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Seeing Double: 64 Best Counterpart Quotes


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If you’re familiar with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films or HBO’s Prison Drama TV series Oz then you’ve no doubt come across the actor J.K. Simmons. A brilliant character actor in his own right, J.K. Simmons truly became a household name when he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash. In which he played abusive drum teacher, Terrence Fletcher, tasked with bringing out the absolute best in drummer and music student, Andrew (played by Miles Teller).

But if you’re wanting a recent TV show that demonstrates the acting brilliance of J.K. Simmons then Counterpart is definitely one of those shows. Counterpart was a sci-fi drama series which focused on our earth and a parallel earth that was converging on ours. Thanks to a botched science experiment which took place in Eastern Germany in the 1980s. The result, which adds to the drama of the show, is numerous doppelgangers and J.K. Simmons playing two characters: Howard Silk and OHoward Silk.

There are just many great antagonistic scenes and quotes that there’s no way we could include all of them. But we managed to narrow them down to 64 Counterpart quotes. Let’s hope the heightened drama translates as well from the small screen to text.

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Best Counterpart Quotes

“Guys like you confuse words with action. I don’t. So I will be very, very clear. If you, or anyone in your family try to take her away from me, we will be done. There will be nothing left to say. And believe me, Eric, the last thing you want is me with nothing left to say.” – Howard Silk

Aldrich: [entering the apartment] Which one are you?
Howard Silk: [eliminating all doubt] Fuck off…

Emily Burton Silk: What on earth have you been doing over there?
Howard Silk: You don’t want to know.

Baldwin: You’re different than your other. What do you think of him?
Howard Silk: I think, um… I wish I’d never met him.

“You know, they say it’s so great to meet yourself. Bullshit. It’s kinda like losing your virginity, ya know? Wait your whole life for it, and then 20 seconds later you’re disappointed.” – Howard Silk

Howard Silk: [to the other Emily] Do you think it’s possible to truly love someone without knowing who they really are?
Emily Burton Silk: Maybe we don’t… love someone for who they really are. Maybe love is seeing them… for who they’d rather be.

“She was unknowable. All interesting people are.” – Girlfriend

Mariel: [gruffly] You’re not some stupid little girl who gets to make friends boyfriends and hopes and dreams. You are a soldier. If that makes you angry, think of who took it from you and focus on that.
Young Clare: [grimaces but doesn’t cry]
Mariel: Congratulations.
Young Clare: For what?
Mariel: You’re truly suffering now. It’s beautiful. It means you’re growing.

Counterpart's protagonist Howard Silk
Counterpart’s protagonist Howard Silk

Howard Silk: [about her reading improvements] Pretty soon you’ll be reading Rilke again.
Emily Burton Silk: And now you’re pat… “patternizing” me.
Howard Silk: Patronizing.
Emily Burton Silk: Yes, exactly.
Howard Silk: Sorry, I’m not sure how I’m to correct your use of the word “patronizing” without sounding patronizing.

Emily Burton Silk: The woman you knew… I am… not that person anymore. When I got out of hospital, I discovered some of the things I did to you.
Howard Silk: I knew who you were.
Emily Burton Silk: I don’t understand. Why did you put up with it?
Howard Silk: I thought it was love. Accepting you… unconditionally. But know I think… it was something more like cowardice. Like if I confronted you, I would lose you.

Howard Silk: What the hell happened to you?
Peter Quayle: Aldrich’s looking for you.
Howard Silk: Yeah? Aldrich’s not going to be a problem for either one of us anymore.

Ian Shaw: Did you feel something for him?
Emily Burton Silk: If I did, it was just a phantom limb.

Howard Silk: I didn’t have a choice.
Ian Shaw: Of course you didn’t.
Howard Silk: I just want to go home.

“I’m your enemy, Howard. I’m the one who tried to kill your wife. … This is how you wanted to win me over? This is your plan? Amazing what the years will do to break the human spirit. When your other was young and found out who his wife really was, he cast away this Interface life and ran to this. My dear boy, I’m perfectly able to give you what you want, but for that to happen, this sad, groveling promise of neutrality, no, no, that just won’t do. If you want your life back, I’m going to need more.” – Alexander Pope

“Thus endeth diplomacy.” – Roland Fancher

Peter Quayle: So it was all for this? Five years of marriage. Preparation.
Clare: The future hasn’t even begun. The news few hours, days, months are going to get very complicated. You’ll see. The next step is for diplomacy to get involved. That wasn’t suicide. You had your seatbelt fastened. You were trying to give us an alibi, weren’t you? Because you’ve chosen to protect our family over everything else. We’re going to need each other if we’re going to get through this.

Howard Silk: I can’t be here anymore.
Emily Burton Silk: Where are you going?
Howard Silk: I’m sorry, I … I miss my wife. I need to go home.

Peter Quayle: What am I to you? Am I a mark or am actually your husband? Just make up your fucking mind.
Clare: When I first met you, I despised you. The other girls, the lying, bullshit wedding. I went through with it because that’s what I do. I spent my whole life becoming this perfect version of someone else. This stupid girl they wanted me to be. I’ve never had anything of my own. Until she was born. Spencer was mine. Not hers or theirs. For the first time in my life, I had something that belonged only to me. Peter, I know our marriage has been one giant, fucked up sham, but you’re the only one who knows me, both sides of who I am.

