Homeland: Everybody Hates Carrie

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Previously on Homeland: Remember last season how Carrie was really bad at her job and not only let Saul get kidnapped, but totally missed that the Ambassadrix’s creepy husband what was always snooping around was a mole? Well, guess who’s even worser at her job? That would be Allison, the Berlin station-chief who let a couple of slacker-hackers ACCIDENTALLY get a hold of top secret CIA documents that prove the CIA is spying on German citizens in violation of German laws with the consent of the German government. And now the CIA has a whole lot of cleaning up to do. Maybe CIA station-chief just isn’t a good job for the ladies.

This week on Homeland:

We open in the General Alladia camp, which is as post-apocalyptic a hellscape as we’ve ever seen. Is Carrie’s boss even crazier than Carrie? Carrie, Düring, and Mike Brown – another security expert and probable redshirt – are met by a UN colonel who name drops Angelina because wouldn’t you? The colonel is none too pleased that Düring feels the need to bring a lot of press into this michigas, but Düring explains it’s totally necessary because it’s the only way the world will ever know there’s a refugee crisis because sure we only know about these things after do-gooding billionaires decide they are important. The colonel is also none too pleased when Carrie and Mike have to step out of his little briefing to meet her Hezbollah contact. But who can take a “colonel” in a peacekeeping “force” seriously? It’s like saluting a captain in the Salvation Army.

Carrie has to go in to meet with Hezbollah alone and unarmed. Does it even occur to her this may be a trap? It sure looks like one, but then she meets with a very handsome commander. Will he kidnap her and force her into his hareem because that would be very politically incorrect but maybe a lot of fun? Nope, this isn’t Shondaland! He’s just there to accept her $40 grand advance payment, but he can only offer her “one hour” of protection for her boss because there’s all sorts of crazy extremists running around the camp that make Hezbollah look like the good guys.

Then we are back in Germany where Laura Sutton (a.k.a. Limp-Hair) is appearing on an English-language talk show. She still has bad hair because this is television’s way of telling us she’s a serious journalist. So far she’s only published one document. She claims she doesn’t have the rest yet and knows that German security is probably checking her apartment at that very moment, and she hopes they don’t let the cat out. She also tells the hacker-slackers that she won’t betray them no matter what.

The hacker-slackers are watching from the porn factory, giving us another chance to see how the sausages get laid. Turkish hackbro decides to bring her the rest of the documents. His German cohort is like, “Dude,” because that’s what they call each other, dude, “we can make so much MONEY with these.” But Turkish hackbro isn’t in it for the money.

Meantime, Peter Quinn’s sometime friend with benefits from last season, Astrid, is in charge of a search of Laura’s apartment, where they learn that Laura might be telling the truth about not having more documents – because they can’t find any – but Laura may be lying about whether or not she has a cat.

Also in Germany, Peter Quinn is following around his next target, the terrible very bad recruiter-lady who entices teenaged girls too run away to ISIL and become suicide bombers for God (Allah’s alias in English). She is in the very act of talking some waif-like creature into fulfilling her special destiny and getting a free trip to paradise.

Peter Quinn is going to kill the shit out of her.

Allison shows Saul some photos of Carrie talking to Limp-Hair. They speculate about whether this means Carrie was involved in the leak. Allison is all, “I don’t think she’s in on it, but maybe she’s totally in on it.” But Allison also points out they both work for Düring, so maybe they’re discussing Secret Santa or some other work-related project.

That guy is 90% sure she just farted.

That guy is 90% sure she just farted.

Laura is finished with her television interview. As she’s leaving the studio, Turkish hackbro is about to cross the street to hand off the documents because what better place to do it than right in public? But a car pulls up, and Laura is grabbed and taken away.

In the swankiest hotel in Beirut, Düring and company are partying like it’s 1964 or some other year before the troubles. There’s a packed house having cocktails, and if these are the press people what Düring brought over to cover the event, then sign me up please! Carrie runs into Hank, a CIA agent who worked with her in Pakistan whom I never noticed last year, but he sure looks good this year. Old Carrie would have totally had some booze and done him, but New-and-Improved Carrie-Now-with-Sanity has been sober for nine months and she’s no fun at all.

