Major spoilers below for Counterpart's episode, titled "The Sincerest Form of Flattery."

In its first six episodes, Starz's Counterpart proved itself to be as magnificent, as dense and as unpredictable as any other TV show out there. And then came Episode 7, offering a full-length exploration of Clare Prime, who was revealed to be the OI's big mole in the previous ep's cliffhanger. "The Sincerest Form of Flattery" was like nothing else Counterpart has delivered, turning Clare from a bit-part villain into Counterpart's biggest lynchpin. I was lucky enough to talk about the episode at length with star Nazanin Boniadi, who shared why it was such an important installment.

I think, essentially, she's the main villain of the season. And to humanize her, you have to really understand where she comes from. Otherwise, to have a series regular that's an essential part of the show, and not to humanize her, I think there's no way for the audience to connect with a character that's one-dimensional. And she's anything but one-dimensional. She's very multi-faceted. . . . I think it's important that you get to know Clare to understand why the other side bears this grudge and resentment towards this side. Without knowing that, with the other side being very 'other' and foreign and villainous, and I don't think that's necessarily true.

Indeed! During the episode, Counterpart fans went back in time to Clare's childhood within the Indigo school's growing league of sleeper cells. We learned that the alt-Earth is grooming children to mirror the lives of their other iterations, for an eventual goal where the radicalized students engage in the deadliest form of identity theft. When normal-world Clare accidentally broke her legs as a youth, the Indigo head honcho Mira forced Clare Prime to get her own legs intentionally broken, which is just one of so many partially justifiable reasons for the orphan's rage over the conspiratorial claims that the flu that killed her parents (and millions of others) was the fault of the other world. (As a separate example, normal Clare's prolonged virginity

Homeland vet Nazanin Boniadi, who went out for the role based on the first three scripts and creator Justin Marks' promise that there was more to come, shared with me her thoughts about Clare's quasi-manufactured point of view, and went a little deeper into how her deeply disturbing upbringing was such that her so-called villainy can be up for debate.

It's a very dark role. Clare's gone through so much. She's essentially been radicalized and brainwashed. I view Indigo as a cult, you know, and she has no way of escaping that mentality. She's been shaped that way from a young age. She is a soldier for that cause. But I think the great thing about it -- there's a quote, 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter' -- and I think she truly embodies that. She feels entirely justified in what she's doing, and I don't think she's doing it with malicious intent. She truly thinks this is the greatest good for the greatest number to wreak revenge on this world because of everything that they've done to the people on the other side. It's a very dark role, but it's very multi-faceted and so layered. Understanding her backstory and understanding the pain that she suffered through and the loss she suffered. And there's a great line by Mira, the head of Indigo who becomes her mentor and shapes her, where she says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'Let your skin grow thick with anger.' And that's what she's done. She's let all of that pain and suffering and loss, she's channeled all of that into this cause, and that's why she's so dedicated.

Since Clare is married to Peter, their dynamic will definitely go through some revisions in the coming weeks, and we're wondering if she will remain so loyal to the Indigo school. (Which, as it happens, has lost a good amount of paperwork to trashcan fires.) Or maybe she will manage to spin Peter's own domestic interests with her genuinely horrifying history.

One thing's for sure, though. Peter probably won't listen to a word Clare Prime says after he learns what happened to the actual woman he attempted to marry. Head over to the next page to hear what Nazanin Boniadi told us about that big Clare-killing-Clare scene.

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