The episode is written by Gianna Sobol and is her third writing credit on Counterpart.
Point of Departure is directed by Swiss cinematographer Lukas Ettlin (Black Sails Krypton The Last Ship).
D2 Howard, Quayle and Clare must unite against a common enemy. D2 Emily turns her investigation towards her other. Yanek probes D1 Howard's past.
Mira follows the tracker that Osman fed to D1 Howard (See Something Borrowed). The signal leads her to what appears to be a disused military facility. She walks along the electrified fence ignoring a warning signs, “Do not enter” and “Danger”.
A guard approaches and warns Mira away. She ignores him as she continues to walk the perimeter for a bit before turning and facing him. She asks him his name.
Emily Burton, 1984Edit
In 1984, two years before the accident that caused the world to duplicate, A young Emily Burton travels through the West German countryside with her mother Charlotte. They discuss Charlotte’s platinum wedding band which she explains is far more valuable than silver or gold. Charlotte explains the history of wedding bands, the old belief that a very special vein ran from the ring finger to the heart. She says it was a false belief because “Their science was primitive.”
Emily seems to want to defend primitive culture and begins to repeat something her father told her about the pyramids. Charlotte looks disgusted and asks that they not speak of Emily’s father.
Charlotte says that she and Emily should pretend to be other people during their “girl’s holiday” since they’ve never been to the Inn they’re visiting and can be whoever they want. Charlotte settles on the name Annette and generates a false resume wherein she is a pianist who gave up music in the pursuit of moral philosophy.
Emily wants to be Belinda, like Belinda Carlisle from The Go-Go’s. She adds fantasy elements to her false biography. Charlotte shuts her down pointing out that she does play the piano and took philosophy in college so she can fake her “Annette” persona. She says Emily should only lie a little because if you lie a lot then people can see through it.
Emily Burton, TodayEdit
In Dimension Two, Emily is driving the same road from her childhood. She’s following up on what Richard “Ricky” Langston told her about a childhood hiding place D1 Emily spoke about during her investigation of the origins of The Flu.
Cara (Christine Adams) calls to remind Emily about a meeting with Management. Emily says she’s investigating something and asks Cara to push the meeting back and promises to get back to her by the afternoon. Emily turns off her phone.
She arrives at a country inn and is greeted by the proprietor who recognizes her as “Belinda”. She remembers his name and calls him Herr Phong, but he says their relationship is not so formal. Apparently “Belinda” has a regular cottage at the inn and it’s just become available. He explains that a recent renovation returned the cottage walls to the same color they were when she was young.
In Dimension One, Emily is thrilled that, despite her ongoing difficulty with recognizing written words, she’s finally worked out the title of the overdue library book she found in a cabinet in their apartment (See Inside Out). It’s The Tin Drum. Howard is less excited than she thinks he should be. She accuses him of patronizing her. He says he can’t work out a way to correct her stumbling pronunciation without sounding patronizing. In an effort to salvage the day, he says they should celebrate her accomplishment with a nice dinner out. She says she’d rather Howard cook for her.
Claude Lambert and Clare meet in an open-air market. He makes a sexual joke about her “packing”. He’s carrying a gun due to “trust issues” after Clare failed his test by leaking information to Peter Quayle.
Lambert wants to know if Peter stole the information or if Clare gave it to him. Clare is indignant, she says she’s given up her entire life to a cause. This is something she says Lambert can’t understand. He admits that he is not one of the Indigo “fanatics”. Clare says she feels sorry for him because he doesn’t know what it’s like to be part of something more important than himself.
Lambert questions how long Peter Quayle has known that Clare was an Indigo mole. He says he doesn’t plan to notify “our friends” that she’s been found out because it wouldn’t be good for either of them. He belives if Indigo finds out Clare’s compromised, they might think Lambert is too. He asks Clare to “uncreate” the chaos she created or they’ll both be killed. Clare says they’ll talk soon.
