No Man's Land is the two-part, two-night Season 1 finale of the Starz Original Series Counterpart. Part One is directed by Stephen Williams (Ray Donovan, Westworld) from a script by Erin Levy and aired on March 18.
Full Recap Part 1Edit
Seven weeks ago, D1 Howard Silk sits alone in a hospital waiting room immediately after D1 Emily’s accident. He is joined by a man (Bernard Forcher) who introduces himself as Andrei. The stranger begins to probe for information about Emily’s condition. Howard comments on how normal the hospital feels even though your whole life hangs in the balance. He says all that matters to him in life is Emily.
Peter Quayle calls D2 Howard and tells him to get out of his apartment immediately because Aldrich and his team are in route to pick him up. Quayle tells him to come to his home. Howard doesn’t hesitate. He opens a hidden compartment in a bottom of a closet and removes stacks of Euros and a gun, tosses them into a go bag and flees just as the “Housekeeping” team pulls up out front.
The Office of Interface men enter and find the apartment deserted. Aldrich orders them to find Howard.
Shaw Contra Enim Papam
In Dimension Two, Ian Shaw is waiting in the courtyard at Haus Witzleben in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf area of Berlin. Alexander Pope returns home with his small dog on a leash. Shaw stops him and questions Pope about Kasper saying he’s seeking the “lie exam” man and thinks Pope might know where he’s gotten to. Pope doesn’t answer. Instead, he asks about Shaw’s trip to Potsdam (See: Love the Lie).
Shaw levels his handgun at Pope’s head and threatens to kill him unless he comes into the OI to answer to management about whatever it is he’s been up to. A man behind Shaw in the courtyard racks the slide on his handgun that is now leveled at Shaw’s head. Pope says he doesn’t know which of the options to pick and asks Shaw which one he would prefer.
Pope’s dog walker (Justin Marks) enters the courtyard and takes the leashed dog from Pope. Ian hasn’t lowered his weapon and threatens to kill Pope again. Pope ignores this and brings up Emily and the man “you think is Howard Silk”. Pope believes Shaw must have suspected that he’d not been dealing with the “real” Howard because D1 Howard is too loyal to Emily.
He realizes that Shaw did know but was hoping Emily would tell him in the truth as some show of trust and affection. Pope suggests Shaw “act on this” because there’s no telling “what kind of Howard Silk he might turn into the longer he hangs around.” He wishes Shaw good luck in finding Kasper and says he hopes Shaw finds him before Pope does, and then saw walks away.
The Guests Prepare for Work
In Dimension One, Baldwin arrives at the three sleeper agents safehouse at 41 Wrangelstraße. She delivers the personal effects, passports, keys, and some other belongings of their dead counterparts. Rashad Roumani (Junes Zahdi) picks up his other’s glasses and they are covered in a mist of blood. Roumani wipes it off.
Oskar Wolfe asks if his counterpart suffered. He seems excited by the prospect that his other resisted and that Baldwin made it a painful death. She does not answer him, but he says “Good work.”
Video phone booths are apparently a thing in Dimension Two and Kasper steps into one and taps a card against a sensor. The screen flashes, “Connection Active” in German. There is no image, but the device seems to automatically connect him to Pope. In a message of code, Pope asks if he’s coming to supper and explains “Tea is oolong. We’re out of green.”
Kasper asks “Whose house?” Pope says, “Roderick’s.” Kasper says to make sure Pope’s people are there because he’s being watched. He then urges Pope to “hold up your end of the promise.” Pope doesn’t reply and the connection is severed.
In an abandoned factory, Ian Shaw, Emily, and D1 Howard listen back to the phone call. Emily realizes they’re dealing with an old “crypt” that their network used to use and “oolong” means 1100 hours. Ian’s men then work out that Rodrick is a subway exit, at Potsdamer Platz. Shaw believes Pope is going to help Kasper disappear. They wonder aloud whether Pope means “disappear” in the sense of escape or in the sense of killing him.
Emily comes to the conclusion that Pope is uncomfortable with how much Kasper knows and wonders if they should intercept him. Shaw agrees with this but says D1 Howard can’t come because it’s “Housekeeping business and he’s sick of having a tagalong.”
In Dimension One, sleeper agent Oskar Wolfe chops white pills into a fine powder as his associates, Helen Moller and Rashad Roumani finish dressing for work. Silently they nod to each other and exit leaving Wolfe alone. He chops the white powder into lines and snorts it.
Wolfe arrives at the OI, punches in his ID code at security and is admitted to the building. He takes up his station in the mailroom and seems to completely change his personality. His co-worker complains that he was late and says “She asked for you three times.” Wolfe jokes that “She just can’t get enough of me.” Wolfe’s job is to x-ray incoming packages for security threats.
