Homeland: Species Jump
March 22, 2018 5:05 PM - Season 7, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Saul calls an old friend. Wellington has a problem. Carrie enjoys a win.

Alternate recap: Carrie takes a surprisingly long time to work out that Wellington is being set up by Simone. And that she herself is being set up by Simone. And by Dante. And probably by the Russians. At this point it seems likely that even Franny has been setting Carrie up somehow without her noticing, let's face it, everyone else is. But hooray! Saul saves her by pointing out the obvious and it's blissful to see them both in cahoots again. The magic treadmill of enlightenment is deployed, and the Scooby spy gang enjoy a night out together, reeling in dodgy Dante for a thorough, rubber-gloved frisking - the most fun a bunch of CIA rejects can have with their clothes on (and half off in Dante's case).
posted by penguin pie (7 comments total)
The season feels like it has found its groove after a shaky start. It seems quite obvious to me that they called a huge audible after Trump's victory and very awkwardly pushed the storyline in a completely different direction than the one set up by the end of last season. Like I said; awkward. But hey, they still have half a season to go and it has settled down nicely with the last 2 episodes.
posted by Justinian at 10:06 PM on March 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Interesting Justinian, I’d read that they basically started rewriting like crazy around S6 E5 (the siege at the house) because that’s where they were up to in filming when Trump was elected and they feared they’d just become completely irrelevant and had to change tack. I’d LOVE to know what the original plot was. And, personally, would love to know whether two of my favourite characters, Astrid and Quinn, were sacrificed to try and rev up a failing plot as the writers panicked, or whether they were always leaving anyway (for story reasons or because the actors wanted to go).

But yes, great episode. I thought Carrie was setting up Dante alone, I cheered when the cavalry all appeared together at his apartment.

It’s weird, they somehow manage to make it all seem really complicated even when it’s quite simple. (Which is no bad thing, I like that “I’m only just following what’s going on” feeling!). When Carrie was talking with Saul and finally caught up, it seemed like a massively tangled web and I was confused. But then thought “So, hang on, she’s just realised that Simone’s setting up Wellington and Dante’s up to no good? That’s all?”
posted by penguin pie at 5:15 AM on March 23, 2018

This is the episode I've been waiting for. It wasn't one of the best in the show's history, but the beginning of this season was so bad that I'm pretty happy with just average at this point. I watch Homeland for the espionage, and this episode had it. There were clunky parts (the explanation of retweeting, "my brother died in a Yeltsin hospital" - who talks like that?!), but I liked the way that the double-crossing paid off some of the parts of season so far, such as the crazy Carrie plot. Yeah, in retrospect, maybe it's obvious she was set up, but you can understand how she might not have seen it. I still think they kind of overdid it in the first couple episodes, but at least there was a point.

Hopefully the rest of the season continues down this road.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:55 AM on March 23, 2018

I also liked this episode and felt they found the Homeland groove finally. Perhaps that's a rule of Homeland, the season is only good once Carrie and Saul are talking again. I love how he talks to her for like one minute and then reads the whole situation. Saulomon, as it were.

One thing I both liked and thought was a bit silly in this episode was how much it borrows from other sources. le Carré most notably. Not just the general dismal spy thing but specifically Sandy, the ex-CIA agent / professor. The mousy middle aged woman who is an endless well of competence and institutional memory. I think 2/3 of le Carré's books turn on that woman being the one who puts the pieces together even as she is never the focus of the story. It's a fine trope, and Homeland has plenty of its own flavor that it can borrow things like that without being a stupid copy. Still...

Also I'm finding the almost-crossover with The Americans super distracting. Bold choice to take Costa Ronin, one of that show's main actors, and cast him again as a modernized Russian agent sowing discord inside the United States. And I think it was a mistake to use the phrase "Directorate Six" in the script; it recalls too closely the "Directorate S" which is the center of The Americans. (Bonus le Carré: the "new spies aren't respectful like old spies" trope.) But again Homeland is its own show, and they can borrow and refer like this without just being derivative. Just stuck out to me.

I was so afraid they were taking Carrie back to things I find creepy. Carrie with medication problems. Carrie humiliating herself to be a sexy honeytrap agent. But the way the Dante capture worked out they turned both of those on their head pretty quick. Sure is handy having a bunch of special ops buddies that have your back!
posted by Nelson at 7:47 AM on March 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’m interested to see if creepy basement hacker guy from the beginning is going to show up again. He still feels like a Chekhov’s Gun character to me - it seems weird to have had that little plot detour as an end in itself, that is immediately resolved and never referred to again. With the central plot now steering around to hacking/infowars type stuff, I wonder if he was there for a purpose that we’ve yet to see - Carrie will somehow blackmail him into helping her or something. I suppose in theory she’s got Max for that kind of thing, but the hacker clearly outsmarted Max when he took Carrie’s computer hostage, so maybe they’ll need his knowledge again...
posted by penguin pie at 8:37 AM on March 23, 2018

UGH the "Homeland groove."

I hate that I'm forgiving the stupid early season episodes - AGAIN!


If creeper cyberblackmailer guy shows up again, I suspect he might be a recruit that Carrie becomes 'desperate' enough to have to - or that no-one else would agree to do something as shady as Carrie needs.
posted by porpoise at 7:11 PM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Okay but Dante's tattoos though
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:29 PM on April 25, 2018

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