May 19, 2018
Homeland: Carrie Mathison, the Angel of Death
Last time on Homeland, Saul walked out of his sister’s house and down into the valley where he got picked up for his mystery date, but now things are going wrong – as they often do for Saul like that time he was sleeping with a double agent, or that time he got kidnapped in the men’s room at the Karachi airport. He’s pulled out of the car, blindfolded and forced into a van. His protests are ignored. As Tova said episodes ago, “Poor Saul!”
Sekou’s suddenly sprung from jail. His lawyer is telling him that “the story” is there wasn’t enough evidence, and the strange blonde lady who previously confessed to screwing everything up is saying he’s going to have to keep his mouth shut and ixnay on the videos. Reda doesn’t even know about Carrie’s blackmailing agent Conlin, and it’s easy to see why Sekou with the limited information available to him would believe Carrie is crazy. Trust your instincts, Sekou!
President-elect Keane is about to go into a press conference when Rob shows her a Times online story planted probably by Dar Adal about her refusal to get tough with Iran, despite intelligence briefings indicating Iran’s been cheating on the nuclear deal. Dar is conveniently in the hallway. She tells him to stop peddling “horseshit” and get her Saul’s actual report. He deflects. She persists. He looks nervous.
It’s time for Sekou’s totally surreal surprise “get out of jail” party featuring special guests Reda and the strange blonde lady who follows him around. Is she even a lawyer? Is she his driver? What does she do other than drop into his cell to tell him she’s screwed something up and he’s going away for a long time – oops sorry. At the party, Reda tries to talk to Carrie about her “stunts” but she gets a text, and has to go off to another secret meeting with the Lady Prez. They must be tracking her because there’s already a car waiting, which isn’t at all conspicuous in the projects.
One of Sekou’s co-workers makes a pointed crack indicating Sekou “made a deal” with the FBI and ratted someone out. It’s enough to send the poor boy to his room to shoot another quick video, this one outing Saud.
It’s still night where Saul is when he’s pulled out of the van. He’s still blindfolded and now forced to kneel. Turns out this is a meeting he demanded with his old friend from season three – Majid Javada, our wife-killing man in Iran. Apparently Saul needed a face to face so he could use his alleged superpower to detect a lie. Majid claims not to know about any Iranian nuclear shenanigans in North Korea, but he’ll look into it because whatever. Despite Saul’s insistence that Majid is actually proud of what they accomplished “together” it does not look like the start of beautiful friendship.
No wonder Majid is pissed. Saul couldn’t have arranged to meet him on the ski slope in the Dubai mall or a cafe in Lebanon, or anyplace else in the world where he wouldn’t be shot on sight? What kind of stupid plan is this? Do they not have encrypted messages or others ways to communicate?
President-elect Keane and her aide, Rob, want Carrie to give them something they can “leverage” against Dar. She lets slip that if she had something, Saul could maybe get caught in the crossfire, a surprisingly indiscreet admission for close to the vest Carrie.
Meantime, in a homage to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Peter Quinn is watching the apartment building across the street,where he believes a certain resident is watching Carrie. So when he sees said resident – indistinct white guy who does not look hip enough for Bed Stuy – leave the building, Quinn, using nothing more than a couple of bobby pins, breaks in to his apartment, and discovers that somebody’s been to Ikea. How many of the pieces can you name in the original Swedish? Peter notices a Skogsta stool set up by the window, the better for Carrie watching. He sees the guy heading back, and leaves, pretending to be placing a misplaced letter by the mail box when he walks in. Not recognizing him, or maybe recognizing him as the sleazeball from across the street, the man tells him if he sees him in the building again, he’ll call the police.
Dar surprises Carrie when she goes to pick up Franny at school. NOT COOL, DAR! He knows she’s been talking to Keane, and he tells her she needs to “stand down.” She tells him he needs to stand down, and basically gives him the old I’m rubber you’re glue. What is up with the ladies being so uppity to the Darster? If Carrie needed some motivation to “leverage” him, it looks like she just got it.
Apparently, Majid made Saul walk all the way back to his sister’s because it’s daylight when he trudges back to the gate. His sister is awake and not so thrilled that he used a visit with her to rendezvous probably with “some Arab.” At least he admits he’s a terrible brother before asking her to make him some breakfast.