Clare returns to the car where Peter Quayle is waiting and smoking a cigarette. She reports that Lambert hasn’t told anyone about the two of them. She says they won’t be safe until he’s dead. She tells Peter to return to the office and await the call while she goes to Lambert’s home and cleans it up of any Indigo-related material. Clare texts D2 Howard, “All clear.” She asks Peter not to smoke in the car because their daughter rides in it often. Peter calls her “mother of the year.”
Howard receives the text and immediately calls someone. He says “Ready.”
As Lambert is making his way out of the market, one of D2 Howard’s operatives stumbles into Lambert, places a beer bottle in his hand and rubs a clear gel on the ambassador’s neck. Lambert begins to stumble and another of Howard’s agents grabs Lambert by the shoulders and begins pretending Lambert is drunk.
Clare arrives at Lambert’s apartment. She notices two identical pairs of shoes. She finds a number of Office of Interchange files including one about her with a handwritten label reading “Shadow”.
Lambert is taken to the D2 operative’s safehouse. He recognizes Baldwin. Howard says Lambert’s been drugged with Fentanyl. Howard secretly hands Baldwin a knife. Baldwin informs Lambert that the operatives plan is “trading us in”. Lambert says it’s not going to work; the office won’t treat the D2 operatives any better.
The D2 agents believe Howard will make a deal trading Baldwin and Lambert in exchange for immunity for all the agents. Howard tells them to sit tight until he makes the connection.
The Kinder OnesEdit
D1 Howard is still unconscious on the floor at Echo in Dimension Two. It’s the same spot where Marcel and his friends left him after they beat him up. The Echo cell doors open the next morning and everyone steps around Howard on their way to breakfast. He painfully makes his way to his feet and settles in beside D2 Quayle who’s brought coffee.
D2 Quayle explains that everyone inside Echo believes Howard is a pretty bad guy because his counterpart is responsible for the prisoners being inside.
Howard says D2 Quayle is different from his other, more human. D2 Quayle says Yanek makes him feel he’s only valuable because D1 Quayle is valuable. D2 Quayle claims that if they gave him one of those director deputy titles he’d be running the place.
D2 Quayle says it’s not easy being the “kinder one” because “nice guys always finish last”.
Ian Shaw visits an electrical engineer named Moritz. Ian brings illegal cigarettes to bribe Moritz into helping him figure out the Management case he’s found. Moritz gets the case open and freaks out a bit. He recognizes it for what it is. He says Management uses the cases to talk to each other within their own worlds. He says members of Management don’t like to be in the same place.
Ian orders him to extract whatever information he can from it and agrees to Moritz’s fee of “10,000”.
Emily’s Special PlaceEdit
At the inn in Dimension Two, D2 Emily remembers catching her mother in the shower with another man back in 1984. In a fit of pique, young Emily snatched her mother’s platinum wedding band and ran off toward a nearby church and campanile. She hid the band in a nook in the church wall facing the lake.
Present day Emily, following these memories, finds the same nook. Inside there is a bundle of files wrapped in plastic to protect them from the elements.
- EDITOR’S NOTE: The “inn” Emily visits is Sacrow Manor in Postsdam. The spot near the water where she hides the ring and later the Indigo documents is at Church of the Redeemer identifiable by its tall campanile. In addition to the beauty of the location, the church is significant in that it was once part of the concrete barrier separating East from West during the Cold War between the United States and the USSR.
The first file Emily opens is about Osman (the man who originally interrogated D1 Howard at the OI and the man who had Howard sent to Echo). There is a picture of Osman with Mira and Aldus Fray at the Indigo School in Potsdam. Noticing a handwritten note with Osman’s full name, Osman Parash, D2 Emily recognizes it as her own handwriting and copies out the name to prove it.
Baldwin’s Narrow EscapeEdit
Baldwin is sawing through the zip tie that binds her. Claude Lambert, much recovered from his drugging, attempts to engage Baldwin in conversation. He recognizes her as “Clare’s girl” “the contractor she adored”. Lambert had been told Baldwin was “taken care of” but suspected Clare was loyal to her and allowed her to escape. Baldwin corrects him saying Clare didn’t have loyalty to her.
