'Counterpart' season 2: The Primes and Alphas are completely confused in the first two episodes
Prime and Alpha are both synonymous with the 'main' but in the show they are like two different versions of one. Fans, however, seem to be a little confused with the reluctant swap
Fans are confused about the sudden mix of the Alphas and the Primes in the real world of STARZ's Justin Marks-created show, 'Counterpart'. Starring J.K. Simmons as Howard Silk (Alpha and Prime), Olivia Williams as Emily Brunt Silk, Sara Serraiocco as Baldwin and Nadia Fierro, Harry Lloyd as Peter Quayle, and Nazanin Boniadi as Clare, 'Counterpart' follows the attempts of the diplomacy as it tries to maintain peace between our world and the other world that had split from ours almost 30 years ago during the Cold War. While the first season saw a crack developing between the diplomacies of the two worlds, the second season is an attempt to fix things that went wrong in the previous season.
Fans, however, seem to be a little confused with the reluctant swapping between the residents of the Prime and the Alpha worlds. The second season opened with Howards Silk Prime spending his life with Emily Alpha who in spite of losing her memory has been able to figure out that there is something strange about her husband. On the other hand, Howard Silk Alpha encountered Emily Prime for the first time, who immediately realized how different this man was from her husband, with whom she had separated years ago. As for Baldwin, she continued to remain in Berlin, in spite of Howard Prime asking her to flee the city.
Several other characters such as Clare, Peter, and Naya too are living on the thin line that helps distinguish their identities from their Prime-selves. A fan on Reddit has noted, "I thought that the Howard (Our Howard?) who ended up in Jail on the other side was from our world thus he should be 'Prime"? and the Howard from the other world is Alpha? I'm not sure how they decided which is which but this infers that the Howard we followed in this Episode is from the Prime world meaning that our Howard is from Alpha. So the twist is that our world (Alpha) is the duplicate and the other side is the real Prime world?"
While it has been put forward in the show that the Alpha world is the real world, it would be difficult to deny the Prime world as an entity real enough in itself. 'Counterpart' has been following the concept of a daughter universe so far, a theory which suggests that for every outcome that could come from one of your decisions, there would be a range of universes — each of which saw one of the outcomes to fruition. This theory finds authenticity in Baldwin's story, where both Baldwin and Nadia saw their fathers die on the train track, but Baldwin grew up to be a sadistic killer while Nadia became a world-renowned violinist.
Since daughter universes are formed by the outcomes to our decisions it would be hard to term them as anything but real. Even between Baldwin and Nadia, in spite of their distinct ways of lives, they are still haunted by the image of their father's death during which time none of them had made the decision to save him. Probably for Nadia things did not go south because she decided to be a better person but for Baldwin, things did not seem clear anymore and somewhere she lost her way by committing one crime after the other. The Prime and Alpha worlds are like the two versions of one world. It is almost like showcasing life from two different perspectives, and with the chaos created by the maladjustment of the Prime and Alpha versions has only helped bring out the ugly reality of the world as a whole.
'Counterpart' season 2 episode 2 returns to STARZ on December 16.