Andrei: Does this make me some kind of accessory?
Howard Silk: It makes you the kind of man who’s doing the right thing instead of fucking another man’s wife.
Andrei: Why trust me?
Howard Silk: Only because she did.

“Don’t you understand what they do to anyone who gets in their way? The other you, she tried. She reached out to one of ours months ago, a warning that people were coming over. I told Pope. You know what he did? Had her run down, car accident. That’s how far his reach goes!” – Casper

“Peter, I gotta tell ya, this is a bad fuckin’ plan.” – Howard Silk

Howard Silk: What the hell happened, Peter?
Peter Quayle [shakes his head]: Aldrich came over last night, started asking questions about you. It’s pretty safe to say you’re blown.

Counterpart's protagonist Howard Silk looks on at his workplace
Counterpart’s protagonist Howard Silk looks on at his workplace

“You need to stay the hell away from my life. It’s not yours. It’s a fucking vacation rental, and sooner or later I’ll be back, and you’ll come back here and nothing will have changed.” – Howard Silk

“And in the end, that, that capacity for love, the ability to love someone unselfishly is the only thing that will separate me from you.” – Howard Silk

“Yeah, speaking of your life, we’ve been sitting here for a while and you haven’t even asked about sleeping beauty over here. Her condition is unchanged, by the way. Not sure I can say the same about you. Or even myself. Jesus fuckin’ Christ. This is killin’ me, being stuck in your life. Every time I look in the mirror now, I see more of you lookin’ back. All the worst parts, the weakest, saddest parts are taking hold. I don’t blame you for not missing it over here.” – Howard Silk

OHoward Silk: Look at you, Howard.
Howard Silk: Believe me, I’m looking.
OHoward Silk: Not long ago, I sent you over there like a doe in the woods. Now you’re a Spyhunter, bringing me actionable intelligence. I think you owe me some gratitude.
Howard Silk: For what?
OHoward Silk: For waking you the fuck up! What were you before me? Pathetic little meek, sad sack, loyal hubby with your flowers on the nightstand and your fucking poetry. Now look at ya. Now there’s something breathing behind those eyes. Are you enjoying yourself with my family?
Howard Silk: They hate you.
OHoward Silk: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Howard Silk: Although, less and less lately. It really hasn’t taken that much to steer your life out of a skid. A little kindness. A little attention. You’d be amazed the difference it makes. Where’s MY gratitude?
OHoward Silk: You love it, don’t you? Running around poking your nose into all the little details of my life, every fiber of my being.
Howard Silk: We’ve been helping you.
OHoward Silk: We, again.

Aldrich: At one point or the other, we all must make that choice. The cause vs. ourselves if we want to survive. You understand me, don’t you?
Peter Quayle: No, I’m not certain I do, actually.
Aldrich: I think you understand exactly what I’m talking about. I won’t involve the office in this yet, but I’m leaving men outside your house. I’ll be at the Walcot tonight at ten, eating at the bar. I hope you make the right choice.

“And what about Spencer? A child born of two worlds? Do you really think they’re just going to release her? There’s nothing you can do. It’s all underway. Peter, I’m sorry about what I’ve done to you, I really am, but I think it’s time you realize that we’re both trapped in this, you and me, together.” – Clare

Clare: My side doesn’t know anything about what is happening! They wouldn’t know what to do about it if they did. Do you think we’re all so blind over there? The flu killed hundreds of millions, my parents, decimated Europe. And all that time, your side wasn’t affected.
Peter Quayle: Y…y…you, you don’t think if something like that happened, you don’t think I would know about it? An operation of that size?
Clare: You’re so naive. Pretty soon, people are going to take a long, hard look at this charade we call diplomacy. Sooner or later, everything is going to change.
Peter Quayle: I’m turning you in.
Clare: That would be a mistake. Think about your life!! What will people say when they realize it was your wife all along?
Peter Quayle: You are not my wife.

Seeing Double: 64 Best Counterpart Quotes 1

Peter Quayle: And there are others like you?
Clare: I think it’s better if we didn’t discuss this.
Peter Quayle: I don’t give a fuck what you think. Your side is declaring war.

OHoward Silk: What the hell are you doing?
Charlotte Burton: I’m sorry?
OHoward Silk: The esteemed Charlotte Burton suddenly mother of the year.

OEmily Burton Silk: What are you doing?
Ian Shaw: I’m calling the office. Eighteen people are dead, and half of them are children.
OEmily Burton Silk: Yes, and the last time we went through official channels, I was almost killed. Until we know who our friends are, I’d like to keep this between us.

OHoward Silk: How is she?
Charlotte Burton: Doctor’s aren’t sure how much she can understand if anything at all. They’re calling it a first step. First, of many, we hope. Good to see you, Howard. Been a long time.

Emily Burton Silk: It’s from their side. They’re comparing timelines between our worlds. Events, traditions. They’re teaching kids about lives over there.
Ian Shaw: A school.

