May 11, 2018
Homeland: Waiting for God Too
Previously on Homeland: Allison took the Russian’s call, and we realized she’s not just bad at her job, but also a double-agent. The big question this week is: Did Carrie recognize her voice on the phone, and how much of this has she put together?
Dar (Have we clarified yet whether or not he’s actually the Director?) is in Berlin non-virtually because some screw ups are so big the boss has to show up personally. Instead of asking Saul for his take, Dar’s checking in with Allison, even though he thinks she’s kind of an idiot, who should have taken the hit for that leaked document business.
Meantime poor Astrid who isn’t very lucky at love discovers her bike tire has a stab wound, which is not the perfect way to start your day, but then it gets worse. Turns out Carrie was the tire-slasher and it was a ruse to get Astrid into her desolate parking garage because on Homeland no one unrelated to your play will ever show up at the garage at the same time as you. Astrid is none to pleased with Carrie’s complicated clandestine bullshit, which is SOOO Carrie Mathison, and typically involves a disregard for all other beings on the planet. Also it doesn’t help that Astrid lurves Quinn who now and forever will always lurve Carrie best. But Astrid does at least get to point out that Carrie’s wig looks retro, and not in a good way.
Sign me up for Team Astrid!
But even Astrid can’t say no when Carrie asks for a favor (because NO ONE CAN) especially after Carrie tells her that the favor is to help identify the hitman that shot Quinn. Carrie won’t let Astrid see Quinn, maybe because being an adult, Astrid might insist he actually get medical attention – like from a doctor.
Over in Quinn’s lair, which given the stained glass windows and various religious artifacts we’ve deduced is either located in an abandoned church or Pedro Almodovar’s old loft, Quinn’s in worse shape than Astrid’s tire, with a big gaping hole oozing blood from hid side. You know who else had a gaping hole in his side, lingered for a while in terrible pain and is associated with churches? That guy what died on the cross just after Passover a couple of thousand years ago is who. And in case you don’t feel you’ve been hit in the head with enough religious references and tidings of the Easter/Passover season, Carrie says, “He is risen,” when she comes back and sees Quinn is not dead yet.
Then despite having gotten Astrid to do her bidding, Carrie disses Quinn’s former friend-with-bennies because why not make sure to poison that well? She examines his wound. Quinn, self-sacrificing saint and Jesus-figure that he is, tells Carrie it’s just a little sepsis. So naturally Carrie calls Jonas because his sister is a doctor, so why not bring him into these shenanigans? Carrie tells Jonas she needs the antibiotics for her because she figures he might not want to risk his sister’s medical license for a stranger.
Numan returns to the porno factory, which is also a brothel, and a bar. There’s a gift shop too and they do a great breakfast. Turns out that before his buddy Korzy decided to sell the Russians the documents, his original get-rich-quick scheme was going to blackmail Boris from the Russian embassy with a sex tape of Boris with Korzy’s prostitute girlfriend, Katchya. Not sure if that would have worked unless his girlfriend had a penis, but it does show that both Korzy and Katchya had never seen an episode of The Americans, or Allegiance because if television has taught us anything, it’s taught us that Russians will go medieval if threatened in any way.
Despite their deaths being a prime example of Darwinism at work, those krazy kids were Numan’s friends and he has a sense of justice and outrage, so he puts on a mask and makes a video telling his hacker followers to demonstrate at the Russian embassy because the Russians killed them when Korzy attempted to sell them hacked documents. Numan believes that protesting will actually help bring the bad guys to justice because he’s this season’s innocent-savant – which means his death is assured.
Jonas shows up at the lair, where Carrie immediately orders him to wash his hands and help her with Quinn, which he does despite her having lied to him. Of course he sticks around and does what she wants. Why? Do I really have to say it every week? NOBODY SAYS NO TO CARRIE MATHISON.
Saul and Allison are in a car discussing what a bummer this whole plane getting blowed up thing is. Saul’s thinking is it was “somebody with an interest in keeping Assad in office.” Astute analysis like that is why Saul is getting the big bucks. Allison suggests that it could have been the Israelis. But Saul doesn’t buy it. She’s dropping him off at his hotel, and he looks mildly disappointed they’ll be no nooky that night. She reminds him to take his bag. Wonder if she put a bomb in it.
Carrie and Jonas have some excruciating relationship discussion, in which she tells him she won’t involve him anymore, but we all know she will, and he’ll do her bidding because in the end everyone does. Wasn’t he there last week when she called him a lousy lay? Doesn’t he remember how unconcerned she was that his son might have been in the hands of the same people out to murder her? Apparently not, because despite understanding the insanity of “gun battles in the street,” and knowing she is always one pill away from the cray-cray, he tells her, “I can’t lose you.”
She doesn’t say anything because why bother whispering sweet nothings when she already owns him?
Allison meets her Russian contact, Ivan, in a parking garage because that’s where they decided to do a lot of filming this season. They share a cigarette passing it to each other through their car windows, which would look odd if anyone else came down to get their car or if the ubiquitous security cameras caught them in the garage. Like Carrie’s wig, the cigarette as romantic metaphor is very retro, and the apres-le-crime rendezvous harks back to 1940s movies like Double Indemnity, in which the co-conspirators would secretly meet before inevitably turning on each other. Allison tells him about taking Vasily’s call “on the tarmac” – except it wasn’t Vasily. Ivan passes her the phone with Carrie’s death picture, and the dialogue is explicit about her being the one who put Carrie’s name on the list for “Saul Berenson’s hitman.” She looks upset when she sees Carrie’s bloodied corpse, which seems odd given that she set it up and was so cool with the planes going down, which she also set up, but maybe she feels she can afford to show a little emotion with Ivan, as she’s not pretending with him. The play now is to split Dar and Saul. Saul’s “weakness” is Israel so it looks like it’s Jew-blaming time.
