Homeland Recap: Saul's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

After last week’s Homeland surprise, will we find out how long Carrie and Saul’s long con really is? Or will they move on to something else and never explain it? The “previously on Homeland” segment starts out with the saga of Dana and Leo, and then offers a very quick recap of Carrie’s breakdown, Saul’s betrayal, Carrie’s meeting with Leland, and the surprise twist. When you run it through that fast, it almost makes sense.

We start at the Vermont/Canadian border.

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But it had to be shot in North Carolina. There’s no snow on the ground, you can’t see people’s breath, and the boarder guards aren’t taciturn enough. A man we will later learn is Javadi is driving through under an assumed identity. He has no problems crossing because middle-eastern types never do, and we’ll let anyone in from Canada, unless they’re from Europe and have too many passport stamps from countries we don’t like.

Peter Quinn drops by Saul’s, where the bearded one is dressing up to go duck hunting with the President’s Chief of Staff and a bunch of senators. Mira announces they’ll be celebrating his nomination as director. Saul tells Quinn how the whole Krazy Carrie thing was a ruse to “dangle” Carrie and attract Javadi. Quinn goes from his usual stone face to a moment of near happiness.

Just to settle any debate among viewers, Saul confirms that it was NOT some idiotic scheme cooked up after he visited her in the hospital – no matter what the chatter on the Internet says. His selling her out, her, her going to the press, the commitment, all of it was an act, and they were the only two people in on it.

“Fuck me!” Quinn says. And believe me, Peter, we would very much like to.

Saul wants Quinn to watch Carrie’s from a discreet distance and keep tabs on the people surveilling her. Saul is glowing. Quinn is a little more skeptical about whether or not Javadi will actually show up. “He’s taking a huge fucking risk.”

Saul replies “Carrie Mathison is a huge fucking draw.”

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He’s taking a huge risk? What about Carrie? She’s the one who risked her sanity, and now we’re over at her place watching her dump a huge amount of meds down the toilet. Oh boy!

Leo and Dana are still driving around, only now that we know THE TRUTH about Leo’s being a suicidal psychopath, everything he says sounds creepy. Or maybe everything he’s says always sounded creepy. Or maybe if you added a laugh track it would be comedy gold because it’s all a crazy misunderstanding. It’s funny because Dana thinks they’re talking about love, but Leo’s really talking about dying a violent death.

They only have a few dollars left. She wonders what happens when the money runs out. Leo says, “Despair. Starvation. Death.” Dana points out maybe they could get jobs and find a place, but Leo says, “It’ll never get better than this.” He’s driving and she leans against him, and closes her eyes for a moment, and he nearly swerves into an oncoming car. Was it an accident? Or was it “an accident” like when you’re playing Russian roulette with your kid brother and he shoots himself in the head?

Jessica arrives at Carrie’s house to tell her Dana is missing and she has no one else to turn to because Mike is now on another series.

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Carrie is dismissive at first. They’re just teenagers and she used to run away with boys from the psych ward all the time when she was Dana’s age, but Jessica tells her about Leo’s really scary past. Carrie says that Dana is smart and she’ll figure it out, but then Jess says, “Dana’s in love. Who knows what she’ll see?” And the irony is screaming at us so loud the neighbors are complaining.

Carrie decides to involve herself in the vortex that is the Brodys even though it could endanger her mission. She calls Special Agent Hall who is assigned to watch them. He tells her to fuck off. (Have you noticed how in love with the word “fucking” everyone seems to be this season? What’s that about?) So then Carrie calls Max (of Max and Virgil) and tells him they’re going to do Virgil’s “yoga play.” This is where Carrie pretends to go to a yoga class, but Max meets her at the back door and takes her to harangue Special Agent Hall in person. Then they drive back to yoga, she sneaks in the back door and the bad guys surveilling her will be none the wiser because no one ever watches the backdoor on television.

Agent Hall looks like a no show. Will Carrie make it back before the end of the yoga class? Finally, he arrives and Carrie is able to convince him that if something happens to Dana he’s going to be in deep shit because Brody might still be in the country and might contact Dana. Quinn, who’s been following Carrie around, saves the day, by blocking the car of the baddie watching her and delaying his going inside the yoga studio until Carrie gets back.

Senator Lockhart (from the hearing in episode one) and Saul are sitting together in a duck blind – or actually a goose blind – because it turns out that’s what they’re supposed to kill that day.

