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S02.E03: Something Borrowed

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Howard is transferred to a mysterious prison called Echo. An unexpected visit gives Emily a connection to her old life. Emily Prime and Shaw's investigation is met with resistance.

Airdate: December 23, 2018

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A lot of info/questions from this episode.

Mira was wrong: management has implemented some plan with counterparts (maybe or maybe not as devious as Indigo?!).

What kind of information can Yaneck learn from this Quayle? He is nothing like the Peter from the other side.

The 2 Lamberts were talking as if they were twin brothers from the same side and not counterparts.

For all the checking ECHO performed on Howard they couldn't detect the bug in him? Was it coincidence in front of the ECHO was 20 and opposite 02?

Ian found the case! Mira needs to work on her torture technique.

I'm sure management knows Emily was lying about the file she found at the safe house.

Now that Howard is going to work with Clare and Peter, Baldwin will have a chance to take out Lambert and Clare soon.

Will Spencer be tasked to kill Clare? Probably felt upset Clare didn't recognize him.

Poor Howard paying the price for other Howard. Now Yaneck is going to "make" him the same as Prime Howard (should be interesting).

Impressive, clear recording from a device located all the way down in a sneaker. Peter is lucky she light on her feet and didn't break it!

Emily get your memory back you have a lot of answers to share!

Edited by mxc90
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2 hours ago, mxc90 said:

Now that Howard is going to work with Clare and Peter, Baldwin will have a chance to take out Lambert and Clare soon.

That would at least give Baldwin a raison d'etrè, although likely Spencer will save Clare to spy another day. 

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8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

That would at least give Baldwin a raison d'etrè, although likely Spencer will save Clare to spy another day. 

In the meantime, maybe Baldwin will have a few practice kills on the girl kissing her sort of "ex" and on Howard's friends (I doubt she will keep her word)!

Yup! I'm sure Clare will find a way to escape. Maybe Baldwin doesn't survive this season!

Edited by mxc90
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I could use some help here:
1) I am having major difficulty identifying who is who. Everyone's double is, well, not a double but the same person with difficult to detect differences.  Also, the doubles swap sides.  And then they go back.  And some suffer amnesia, so they don't know who they are.  Help!
2) One side of the tunnel appears to be Berlin, the other side England.  Is this a commentary that mirrors post WWII communism, where communists despised capitalists.  After all, the Berlin side appears neat and clean, while the England side appears graffiti-strewn and dirty.


 

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I wonder if that Spencer is truly Spencer? I think Mira/Lombard know that Spencer is Claire's weak spot. She named her daughter for him after all. Wonder if they sent someone else to pretend to be him?

Edited by Empress Josephine
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7 hours ago, grommit2 said:

One side of the tunnel appears to be Berlin, the other side England. 

Nope, both sides are Berlin, albeit with a lot of British people.  (Maybe the British are just superior at the spy game?)  The graffiti side is "our" Berlin, the super-clean side is Berlin Prime. 

 

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The 2 Lamberts were talking as if they were twin brothers from the same side and not counterparts.

Twin brothers or counterparts, WTF are they doing in bed together caressing each other?  That is some sick shit there. 

 

I am so relieved they were only taking a dental x-ray of Howard, from the previews for this episode I was afraid James Cromwell was going to go all Marathon Man on him. 

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 5:02 PM, grommit2 said:

I could use some help here:
1) I am having major difficulty identifying who is who. Everyone's double is, well, not a double but the same person with difficult to detect differences.  Also, the doubles swap sides.  And then they go back.  And some suffer amnesia, so they don't know who they are.  Help!
2) One side of the tunnel appears to be Berlin, the other side England.  Is this a commentary that mirrors post WWII communism, where communists despised capitalists.  After all, the Berlin side appears neat and clean, while the England side appears graffiti-strewn and dirty.
 

 

19 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Nope, both sides are Berlin, albeit with a lot of British people.  (Maybe the British are just superior at the spy game?)  The graffiti side is "our" Berlin, the super-clean side is Berlin Prime. 

