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Counterpart Season 2 preview: The walls start to close in for Howard Prime in exclusive clip from season premiere

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Dec 5, 2018, 3:03 PM EST

In the world of Counterpart, our reality was duplicated three decades ago, and as these two realities, known as Alpha and Prime, started to diverge, and a new kind of Cold War erupted.

Caught in the center of these duplicated realities are two Howard Silks, both played by J.K. Simmons. While he's a pencil-pushing bureaucrat in the Alpha world, he's a badass secret agent in the Prime world. Counterpart's first season ended with the crossing between the two worlds sealed off, with Howard Prime having gone undercover as Howard Alpha to try and stop the ongoing conflict.

Now, in this exclusive clip from the Season 2 premiere, the agency Howard works for has brought in a specialist, Naya Temple (Betty Gabriel), to try and flush out any "others" who may have gone rogue in the Alpha timeline. Naturally, this makes Howard Prime extremely nervous about the potential fallout should he be caught.

While the first season regularly bounced back and forth between these two realities, the Season 2 premiere will spend the entire first episode within the Alpha world, while the second episode will be spent in Prime world.

"Ultimately, his is a show that explores the way the two Howards overlap, and how they differ," said creator Justin Marks after a world-premiere screening at this year's Austin Film Festival (moderated by yours truly). He went on to explain that while the mythology of the show's first two seasons had been mapped out from the get-go, they've let the actors' performances help fill in the gaps along the way.

"In the case of the mythology and the backstory of the crossing, we always kind of had a version in and stuck to it," Marks explained. "[There are] the known knowns, and then the known unknowns, and certain things we knew we wanted to be known quantities, like how this whole [reality duplicating] thing came about. We are a little more open-minded and a little more, like, willing to just see where it takes us in the reveals of the characters."

Counterpart Season 2 premieres Dec. 9 on Starz. Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments.