Homeland Season Three Premiere Recap: Saul, How Could You?

We open with a shirtless Quinn building a bomb. The sweat is glistening on his rock hard manly chest. I wonder what else he does without a shirt. Is this a meme yet? Will there be a spinoff?

Carrie is testifying in a closed-door senate hearing. The Committee Chair, Senator Lockhart is no fool, and it’s easy to imagine him in his younger days lighting up a doobie and following The Grateful Dead, like Vermont’s Senator-for-Life Pat Leahy. I will heretofore refer to Lockhart as Pat Leahy. He’s explaining that it’s 58 days since the explosion at Langley, and they are still trying to figure out what the hell happened, and America wants to know how the CIA can protect the country when it can’t protect itself.

This is a good question and I hope for America’s sake he gets to the bottom of it, but if he does, there won’t be a show, unless it’s the one where Saul and Carrie are managing that Cinnabon in Nebraska with Saul Goodman.

We cut away and catch up with Saul (Berenson) who is now the acting director of the CIA. He is with Dar Adal. In case we didn’t get it from the hearing, Dar and Saul are discussing how the CIA is in big trouble. Dar thinks throwing Carrie under a bus will get them out of it, but Saul won’t do this.

Back in the senate, Carrie is handed a copy of a document regarding Brody’s offer of immunity. It’s signed by the late attorney general who died at Langley. Carrie plays dumb and says she has no idea what it’s about, but blurts out that she doesn’t think Brody knew the bomb was in his car.

Pat Leahy asks her what she’s been smoking. (Literally.)

There’s a break and Carrie’s attorney reminds her that no one must ever know about Brody’s suicide vest because that would “bury the agency.” Carrie takes a walk and calls Saul all “How the fuck did they get that document?” Meantime, the attorney looks at Carrie’s notebook, which has all kinds of connect-the-dot scribbles like a mini-version of her crazy-board from Season One.

Speaking of psychiatric illness, Dana is in some kind of group therapy session with a bunch of other sullen teens, one of whom is Leo, a cute boy played by Sam Underwood who recently portrayed Dexter’s unlucky protégé. The oblivious therapist reminds everyone that Dana will soon be going home and asks her what tools she’ll be taking with her. Dana answers by stringing together a bunch of 12-step clichés. The therapist doesn’t seem to notice that Dana and Leo are making sweet love to each other with their eyes.

Oh Dana, when will you learn about boys? Rehab and mental hospitals are not good places to meet your soul mate. It’s like she and Carrie were separated at birth. Will the big reveal be that Dana was the child given up for adoption by Carrie when she was a teenager?

And then, because this episode will not allow the viewers to fill in a single gap for themselves, we find Jessica speaking to the hospital director about how she’s there to take home her daughter who slit her wrists in the bathtub two months ago, and also they are broke.

Meanwhile at not-Langley, there’s a big meeting where an admiral who is maybe the acting-Secretary of Defense wants to know what the CIA is doing. Saul explains how they are tracking people they believe were involved in planning the attack, and they will take them out. The admiral asks if Brody will be one of them, but nobody knows where Brody is. Also there is an Iranian, Majid Javidi, they haven’t found yet who may have been the “mastermind.” Keep track of that name because it sounds like he’ll be the new big bad.

Carrie’s Dad confronts her about being off her meds. Carrie explains that she will “miss something” if medicated, and also claims to be doing alternative stuff like running and meditating. Her father points to her new “where in the world is Brody” bulletin board, and the bottles of tequila in the recycling.

Dana returns to casa Brody and in case we forgot that she tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists in the bathtub, she passes the bathroom and looks at the tub, commenting that it’s been redone, as Jessica looks panic-stricken, or as panic stricken as Morena Baccarin can manage.