He wonders where Baldwin went after she escaped, he hopes it was “somewhere nice”. Baldwin says she went nowhere. He suggests she tried on “another life” and that “it didn’t fit”.
Baldwin frees herself. Lambert realizes that she plans to kill him.
After cutting his throat, Baldwin is heading out the window when one of the D2 operatives returns. He sees Lambert bleeding out from a gash in his throat. He fights with Baldwin and gets his throat cut. More operatives return and they are killed one by one. Baldwin escapes, calls Clare, and reports Lambert is dead. She also asks her to tell Silk she’s sorry for what she had to do.
- EDITOR’S NOTE: It is unclear from watching if Baldwin kills D2 Lambert or D1 Lambert. Because the Lambert counterparts switched places for an earlier meeting with Clare, they could have switched again. Counterpart creator and showrunner Justin Marks tells Counterpart Wiki that “Alpha was killed.” "Alpha" is what the show writers and production team call Dimension One. This means D2 Lambert, the real ambassador, is still alive.
Clare calls Peter Quayle and informs him of the death of Lambert via a code, saying she’s making white asparagus for dinner. Peter is much relieved. He goes to the window overlooking the Strategy bullpen and, in an apparent signal to D2 Howard, halfway closes the curtains.
The Book is a SignalEdit
In Dimension One, Emily heads off to the library to return The Tin Drum. She learns that she checked it out under the name “Belinda Clemens”. There is a 22 Euro overdue fee. Emily also learns that she has checked out the book many times before. As the librarian explains it, Emily and a man basically trade the book. Emily takes it out for a day or two, returns the book, the man is notified the book is back, he takes it out and then Emily is notified when the book is returned.
Emily decides to wait at the library to see what happens once this process plays out again. She tries to read a bit, but her brain damage makes it impossible. She looks envious of a child easily reading a book nearby. An hour later she notices a man asking for The Tin Drum. It’s D2 Claude Lambert but she doesn’t recognize him. She follows him out of the library and finds him sitting on a bench.
Lambert quickly realizes that she doesn’t know who he is and becomes a bit desperate saying that his other is missing. Emily learns that she bought information from the other Lambert in the past. Emily was one of the best among the Lamberts’ many customers from both sides.
They part with Lambert asking Emily to contact him. He gives her a matchbook from a bar. If she learns anything about his other, she is to go to the bar and order a mint julip with Templeton Rye. He stalks away.
In Dimension Two, Yanek is questioning D2 Peter Quayle who has just remembered that he hates goldfish. This new revelation came to him in a dream which he didn’t remember straightaway but with the help of Yanek’s “recall methods” and it made him realize he had three goldfish.
D1 Howard is led into the room. Quayle stops, but Yanek urges him to continue because he wants Howard to see what they do at Echo. Yanek urges Quayle to explain what he fears the most. Quayle says he fears responsibility because it means that he can get in trouble if he makes a mistake. Quayle begins stammering and has to stop.
Yanek thanks him for the new memories and offers him a soda. Quayle also wants a candy.
Once Quayle is gone, Yanek explains that Quayle offers very little resistance to “harvesting his past”. Yanek believes it’s because they took Quayle when he was young.
Howard sits and Yanek injects him with what he claims is Cyproheptadine. He says it will adjust D2 Howard’s physiology a little closer to his counterpart’s. Yanek warns that the drug may make Howard drowsy or dry mouthed and offers ice chips and an ice pack for the bruises left by the beating Howard received the night before.
Howard believes the attack might have been part of an experiment by Yanek and Management. Yanak wonders aloud if Howard’s other would have fought back. Howard says Yanek would have to ask him. Yanek says he can’t since he doesn’t know the other Howard beyond the files Management sent over.
Yanek says Management is very eager to learn from Howard. Yanek presses record on an old cassette recorder and asks about major events in Howard’s life from 1987 to 1996. Yanek is looking for points of departure during this period which he describes as “rather adherent” between the two worlds meaning prior to The Break when the divergence between the worlds increased exponentially.
