'Counterpart': Mira's story from victim to villain incorporates everything that defines Justin Marks' show
Mira grew up as an experiment for her father, and later, the very fact of not being considered the only version of herself, turned her into the vengeful character we know
The basic premise of STARZ's 'Counterpart' follows the tension between the two versions of our world, Alpha and Prime, that came to exist in 1987. While weaving a stimulating spy espionage around the concept of daughter universes, the Justin Marks-created show also delves deep into several philosophical ideas such as identity, existential crises, and the urge for one version to always take over the other.
Although the story managed to capture the angles of these philosophies, it is actually through the character of Mira, played by Christiane Paul, that these very features come to the forefront. Starring alongside J.K. Simmons as Howard Silk, Olivia Williams as Emily Silk, Nicholas Pinnock as Ian Shaw, James Cromwell as Yanek, and Harry Lloyd as Peter Quayle, Mira's character was introduced as a typical villain of the show.
We did not know what her true motives were besides the fact she was spearheading Indigo's quest to take over the Alpha world. However, Episode 6, titled 'Twin Cities', gave us an opportunity to view Mira from the perspective of a victim. Mira became the center of the experiment her father, Yanek, was carrying out with his counterpart from the other world. It was, in fact, revealed in the episode that Mira was compelled to be the point of departure from the two realities, when the two Yaneks decided to treat their daughters, differently.
With Mira's childhood out in the open, it can be said this is one character who suffered losing her identity when the two worlds were created. She became that one significant instance of deviation between the two realities, when in one world her father gifted her a cassette and in the other, she was given no gifts. However, when things began to fall apart and Mira witnessed her own father being murdered by his counterpart, she was determined to put an end to the other world. This is where the victim in Mira transitioned into becoming a villain and an existential crisis begins to wrap itself around her character.
Mira does not want to end the two worlds, she only wants the two worlds to never meet again. We see her asserting this idea with Yanek, who is actually her father's counterpart, by claiming to meet the Management of both the worlds. It can be said, Mira is the perfect rebel to the authoritative rule of the Management that keeps the Crossing a secret even from its own employees.
She is the only character who truly understands what Yanek means when he says one version will never let the other one exist. She took that very idea a step further when, in her childhood, she replaced herself with Mira Prime (who is missing), after she discovered Yanek Prime had killed her father, and by imprisoning her father's counterpart. Mira defines everything that sees a serious crisis in the show. She overcame the crisis in her identity by becoming the head of Indigo which in itself established her to be the one and only version of herself.
On the other hand, to make sure she is the only one existing between the two selves, Mira is now plotting to shut down the Crossing forever and put an end to it. Whether Mira succeeds in a mission, and whether closing the Crossing is all she is looking for, will be revealed once the show returns to STARZ February 5.