Homeland: Like Bad at Things
March 5, 2018 6:28 AM - Season 7, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The stand-off surrounding O’Keefe escalates. Max turns up some more useful intel on Wellington and his mysterious accomplice Simone. Keane confronts her Chief of Staff.

Alternate recap: Just like episode 3, with the volume turned up. Carrie takes even more risks with her health; Saul and O’Keefe’s stand-off gets even more hammy and overblown; Keane’s clenched jaw of betrayal gets even more tense. Oh, and some dishy guy presumably working for the Russians stirs causes havoc with just a pair of scrubs and a mobile phone.
posted by penguin pie (12 comments total)
Sigh. This wasn't really what I'd hoped for. The "episode 4 is when it really goes off" thing is usually not only literally explosive, it also contains a plot twist, a real "OMFG!" moment. Which is exactly the opposite of all of this. As above, the plot was just ep3 writ large(r). And I have so many questions.

* Why did Carrie go to a public library to discuss her top secret and highly illegal surveillance operation out loud over Skype?
* How was O'Keefe still being allowed to broadcast from inside the compound? I mean I'm no techie but surely there was a way of cutting him off?
* Why would Dante, who had a troublesome bipolar ex-girlfriend, agree to take part in a career-risking, illegal operation with someone so out of control he's going to have to force her to medicate herself to stay within functional parameters?
* Is the big shocking secret behind it all just going to be "It was the Russians!" and "Fake news!"? Weren't those already the big surprises between seasons 5 and 6 respectively?

I'm sure many more will occur to me as soon as I've hit post, but they seem like a good enough place to start.
posted by penguin pie at 6:40 AM on March 5, 2018

I don't really have much to say. It wasn't terrible like the other episodes have been. But like penguin pie said, it's just kind of more of the same.

Interestingly, I watched this one the day after I watched the last episode of Waco (I should probably do a FanFare for that), which made for interesting comparisons. I know Homeland is fiction, but WTF is the FBI's obsession with shooting dogs? You'd think they'd learn. I'm interested to see the aftermath of the battle. It looked pretty devastated; what were the casualties?

But ultimately, I just can't shake the fact that all of it was to stop a vlogger from broadcasting.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:29 PM on March 5, 2018

Well, don't forget that O'Keefe was deeply involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President (which must have killed some of her security detail). I don't recall how much he knew was going on, but he was involved with the disinformation facility, and so were the chief assassination conspirators. He's a long way from innocent.

And, yeah, it seems like the agent provocateur was likely Russian. A plot complication I'm not happy with given that they weren't involved before.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:51 PM on March 6, 2018

Plot aside, I found the interactions between Saul and O’Keefe riveting. Saul has so much expertise, he knows it’s not going to end well. He comes close to getting O’Keefe to side with him, but O’Keefe is afraid of the guns and can’t resist the lure of getting online after the boy has been shot. Both actors’ facial expressions said so much.
posted by Sukey Says at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2018

Well, don't forget that O'Keefe was deeply involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President (which must have killed some of her security detail). I don't recall how much he knew was going on, but he was involved with the disinformation facility, and so were the chief assassination conspirators. He's a long way from innocent.

Yeah, he was definitely very close to Dar - remember that scene of them watching the video of Keane's son together? My impression was that Dar/O'Keefe were 'just' out to discredit the President Elect, while McClendon and Belli (the guy who shot Astrid) were the ones who got impatient and trigger happy and went one step further. But I might have misremembered.

I had a great Twitter chat after s06 with David James, the Homeland script coordinator, who basically referred to everyone involved with Dar as 'the cabal' (!), implying that they were all in on it together. But then I can't remember now exactly how Dar wove into the final episode. He called Carrie to warn her that McClendon was trying to implicate Quinn in the assassination, but did he do that because the whole assassination plot was news to him, or just the 'pin it on Quinn' bit?