OK, here's the scorecard so far:

The two worlds are linked by a building that has, since the split, been taken over on each side by the Office of Interchange, a United Nations agency created for the purpose of managing the crossing as well as diplomacy and information exchanges between them, and keeping it all secret from the world at large. (This UN connection is what explains the international cast of characters.)

The world that seems to be ours has been labeled the "Alpha" world by the showrunners (though only in credits do we see even an occasional use of this label), while the other world is labeled "Prime." In the '90s, Prime world was hit with a flu epidemic that killed hundreds of millions and is believed by some of them to have been caused by Alpha world; part of the epidemic's aftermath is Prime world's obsession with cleanliness.

Howard Silk Alpha was a lowly OI employee in the Interface department, not in on the parallel-worlds secret, until his counterpart crossed over on the hunt for troublemakers from his world (Howard Prime works for a clandestine OI group called Section Two that chases such crossers) and demanded our Howard be brought into the loop. Howard Alpha's wife Emily had been left comatose by a hit-and-run that was no accident, as assassins from Prime world (including Baldwin, whose counterpart died early in Season 1) tried to finish the job more than once. While she was still comatose, Howard Prime fended off one of those assassination attempts but then was instructed to return to his world; instead he convinced Howard Alpha to trade places with him so he could stay here and keep her alive. They are still in each other's world, and while Prime officials know they've got Howard Alpha, in Alpha world the only OI official who knows about the swap is Peter Quayle.

Emily Alpha later awoke from the coma, though with severe memory loss, and to date has no idea the Howards are swapped. Ironically, though she insisted on keeping her husband unaware of the OI's true mission, she's worked over the years with Howard Prime, who'd split with his own Emily when he'd found out it was her idea to keep him in the dark at the OI.

So Emily Prime is known as Emily Burton (reclaimed her maiden name); before her new promotion she worked in "Housekeeping" as in cleaning up the OI's messes, as did Emily Alpha, apparently. E Prime has just discovered that E Alpha has been sneaking over to Prime world for years. E Prime's colleague and (now ex-) lover Ian Shaw doesn't seem to have an Alpha counterpart, at least not one connected with the OI.

Peter Quayle is a high OI exec in Alpha world, and an imprisoned loser in Prime. Quayle Alpha's wife Clare is a sleeper from Prime world who killed and replaced her counterpart (who'd been dating Quayle) so she could marry and spy on him as he rose in the OI. Quayle and Howard Prime have found her out.

Clare's boss Claude Lambert is an ambassador from Prime to Alpha, now in hiding in Alpha world because he's (correctly) suspected to have been behind the terrorist attack on the Alpha OI by the Prime dissidents. This is the first we've known he has an Alpha counterpart; apparently both will fuck anything that moves, including each other, I guess. And apparently the Alpha and Prime guys are amusing themselves by pretending to be each other (if I followed their goings-on correctly, it was Lambert Alpha who contacted Clare).

Is that everyone major?

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Seems like they split up the stories with both emilies now getting involved, Quinn running his own game, then this new character in the alpha world, the. Clare, etc.

They had some momentum on the school and there was a lot of action in addition to the brilliant acting.

But now the storytelling seems more diffracted, with all the different characters seeing only fragments.

Aldrich tried to tie the strands together and when he learned enough, he was framed and killed off.  Maybe Naya will start to put things together again but she has to go against Howard Prime, Emily Alpha who may be a double agent who forgot things, Clare, etc.

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11 hours ago, wilnil said:

Is that everyone major?

Are Mira and "management" considered major?

On prime side, Mira ran the school for children (orphans or sent by their parent(s)) to behave exactly as their counterpart/take over their lives or train them for some devious role in her organization/program (Indigo). She trained Clare and is now a fugitive wanted by both sides. I believe she was a member of the Office of Interchange and went rogue. Also, she doesn't seem to age.

Management is still a mystery. So far (we are told) they are one group for each side, making decisions for each OI but they could be just one playing some twisted game controlling both sides.

