Homeland: The Tradition of Hospitality
October 12, 2015 8:36 AM - Season 5, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Carrie and Düring visit a refugee camp. Saul and Allison are at odds. Quinn stays on mission.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (11 comments total)
What I was hoping for in the previous episode, but couldn't quite make myself believe that they were going to do, was to make the CIA the villains in this new seasons.

I'm still having a hard time believing that they are doing this -- the show is so islamophobic and so tilted toward the "you can't handle the truth" end-justifying-the-means rationalization that I feel that somehow they are going to find a way to make Carrie and Düring look foolish in their good intentions and somehow let Saul and the CIA off the hook for assassinations and, of course, targeting Carrie. The most obvious thing would be that Dar Adal is running this black ops thing totally on his own and Saul doesn't actually know anything about who the targets really are or anything else about it. A much more interesting storyline would be that Saul really has become a villain, traumatized by all that's happened to him, he's now totally in the if you're not with me, you're against me and let god sort them out mindset.

This show has mostly annoyed me in its politics and how unrealistically it portrays the CIA -- I know that's sort of silly, as people probably aren't expecting any sort of realism, given how outlandish the show has been from the beginning. I've watched it anyway mostly because I am enthralled by the acting of Danes and Patinkin. It's sort of a guilty pleasure in that respect. But I have to say that I really enjoyed this episode, especially in that it seems like they're going to make the CIA the villain, or at least allow that this is pretty morally complex and just illegally spying on people and assassinations is not an acceptable solution to these problems.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:56 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

The most obvious thing would be that Dar Adal is running this black ops thing totally on his own and Saul doesn't actually know anything about who the targets really are or anything else about it.

Isn't Saul the one running the black ops thing? Isn't he the one who took the hit out on Carrie?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:03 AM on October 12, 2015

It's Saul's program, sure. But Dar could have found out about it & intercepted & rewritten the message. It's not likely but it could have happened. The narrative arc of the season is shaping up to be Saul vs Carrie with Quinn stuck in the middle so my strong guess is going to be no.
posted by scalefree at 11:16 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is Quinn's season. Now that his soul is dead in the aftermath of Carrie's rejection, can he kill the only woman he ever loved? Will he not just save her life (of course, a given) but also make a new play for her & how will he react when she unfailingly rejects him again in favor of her new, non-homicidal boyfriend?
posted by scalefree at 11:28 AM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

"Isn't Saul the one running the black ops thing? Isn't he the one who took the hit out on Carrie?"

He's weirdly doing the fieldwork. But the targets are encoded (or at least the one for Carrie was) and so maybe Saul doesn't actually know the contents, as scalefree says. I think it would be very gutsy of the show to actually have Saul become a villain and I don't think there's been any past indication that it has ever been remotely that brave about challenging the audience. The whole trope of their relationship is the surrogate father thing that tugs on the audience's heartstrings. So if Saul really did target Carrie for assassination, then I think a lot of the audience will be pissed-off about it. And I will think that's great!

But it seems unlikely to me. In contrast, the show has always portrayed Adal as untrustworthy and possibly villainous. So it just seems more likely to me that the show will do the more predictable and safe thing and have Adal being the one behind this and Saul is unknowing. Maybe not. I hope not. As I wrote, it does make sense that Saul would be changed by what happened to him last season and be perfectly happy doing this sort of thing. But I do have a problem with the idea that he'd so quickly decide to have Carrie killed. The show hasn't prepared us at all for that -- what it's done, has been to prepare us for Saul being suspicious of Carrie, thinking that she's naive at the very least. But it hasn't given us a reason to believe that he'd be so quick to decide that Carrie is involved in the leak and that she needs to be killed. However, Adal knows that Carrie knows stuff from last season that only he and Saul know -- that Adal was meeting with whatshisname. Adal has Saul where he wants him, but Carrie has left the agency, she's a loose cannon from his perspective.

So, yeah, I disagree with scalefree and think that there are all sorts of reasons to believe that Adal is actually behind this, not Saul. Also, Quinn was mentored and controlled by Adal -- Adal both has some reason to believe that Quinn might be willing to kill an ex-CIA agent on his order and may see doing this as a test of Quinn's loyalty. Totally an Adal thing to do.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:45 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really can't see Dar Adal or Saul putting out the hit on Carrie. Not that the show is hyper realistic or anything, but assassinating someone using an operator who was once emotionally close to the target seems like a sure fire way to get things all fucked up. Even if they don't know Quinn had the hots for her, they know they had a close working relationship.

Also, they made it clear that Saul was the connection to Quinn, and with all the bullshit he and Carrie have gone through, it seems weird that Saul would see one photo of her and a reporter and decide to murder her and one of the world's richest people is a complicated IED plot.

Perhaps someone inside the agency is intercepting Saul's orders and changing them, but it's not Carrie they are going after but her kid. The edit at the end of this last episode made it clear that Quinn hadn't finished decoding the message. Maybe the whole thing was "Mathieson, Frannie".
posted by sideshow at 8:45 PM on October 12, 2015

Or maybe it was letting him know Carrie was in trouble.
posted by Feantari at 8:55 PM on October 12, 2015

I took the MATHISON bit at the end as a red herring. It'd just make no sense for Saul to ask Quinn to assassinate her. For so many reasons. I imagine the Big Reveal next week will be that it means something else.

Great episode though. I liked the refugee camp set, even if it was a bit too much of a set piece. Was that filmed somewhere in Berlin? Liking Berlin as a location in general, it's a good city with a lot of different textures. And the whole refugee camp visit, the Hezbollah connection, all of it played so well. The suffocating feeling of poor Carrie, all the way to her having to physically stop the car and then drive it out herself. Good TV.
posted by Nelson at 3:40 PM on October 13, 2015

Ahh, so the rest of the message is something like MATHISON IN DANGER?

I could see it going either way. She's the target or its a warning.
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on October 13, 2015

Or, it was intended as a warning with Saul making the assumption that Quinn would figure things out, but it wasn't clarified and now Quinn is all welp I better start my recon and then boyfriend and frannie and wtf and where is Carrie and well.. all sorts of cans of worms. Though, I'd like to think better of Quinn than all that.
posted by Feantari at 7:43 PM on October 13, 2015

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