They’re eating when the doorbell rings, but it’s not Saul’s taxi. It’s his old friend from last season Etai with some Mossad muscle, there to offer Saul a ride to the airport while passively aggressively chiding him for not calling to say he was in town and only dropping by his sister’s for one night.
Saul’s crazy sister agrees with Saul’s “never left the house” version of events, but it doesn’t help. Once they get on the road, Etai won’t turn on the air-conditioning and informs him that his flight has been canceled. They’d like to ask him some questions about that senior Red Guard officer who crossed the boarder from Jordan the night before. You know, the one they apparently knew was there, but didn’t arrest.
Carrie and Franny get home, where Peter frets because they were fourteen minutes late. Franny refers to Dar as “a man with painted hair.” Ah, out of the mouths of babes! If only she’d called him that to his face! Carrie is condescending and skeptical about everything Peter tells her about the man across the street. She’d probably warn him about not breaking into the neighbors’ apartments if he’s going to keep living with her, but she gets a phone call from Reda who’s in court, but needs her to go to Sekou’s and tell him to take his video down and stop outing Saud before the feds give him a one-way ticket to Gitmo.
We all knew Sekou was a goner the moment Carrie walked into his cell, did we not? He was just her type – young, male, vulnerable and Muslim – though not all those she helped to death fit into all those categories. Sekou seems to sense the danger, and barely lets her in to his home, but he does and she talks, and though we don’t see all of the conversation, the upshot is, she gets him to take down the video because in the end NOBODY SAYS NO TO CARRIE MATHISON.
Saul is dragged into some interrogation room where Etai taking this whole thing way to personally, lectures him about how the Iranians are going to get the bomb sooner or later and when they do the Jews will be gone in “a flash of light” and now we’re back to that endless Thanksgiving and/or Passover conversation that Saul and his sister were engaged in last week. No wonder Saul doesn’t visit Israel a lot, and could someone pass me the matzoh ball soup?
Late night, Peter is up watching the man across the street, who leaves the apartment and gets picked up by a car. Peter grabs Carrie’s car keys and goes to Carrie’s mommobile which is not parked several blocks away as it would be in real life. He follows the man who gets dropped off and opens a gate to a lot full of delivery vans for Medina Middle Eastern Cuisine. Peter parks, but a private security car passes by and tells him he can’t – maybe the same car that drove the man – so he goes back to Carrie’s.
It’s still dark when Sekou’s mom brings him a cup of tea. He’s going back to his early morning delivery job at WAIT FOR IT: Medina Middle Eastern Cuisine. Connect the dots, sheeple! At work, the co-worker from the party mentions the video Sekou put up outing Saud, but is suspicious of his then taking it down. Sekou explains he had to take it down to avoid going to prison, but the point is, he put it out there and is not an informant. The co-worker agrees they’re cool, but his face says, “I still think you’re a rat.”
Peter tells Carrie about the curious incident of the car in the night time. She’s still treating him like he’s an idiot, and not a superhero.
Sekou drives over the 59th Street Bridge which is what we call it even though they changed the name to the Ed Koch bridge. Traffic is unrealistically light for a weekday morning, but then again this is show where you never have to look for a parking space. He crosses into Manhattan and is heading downtown. We all know the boom is coming don’t we? But Sekou doesn’t. It barely registers, and he’s gone in a flash of white light.
Etai tells Saul he’s free to go. He’s needed at home. There’s been an attack in New York. We get a shot of black smoke rising, but it looks like the damage is limited.
So who done it? Sekou’s suspicious co-worker looks like a much too obvious red-herring. Who’s the man across the street working for? Could it be Dar Adal? Is this a false flag operation designed to discredit the new president? Otto’s personal revenge for unrequited love? No matter who’s responsible, to the world it’ll look President Keane’s adviser, nut-job former spy Carrie Mathison, was palling around with yet another terrorist who blew a thing up. How’s she going to clear Sekou, clear herself, save the Lady Prez’s more rational approach, and save the world? Probably with a little help from her personal Jesus, Peter Quinn.