Feb 19, 2018
Homeland Recap: So That's Why Saul's Been Acting So Strange
This week’s Homeland opens with Carrie in her bed in her darkened hospital room, listening to a woman screaming and crying for help. She gets up to investigate, and sees a group of men strapping a woman down. The woman is blond and looks a little like her. Her double is being force-medicated, just like she was. She’s spotted by one of the orderlies (Are they still called orderlies? Probably not, but the whole hospital seems archaic.).
Cut to Saul and Fara. The kid with the headscarf is sooo his girl now. She figured out that 5% of the terrorism money they’ve been tracing was skimmed from a Caracas-based bank and wound up being laundered as receipts for a weekly football game. The owner of record for the team has the same name as a long dead Iranian football legend. Dar enters the room, both of them go silent and Fara turns away. Does Dar creep everyone out?
Caracas again. Maybe it’s not accident Brody wound up there. And maybe the friend who did Spider Tattoo Guy a favor wasn’t Carrie. Will this be the episode where everything finally begins to gel, or will we get more of Home Front: The Further Adventures of the Family Brody?
Carrie has a hearing to determine if she can leave the hospital. Everyone thinks she’s ready. The judge dismisses Carrie and her lawyer so he can make his determination. The only weird thing – her father and sister didn’t show up. Where are they?
Looks like we’ll have to wait to find out because we are again going to have lots of quick jumps between several disconnected story lines. And oh crap, we are back at the Home for Attractive Troubled Teens, Leo escapes and runs to Dana’s waiting car, stoled from her mom.
Dana, in a speeding car with a boy – this can’t end well.
Over at the adult hospital, Carrie spots Dar walking away. Turns out Carrie is shit out of luck because the justice department says she’s a security risk so the judge can’t let her out because this is totally the Soviet Union where we keep people who know too much in looney bins because it’s not as though you can’t just blurt out all your top secret information to every other patient who’s about to be released or every possibly sympathetic staff member who might tweet Glenn Greenwald.
Going back to the room she passes her doppelganger who is now catatonic in a wheelchair. Welcome to your future, Carrie Mathison!
Meantime, Dana and Leo are smoking pot while Dana is driving. Her phone rings. It’s Jessica. Leo throws the phone out the window. Thank goodness because for a second I thought Dana was going to talk on the phone while driving.
We cut to Jessica looking worried which is hard work because of the botox, but the good news is she’s with Mike. Mike’s back! They are at the Home for Wayward Rich Kids. There’s a meeting with Leo’s parents. They want Jess to report the car as stolen, but she won’t because Dana told her she was going to Trader Joe’s. Really, she says that, as though we needed a reminder that it was Dana who noticed that Brody was acting a bit strange after he came home. Leo’s mom points out that Dana was lying “obviously.” The way she says “obviously” is subtext for “I hate you because you are the most beautiful woman in the world and also I know you are Mrs. Langley-Bomber.”
Dana and Leo go to a chop shop because all white suburban kids know where they can unload hot cars.
They trade mom’s car for a Camry, which still doesn’t seem like the car of choice for teens on the run.
Surprise! Carrie gets sprung from the hospital by court order. She gets home and finds she has a visitor. It’s the lawyer who wants her to turn her. He tells her she’s only out on a 24-hour furlough, but they know a judge who is willing to make it permanent. She finally agrees to meet his partner. You’d think with all this cloak and dagger stuff, he’d be like “Great, let’s go NOW.” But apparently the writers had some time to kill, so the meeting is set for the following morning. As soon as he leaves, Carrie starts packing. She takes her passport, but not her gun, and she’s out of cash. She goes to get her car, but it’s gone.
Back at the CIA, Dar is reminding Saul how how dangerous Carrie is. Saul says, “Find her. Take her off the street.” This makes Dar way happier than it should, or maybe F. Murray Abraham decided to model his character on Snidely Whiplash.
Carrie’s bank account is frozen and her credit cards have been cancelled.She calls Virgil, her loyal surveillance guy. She’s in so much trouble even he doesn’t want to help her, but he finally agrees to let her borrow his van. We see there are two spy types with him, listening in. Before he hangs up he tells Carrie, “Say hi to your mom for me” and Carrie knows it’s a set up.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense just to bug his phone so he would have made a plan without knowing they were listening? Maybe in Season One, but now we’ve sunk to “Scandal” levels of plausibility.
