May 11, 2018
Homeland: No Backsies
In this very special episode of Homeland, we learn important lessons, such as not every stray thought must be expressed, ESPECIALLY to your significant other. Also, NEVER go off your meds. This is why you must get a tattoo on an easily visible part of your body, like that guy in Memento, to remind you again and again that it won’t end well.
The episode begins with Carrie back in Germany. How’d she get out of Beirut? Not important. Carrie has decided to send away the one thing that grounds her – the Brodiette. Getting the kid out of danger is naturally what any parent would want to do, too bad Carrie isn’t rational enough to understand later in the episode that this applies to people who aren’t Carrie Mathison.
Working for a billionaire has its benefits. Carrie is able to get Franny onto a private plane where she will be taken care of during the journey by Lenya – presumably another trusted Düring employee. In a pleasant bit of accidental meta-casting, Lenya is played by Nikola Kastner, who played the very unlucky-at-love Linda Seilor on Deutschland 83. Let’s hope Lenya has better luck than Linda and doesn’t get herself killed before handing Franny over to Carrie’s saner sister.
Düring has found Carrie a safehouse in the country to hide out in because “safehouse in the country” is a motif of the show – even if they aren’t always so safe.
This season, Mandy Patinkin is no longer playing a character. He’s playing ANGER. Saul is talking to Düring, and he is so angry his face may explode. First, he tries to get a rise out of Düring by calling his grandfather a Nazi and accusing the foundation of supporting Islamic terrorism through their “charity” work. Düring calmly agrees his family used to be evil, which is why he’s devoted his life to not being evil, and also they can account for every dime they spend. This reasonableness and not taking of bait only makes Saul’s head to seem to get larger and redder like an ugly boil ready to pop.
Kids, remember this as Thanksgiving approaches! When your racist/homophobic/conservative uncle starts ranting, just lower your voice and reply in a totally neutral manner! It’ll make him nuttier than he already is. (Note: Do not try this if you live in a “second amendment rights” state.)
But as angry as Saul is at Düring, he’s even angrier with Carrie, whose whereabouts he would very much like to know. And what makes him angriest of all? Düring reminding him that Carrie doesn’t work for him anymore. Damn Germans with their calm demeanor, nice suits and billions of dollars being donated to do-gooding!
Despite being totally on the lam and hiding out from her as yet unidentified enemies, and after hearing from Düring that the CIA is now looking for her, Carrie decides to go out to lunch with Jonas so they can have a chat about Carrie’s brilliant idea for solving the mystery of which of her many enemies is trying to kill her. Carrie’s plan is already in phase one. She’s gone off her meds because she believes that before she goes insane, she’ll have a moment of clarity, but she’d like Jonas to help her by making her take her meds before she goes totally bonkers. Despite being an adult, Jonas agrees to this because, as has pointed out before, NOBODY SAYS NO TO CARRIE MATHISON.
Meantime, Allison is also using her superpower of email monitoring and on-the-ground surveillance to watch Laura. Also, Allison now seems to believe, despite what she said in the previous episode, that Carrie had something to do with leaking the documents. Saul drops by to tell her that Dar told him about her play to make him the fall guy. This is where he says, “When you aim to kill, don’t miss,” which is not, as implied in the promos, his instructions to Peter for killing Carrie. Does he strangle Allison or at least fire her for this act of insubordination, or maybe for her incompetence for leaving her server wide open to hackers? Nope. The sacrificial lamb is going to be the American Ambassador to Germany, who got the job by paying for it with campaign contributions. Why the change of heart? Maybe because in what should come as a big shocker, but is just kind of meh and icky, it turns out Allison is sleeping with Saul and probably has been for quite a while judging by the fact that they are already at the sleeping without sexing stage of their relationship.
Speaking of unexpected creepy stuff, Peter Quinn is stalking children. Sure hope this is related to some larger agenda and not just a new hobby. He also visits his former squeeze Astrid who is dining with a gentleman and looks to be out on a date. Quinn hits on her in a “You busy?” kind of way, but blows it by asking if she knows where Carrie is. Also, he asks her to get him a stingray – which is NOT a weapon or a girly drink, but a mobile phone tracking device – and she’s like, “Sure,” because that’s the kind of relationship they have, although she might try playing a little hard to get because that’s the real way to melt Quinn’s icy-cold heart.
Over at the safehouse, Carrie and Jonas are boning because manic sex is the best kind. But by the next day, when Jonas notices Carrie snorting caffeine, the whole bipolar thing appears to be much less fun. Also, Carrie has built herself a wall o’ photos of her “enemies,” which includes all the people she killed by drone strike and their survivors. Actually, it’s not so much a wall as every wall.
