Homeland: Who's the honey-trap?

Carrie finally goes to Saul, who helps her put the pieces together, but will she take his advice?

“Species Jump”, episode 6 of the season, opens with Carrie trying to get Fannie off to school, so she can go back to more important things. She yells at Bill for honking the horn, even though Bill has an actual job and isn’t exactly getting overtime for chauffeuring her kid around. Her niece is now taking some responsibility for adulting poor Aunt Carrie.

Are we heading for a heartbreaking decision about Fannie’s future? Let’s hope so for Frannie’s sake!

“Mommy, we need to talk!”

Now that everyone’s gone, Carrie can run to her room where Max is on the computer. Did she sneak him in through the front door or did he climb in through the window? Does he just live here now? She’s going to be in big trouble if Mom Maggie finds out!

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Max is watching that steamy new show, Hail to the Chief of Staff, and reports not a word has been spoken about any payoffs or General-murdering. They dismiss the idea that Simone and David are onto the bug. No long conversations in the bathroom with the water running, ad no suspicious outside cigarette breaks, which wouldn’t even be suspicious because Simone is, how you say, French. Simone leaves for work, but comes back a minute later. She just got served. David thinks it’s bullshit because it’s not like he’s asked her to be the bagman on any conspiracies.

What is Max’s deal, and after all this, why doesn’t he just say no to her?

Carrie has an urge to call Dante and tell him that David is innocent, but Max stops her (thank goodness) and reminds her that Dante is FBI and they’ve broken a lot of laws. Carrie’s Spidey Sense kicks in—not to the point of her realizing that Dante is too slick by half—but it suddenly dawns on her that maybe their little operation was flawed. They’d already had a predetermined outcome: Simone would run to David and David would turn out to be the one behind everything. What if Simone’s contact is someone else?

Saul is sitting in the back of a classroom while the prof is telling cold war stories. We can tell she’s one of those cool but demanding teachers because she curses. Also, she’s an ex-spook. Probably the kids don’t read the papers or watch the news on the TV, because none of them seem phased by Saul’s presence, even though he’s the National Security Advisor who just screwed up that Lucasville thing.

He and Sandy, the prof, take a walk so we can catch up on their backstory. She’s a Russia expert who got fired by Allison, naturally. Saul apologizes for “not protecting” her. Could be worse. She could’ve wound up teaching English at a community college like season two Carrie.

Saul catches her up on his conversation with Ivan, and Saul’s suspicions that Yvegeny Gromav may have been behind the fake photo of JJ because it was very similar to a previous play of his in Ukraine.

Ivan, who’s supposed to be hiking the Grand Tetons, which unlike “hiking the Appalachian Trail” is not generally a euphemism, is in fact secretly visiting the DC area where he meets with “Carolyn”, a deep cover Russian agent, who’s surprised to see him because he wasn’t supposed to be “activated” yet. So Saul was right about his not being out of the spy game. Ivan wants to meet with Yvegeny.

“And we will speak in English, and I have no accent because this show is stealing more than cast members from The Americans this season.”

Who wins this week’s Emmy? It’s not lip-quivering Carrie. It’s not even Saul, who’s discovered his true superpower of being sardonic. It’s Dylan Baker’s Senator Paley. When confronted by David Wellington who insists that his girlfriend is a “civilian” who has nothing to do with Paley’s investigation, Baker/Paley kills it, turning cliched dialogue and phrases like “Scouts honor?” into taglines and future memes. He makes being a character actor way cooler than being a lead.

Making the writers look good.

Carrie is continuing to review the tapes, in which Simone and David never say anything incriminating, and Simone never references her beating, or the extortion. Carrie calls Janet, Paley’s assistant, to try to get into the closed session, but Janet doesn’t want her there, maybe because Carrie can be out of her mind a little intense sometimes.

Looks like Saul is putting together an operation. He and Sandy go into some empty office space which incredibly hasn’t been turned into a cross-fit gym yet. Sandy meets Clint, Saul’s “information guy” who doesn’t wash his hands after he uses the bathroom. As even Saul admits, it’s still a small team.

Carrie manages to sneak into the hearing because she’s Carrie. Dante is already here. How’d he get in? He tells her he’s Paley’s new bestie. Simone is shown photos of herself at the various cash stops. Paley threatens her with “conspiracy to commit murder” and she cracks. Her attorney shushes her. They’re going for an immunity deal. She claims she didn’t know the purpose of the cash stops. She just collected money and left it under a boulder. She’ll give them the name of a “senior White House official” as soon as the ink is dry on their agreement. She claims to have taken contemporaneous notes about all the weird things David was saying and doing just like some people do in our reality.

Carrie tells Dante they have to talk, stat. Is this where she blows everything by telling him about her surveillance? Fortunately, no. She tells him that David is innocent, but she can’t back it up and then he plays the crazy card, asking her if she’s eaten anything, and telling her that what she’s saying doesn’t make sense.

