'Counterpart' Season 2 (spoilers): How Baldwin's storyline with Nadia is a reflection of the larger conflict between the two worlds
A murderer in one world and a violinist in the other, Fate chooses which version of Baldwin survives and which doesn't, and she never gets to have a say in it
The controversial theme of STARZ's J.K. Simmons starring show, 'Counterpart', is rooted in its objective to show how one version of an individual will always try to take over the other one. This topic found prominence in Yanek's story about the origin of the Crossing, but over the first and second seasons, one character's journey has been subtly hinting towards this theme. Starring Sara Serraiocco as Baldwin and Nadia, this assassin's story has probably defined the Justin Marks-created show's narrative in the clearest, yet most humbling way.
Yanek's story about the origin of the Crossing walked us through how the two worlds have been trying to overthrow each other since their inception.
As Yanek's story ended on a tragic note, it left us wondering what the fate of the two worlds will be. Secrets were at once classified and the Crossing remained limited to the usage of only the fourth floor of Interface. While Yanek's story provides a basic background for 'Counterpart', Baldwin's tale serves a similar purpose but on a more tragic note.
Unlike Yanek who chose to create a sense of the difference between the two worlds, Baldwin wanted to become one with her counterpart in the Alpha world, Nadia.
A renowned violinist, Nadia had everything that Baldwin ever wanted. A home, a lover, a career, and above all the freedom to choose her own path. Just like Yanek, Baldwin was initially envious of her counterpart's lifestyle — it was so much better than the bohemian life that she was leading.
As a noted assassin in Indigo, Baldwin was sent to the Alpha world to kill people whose names were only mentioned to her but Fate had something else in store for her.
She soon came in contact with Nadia, and it was revealed that the two shared exactly the same past. Both watched their father die on the tracks and did not do anything to save him since they both secretly wanted him to die.
While the guilt of watching her father die was too difficult for Nadia to cope with, Baldwin immediately chose to take charge of her own life but fell into the wrong hands. Nadia grew up to be a depressed individual who harms herself to compensate for the guilt, but Baldwin grew up to be worse.
She had no charge of her life, she couldn't hurt herself, couldn't call her own shots, and certainly could not go anywhere she wanted to. Baldwin was a murderer at the mercy of a mentor, and unlike Nadia, she was doing things that were not driven by will but by order.
This is the point where Baldwin's story diverts from Yanek's. While Yanek killed his counterpart in order to lead a better life, Baldwin wanted to live with her counterpart and learn about the better life. Unfortunately, Nadia was killed and Baldwin was immediately taken captive.
However, we do see her eventually escape with some help from Howard Prime (played by Simmons), but here too her future remains uncertain. Baldwin's story is the consequence that 'Counterpart' has been pointing to. When two worlds collide, one will always be destroyed by the other, and even if that does not happen, Fate will find a way to eliminate one and keep the other. But who decides who stays and who goes? While Yanek decided for himself, that can't be said about Baldwin? We find out more when 'Counterpart' returns with Episode Six on January 20.