Homeland Recap: Saul's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

This isn’t the only information Saul got wrong. Lockhart is telling Saul that the President is looking at “morale” at the CIA, and changing the way they do intel. No more double agents or maybe no more double-double agents because that thing with Brody didn’t work out so well. Also “drones, drones, drones,” and “Iran.” Saul says he’s not going to temper his views just to get Lockhart’s support for his nomination. Then BURN, Lockhart tells him he’s the one what’s getting nominated, and Saul better shape up if he wants to keep his job. Saul looks crushed and angry, and like he wants to go Dick Cheney on Lockhart, but he’s so paralyzed he can’t even shoot his own goose, which Lockhart kills cleanly, and that’s some kind of heavy-duty subjugated male stuff.

There’s a brief scene with Javadi and his boys. They’re gathered in a nice house somewhere. Javadi is a skinny, unimposing type, no Abu Nazir in the charisma department, but clearly in charge.

Carrie’s push on Hall must have worked because now there’s an alert on television about Dana and Leo, which Dana happens to hear while in a convenience store. Leo is outside by the car. The blabby television reporter also mentions Leo’s suicide pact news to Dana. She goes out and confronts Leo. After questioning, he admits “the game” was his idea. She gets in the car with him while they are arguing. She’s still processing, but after a couple of seconds she demands he stop the car. They almost wind up in another accident, stopping in the middle of the road. Dana walks out and over to an arriving police car. Yay Dana!

Back at the hunting lodge, Saul is dressing for dinner and clearly is in a pissy mood. He calls Carrie to berate her for getting involved again with the Family Brody and risking everything they’ve done. He tells her the surveillance team has left. He’s sure they made her. Everything has been for nothing because of Brody’s fucking daughter or maybe it was fucking Brody’s daughter. Saul under pressure is not a nice guy. He’s kind of a diva.

Saul goes into the main room, where it turns out everybody but Saul knew about Lockhartt’s nomination, which the Pres will be announcing on the morrow. Saul is feeling especially stabbed in the back by the Chief of Staff who didn’t warn him. The Chief of Staff proposes a toast to Lockhart. Lockhart says some words about the job Saul did as “caretaker.” Saul then says he wants to make a toast to Lockhart, and he starts off saying something appropriate, but then he keeps talking, not so subtly implying Lockhart is a political hack who’ll never have the respect of the agents. Saul has just experienced the opposite of that thing when you think of the right thing to say after you leave. He’s just said the wrong thing before leaving. Having probably sunk his career, he mentions the work he has left to do in his remaining tenure and takes his leave.

Dana, like Saul, is also having a tough time and facing an unpleasant truth. She arrives home. Jess and Chris – the brother we keep forgetting about – just stare at her as she heads down the hallway to her room, announcing that she’s “alright.” She collapses on her bed and cries with her entire body– out-emoting Claire Danes.

Carrie is brushing her teeth. Quinn calls. He’s still out there watching her. She checks in with him about whether or not they made her. He doesn’t know. There ‘s something very intimate about their conversation. He’s 100 yards away. Saul’s ordered him to come no closer, but you know he wants to. Damn you Carrie Mathison, can’t you see the happiness right in front of you? Why are pining for that no-goodnik Brody?

Saul’s day is about to get worse. He comes home to find Mira having a candlelight supper with some man she introduces as a co-worker from Mumbai. Saul is like “whatever” and heads upstairs to brood.

Carrie is in her bed in the dark, doing some brooding of her own. She hears something. We see something. She runs to her safe to get her gun, but she’s too late. There are men. They search her mouth. They make her strip and search her body. She cries this wasn’t the deal. She’s told there is no deal. They put a bag over her head and drive her away.

Quinn has seen something, but he’s too far to be sure. He calls Saul who orders him not to go closer. He ignores Saul and gets out of his van and walks toward the house, still on the phone. Mira comes up the stares and tries to talk to Saul but he tells her “Not now.” Quinn sees Carrie’s backdoor was broken down and she’s gone. This seems to cheer Saul up. But Quinn is not so happy. He says, “We lost her. She’s on her own.” Saul says, “She’s always been on her own.” Carrie really needs to spend less time with Saul and more time with Quinn.

The bag is taken off of Carrie’s head and as she is presented to Javadi.

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He says, “Carrie Mathison. You’re in good shape. Must be the yoga.” I’m kind of liking the new guy. If Javadi knows he’s being conned, which is entirely possible, he must have something else up his sleeve, and maybe that something else is Brody – which would begin to explain why El Nino is keeping him alive. But we know that Saul has something up his sleeve too– the knowledge that Javadi has been embezzling. And now the operation has another issue – what happens if Saul gets canned? Will Carrie be left with Javadi? Will agent McDreamy uh Quinn go rogue and rescue her?

Five episodes in and it looks like we’re finally getting someplace.

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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  • I have been waiting for the hate-sex scene with Jessica and Carrie since Season One, and it looks like it might finally be happening.

    • well, who hasn’t been waiting for that. really?