Awkward Couples are Awkward
Greta and Baldwin are shopping along Pücklerstraße near the intersection of Waldemarstraße. The assassin is trying to reach Clare by phone. In a vent in a closet off the Quayle’s bathroom, a phone vibrates loudly. Clare is still chained to the radiator/towel warmer. She can’t quite reach the hidden phone. Baldwin is frustrated when she doesn’t answer.
Greta holds up a dress and asks Baldwin what she thinks. She says it’s nice and Greta urges her to try it on. She suggests Baldwin pick out an outfit for her to try on. The game confuses Baldwin, but Greta says the point is that it doesn’t have to be her style, it’s just for fun. Noting her confusion, Greta points out that it’s like Baldwin grew up on a different planet.
D1 Nadia Fierro’s girlfriend spots Baldwin and thinks she is her counterpart. Baldwin acts as if it is a case of mistaken identity, but the other woman knows this is her ex and believes Nadia’s “death” was some sort of game. She storms off. Leaving Baldwin with a confused Greta who says “It’s alright to have a past, but I think we should be honest with each other about it.” Baldwin says the woman was mistaken and she doesn’t know her.
Outside Potsdamer Platz, Ian Shaw and D2 Emily Burton Silk wait for word of Kasper’s arrival. Shaw says they need to get him out of the open quickly because he believes Pope might try something desperate if things don’t go his way.
Emily thanks him for helping her with the raid on the Potsdam house because she says she knows it can be difficult when it comes to dealing with Howard. He talks about trust in hopes she’ll open up to him about Howard’s true identity, but she doesn’t. Shaw looks disappointed.
Potsdamer Platz, Pope’s Dogwalker, and Paperclips
Pope’s dogwalker takes up a position near the top of the escalator outside of the underground train station at Potsdamer Platz in Dimension Two. Inside, Shaw’s man Max (Rahul Rarikh) is watching the platform. Kasper exits the train with a small suitcase. Shaw’s agent follows. Another man calls the dogwalker to explain “We’ve got a follower. Look around.” The dogwalker spots Emily and Shaw sitting in a nearby outdoor café. He quickly walks along in front of the station exit and drops dozens of paperclips on the ground.
Kasper steps off the escalator and the paperclips crunch underfoot. Shaw spots him from across the plaza. Kasper seems confused and then flees back down into the station. Both Shaw and Emily notice he’s been tipped. They take off in different directions. Shaw goes directly after Kasper. Emily enters the station from the opposite side.
Max follows Kasper back down, but he is intercepted by Pope’s man who stabs him in the gut and leaves him lying on the ground while he goes in pursuit of Kasper. Shaw catches up, checks on Max, and then chases the man with the knife. Pope’s man is about to stab Kasper, but Emily pulls him to safety just as Shaw tackles the attacker.
Shaw gets him in a headlock and incapacitates him but takes some damage to his arm in the process. Shaw returns to tend to Max as Emily explains to Kasper that Pope was going to kill him. She says his only chance for survival is to come with them. Kasper says Emily just took his only chance, but she points out that whatever they’ve offered, he’s more important to Pope dead.
Peter Quayle’s Terrible Plan
In Dimension One, Peter Quayle’s home is being watched by a team of Aldrich’s men. D2 Howard manages to sneak in through the back. As they talk in the kitchen, Quayle lies and tells him Clare and Spencer are not there. He’s pretending to still be “playing the game” as Howard said when he told him not to confront Clare.
Quayle lies and says Aldrich came to him with concerns about Howard and that’s why his cover is now blown. Howard says it’s the worse time for this to happen as there are three known operatives who recently crossed, and that at least one works directly in Quayle’s office. Howard says it’s time to talk to Clare about their plan. Peter balks at this and says they need to keep playing Clare.
Spencer cries out from another room. Peter takes out a handgun, struggles with it for a second, and then points it at Howard. Peter demands Howard’s gun and the older man takes it out and places it on the counter. Howard realizes that Peter told Aldrich to come after him. Peter says he had to give him something. Howard lays out what he believes is Peter’s plan, “Then you get me out of the apartment so they don’t capture me, and now what? You’re going to kill me in self-defense, and you think that’s going to keep your secret safe?”
Howard calmly explains that this won’t buy Peter very much time because Aldrich will realize that Howard isn’t the one responsible for five years of leaks in Peter’s department. Peter says he’ll have time to figure it out. Peter steps too close to Howard who grabs his arm. The gun goes off, but Howard disarms Peter and elbows him in the throat. Howard says Peter made a “big fucking mistake,” grabs his bag and goes out the back door. Spencer begins a full-throated cry from the other room.