(Correct me if I'm wrong) Alpha's technology is more advanced than prime's technology due the epidemic. Prime fell behind due to the many lives lost.

On 12/24/2018 at 12:39 AM, Quilt Fairy said:

Twin brothers or counterparts, WTF are they doing in bed together caressing each other?  That is some sick shit there. 

Also, was he looking at his other or the girl? EWWHH!

Edited by mxc90
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I sometimes get confused as to which world we're watching, but the cast is so wonderful I'll keep watching even if the story seems to be going nowhere.  It was interesting to see Peter Quayle Prime locked up in Echo, being mined for information about his other.  He was so happy to hear that his other is a successful executive.  I hate to see sweet, innocent Howard Alpha being trained to be just like Prime.  Love me some James Cromwell though.  Can they just kill off Baldwin already?

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On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 11:39 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

Twin brothers or counterparts, WTF are they doing in bed together caressing each other?  That is some sick shit there. 

 

 

2 hours ago, mxc90 said:

Also, was he looking the other or the girl? EWWHH!

 

Well, they at least touched on this possibility in the first season--there was the lady defector (I'm terrible with names.) that was living with her counterpart and their spouse, in a seemingly polyamorous relationship.

 

They just didn't get too graphic about it.  (I squicked at the siblingness of it last season, and then thought of it as extreme masturbation, and then squicked again, and decided to try not to think about it.)

Edited by Mari

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4 hours ago, mxc90 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong) Alpha's technology is more advanced than prime's technology due the epidemic. Prime fell behind due to the many lives lost.

Mostly, yeah. Prime has the edge on medical advances, having been spurred on in that one area by fighting the epidemic. 

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4 hours ago, Mari said:

Well, they at least touched on this possibility in the first season--there was the lady defector (I'm terrible with names.) that was living with her counterpart and their spouse, in a seemingly polyamorous relationship.

My impression of that group was more two women who were good friends and, due to circumstances beyond their control, sharing a husband.  Given the scenario of the show, it didn't bother me.  Actually, Lambert sharing a woman with another man didn't bother me much, either.  But Lambert in bed with just his other?  Yuck, and double yuck. 

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What a great episode it was! 

I am still in awe with Olivia Williams, who continues to be fantastic at being both Alpha and Prime. She is the cornerstone of the season and alpha Emily chasing herself the same way Prime is is fantastic writing. 

I love the fact that this show is good not only at macro level with the spy games, but in the small intimate human moments like when Alpha Emily kisses Prime Howard, so much there!

Lambert becomes even more detestable each episode, that is narcissism pushed at the extreme!

We finally see ECHO and I loved seeing Prime Quayle (and can we please command Harry Lloyd's ability at playing man-child so accurately ? That takes skill !). If we thought Alpha Quayle was a looser now his other is even more pathetic (dare I say "challenged"?)

Poor Howard, after being mind-screwed by Yanek, gets beat up for what his Other did? How long can he stay a gentleman?

So Ian found the case,  can't wait to see what is in there. 

Is Spencer really Spencer ? That threw Clare off at least.

The irony for Quayle : even when he tries to do the right thing, he still manages to screw up. At that point that is almost talent. With Naya knowing Aldrich was not Shadow, he is in even deeper shit than before. 

I don't care for Baldwin but I guess they found a way to keep her in the story. The reluctant Clare/Quayle/P.Howard/Baldwin collaboration seems promising 

I really wish more would watch such a great show 

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3 hours ago, Coxfires said:

I really wish more would watch such a great show 

I just don't think the same audience that would watch a complex scifi think piece is the same audience that is willing to watch graphic sex. I mean, even if there is some reason for these alt-pairs to be obsessively drawn to each other in some way—likely due to some Indigo programming—that can be conveyed just as effectively—if not moreso—by showing less of the physical specifics, IMO.

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16 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I just don't think the same audience that would watch a complex scifi think piece is the same audience that is willing to watch graphic sex. I mean, even if there is some reason for these alt-pairs to be obsessively drawn to each other in some way—likely due to some Indigo programming—that can be conveyed just as effectively—if not moreso—by showing less of the physical specifics, IMO.