What is this, Father Dowling Mysteries?! Let's make with the sexytimes!

What is this, Father Dowling Mysteries?! Let’s make with the sexytimes!

Hank asks her if this whole Düring “job” is a play she and Saul cooked up to get her into the Foundation. Carrie says it’s totally for realz, but given the great mindfuck of Season 3 wherein Carrie got institutionalized as part of a very contrived convoluted plan, can we trust anything that happens on this show?

Hank, who’s still like, “Sure, I’ll play along and pretend you ‘left’ the CIA,” then mentions he knows she met the Hezbollah commander and is it true he’s lost control of the camp? She refuses to tell him anything and leaves him at the bar looking very perplexed.

Then, Carrie calls Jonas who’s watching the Brodiette back in Germany. This relationship is so unlike anything we’ve seen from Carrie that either the show is telling us that (1) motherhood really does change EVERYTHING or (2) maybe it really is all a long con, and/or (3) this relationship won’t last the season but Jonas probably won’t die because that would be so old.

Back in some interrogation room in Berlin, Limp-Haired Serious Journalist Laura is being terrible and very loud. Astrid lays it out for her. It’s a TICKING TIME BOMB! More than 700 German citizens have gone to fight for ISIL, and they’ll be coming back and setting off bombs all over Europe and it’s all Laura’s fault because the only way to stop this from happening is by having the CIA spy on German citizens.

Laura is like, “Wait a second, that doesn’t make any sense,” but we already know she’s a liar who would even lie about having a cat and, in Allison’s words, “let her country burn for a Pulitzer prize.” Astrid is even-tempered and has good hair, and is a friend of Peter Quinn. Therefore, ipso facto, Laura is just as terrible as the ISIL recruiter-lady.

Saul and Allison are watching the interrogation from behind a two-way mirror, which makes perfect sense seeing as how collaboration between the CIA and German intelligence is completely top secret and illegal, so no problem with everybody being in the same building.

Saul isn't angry I pointed that out, just disappointed. Not that it matters because he'll have me killed either way.

Saul isn’t angry I pointed that out, just disappointed. Not that it matters because he’ll have me killed either way.

And of course Jonas is the lawyer who springs Laura because it’s not like Düring would have more than one attorney working for him.

Düring is giving his speech at the camp in front of the assembled refugees and people of the press. Carrie and Mike are eying the crowd and the hourglass is almost out of sand. Düring shows off his check for ten MILLION dollars. And yes, he really does have an honest to god check even though no bank would know what to do with a check like that and billionaire do-gooders and large foundations in the real world use wire transfers.

"Don't cry for me, Weeeeeesst Bank!"

“Don’t cry for me, Weeeeeesst Bank!”

Back in Berlin, Saul has just informed Allison that the Germans are super pissed off about this clusterfuck and somebody has to take the fall, and that somebody is named Allison. And Allison is like, “Do you mean me, or is there another Allison?” Then when it sinks in that she really does have twenty-four hours to vacate the premises because she’s taking the hit for the thing that happened under her watch, she goes all megalomaniacal and tells Saul that since two of their agents in the Ukraine have been burned by the disclosures, she’s the best person to recruit new agents. Saul looks at her like “Wha… Did you not understand the part about this being all your fault?” and says, “Nope.”

Then she says, “You wouldn’t say that if my name was Carrie Mathison! Because you always liked her best no matter what crazy shit she pulled.”

And Saul really doesn’t have an answer for that one, but Allison still can’t stay in Germany. And by the way she is not actually shitcanned as you or I might be if we did something equally horrendous at our jobs (if we actually had jobs). She works for the gobmint where you can never be fired, and she just has to go back to Washington where she can continue to rise to her level of incompetence.

Speaking of having to leave a place: Back at the refugee camp, Carrie is trying to get Düring safely out of there, but he needs to press the flesh. He is chatting with a refugee woman with a cute little son. Are we meant to think the little boy could be a suicide bomber? Sure we are. But then Carrie and Mike notice the young man with the heavy coat, which is the latest thing in suicide bomber attire.

