Homeland

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Emelee, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Russians spreading fake news and a lunatic president. Homeland or reality? Oh right, it's both.

    So in this episode, Carrie turned out to be wrong about Simone & Wellington. Hmmm...
     
  2. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.vulture.com/2018/03/homeland-recap-season-7-episode-4.html

    With Chief of Staff David Wellington busy undermining President Keane’s power (arguably for her own good) and Carrie Mathison riding the wave of prescription drugs as she investigates a murder, Homeland centers this week’s episode on a bloody nightmare in the heartland. A big departure from globetrotting tales of governmental betrayal and espionage, “Like Bad at Things” tells the story of a disturbingly believable disaster, even before Saul Berenson draws direct parallels to Waco and Ruby Ridge. In those real-world cases, violence erupted between the U.S. government and those who no longer trusted or believed in it — and similar cases will likely happen again. Hopefully, if that day comes, it won’t be as horrific as the end of this week’s Homeland.

    David is at home when a furious POTUS shows up. She first presumes that it was her military commanders who went over her head and ordered the Syrian strike, but Wellington confesses quickly. As he says, “We needed to put one up in the win column.” Wellington gives a speech he’s likely rehearsed a few times about how much he’s supported Keane, explaining that he ordered this strike to change the narrative about her presidency. Neither of them have any idea that Carrie is watching this exchange, but she can’t tell anyone about it or risk her surveillance being revealed. And, of course, neither of them have any idea that what’s about to happen will redefine her presidency forever.

    On that note, things are getting more and more intense at what we’ll refer to as the “compound” housing fugitive and talk-radio host Brett O’Keefe. The FBI keeps bringing in new weapons, and it’s not long before the first shot is fired. It may only be at a drone surveilling the area, but it’s a shot nonetheless and a harbinger of things to come. The woman who lives in the home is worried about what might happen next. She should be.

    Meanwhile, Carrie tracks Wellington’s buddy Simone Martin on the day she went to Hazelton, just before General McClendon died. The theory is that Wellington and Martin had something to do with his death. Tracking the parking ticket Martin received that day leads Carrie to a cash-advance place, where she convinces the guy who runs the counter to reveal that Simone was given $9,950. (Why that amount? Probably because five figures would require different paperwork and might even get the IRS involved.) Before you can say, “Hmm, that’s not a lot for a hit,” Carrie and Max figure out that Simone made four other stops where she took out similar sums. Which means she got almost $50,000 for a murder-for-hire.

    The history books of the Homeland universe will write chapters about what happens next near the compound. J.J., the son of the owners of the home, is chasing his dog, who is shot from a nearby tree line by FBI agents. Responding emotionally, J.J. raises his weapon and he gets plugged in the stomach. An agent comes in to help and he’s taken hostage by the rebels. We have an injury and a hostage. This all just got very real. On a call to Saul, Brett reveals that he isn’t really in control, and we’ll learn that Saul won’t be for long either. The FBI refuses to offer medical help to J.J. as long as they have their man, but Saul calls the president and gets them to do exactly that. Saul gets shit done.

    The EMS comes in to take care of J.J. and it doesn’t look great. He’s losing blood and could be going into shock. Brett O’Keefe uses the opportunity to broadcast to his loyal fans, saying, “The first shots were fired today in the war against America.” It’s one thing to stoke the passion of your listeners, but he also says that President Keane ordered it. It’s that manipulation of the truth that makes people like O’Keefe so loathsome: He has dozens of opportunities to stop what happens this episode, but he’s too weak and selfish to take them. J.J.’s mother senses this crucial mistake and yells at O’Keefe to stop while he’s still on the air. It’s a really sad moment — there is a young man’s life on the line and hate speech is flourishing. J.J. goes to a hospital.

    While Carrie’s sister forces her to take her Seroquel, which makes her very drowsy, Saul is doing his best to negotiate with Brett. He knows that the chance for either of them to stop this madness is slipping away. “With all these guns, it’s inevitable,” he says. “Negotiators lose control.” He suggests that Brett remind his rebel buddies how the Alamo ended.

    Crowds are assembled outside the hospital where J.J. is being treated — and that’s when a bearded man decides to do something horrendous. First, he grabs some scrubs and pretends to be a doctor to gain access to the hospital. Then he sneaks near the room where J.J. is being treated and snaps a pic on his phone that makes it look like no one is tending to him. He emails it out under the subject “FBI Lets Boy Bleed to Death.” It is 100 percent #fakenews and it’s going to lead to a massacre.

    Carrie and Dante are still investigating, but she needs to get a drug cocktail to keep her stable first — this seems to be foreshadowing for episodes to come. Will Dante have to decide if Carrie making the right decision or just hasn’t taken the right meds? For now, she warns him, “If things f*** up, the badge won’t save you.”