The next day Turkish Slacker-Hacker has gone to drop off a flash-drive of secrets for Laura, who easily eludes the surveillance because Allison is totally incompetent. However, German Hacker double-crossed Turkish Hacker and is going to sell the documents to the Russians, so Laura gets a dud drive and thinks she was pranked. Since the hacker told her his name was Newman, it would have been a hilarious television reference if she’d gritted her teeth and said, “NEWMAN,” but that didn’t happen. However, if you are watching at home, feel free to do so!
Saul meets with some Israeli counterpart and is not as overtly angry as he was with Düring, but he probably holds a grudge against the Mossad for sending an agent to sex up his wife back in Season 3. The Israeli thinks Carrie must still be in the CIA, which annoys Saul even more. Also he believes that Carrie’s reaching out to Hezbollah is a signal that the US is planning to topple Assad in Syria and replace him with a Hezbollah-approved candidate. Those people are so paranoid! And by those people, we mean Israelis.
Saul insists there is no such plan, but the Israeli isn’t convinced, which could cause World War III and bring on the zombie apocalypse and it’s all Carrie’s fault, so by the end of the discussion, Saul is back to being completely enraged.
Jonas is helping Carrie while coming to terms with the idea that he’s been living with a war criminal. He is too tactful to call her a war criminal, but she can see what he’s thinking with her enhanced observational skills now that they aren’t being tamped down by sanity. So she is the one who says the words out loud, which freaks him out even more. And then he says, “I don’t know how you live with yourself,” which is one of those relationship enders you can never recover from.
He leaves her alone with her hallucinations. Personally, I was hoping we’d see Dev from Smash and thinking maybe we’d see Brody, but Damien Lewis was busy so they give us Aayan, who in hallucinatory form seems a little older and less naive. He tells her that it’s not his Uncle the Terrorist who’s after Carrie. Haqquani has “moved on” and is just not that into hating her anymore. Aayan whispers something in her ear, which is what all my hallucinations do when they don’t want the other imaginary people to hear what they’re saying. We’ll find out what he said later, but first we must have more of Claire Danes emoting.
Back in Berlin, Peter just nabbed the boy he was following. Peter pretends to be a policeman and takes him away from an arcade, accusing him of shoplifting. Then he binds and gags him and leaves him in the back of a van. This would never happen in America where free-range parenting has been outlawed. He does reassure the boy that he’ll be found in a short while, so there won’t be any long-term harm to the kid’s psyche because that’s the kind of stand-up hero Quinn is.
Jonas finds Carrie sitting in the middle of the room. Her mouth is doing that Carrie mouth quivery thing we remember from her other breakdowns, and she tells Jonas she figured it out. It’s not one enemy. It’s all of them, and it’s “righteous” and has something to do with “avenging angels” so she needs to get to a church STAT and atone. At least now we know what that churchy stuff in episode one was about, and thank you, show, for NOT actually giving Carrie superpowers when off the lithium as this would have really sent the wrong message to bipolars everywhere and pissed off their families.
Jonas tells her it’s medication time, which does not make her happy because clearly being manic is such fun. First, she tells him he’s boring, then she calls him “a lousy lay,” which is even a less walkbackable thing to say than, “How do you live with yourself?”
Can this relationship be saved? Nope. And Jonas is about to get a phone call that removes the life support. Turns out his son (whom we only ever heard about in an awkward piece of dialogue earlier in the episode) has been arrested for shoplifting! Also, strangely enough, the boy’s mother has called all the police precincts and can’t find him!
Carrie tells him they have to get moving because OBVIOUSLY there’s a tracker monitoring his ex’s phone and the bad guys will be there any minute. No need to worry about the boy. She’s sure he’ll be just fine because it’s her “they” are after and he’s just a “pawn.” And pawns never get hurt! What could go wrong?
Jonas does not find his crazy about-to-be ex-girlfriend’s words reassuring. He wants to head back to Berlin, which is NOT the direction Carrie was planning on going, so she runs off into the woods with a gun, and he takes off in the car.
Dar and Saul are having some nice digital face-time with each other. Dar doesn’t really get Saul’s not firing Allison, but they’re good. There’s some reference to getting the “green light,” but this does not seem related to murdering Carrie. It looks like despite what Saul told the “damn” Israelis, the US is planning some regime change in Syria after all – if Carrie’s bumbling doesn’t totally muck it up.
Over in the woods outside the safehouse, a car arrives. Carrie shoots. It looks like someone went down, but the next thing that happens is Peter Quinn grabbing Carrie from behind and injecting her with some tranquilizer. Then Quinn says “Motherfucker!” for no reason other than it’s Showtime and he can.
So what do we think will happen next time on Homeland? Is Jonas gone for good or will he be “teaming up” with Laura, nudge nudge? And does anyone think for a nanosecond that Peter would ever harm Carrie unless it was only a little to keep her from harming herself first?
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