This leads to an authentically exciting twenty seconds when Mike tells the bomber to stop, and the bomber grabs a woman, and Mike shoots him, and the woman is thrown to safety before the bomb goes boom, and Carrie gets Düring to a car with a driver, and they drive off. But Carrie notices that nobody is going where they are so she makes the driver stop, and then the driver runs away, and Carrie grabs the wheel and backs up just before another explosion that would have taken them out if not for her quick thinking and instincts. She gets her boss to an airplane hanger and tells him, like Rick to Elsa, that he has to get on that plane but she’s staying behind because she’s got work to do.

What work is that?

She’s convinced the whole thing was a setup and somebody may be after Düring. They may even come after him in Berlin, so she’s letting him go back without his head of security while she acts as a one-person intelligence service to neutralize said threat. Yeah, that makes sense.

Then she goes into the ladies room to cry and beg God for help. She better beg God to make sure she miraculously packed enough meds for a longer trip.

Peter Quinn is still tracking recruiter-lady. She has a carload of teenaged girls who can’t wait to blow themselves up for the cause, and she’s handing them over to some other nefarious type. Once they drive away, Quinn calls someone (maybe his old friend Astrid) with the license and description of the car the girls are in. Then he shoots the lady dead but makes sure to shoot her in the face because (1) he wants her to see him, (2) he wants to make sure it’s her, and (3) it makes for a better proof of death photo.

Allison, who still doesn’t think it’s fair that she should be held responsible for her screw-up, calls Dar, who now seems to be Saul’s boss, and tells him that if they have to blame someone, why not Saul? Dar is maybe having a whole conversation in his head about goddamn entitled generation, or maybe WOMEN, or who knows what is going on in Dar’s head, but the answer is no, he is not going to blame Saul.

So wait a sec, Dar is now Saul’s boss? Does this mean Dar is now the head of the CIA? Dar who is maybe the mole from season one thru three? Dar who has always been shady and was ready to kill Carrie when he thought she was a crazy woman who was going to spill the CIA’s beans to the press? Dar who is probably the one who scuttled Saul’s nomination in the first place, AFTER getting Saul to trust him by getting Haquanni to not release the hostage tape?

Carrie isn’t the only who better start praying.

Carrie gets back to her hotel room to find none other than the very handsome Hezbollah guy waiting there. But if you were hoping for some “we may all be dead tomorrow so let’s live for today” super-sexy shenanigans and/or another kidnapping, you will be disappointed.

He’s there to return the $40,000 since they didn’t keep Düring safe, and Hezbollah would NEVER take a bribe and not deliver. Then, he shows her a video on a cell phone of the guy behind the bombings being tortured/interrogated. They couldn’t get him to confess who paid him, but before he died, he told them Düring wasn’t the target, Carrie was.

No wonder Hezbollah is losing control. Don’t they understand the point of torturing someone for information is to keep them alive until they tell you everything? Is there nobody competent on this show?

"Say what you will about Hezbollah, but they have an awesome return policy."

“Say what you will about Hezbollah, but they have an awesome return policy.”

Peter goes to the badly lit 24-hour post office in Berlin to drop off his burner phone with the death photo. He picks up an envelope with his cash money and another with his next assignment. Will it be anyone we know? Hacker-Slacker dudes? Laura? Jonas? Düring? It couldn’t be Carrie because even though I called it last week and the promos have been hinting at it, that would be too ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

Apparently there is NO such thing as too ridiculous because Quinn has to figure out the name of his target using some newspaper code, which he does while sitting in his car because sitting in your car in the middle of the night on a totally deserted street doesn’t look suspicious at all, and ladies, and gentleman the next contestant is Carrie Mathison.

Well, that was as clear a moment of predatory fish leaping as ever I have seen!

Has Saul set up Carrie to be kilt? (No, of course not.) Has Quinn become cold-blooded enough to kill the only woman he ever loved? (No, of course not.) Will a good part of the season be devoted to trying to solve this “mystery?” Yeah, probably. Will Dar finally be revealed as the mega-villain we’ve long suspected he is? Given the many recent references to a higher power on the show – god willing he will be, but will any of us be left to care?

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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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