Homeland: The one where Saul visits his sister

Previously on Homeland, Carrie decided to bond with her house guest, Peter Quinn, by showing him the video of that time he was poisoned by saran gas, and telling him how hard she tried to save him. We open with Quinn screaming from a nightmare/flashback of the attack, which he didn’t remember until Carrie forced him to watch it. Thanks a lot, Carrie!

Carrie is hugging him and comforting him in the same way she’d hug and comfort her daughter, but Quinn being a man, tries to put his hand under Carrie’s shirt. AWKWARD!

Then she lectures him (again) about living in her home and asks if she should get Max to stay with him because she has to go to work and doesn’t have time to infantilize him and humiliate him on a full time basis.

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Meantime, Saul is in Abu Dhabi where he’s picked up by a hot girl-Mossad agent on a motorcycle, and I’m sure that wouldn’t be conspicuous at all.

If the point was to make Saul look way too old for this, it worked.

Reda (the lawyer/professor) calls out Carrie because thanks to her making contact with Saud, the deal is off the table. Sekou is facing trial, probable conviction, and a fifteen year sentence. Carrie says she’s really sorry, and she’ll go tell Sekou how she ruined his life.

Nafeezi, the Iranian bagman thinks he’s going to meet his hot honey in Abu Dhabi, but surprise: Hot honey is a Mossad agent, there are photos, and his meeting is with Saul.

Not the kind of threesome he was expecting.

Saul and Tovah (the tough cookie who previously met with Dar) have a conversation about their respective stands on Iran. Tovah (standing in for Israel) is convinced that Iran is absolutely violating the agreement. Saul wants evidence. These positions have been previously stated on previous episodes, but why not kill a couple of minutes with some talky-talk?

It takes a moment for Sekou to grasp how deeply in the shitter he is thanks to the strange blonde lady who isn’t his lawyer.

That moment you realize the blonde lady who isn’t your lawyer, may actually be insane.

He all but runs back to his cell before she can do more damage while she shouts that she’ll “fix this” and gives us Carrie lip quiver #103.

Back in Abu Dhabi, Nafeezi tells Saul a plausible story about going to buy some Russian missiles, which explains the bank transfers. He claims he’s never been to North Korea. Saul seems to believe him, and lets him go, but then tells Tovah that he doesn’t believe him because the missiles are defensive weapons that are allowed under the treaty, so they wouldn’t have used the top secret bank transfers. Therefore, he actually was cheating – probably.

In Carrie’s basement, Peter is looking at a crack in the ceiling and what looks like mold. That’s going to cost Carrie some points on her AirBnB review. He’s also watching an apartment across the street, or rather he’s watching someone in an apartment across the street who appears to be watching Carrie’s house… or he’s just brain-addled.

Saul reports to Dar that they didn’t have time to “break” Nafeezi, but he thinks the missiles are a cover, and maybe Iran is cheating. Dar is annoyed that Saul isn’t being more definite. Like couldn’t he just say it was a slam-dunk?

Carrie drives out in the station wagon she has no trouble parking in Brooklyn ever, to a leafy suburb where she approaches Roger, an old NSA contact with access to tapes of every phone call ever made in these United States, and asks him if he can get her Conlon’s chat with Saud. He tells her no several times in several ways, but we all know that no one can refuse Carrie Mathison, so no worries.

Dar puffs up Saul’s assessment with a couple of alternate facts when he meets with President-elect Keane. He also points out that if she’s not comfortable with him, she can get briefed by someone else, but she says she’ll stick with him. She does not say she’ll keep her enemies close because saying it would be a ridiculous cliche, but that seems to be the subtext.

She wont blink. She persists.

Carrie gets flowers at her office, but instead of a card there’s a flash drive, which contains the phone call, and it’s just like Saud told her: Sekou absolutely refused to meet with the contact. Then she goes to visit Conlon and plays the tape for him, threatening to take it to the Attorney General unless all charges are dropped. He doesn’t say yes, but when she walks out of his office, she’s doing Carrie smile #13 – the one your dog makes when he’s successfully swipes the turkey sandwich off your plate.

Warning: Smile may indicate hubris, which often results in tragedy.

Saul is visiting his crazy sister in the West Bank whom he hasn’t seen in twelve years because she’s a fanatic, and this goes worse than any Thanksgiving and/or Passover sedar I’ve been to, but he’s still staying the night because they are family (and also he has a secret agenda).

“When you come into my home and call me an insane fanatic, that makes you the drunk uncle.”

Peter has his “friend” Clarice take him to her boyfriend Tommy – the guy what robbed him. Peter with one good hand, manages to take Tommy’s gun and bullets, and beat Tommy with a sock full of coins. Tommy concedes they are “even.”

The most satisfying moment in the season so far.

Carrie has another clandestine meeting with the President-elect, this time in the back of a restaurant, so we can have more chit-chat and learn that Keane is divorced, and like all ladies on television likes the wine. Carrie feels Dar may be overplaying Saul’s findings, as what he told Keane doesn’t sound like what Saul would say. She advises Keane to ask for Saul’s actual report, and to discuss her doubts with the President. Dar is listening in a car  because in this year’s Homelandverse everyone is spying on everyone and no conversation goes unrecorded.

Is Dar this season’s Big Bad?

Saul gets a late night phone call, sneaks out of his sister’s house and out of the gates that separate her “community” from the Arab city in the valley below. A Palestinian police car pulls up. Saul gets in, and the driver orders him to duck down in the backseat.

Carrie drives her station wagon straight into the empty parking space in front of her house, which is porn to every New York viewer with a car. She doesn’t see Peter who’s hiding out under the stairs and watching the apartment building across the street, where someone appears to be watching Carrie.

Wow, that was not very exciting, except for the hot parking scenes.  Let’s hope episode 4 will have more action, and sound less like a transcript of random Jews arguing about Israel.

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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