In their base at the abandoned factory in Dimension Two, Emily and Shaw question Kasper. He admits he’s been working for Pope for three years. He’d been feeding Pope vulnerabilities on the people he helped question in his job and had handed over recordings of the “lie exams” he administered. Pope was looking for people who might be coerced and specific methods to do it.
They ask about the school, but Kasper feigns ignorance saying he’s not someone they would share information with. Emily points out that years of legwork went into the Indigo school so he must have heard something.
Shaw notes Kasper’s suitcase and believes it’s the money Pope paid him. He goes to grab it and Kasper freaks out. Shaw yells that kids died because Kasper made a phone call and throws the suitcase against a column. It pops open scattering some drawings made by a child, a teddy bear, and some other items on the floor. Kasper runs over and begins gingerly replacing the items into the case.
D1 Howard steps over to help and realizes these are items belonging to Kasper’s child. The boy would have been ten had he lived. It becomes clear that Pope bribed him with the promise that he could be switched with his D1 counterpart and be reunited with his son.
Emily says she can’t protect him unless he tells who is behind the conspiracy. He scoffs at the idea they can protect him pointing out that the other Emily tried to stop them by warning the OI. Kasper learned of D1 Emily’s letters to D2 Howard and took that information to Pope who had Emily run down in the street.
Howard freaks out a little bit at this. The thrusts Kasper up against a concrete column and screams at him about it being Kasper and Pope’s fault. “You trade human lives for some false hope of a second chance? That is not your world over there! That little boy over there is not yours! Do you understand?”
Emily tells Howard to stop, he releases Kasper, and walks away. Kasper relents and says he’ll tell who’s been working for Pope.
Like Headless Chickens
In Dimension One, Aldrich arrives at Peter Quayle’s and hears that Howard broke in. Quayle coats his lies in recriminations that Aldrich failed to protect him. Aldrich is noncommittal to his face. Once he’s back in his car, he calls the men searching Howard’s apartment. Cyrus (Mido Hamada) answers and says the place was swept clean. Cyrus is suspicious of Quayle and wants to bring him in. He says Howard can’t possibly be the Shadow that Alice warned them about.
Aldrich says he doesn’t believe Quayle is the leak either. He thinks there’s another element that they’re still missing, someone else Quayle is protecting. He also believes Howard knows who it is. He orders Cyrus to find Howard.
Clare fiddles with the chain attaching the handcuffs to no avail. Peter joins her and complains that she was supposed to keep Spencer quiet. Clare points out that, due to the handcuffs, she can’t pick the child up. She raises her arm, showing bruising where the cuff is attached and says “Please.” As he is removing the cuff, she warns him that Howard Silk could, with his last dying breath, say her name and “we’re done”.
She is surprised that, while he removed the cuff from her wrist, he placed it on her ankle instead. He asks her about Howard’s intelligence about the three sleeper agents. She doesn’t answer, but he knows she knows and probably arranged for them to come over and knows exactly what they’re going to do. Clare claims she is protecting him by not telling because, “If you’re complicit in this your life will be in danger.” He points out that he’s already in danger.
She suggests they get Baldwin to take out Howard Silk. Peter doesn’t respond, he simply takes Spencer and leaves her.
Howard goes to the man who claimed to be “Andrei” and stows the bag with D1 Emily’s money in his attic crawlspace. Howard tells him not to look and to give it to Emily when she recovers. Howard says he only trusts Andrei because Emily did. Andrei says he asked Emily to leave Howard, but she never would. He says he doesn’t know why he lied and pretended to be Howard’s friend for so long. He says Howard just looked so lonely in the hospital waiting room and he felt bad for him.
Clare makes it over to the vent and retrieves a plastic bag with several cell phones. She chooses one and calls Baldwin. Clare asks if she’s eliminated all the targets. Baldwin says all but “the woman in the hospital, she’s still guarded.” She’s talking about D1 Emily. Clare says she should “go back to her later”. She promises to pay her double if she kills Howard Silk. She explains that this Howard is from their side and needs to be eliminated.
Peter Quayle is drinking alone when Roland Fancher calls and demands that he come into work. He says “Upstairs wants a briefing on that deal that went to shit.” He’s talking about the Baldwin exchange that ended in her escape. Peter asks to reschedule, but Fancher indicates that’s impossible “with the fourth floor”.
Peter refuses. Fancher says he doesn’t know what’s up with him. He figures it’s his marriage, but he doesn’t care. He says to get his ass to work. Peter says he will and goes to the closet to get ready. Clare questions where he’s going. He explains that her father wants him in the office, she tells him not to go “not today”.