I agree, the show could easily ditch it but I don't think that is what makes the audience not watch. I think the network and discreet promotion might be a factor, as well as the fact that the leads are not necessarily young, Hollywood models, and that despite having twists and turns  the show is not the "in your face" type. It takes its time, it is more thought out in termd of season than episodes, I don't know, but it deserves so so much more IMO

Edited by Coxfires
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31 minutes ago, Coxfires said:

I agree, the show could easily ditch it but I don't think that is what makes the audience not watch. I think the network and discreet promotion might be a factor, as well as the fact that the leads are not necessarily young, Hollywood models, and that despite having twists and turns  the show is not the "in your face" type. It takes its time, it is more thought out in termd of season than episodes, I don't know, but it deserves so so much more IMO

Good points about the show demanding a lot of attention from the viewer. I hope the seemingly superfluous graphic sex scenes last season with Baldwin and this season with What'sHisNames aren't just a marketing ploy to draw viewers, because that's really not how it works.

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4 hours ago, Coxfires said:

So Ian found the case,  can't wait to see what is in there. 

I'm pretty sure it's the computer link-up for Management, we saw someone packing it up in an earlier episode.

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On 12/25/2018 at 6:32 AM, mxc90 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong) Alpha's technology is more advanced than prime's technology due the epidemic. Prime fell behind due to the many lives lost.

In some ways, yes, but Prime's medical and agricultural technology is more advanced because their priorities were refocused. The sequencing of the human genome was done on the Prime world and then traded to Alpha, for example. But Prime lacks smartphones.

On 12/25/2018 at 9:19 AM, Mari said:

Well, they at least touched on this possibility in the first season--there was the lady defector (I'm terrible with names.) that was living with her counterpart and their spouse, in a seemingly polyamorous relationship.

Alice. And it seemed, at least, that they both had relations with her husband but not each other, as far as we know.

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“Your bicuspids are quite stricking” isn’t a sentence you hear everyday.

This season gets better with each episode.

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On 12/24/2018 at 1:39 AM, Quilt Fairy said:

Twin brothers or counterparts, WTF are they doing in bed together caressing each other?  That is some sick shit there. 

 

The Phrase “Go f*ck yourself” has seldom been taken this literally.

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Alpha Marcel was killed in Season 1 by Baldwin, so prime Marcel's info is useless. Why is he still held at ECHO? He must have pissed someone off!

Edited by mxc90
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People in Echo know about the parallel worlds. This information is kept secret from the general population, so I guess you never leave Echo even if your other is dead. Because otherwise the secret would get out.

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On 12/23/2018 at 8:58 AM, mxc90 said:

Mira was wrong: management has implemented some plan with counterparts (maybe or maybe not as devious as Indigo?!).

 

She said "Those children are the soldiers that you and the rest of Management were unwilling to create", and the counterparts held in Echo aren't soldiers, they're just being pumped for psychological information, so she was not wrong about that. (And she presumably knows what goes on in Echo, since she knew enough about it to want Howard sent there)

On 12/26/2018 at 8:33 PM, marinw said:

“Your bicuspids are quite stricking” isn’t a sentence you hear everyday.

This season gets better with each episode.

Ha ha, indeed.

Olivia Williams was the MVP this episode.

Edited by Noneofyourbusiness
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1 hour ago, Noneofyourbusiness said:
On 12/23/2018 at 8:58 AM, mxc90 said:

Mira was wrong: management has implemented some plan with counterparts (maybe or maybe not as devious as Indigo?!).

She said "Those children are the soldiers that you and the rest of Management were unwilling to create", and the counterparts held in Echo aren't soldiers, they're just being pumped for psychological information, so she was not wrong about that. (And she presumably knows what goes on in Echo, since she knew enough about it to want Howard sent there)

Agree. But I never said management was using the prisoners like the children or creating soldiers. I took it as Mira believing management was unwilling to use counterparts in some nefarious way and when we found out about ECHO (they did have a plan).

