Homeland: Bonnieskaya and Clydeski

What happened after Saul’s team grabbed Dante, and left a terrified Frannie in her mother’s arms? Did Carrie decide she and Frannie might as well squat at Dante’s since he wasn’t going to be home for awhile, or did Carrie do the right thing and leave Frannie at her Aunt Maggie’s? Remember, this is Carrie we’re talking about.

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We open with Carrie dropping Frannie off at school, and warning the shell-shocked kid to ixnay about everything that happened because it could get Mom in big trouble. And it’s really all about Mom, isn’t it?

Who’s the child in this relationship?

With mothering marked off her checklist, Carrie calls Saul to find out where Dante is so she can question him. Saul makes a smartass comment about her “partnership” with Dante, having just seen them attached at the genitals. He tells her he’s got this, but she sees his answering the phone as an opening, and gets the location. This was Saul’s first mistake of the day.

Paley and some of his senate colleagues confront President Elizabeth I, telling her to resign for the good of the country, and warning her it’s the only way to keep Simone from testifying. She asks her former colleagues if they seriously think she’s capable of doing what they’re accusing her of. Their answers are not direct, but more an appeal for her to “do the right thing.”

In Homelandia, both political parties work together.

Granted, Dante is FBI and we don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes, but os there really no other place to bring him besides the future home of Crossfit? Then again, Saul’s got more staff in place, and maybe they put an “Employees Must Wash Hands” sign in the bathroom at Sandy’s insistence. Carrie walks through, and Max pretends not to see her.

Max is dead to her.

Carrie asks Saul what he has on Dante besides a hunch. He shows her how his travel lines up with Simone’s. She tells him she’s gotta be the one to break him. She’s just gotta. Saul tells her he doesn’t trust her, on account of she’s been running around “like an insane vigilante”, but she reminds him they only have two days until Simone testi-lies, and he caves.

Meantime at the White House, President Elizabeth I and David discuss how screwed they are. Elizabeth tells David to go directly to the Russian Ambassador, talk tough, and tell the Russkies to cut it out or there’ll be consequences. Hey guys, maybe you should run this past your National Security Advisor? Then again, maybe your National Security Advisor should be hanging out at the office instead of running interrogations. At the very least, Saul should have left a note on his door: Back in a few hours. Don’t start any wars or make anything worse while I’m away.

Dante does a nice job of trying to undercut Carrie to whomever is listening in. He’s playing the aggrieved party: “I open my home to you and a SWAT team enters…”

You know a show is past its heyday when scenes like this make you nostalgic for the first season.

He mentions that Carrie’s mental health plan consists of his telling her when to take the various pills she got from some skeeve on the street. She doesn’t take the bait, but shows him how the hotels and dates line up with Simone’s. She tells him they have enough to put him away for life. He tells her he’s got to take a leak. This wastes another minute, while he’s led through the “facility,” and we think maybe he’ll go ninja and run for it, or something will happen, but nothing does.

Saul seems to remember that he and Carrie used to be friends, and asks if it’s true what Dante said about her meds not working.

David meets with the Russian ambassador, who of course denies any knowledge of Simone, but sympathizes with David about the video. Women! You can’t keep them from testi-lying and you can’t slap them around in public, at least not in the US, yet.

Speaking of he said/she said, Dante says he was working on Russian organized crime, which explains why he was where he was. Then he retells his version of how he and Carrie became reacquainted, and it’s all about how victimized he’s been by Carrie. She made him a whistle-blower. She stuffed him in the trunk of a car! She’s the one who told him about Simone, and he’s done with this conversation.

Carrie counters this with a monologue that is (surprise) all about Carrie. She’s trying to imply they’ve had similar experiences, career disappointments, the feeling that your love for your country isn’t reciprocated, that you aren’t where you want to be, etc. She tells him that “this” can all be “undone” if he’ll just talk.

He’s not having it, and tells her he wants his lawyer.

Saul seems to be running this by the book—the book being the Constitution of these United States. Saul tells Carrie there’s nothing more to be done. Also, Carrie left her phone out and Maggie’s been texting, so maybe she needs to go home.

In another scene that teases us but doesn’t add much, Paley stops by to visit Simone at the safe house where she’s being held. Is this where we find out that he’s in league with Russia as well? Not exactly. He tells Simone what she’s going to say is horseshit. She doesn’t crack, but answers his question: David asked her to pick up the money and leave it for a friend of his with a gambling debt. She didn’t know about any general murdering. Paley seems genuinely surprised that she can produce real tears. Paley apologizes and tells her he had to be sure she was “for real.” Does he mean a for real spy who can put across a story? Or a for real dupe? We still don’t know if he knows or cares about who sent her.

Unlike Carrie, Simone can control the waterworks.