Morning comes and Allison is at her desk. Dar comes in to tell her that the bomb looks like the same type of materials that Israel has been using to blow up Iranian scientists. He asks her about Passover dinner at Etai’s house. She plays innocent, but then he asks her to put a team on “it.” She asks if he means on Etai. He doesn’t. He means on Saul. Dar wants to know what Saul and Etai are talking about. Her plan is working splendidly.
She prints out a picture and takes it to show Saul – whom Dar apparently is not talking to directly – unless the two of them secretly are and the show isn’t telling us, which isn’t likely but is totally possible given Homeland’s previous history of fake-outs.
She then takes a picture of Etai at an airport and shows it to Saul, telling him that that’s Etai in Geneva, and he was in Switzerland at the same time they were. Saul says he’ll go to talk to Etai, and tells her not to tell Dar – because despite her trying to screw him over a couple of episodes ago, now he trusts her.
Meantime, Astrid’s boss catches her on company time trying to identify the hitman – for a friend. Turns out her boss knows the hitman is a mobster turned freelance-killer for the SVR (same old KGB with a new name). The boss tells her to stop doing favors and get back to work. There’s a crowd forming over at the Russian embassy, some kind of demo.
Because Numan’s a hacker rock-god under the nom de net, Gabe H Coud, protesters have shown up at the Russian Embassy. Laura is there with a camera crew because her vaguely described “journalist” job seems to involve video.
Carrie calls Astrid to find out if she’s identified the hitman yet. Astrid tells her about the demo, and that Gabe H Coud, the same guy what hacked the documents, is behind it. She also tells her what she found out about the hitman whose name is Vasily.
Carrie gets it. The Russians. But didn’t she get that already when Allison answered “da” when she took the call?
It’s Jonas that suggests that there must be something in the documents the Russians don’t want anyone to see. Jonas is now completely immersed in the personal quagmire that is Carrie Mathison, so she leaves him to watch Peter as she goes off on her mission, which is to find Laurie and see the documents for herself.
Quinn, who’s not looking any better, suggests Carrie “get out of dodge.” Doesn’t Quinn know by now that Carrie always goes rogue at about this point in the season?
Saul is having a chat with Etai, who wins the evening with pitch perfect rendition of the best line of dialogue, “We never murdered the general you never met to discuss the coup you weren’t planning” Saul is there just long enough for the crew Allison sent to get pictures of him, which of course don’t include sound, making him look extra guilty to Dar. To top it off, Allison defends Saul, telling Dar that she’s sure there must be an innocent explanation, but because Dar thinks Allison is always wrong, that just seals it.
Carrie buys a mask from a demonstrator. The mask happens to look a little like the lion mask child-Carrie sports in the opening credits. She drops a phone in Laura’s pocket. Said phone most be super-loud because Laura hears it over the demo noise. Carrie tells Laura the riot police are moving in, and she needs to get away, leave her camera crew, meet her at a metro station.
At the train station, Laura also makes a crack about the wig. Or is this a not so subtle dig at The Americans where nobody ever notices that the ridiculous wigs are wigs? They each pretend to be talking on their phones to cover their conversation with each other. Laura tells Carrie she never got the documents, and Numan doesn’t have a copy either, but she suggests getting them from the CIA server because of course whomever put them there wouldn’t have deleted them by now. (Actually, if that person was Allison she probably wouldn’t have because she’s kind of a screw up.)
Realizing that Quinn is still gushing blood, Jonas is about to call an ambulance. Quinn tells him if he does that than Carrie will never be free, so Jonas calls Carrie first, who tells him to call his sister, which he doesn’t want to do because there goes her medical career, so basically Carrie has left him with a choice – me or your sister. He decides to call the ambulance. Yay, Jonas for growing a pair! Unfortunately, Quinn has somehow managed to crawl away, leaving only a trail of blood crumbs.
Carrie has decided to bring Saul in on this, and heads to his hotel, where she susses out that he’s being watched, but she manages to get a message to him in the form of some Blackjack gum – his favorite, which was referenced on at least one episode back in season three, so anyone still watching will get it. He understands immediately that this gum is a message from Carrie, and sneaks through the hotel kitchen because that’s how spies avoid being followed, as anyone familiar with Homeland knows. Then he heads out for a jog.
Quinn meantime has managed to zip lock his hands and is about to jump into the river, presumably to sink to the bottom, so his corpse will never be recognized because this will help Carrie. A man with an accent, not German, stops him and tells him that “God has sent me to help you.”
Carrie is in a taxi that stops to let Saul in. The first thing he tells her is that he and Mira are splitsville because we’ve all been wondering.
Quinn is trying to dump himself in a dumpster, but because the show hasn’t yet given us enough of the interrupted suicide trope, and because we would kill ourselves if they killed off Quinn, there’s more divine intervention by the bearded stranger – who may or may turn out to be a hallucination because that’s also totally a thing this show would do.
So I got it wrong last week when I thought the document dump was part of a Russian plan that Allison was actually in on. It turns out she really is totally incompetent both as station-chief and as a double agent. But it looks like we’ll have to wait till next week to figure out whether or not Carrie recognized her voice. One might think Carrie and Saul putting their big brains together would quickly figure out that Allison’s aim is not true, but then again, last season nobody noticed that the Ambassatrix’s husband who kept sticking his nose in places it didn’t belong was the mole.
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