On another note, I can't help feeling like it's too simple for Wellington to be the one behind killing McClendon. Feels more like he's being set up by Simone, who's working for someone else.
posted by penguin pie at 3:36 PM on March 10, 2018

Aw I liked this episode. Specifically for the depiction of what went down on the farm with O'Keefe. That kind of right wing lunacy is my worst nightmare fantasies of American politics and I liked seeing it played out fictionally. Particularly the mother who is just having none of this bullshit. Also O'Keefe who seems like a total coward playing every side at once.

Carrie's magical pill dreamland experience, though, that can fuck right off. Who was the guy who sold her the pills out of the car trunk? Am I supposed to remember him from previously, on Homeland?

The actor playing Dante has zero charisma. Having a rough time with Max too. Either they need to make him his own real character, like Quinn, or stop bringing him in. The way Frannie is all "hi Max" was both hilarious and sad.
posted by Nelson at 5:05 PM on March 11, 2018

"That kind of right wing lunacy is my worst nightmare fantasies"

Not defending right-wing lunacy in general, but in this case, those guys were sitting around minding their own business until the FBI showed up with a small army (for the purpose of eradicating freedom of the press, BTW) and opened fire on the dogs. They may be bad people, but what would you do in that situation? Personally, if someone shot my kid, I don't think I'd show the kind of restraint that they did.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:32 AM on March 12, 2018

You skipped over the part about them harboring a fugitive. Also showing up armed for war, which depending on details may or may not be technically legal but is scary as fuck.

I do like the ambiguity about whether the president is right for wanting to arrest O'Keefe. She's clearly wrong in the broader sense, she's depicted as paranoid and overreaching. Particularly with the 200. Didn't we establish last season O'Keefe was aware of the cabal, if not in on it?
posted by Nelson at 9:54 AM on March 12, 2018

It's not like they sought O'Keefe out. It was a match made by the local cops. They didn't go to the cops like "hey we're a creepy militia that wants to hide fugitives". And O'Keefe had numerous opportunities to prevent violence. The family was just caught in the middle of stuff.

And yeah, the gun stuff was scary, but again, it's not like they're out driving around in their trucks looking for people to shoot.

They weren't the only side that showed up armed for war. And they weren't the side that fired the first shots. They may not be good people, but none of that was their fault.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:05 AM on March 12, 2018

Well, if you're talking about the dog and boy, you're right. Even so, the dad straight up executed an incapacitated law-enforcement hostage, which I consider extremely (and unreasonably) provocative.

And, again, as far as I can tell, O'Keefe isn't a fugitive for speech, but for conspiracy against the US government and accessory to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:02 PM on March 12, 2018

The FBI is also shown as overreacting and inflaming the situation. I really liked that about the whole O'Keefe standoff, really, the sense that in a situation like this it's all going to go very bad, very quickly. Saul recognizes this right away, I assume by analogy to his work as a spook in the Middle East. And every single scene you can see the pain and frustration in his eyes and he watches the FBI and the militia build up to a dangerous and violent confrontation. It just felt all very believable to me.

Loved the mother in all this. She clearly had enough of O'Keefe's bullshit but was unable to protect her child. How awful.
posted by Nelson at 5:15 PM on March 12, 2018

Didn't we establish last season O'Keefe was aware of the cabal, if not in on it?

O'Keefe was definitely in on Dar's cabal at least as far as the attempt to destabilise/bring down Keane (he collaborated with Dar on releasing the doctored video that made it look like Keane's son had died a coward, and interviewed other veterans who testified to that on his show).

What I can't remember is whether O'Keefe - or even Dar - were in on the plot to actually assassinate her. I think that was mostly McClendon's doing. I think Dar must at least have been aware - he certainly knew enough to kidnap Max and make him dig around online to find out that someone had been setting Quinn up to take the fall for the assassination attempt.
posted by penguin pie at 5:17 PM on March 12, 2018

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