Carrie must not have left the keys when she stormed off promising never to darken Maggie’s doorstep again. She wants to go upstairs to say goodnight to Frannie. Maggie stops her. Frannie has finally fallen asleep. She wouldn’t stop crying at school. They couldn’t reach her. Frannie wouldn’t tell anyone what happened because she didn’t want to get her mother in trouble. Maggie finally got the truth out of her, and now Maggie is giving Carrie a choice: check herself into a hospital or she’ll start proceedings to get custody.

Carrie replies that there’s something going on in the country and people are being killed. She spits out the title of this week’s episode, “Lies, Amplifiers, Fucking Twitter”. But to Maggie it’s just more crazy talk, which ultimately it is because none of it has anything to do with her bringing the Brodiette to an asset’s apartment when she could have just left the kid home. Carrie brings up Saul’s name, but that doesn’t help her sound more sane. She leaves, but not for the hospital or with her kid.

Thank you, writers, for writing Frannie out without killing her.

The Russian ambassador meets with Yvegeny who, in homage to The Americans (which this entire season is), will henceforth be known in these recaps as Dark Oleg. He tells him that President Elizabeth I is making threats, and they’ve done enough already. Dark Oleg needs to stop Simone from testi-lying.

Carrie returns to the future home of Crossfit. She tells Saul that Frannie will be staying with Maggie for a while. She doesn’t specify that “awhile” may mean till she’s thirty. Saul gently suggests she “undo” whatever she did and go back to Maggie’s. It’s a nice shout-out to what Carrie was suggesting to Dante during the interrogation, which is that damage can be mitigated, that things done can be undone. But Carrie isn’t going back. She’s more determined than ever to get Dante to admit he’s lying, and she has an idea.

We don’t know exactly what her idea is, though it has something to do with Dante’s request for a lawyer. All we can do is shout at the screen, “Trust your instincts, Saul! Don’t listen to her!”

Speaking of lawyers, Dark Oleg gets on an elevator with Simone’s lawyer and asks for information about where she’s being held. He tells the lawyer that he’s the guy paying the bills. You’d think the lawyer might be a wee bit concerned about that, given his foreign accent and the general-murdering and all. Then he threatens to rat her out for hiding her mother’s assets from the government.

People who ride in glass elevators… shouldn’t commit Medicaid fraud.

Over at the home of future Crossfit, the “lawyer” has arrived. It’s not the lawyer Dante was expecting, but he introduces himself as his partner. He needs his signature on a motion to dismiss. Once he’s gone, Dante clutches his chest and notices the ink on his fingers. It was the old poison pen of death trick! Dante shouts for help. In case we’re a little slow, we see the lawyer is actually watching the room with Saul and Carrie. Carrie runs to the room, and tells a guard to get a med kit. Dante’s on the floor by now and he tells her that it’s poison like they used on the general. Simone told him about it.

Hallelujah, an illegally obtained confession! (Except they weren’t going for a confession, just a statement Saul could use corroborating Simone’s involvement.) Dante has passed out, and another worker bee gives him an injection of the antidote, but also notices a problem: no heartbeat. Ruh-roh! Carrie tells him to call 911. He asks her if she means for real. She does. Good news: They’ve got a portable defibrillator, and it looks like they’ve managed to restart his heart. The bad news is he’s non-responsive.

To be fair, we all knew Dante was a dead man as soon as he started helping Carrie.

Saul has already gone to a judge to get a warrant for Simone, because they’re so short-staffed that this must be done personally by the National Security Advisor.

While Saul is on his merry way to arrest Simone, he decides to call Elizabeth with the good news. She mentions that David talked to the Russian Ambassador. Saul doesn’t start yelling that they’re idiots who should have called him, probably because he knows the president is a sensitive soul, easily offended, who might throw him back in the hoosegow, but he does tell her (and us) that she just put a target on Simone’s back. Actually, that’s news that David probably wouldn’t find too upsetting.

If she’d honey-trapped Saul, he would’ve had a bunch of guys shoot the car trunk where she was hiding.

The Russians are coming to Simone’s hideaway. Saul tries to head them off. Will he be too late? Yup, she’s gone. But Dark Oleg doesn’t kill her because he lurves her. In a twist we didn’t see coming because we don’t care about it that much, it turns out he’s the Clydeski to her Bonnieskaya, the Philip to her Elizabeth.

Did you think I meant the Royals?

Speaking of the Jennings, has this entire Homeland season seemed like some wacky crossover? It’s not just Costa Ronin playing an agent, or even Dylan Baker as Senator Paley. Morgan Spector (Dante) has also played a Russian spy, or rather a Russian spy handler, on the short-lived series Allegiance, which in its brief run got pegged as a copycat of the FX series. While other seasons of Homeland have taken place on American soil, none have been so filled with deep cover moles, honey traps, and spies in love.

We end with Saul calling Carrie to give her the crappy news about Simone. Well, at least they’ve got Dante, right? Um, maybe. She’s with him in the ER. He still hasn’t regained consciousness. Whose stupid idea was it to poison him? And who approved it?

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: Homeland

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