In the age of the franchise, Counterpart starring J.K. Simmons sets itself apart as one of the most original TV series ever made. Yet some fans have been questioning the similarities between Counterpart and Fox’s sci-fi series Fringe.
At first glance critics were so surprised by it’s originality that they had trouble comparing it to any other show. Is it parts Fringe? Parts Homeland or Person of Interest? Parts The Americans? Parts Agents of Shield or Man in the High Castle? It’s only fitting considering it’s plot about parallel universes. Most now set on Fringe.
The show’s plot goes like this:
A cog in a bureaucratic agency discovers his agency is guarding a crossing to a parallel dimension. Howard Silk soon meets his counterpart and all hell breaks loose.
Counterpart is not just the next time travel show to grace our TV screens. It’s not even technically about time travel, although it might be depending on what Howard’s agency actually does. The show doesn’t tell us, Howard doesn’t know, and all the characters so far are not that high up in the food chain. Still they share the past with their counterparts but things diverge whenever the timeline splits. We don’t know that either, and that’s just fine. There’s plenty of other danger lurking around every corner for our two Howard’s to deal with.
Now we all know that in Fringe, Walter was the sole cause of the creation of the parallel universes due to his window invention and that started the cracks. Walter caused more and more cracks over the years. In Fringe Walternate is the U.S. Secretary of Defense who would seem to have way more knowledge of the inner workings of the various agencies researching the parallel universe than any of the characters that Howard in Counterpart interacts with. Fringe is also primarily the story of the Bishops. They jump through cracks in the universe leaving the rest of the world to cope, as they sort out their multi-dimensional lives. So how would the rest of the world not holding all the answers cope with the sudden discovery of a parallel universe. The answer is Counterpart. Could Fringe be it’s parent show?
Could there be a possible connection there? Fringe was indeed an American based show and we never got to see what the rest of the world was thinking while all this craziness was going on. Things could have been more tame in Europe in regards to the strange happenings, or the agency Howard works at could have kept better controls on things so they did not get out of hand that much. Except of course, for the multidimensional assassins.
However, this is all fan theory speculation. Besides for the similar plot of alternate universes and the fact that both shows are based around federal agencies, I have yet to see any clues of a Fringe connection, but those parallels (pun intended) are nevertheless there.
To those wondering if this show is based on a book, movie, or similar other franchise. As far as I know it’s not. When asked, the creator himself, Justin Marks claims he’s never even seen Fringe!! That statement itself seems like a non-denial denial paving the way for Fringe fans to take a closer look at the series to see if any such connections could possibly be made in the future.
If there are any other clues out there, please let me know and I’ll analyze it closer.