I am not convinced yet if she knows what goes on at ECHO. 

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55 minutes ago, mxc90 said:

Agree. But I never said management was using the prisoners like the children or creating soldiers. I took it as Mira believing management was unwilling to use counterparts in some nefarious way and when we found out about ECHO (they did have a plan).

I am not convinced yet if she knows what goes on at ECHO. 

Yeah, but that wasn't what Mira said. Her exact words were that they were unwilling to create soldiers. Using psych info against their others seems more like an "if this becomes useful in the course of our ongoing spy games" thing than part of a master plan. And her accomplice said they had stopped sending people there a while ago. Anyway, given how riddled with double agents the Prime OI is and what we saw of Indigo's hacking of their files, I'm sure she knows at least the general purpose of Echo. Her accomplice who had Howard sent there speculated that there's someone there she wants to get to through him, so likely there's someone there who knows some information she needs.

Edited by Noneofyourbusiness

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On 12/28/2018 at 12:32 PM, Noneofyourbusiness said:

Yeah, but that wasn't what Mira said. Her exact words were that they were unwilling to create soldiers. Using psych info against their others seems more like an "if this becomes useful in the course of our ongoing spy games" thing than part of a master plan. And her accomplice said they had stopped sending people there a while ago. Anyway, given how riddled with double agents the Prime OI is and what we saw of Indigo's hacking of their files, I'm sure she knows at least the general purpose of Echo. Her accomplice who had Howard sent there speculated that there's someone there she wants to get to through him, so likely there's someone there who knows some information she needs.

Thanks for the explanation. I'll do a re watch.

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Wow, so the Lamberts Prime and Alpha really bring new meaning to the phrase "Go fuck yourself" huh? 

I've been hoping to meet the other Peter, and it didnt disappoint! So the other Peter is a twitchy seemingly unstable oddball, who makes Alpha Peter look well adjusted in comparison! Poor Alpha Howard, always stuck taking beatings for Prime Howard. So the whole prison is to mine the information from people who are important or needed for info in the other world? I guess they're just random civilians too, as Prime Peter seemed so adorably thrilled to hear that his Other was successful.

Excited to see the team up of Prime Howard, Claire, Peter, and Baldwin, that should make for some very strange bedfellows. 

Emily Alpha is a mystery to everyone, even herself!

Edited by tennisgurl
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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

So the whole prison is to mine the information from people who are important or needed for info in the other world? I guess they're just random civilians too, as Prime Peter seemed so adorably thrilled to hear that his Other was successful.

Alpha Peter was important because he married Alpha Claire, who was the daughter of an influential bigwig who was going to be sure his son-in-law was elevated to a position worthy of the husband of his daughter and the father of his granddaughter. So it makes sense that they need to mine Peter Prime's Id and Ego.  

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I guess I am one of the few who find the clandestine spy stuff uninteresting. I am way more interested in the two worlds and what their existence enables (how do people react when they meet their other, the dude in bed with himself, differences between the two worlds, etc.) Given all the spy stuff is based on an assumption that hasn’t been proven, it’s just not that Interesting. Also, I am bummed that management is just normal people. Was hoping for something more exotic. 

Edited by Ottis

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On 1/13/2019 at 10:50 AM, Ottis said:

I guess I am one of the few who find the clandestine spy stuff uninteresting. I am way more interested in the two worlds and what their existence enables (how do people react when they meet their other, the dude in bed with himself, differences between the two worlds, etc.) 

I've always found spy craft - real spy craft not silly action film spy craft - to be quite boring. Actually I find the other stuff uninteresting too but in a different way. Real TV spy craft is just people having serious, slightly enigmatic, conversations in darkened rooms. The other stuff - the parallel universe stuff: the stuff motivating the spy craft and the metaphorical and thematic basis of the show - is really interesting and I want the show to concentrate a bit more of that.

This episode was far more interesting than episode 2 because Emily is a great character, well acted and her ongoing search for herself is so well done. 

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