Teacher: Listen, dear, there is no easy way to say this, but we’re going to have to break your legs, and it will hurt, badly.
Clare: Is it because I read that library book?

“It’s time to shed the skin of your past, grow a new one, thick with anger.” – Teacher

“Ten years ago something happened to the world, and very few people know about it. It copied itself, split in two. Think of it like a door you can walk through to another world with another me, another you.” – Teacher

Teacher: You miss him? [slap] Those feelings are not use to have, do you understand me?! You are not some stupid little girl who gets to have friends and boyfriends and hopes and dreams! You are a soldier. If that makes you angry, think of who took it from you and focus on THAT. Congratulations.
Clare: For what?
Teacher: You are truly suffering now. It’s beautiful. It means you’re growing.

“She’s your wife, Peter. Just put on a smile and use it to your advantage.” – OHoward Silk

Claude Lambert: How anyone agrees to spend their life with someone they’ve never fucked, I’ll never know. It’s like buying a dress you’ve never tried on.
Clare: What am I supposed to do?
Claude Lambert: Are you a virgin? Huh. Well that’ll have to change. If you want your replacement to be authentic, that is. Once cannot have their cherry popped twice. It’s a crude phrase, I know, but it’s quite illustrative. I could be of service…

Thug: You two related?
Clare: Get rid of the body. No means of identification.
Thug: I left the wallet.
Clare: Teeth and fingers. And one more thing. I need you to hurt me. Badly.

Peter Quayle: Perfect night in the perfect life. You know everything about her, don’t you? You know every little detail. Or has it been YOU, just playing me this whole time? Tell me, Clare, when did SHE end and YOU begin? Did I ever even fuck my real wife?
Clare: You want to fuck me?
Peter Quayle: I said my WIFE!!!

“Take it, you fucking spy! I’m giving you a way out. Take it!” – Peter Quayle

“They killed one of ours to make room for one of theirs, and we’ve missed it all this time.” – Aldrich

“You were the only one who talked to him. And that handsome young man you came here with.” – Heinrich’s Wife

Heinrich’s Wife: He talked to me, you know. He told me what you are, spies. You work for Russia? The United States?
OHoward Silk: It’s better that you don’t know.

“I’ll tell you what I’m looking for. How about a damn good explanation why I’m professionally obligated to tell you anything other than fuck off?” – Howard Silk

“You know it’s my birthday today? I’m supposed to be hosting a dinner party tonight; friends, colleagues. Who knows? I could be inviting this mole into my house.” – Peter Quayle

Clare: What did you tell Howard Silk?
Heinrich: It won’t make a difference, will it?
Clare: If you somehow compromised me or my associates, there are things that must be made right.
Heinrich: When I tell you, what happens?
Clare: You’ve already chosen your side.
Heinrich: A decade here, three on the other side. You know what I know? There are no sides. We all go to the same hell.

Counterpart's Clare runs surveillance
Counterpart’s Clare runs surveillance

Alice: Mousy, I tried to believe your man, I really did. It would be better if I was only fooling myself and they didn’t really exist.
Peter Quayle: Who the hell are we talking about?

Howard Silk: Were you really hospitalized for a drug overdose?
OEmily Burton Silk: No.
Howard Silk: Someone did that to you, tried to kill you?
OEmily Burton Silk: Yes, none other than Alexander Pope, the man your other trusts, much to his detriment.

“All these years with you, I’m still out in the cold.” – OHoward Silk

Howard Silk: You do realize we’re the same person, right? Essentially. I mean, the same flesh and blood, the same DNA.
OHoward Silk: Yeah, believe me, I do.
Howard Silk: Then why do you feel compelled to treat me so badly?

Howard Silk: Look, I don’t know how bad it is between you and him. I can guess knowing him, a bit. But however bad it is, you’re both very lucky.

Howard Silk: You want me to inhabit your life?
OHoward Silk: Honestly, that’s the last thing in the fuckin’ world I want, but I don’t think we have a choice.

Peter Quayle: Your presence here was supposed to be low profile.
OHoward Silk: Yeah, well it’s a little too fuckin’ late for that now, isn’t it?

“You think you’re better than him, but someday you’ll find out what I mean. You cannot escape who you are.” – Baldwin

“You cannot escape who you are.” – Nadia

Howard Silk: I just don’t understand how we can really be…I mean, is your world really that different from mine?
OHoward Silk: That’s a conversation you really don’t want to have.

OHoward Silk: A few days ago you were nothing, a flatliner. Look at you now.
Howard Silk: Do me a favor. Quit trying to make me into your image.

“Let me ask you something you sloppy fuck. Do you have the slightest clue how much you’ve escalated this thing? You let a crosser get into police custody.” – OHoward Silk

OEmily Burton Silk: What on earth have you been doing over there?
OHoward Silk: You don’t want to know.

“Howard, why do you think I brought you in on this? For your great tactical skill, your great knowledge of this whole fuckin’ thing? I need to pretend to be you, take Baldwin out myself.” – Baldwin

“I have a new book. ‘You, you, only you exist.'” – Howard Silk

What’s your favourite Counterpart quote?

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