Jessica’s mother is staying with them, and she is terrible, but her presence allows Jessica to recap everything that’s happened in the last two months. Maybe once this task is completed, she’ll leave. Dana still has a brother. He looks taller, but he still hasn’t developed a personality. There is no money coming in because the marines have stopped sending Brody’s pension. Jessica is looking for a job, but Grandma thinks she should get an attorney and take the marines to court because Grandma is useless.

Dana goes to her room and takes off her shirt because that’s a thing this week. She sends a topless selfie to Leo. Later, he sends one back to her. He doesn’t look as hot as Quinn, but maybe he will one day.

Saul is home with Mira. He is not topless. They have a conversation that includes an update on the state of their marriage over the last two months. They have separate bedrooms, and Saul seems uncomfortable with physical contact.

The next day, 59 days after Langley, Carrie is back testifying. Pat Leahy asks about her fourteen unaccounted for hours after the explosion. Carrie takes the fifth on the advice of her attorney who reminds Leahy that per Carrie’s written statement she was passed out in the ladies’ room. He knows this is bullshit and tells her she is doing great harm to her country.

Saul and Dar are in a command center and Saul, after being all “We’re spies, not assassins,” has decided to go for it and the mission is on. They’re going to take out all six targets at the same time. It’s like the great prison shivathon on Breaking Bad (I miss it already) except no nazis. Also no drones. Instead they have “kill teams.” Quinn is so awesome he is a kill team of one. He gets on a motorcycle and he’s following a car, planning to throw the bomb into it, but then he realizes that his target’s young son is in the car, and because he only likes killing bad guys he goes to the residence instead, and uses the bomb to draw out the guards. Then goes all Seal Team Six on them. He enters the house and shoots into a cabinet, opens the cabinet and his dead target comes tumbling out. He takes a photo and sends it to not-Langley. Then he sees a flash of light in the hallway and shoots at that. Of course, it turns out to be the little boy, who is dead, and this makes him sad. But over at not-Langley they don’t know this. All they know is that “Tin Man is down,” and than the reports come in that “Scarecrow is down” and it turns out all the targets have names from The Wizard of Oz, because naming terror targets after beloved childhood book characters isn’t weird at all.

Carrie unwinds after her terrible day by buying all of the bottles of liquor and picking up a good-looking drunk who slightly resembles Brody. She has loud vigorous sexytime with him on her staircase, which might have given her serious rug-burn. Carrie is alone the next morning because she still has some boundaries left. The phone wakes her. It’s her dad, who asks if she’s read the story in the morning paper. Some anonymous source is saying that an unstable CIA agent was having a sexual relationship with Brody.

Carrie storms into a restaurant where Dar, Saul and CIA Guy Ryan are all celebrating because they successfully killed six bad people (and maybe a few small children) remotely from not-Langley. Carrie starts screaming at Saul and blaming him for the leak. After she leaves, Saul asks Dar if he leaked the story. He denies it, but thinks it’s a good thing.

Saul goes to testify before the committee. First it looks like he’s going to be all badass and stand up to the questioning, but then he does the expedient thing when asked about the report in the paper, and says the agent in question had a history of erratic behavior and concealed her bipolar disorder from the agency. Pat Leahy asks if she concealed her relationship with Brody as well. Saul says yes because maybe he’s been spending too much time around Dar, or maybe if it comes down to the agency or Carrie, he’d rather sacrifice Carrie.

Carrie is watching this on television and she looks as brokenhearted as you’d expect before we fade to black.

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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  • FatGuyFromQueens

    It sounds like the phony CIA is as dysfunctional as the real one.

    • But in Homeland, the CIA might actually be defunded by a Congress that is tired of their incompetence. So not very much like the real CIA. PS Did you see The Simpsons parody Homeland last night?

      • FatGuyFromQueens

        NO I wish I did. Gotta look out for that. Your right about Homeland. Defund CIA because they’re incompetent? Naaah that is fantasy. Plus when I leave Congress, I’ll have a cushy “consulting” gig with a CIA contractor.