He notices the ill-fitted vent along the baseboard, opens it, and discovers the phones. Peter wants to know if he’s just a mark to her or really her husband. She admits that she despised him for the other girls and the lying. She says she went through with it because she’s spent her whole life becoming a perfect version of someone else. She calls D1 Clare “the stupid girl they wanted me to be”.
She says until Spencer, she never had anything of her own. The child was hers, not theirs (Indigo) or D1 Clare’s. It was the first time she had something that belong to her alone. She admits that their marriage “has been one giant fucked up sham” but says he’s the only one who really knows both sides of her. He looks at her with mounting disgust.
D2 Emily offers Howard a snack saying that she always forgets to eat on “days like this”. He refuses but adds “My Emily always has gummy bears in her purse.” Emily suggests she gets lightheaded if she doesn’t have a snack. Howard calls it “temperamental”.
He then reflects on the fact that he can look at D2 Emily and think of all the things he’s shared with his Emily, but he doesn’t really know this counterpart version of his wife.
Howard decides to go home because he misses his wife. He exits with one of Shaw’s men following him.
Shock and Awe
Back in Dimension One, large packages roll through Oskar Wolfe’s station in the mail room. The x-ray machine shows one of them is filled with guns. He removes it from the belt and places it on a mail cart.
Peter Quayle drags Clare out of the house and forces her into their SUV. He says Clare’s mother picked up the baby and they’re going for a drive. Aldrich’s man follows them. Clare wonders aloud if Peter is turning her in. He doesn’t answer, just drives faster, running red lights and squealing around curves.
He wonders if some part of him actually loves the part of her that he knows, that we only see the parts of people that we want to see. He says he’s a fool and a coward. She apologizes. He goes even faster. He says it’s “time for some bravery” and crashes head-on into an industrial metal dumpster.
Aldrich’s men arrive at the scene of the crash, pause for just a second, and then quickly drive away.
D2 Howard arrives at the D1 Office of Interchange. Cyrus alerts Aldrich and they take Howard into an interrogation room.
In another part of the building, D2 Oskar Wolfe is delivering packages to the Strategy Office. He is not questioned by the guard and the cameras watching the “Copper Room” don’t catch anything suspicious. He delivers the box with the guns to D2 Rashad Roumani who works at a desk just outside Peter Quayle’s office in the Strategy Bullpen.
Howard tells Aldrich that he can’t be so stupid as to think that Howard is the leak. He tells them about Clare and says there are “multiple points of compromise” in the OI.
In the Diplomacy Office, D2 Helen enters a code and allows Rashad onto the floor. He hands her a bag of clips and what appears to be an Uzi.
Oskar wheels the mail cart to a locked door, removes his own weapons from a box and waits watching for the keypad to go from red to green.
Roland Fancher is alerted by phone to Clare’s accident and calls out to Helen that he needs his car. He runs into his assistant walking down the hallway with the Uzi. She fires into a group of employees and Fancher falls back stunned. She ignores him and heads toward the end of the office.
Rashad opens fire in the bullpen and employees scatter screaming.
Aldrich and Cyrus hear the commotion. They lock Howard in the room and go to investigate.
Rashad makes his way into a security control room and closes the door. He begins turning keys and breaking them off along a bank of servers. An automated announcement (in German) and a klaxon begin sounding.
The keys apparently control the security doors. The third one he breaks causes the door Oskar is standing outside to open. The door to the interrogation room opens as well and Howard is free.
Cyrus makes it to the security room, but Rashad manages to disarm him. He is about to shoot Cyrus when Aldrich appears in the door and fires twice. Rashad falls to the ground dead. Aldrich looks at the damage that’s done to the security equipment and realize they’re trying to get downstairs to the The Crossing. Cyrus punches a big red button and another, louder, klaxon starts sounding throughout the building.
Oskar shoots the guards in the tunnel outside customs.
D2 Howard finds a gun on one of the dead employees in the Strategy Bullpen and takes it. He hears a new round of gunfire coming from the accounting department where he worked for one day (See Both Sides Now) and goes to investigate.
Helen is killing anyone who crosses her path. She takes aim at close range on Howard’s “boss” but is shot in the head from behind before she can pull the trigger. Howard took her out with one shot. Howard helps the wounded man up and out of the office.
Oskar kills only the armed guards in the customs area, regular employees he simply shoves out of the way. He goes behind the desk and triggers the button to open the door to The Crossing. Before he can enter, He is shot in the arm by Aldrich or Cyrus. He returns fire and they take cover. He continues to advance and is shot in the back. He kills more guards on the other side of the door and limps down into The Crossing. He’s bleeding from several wounds. He falls down the last few steps and crawls to a yellow line painted on the floor.
Aldrich says they can’t touch him now because he’s on the border.