Gaslighting 101.

Saul is back in his office when he gets an urgent message from Carrie, and leaves to meet her on a park bench somewhere because the new National Security Advisor meeting someone who got shitcanned from the White House a couple of months earlier wouldn’t raise any eyebrows at all.

She tells him about the hearing that just happened, and even about the surveillance. He starts to walk away, but doesn’t. Is it because they have a true bond? Or is it because he understands they’re on parallel tracks, and he needs to keep her train from going off the rails and crashing into his? He gets her to think clearly about Dante, who she just happened to run into shortly after being fired, and he just happened to be thinking along the same lines as she was, and he had some DOJ memos she helped him leak to Paley, and he was the one who gave her Simone’s parking ticket, and, and… Carrie realizes she’s been honey-trapped!

She can’t believe she fell for it, but Saul reminds her in his best line reading of the night, that he is “the CEO of that club.”

Not a club either of them ever expected to join.

Carrie’s first instinct is to find Dante and beat him up worse than she beat up that hacker, but Saul tells her to lay low and not communicate with Dante for a few days. Then he tells her he’s been looking into “active measures” by Russia. Carrie realizes it’s all related. David was set up, and she helped. Anyone else think she’s going to follow Saul’s advice? Seriously, does Saul even expect her to do nothing and wait to hear from him?

Ivan meets with Yvegeny, who’s the very man we saw taking the photo that was faked. They have an actual conversation in Russian and not in English spoken with weird accents, which makes this show 100% better than a newly released Jennifer Lawrence film we predicted would bomb big. Ivan is all old-school “the cold war saved the world by keeping a balance of power”, and Yvegeny is all “I am the future.” Ivan threatens to “tell Moscow” about what Yvegeny is doing, and Yvegeny laughs at him and walks away.

President Elizabeth I is having a press conference in the Oval Office. She’s talking about a new deal for communities like Lucasville, and it really looks like she’s about to have a “normal” presidency, when suddenly all the reporters get texts, and one of them asks about “Simone Martine’s testimony.” Elizabeth has to be told by a reporter that Simone is an “associate” of David Wellington, who’s sitting across from her watching his career fly out the window, as the president kills him with her eyes.

Elizabeth’s secret weapon: The Death Stare.

They may have cut the scene where Elizabeth yells at him to “Fix it,” but next we see him meet Simone and her lawyer who are conferring in a crowded tapas joint because of course they are. Simone leaves the table to talk to him near the packed bar where they can they have more privacy. She starts yelling for him to stop “threatening” her. He touches her arm, and she pulls away, screaming that he’s hurting her. Of course, a woman sitting at the bar is filming all this on her phone.

In Homelandia, bitches be lyin’, and it really is just a vast conspiracy when pols are accused of harassing or beating women.

Carrie is on the treadmill when she suddenly gets her “I have an idea” face. She walks past her daughter and her niece without acknowledging them because she is terrible, and calls Anson, telling him she wants to get the team together. She is so not following Saul’s advice.

Speaking of Saul, he’s now back at his secret operations center with Sandy and Clint. Clint is showing them the now viral meme of David and Simone. It was spread by the exact same bots that spread the fake Lucasville photo.

Clint is used to explaining the internet to olds.

Saul gets a “heads up” from Langley. It’s some old code signaling that an agent is in distress, but it’s a code they stopped using after Allison because it was compromised. And he never heard of the guy. Who goes by John Bishop?

Sandy explains that’s the CIA code name for Ivan. Why? Because he always wore an Orthodox cross around his neck. Think we’ll be seeing that cross before the end of the episode?

Carrie is out with her boys. She’s not drinking on account of meds, but they are. Dante shows up, and it becomes a celebration of a successful op. Carrie tells him she slept all afternoon, which is why she didn’t respond to his texts, but now she’s totally good, and going to go to a “real” doctor for meds. She was just freaked by both bugs failing, but he saved her from making an idiot of herself. Will he fall for it? Maybe. She’s also using her womanly charms (which no man can resist) to distract him.

Ivan is at some desolate harbor because he couldn’t just meet Saul by a park bench in daylight like Carrie. But by the time Saul gets here, Ivan is gone and all that’s left is a still burning cigarette and his cross wrapped around a mooring chain.

Is he dead yet? Not quite. He’s on a boat, bound and gagged in a body bag which Yvegeny henchmen are about to zip up, and weigh down to ensure his body will never return to the surface. They probably have his feet encased in cement. Why didn’t they just shoot him? Because Yvegeny is a Bond villain apparently, who has to make a speech before they throw him in water.

Dante brings Carrie up to his bachelor pad for the lovemaking. In this season’s biggest shocker, we see that Dante is inked. He passes out on the couch and Carrie lets the team in. They’ve got surgical gloves—all the better to go through everything with surgical precision.

Oh Dante! We NEVER trusted you.

So Carrie is finally figuring out what’s going on, but didn’t she used to be quicker on the uptake?

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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