Dana and Leo are drinking in a cemetery and she is reciting Xanadu – the poem, not the Olivia Newton-John movie. I’m beginning to get what all the Dana-hating is about. Poem over, and it’s time for another information dump. Leo had a brother, 11 months younger who killed himself with a gun. Leo says he blames himself, which makes Dana love him even more because what girl wouldn’t fall for a boy she met in a a psych hospital who knows where to unload a stolen car and has a tragic past?
There’s a brief return to Casa Brody where Mike is supporting Jessica – and unfortunately that’s not a euphemism. They’re just sitting in the kitchen of Chez Brody, talking. After that time-killer, we return to Teens on the Run. Dana and Leo are outside Brody’s military base. Dana has a long monologue about the day Brody left for Iraq. He said “good-bye” and that that was “the last honest thing” he ever said to her. Did we not cover this territory two weeks ago with her daddy-was-a psycho-speech? I don’t hate teens. I watched Buffy for seven seasons. There are a couple of shows on ABC Family I watch regularly, but enough is enough.
With nowhere else to go, Carrie arrives at the door of her drunk ginger hook up from a few episodes ago.
Single ladies, this is why you should always get the man’s address!
Then it’s the next morning and Fara has more good news for Saul. She’s connected Javadi to the Caracas bank. There’s even a picture of him with some bank officials. Saul is now sure that Javadi is the one whose been embezzling, but he wants Fara to keep this between them. If Iran finds out, they’ll execute him before Saul can get him and blow the lid off his organization. Could Saul be worried about the mole? Or is Saul the mole?
The next morning, after leaving Carrot-top’s, Carrie finds she’s being followed. The creepy-lawyer is there to take her to her meeting, which is at a swanky retreat where there’s plenty of fresh fruit. Carrie meets Leland Bennett. He’s a lobbyist serving the interests of a certain middle-eastern government (Iran). His client wants to put her on a retainer and “pick her brain.” (Why can I no longer hear this expression without mentally referencing Hannibal Lecter? It’s like “fava beans.”) For starters, the client would like her insights into the murder of six of his business associates.
Carrie protests, but Leland breaks her down, tells her the CIA is going to destroy her. If she doesn’t kill herself in six months, they’ll do it. He describes how, including hanging her from a door knob, which isn’t likely unless you are Peter Dinklage and not even then. After she’s reduced to mush, he builds her up, telling her they can take care of her.
He’s clearly playing her, the same way his partner was back in the hospital. She felt insulted by it then, but this time, it seems to work. Carrie agrees, but she has conditions. She wants a face to face with the client, and she won’t give up names of agents in the field. Leland makes a smug remark about how “Maybe the two of you can find some common good and save us all.” Carrie says, “Fuck you.”
Franklin (the go-between lawyer) gives her a ride home and an envelope full of money. She makes a crack about using it to fly to Asia. He tells her she’s on the no-fly list and her passport is no good.
Back at the Brody’s, Mike has uncovered Leo’s police record. It turns out his brother’s death might have been a suicide pact or it might have been MURDER. He was sent to the teen psych hospital instead of jail. We cut to Leo and Dana waking up together in the car. Dana says, “I never want to go back.” Leo says, “Then we don’t have to.” Ick. Dana sure can pick them.
Saul is sitting on his back deck. Mira leads Carrie to him. Here it comes folks! She embraces Saul and tells him, “It worked Saul…I did it just like you said.” Psych! There’s hugging and tears.
She tells him he shouldn’t have left her in the hospital. He tells her how brave and extraordinary she is. This is old Saul, all about the love, and risking other people’s sanity to get the job done. Then he invites her inside for a nice cup of tea.
When you get a reveal like this, you should be able to go through previous scenes and pick up on clues that now seem so obvious even Jessica could have seen it coming.
What hints did we have? Carrie’s going to the press was a biggie. Even at her craziest it was unlikely. That’s the one thing you don’t do. But why did we see her her falling apart even when she was alone? Why did she go to Saul’s house to confront him? We saw how she looked when she watched Saul’s testimony. We watched her finally get to say “Fuck you, Saul,” after she’d been institutionalized and shot up with Thorazine. Who was all that for?
And why did she grab her stuff and try to leave after Franklin set up the meeting? If the point was to get the meeting, where was she going?
The only way this even begins to make sense is if Saul came to Carrie right after his testimony, and laid it all out as her chance for redemption – and maybe even to clear Brody’s name. And they had to assume they were being watched all the time. This would explain at least some of Saul’s weirdness.
But will any of these questions be answered next week? Or will we be too busy following the further adventures of Leo and Dana? And why on earth would Carrie be showing up at Jessica’s doorstep as she is in the previews? Is Leo’s mother the mole? So many things left to learn!