a nearby table. Kasper says he’s calling for the lunch special and wants it delivered. Pope hangs up and dials out on a different phone. He asks if he’s reached the dry cleaners. The person on the other end of the phone says it’s not the dry cleaners and never has been the dry cleaners. He says, “I beg your pardon. I must have dialed the wrong number,” and hangs up.
I Think I Would Like to Travel
In Dimension One, Gretta dances while Baldwin drinks at the bar at the “all-day party”. They both wander out into the courtyard. It’s still light out and Gretta senses that Baldwin is not comfortable with the party atmosphere. Baldwin says she doesn’t like it.
Gretta asks about the wound on Baldwin’s cheek. She doesn’t answer her, but Gretta explains that she once had a girlfriend who hurt her. Baldwin asks what Gretta did in that situation. She says she ran to a new city and a new life. Gretta asks if she can touch the wound and then runs her finger along Baldwin’s cheek just above the stitches.
Later at Gretta’s apartment, Baldwin admires several photographs. Gretta explains it’s a hobby of hers and she likes to travel. Baldwin says she thinks she will like to travel. The two make out a bit and get topless. When Gretta excuses herself to clean up, Baldwin tucks a handgun under the mattress and makes as if to go to sleep. Gretta returns and Baldwin jerks way when she touches her shoulder. Gretta lies down next to her and calls her Nadia.
A Spy is Exposed
After dark in Dimension Two, Ian, Howard, Emily, and several agents make their way to Potsdam. Emily takes Ian’s hand in the car. Howard notices and Ian notices him notice.
Once they arrive, they can see fire through the woods near the house. Emily knows something is wrong. They all gear up. Emily want’s Howard to stay behind, but he asks if his counterpart would go and then demands Ian give him a gun. They track through the woods to find several workers removing documents from the house and burning them in several piles at the front of the house.
Aldrich has come to the conclusion that Peter Quayle is the spy and explains his reasoning to Cyrus (Mido Hamada). He explains about his visit to the former director’s lover. Aldrich believes D2 killed one of theirs to make room for a sleeper agent and they missed it for five years. He believes Peter Quayle is the spy saying he’s perfect because he’s protected and well-connected within the office.
Peter Quayle returns home in Dimension One. He calls out to his wife who shouts back from off screen, “Just putting her to bed.” He heads to his study saying he has work to finish before the guests arrive.
He takes out the papers D2 Howard gave him and studies them. He notices that the triangular shape of his cup of coffee matches a mark on one of the papers. He opens his safe and finds the original, complete with the original coffee stain. He realizes suddenly that only he and his wife would have access to the safe.
He hears his wife singing “Bushel and a Peck” and follows the sound into the nursery. His wife is Clare.