Yanek’s goal is to identify the conditions that caused the same man to split in two in order to better understand what made D1 Howard who he is.
Howard explains that he came to Berlin to work as a clerk for the US Treasury Department in 1986. Both Howards were hired by the OI in 1990.
They discuss the fact that while D2 Howard eloped with D2 Emily, the D1 couple had a wedding October 9, 1990. Howard explains this was partly because his father was sick and they thought he would enjoy the ceremony.
They discuss Howard’s father and the fact that D2 Howard cut off communication with his father due to his ongoing issues with and the financial distress caused by gambling. This ate up the last of his father’s inheritance in 1992 after which he borrowed from bad people. He turned to his son Howard for money. D2 Howard paid the debt and never spoke to his father again.
D1 Howard maintained a relationship with his father until his death. In D1, Howard’s father never lost his house.
Yanek believes by dumping his father, D2 Howard was freed of the hypocrisy and the lies all around him from his father and his wife. He says this change allowed D2 Howard to see the world for what it is, not with empathy but with clarity.
Mira Killed the FanchersEdit
D2 Howard returns to the D1 safehouse and finds his operatives and D1 Lambert dead. He goes back to his apartment and panics when he can’t find Emily. She comes in seconds later and explains about the library book signal and her meeting with a source.
Howard is angry. He claims it is out of concern for her wellbeing but he hurts her feelings which she says he never would have done before. Howard points out that he didn’t know how dangerous her job was before.
At her apartement, Clare goes through the “shadow” file she stole from Lambert’s apartment. She finds pictures from her childhood which she burns along with the other papers.
Pope is informing Lambert that they’re sending Clare Fancher over to replace her other. In explaining how Clare came to be at Indigo, Pope reveals that D2 Clare’s parents did not die from The Flu as she has always believed. They were instead killed by acute arsenic poisoning ordered by Mira. Pope explains that “hundreds of millions” were dying during the height of the flu epidemic and no one noticed because the poison symptoms were similar.
Peter Quayle arrives home to find Clare eating dinner, white asparagus. He joins her for dinner. Peter assures her that they’re safe now, but Clare doesn’t seem happy.
The Case of the Missing CaseEdit
In Dimension Two, Ian Shaw returns to Mortiz and finds him dead on the floor of his shop. Several agents enter with guns drawn. These men seem to know Ian and take him into custody. They ask what happened to the case and say Ian better hope Mira didn’t get it.
Osman has the case. Mira calls and says they now have just one more piece left to recover. She says she visited Echo. Osman wonders how they’ll get inside Echo. Mira says not to worry about that now. She instructs him to pack the car and says she’ll send along coordinates.
Outside Osman’s apartment, D2 Emily places a tracking device on Osman’s SUV.
When he drives away later, she follows.
At Echo, Yanek sends D1 Howard a gift, he's allowed to shave and shower.
Later, D2 Quayle asks a clean-shaven Howard where “the rest of your face” has gone. Quayle is surprised when Howard doesn’t sit with him at dinner and opts instead to sit with Marcel.
Marcel throws Howard’s dinner tray on the floor. Howard attempts to explain how they knew each other and how kind Marcel was to him in Dimension One. Howard tells the story of a holiday part at Marcel’s that he attended with Emily. They spoke at length with Marcel’s sister Noor and her boyfriend Victor. Marcel seems interested in news about his family, but after Howard expresses empathy for Marcel being taken out of his life, Marcel shoves him to the floor.
Emily Throws a WrenchEdit
D1 Emily quietly sneaks out of her apartment and goes to meet Naya Temple at a train station and tells her about Lambert.
The next day at the office, Naya asks Peter to follow her downstairs. She warns him that what she’s about to show him must stay between them. She leads him into a storeroom where several armed guards surround a seated D2 Claude Lambert. Lambert greets Quayle cheerfully and says it looks as if Quayle has just seen a ghost.