    The real action is happening at the compound, where the rebels have agreed to let the women and children go. They agree to do a health check and debrief, and maybe everyone will find peace. But we know that hospital photo is about to drop at the worst possible time. And that’s what happens: A news story features the photo just as the transfer is going down, and J.J.’s family doesn’t know it’s fake. Saul yells at Brett on the phone to tell them the boy is fine. They know he’s fine. Brett says nothing. He may claim he didn’t know whether or not to believe Saul, but it’s more likely he just needed to keep his ruse going. It’s a grave, terrible mistake: J.J.’s dad walks into the other room and kills the FBI agent whom he now believes killed his son.

    All hell breaks loose. The FBI responds, opening fire on the compound. It’s terrifying. Shots ring out and Brett runs downstairs to safety. It’s too late to stop anything, which Saul sadly informs President Keane. Tear gas fills the basement, forcing Brett to use an American flag as a mask — not exactly subtle, but nice symbolism for a man who hides behind a bullshit concept of patriotism. They pull O’Keefe out, choking, crying, and staring at the bodies strewn everywhere. It’s the worst-case scenario of fire and death. And Brett could have stopped it with three words: “It’s not true.”


    Other Notes
    • With Brett in custody, will the disaster at the compound lead to further violence or protests? Could Homeland be setting up a season that’s about a full-blown civil war?

    • I haven’t yet commented on the closing line of the credits, which you may not recognize. It’s from Quinn’s letter back in season five: “Just think of me as a light on the headlands, a beacon steering you clear of the rocks.”

    • If you’re wondering why you recognize Brett O’Keefe, actor Jake Weber co-starred in CBS’s Medium for years and also appeared in Dawn of the Dead, Meet Joe Black, and U-571. (One last bit of trivia: He’s British.)

    • I like the new credit sequence, but I wish they could have found room for the great Gil Scott-Heron line that opened it before: “The first revolution is when you change your mind about how you look at things and see there might be another way to look at it that you have not been shown.”
     
  3. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I found out last week that Brett O’Keefe, actor Jake Weber is really British

    Quite a lot of the cast of Homeland are Brits Damian lewis, David Harewood, Linus Roache, Rupert friend - all playing Americans
     
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  4. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 5 – Active Measures
    The entertainment is cranked up as the president plays a blinder, while Saul investigates the red menace and Carrie reassesses her squad goals

    James Donaghy The Guardian
    I’m not gonna lie to you and you’re not gonna lie to me”
    Carrie puts together a team to beat the truth out of Simone Martin and we are reminded that while a Russian troll farm may be quite continental, a punch in the guts can still be a girl’s best friend. New squad members Doxie, Stein, Bennet and Anson join Carrie and Dante in a gloriously entertaining caper that takes them all over Washington, into a ladies bathroom and finally back to David Wellington’s place. Watching Carrie in the field, thinking on her feet and making policy on the hoof, is a huge amount of fun. It’s a compelling mixture of brilliance and buffoonery. The upshot is we now know that Simone did indeed pay to have McClendon assassinated, but there is every indication that David knew nothing about it. So if David isn’t behind it, who is?

    It’s what they do, David – exploit existing divisions wherever they find them”
    The Lucasville death toll is in: 19 dead, three of them children, five of them FBI agents. Saul has been around long enough to know the scent of the Russian bear when he sniffs it and he can smell nothing else right now. While the president and David are busy with damage control over Lucasville, Saul pays a visit to Russian dissident Ivan Krupin to get his take on Russian interference. You may recall Krupin from season five, selling out Allison Carr for a new start in America. The dissident life has been good to Ivan. He’s landed a nice little gaff in Wyoming he shares with his girlfriend Kira. Saul mentions Yevgeny Gromov – a media savvy operative who came up with a fake story about child crucifixion in Ukraine. He certainly wouldn’t be above creating the bogus story about JJ’s death. Ivan is sceptical. “Sometimes, a domestic crisis is just a domestic crisis,” he says. Maybe, but Saul is taking no chances. He orders surveillance on Ivan and Kira. Trust no one is a good policy.

    God knows I never thought my presidency would be about telling another woman to bite her tongue”
    Elizabeth Keane is a woman who knows a thing or two about crises. Having buried her war-hero son, survived an assassination attempt and a coup from her own military and quite deranged hostility from the public, the fallout from Lucasville is the last thing she needs. She takes a big gamble and asks the FBI agents’ widows to attend the memorial in Virginia. It’s the kind of thing only a grieving mother who happens to be commander-in-chief can ask. The women agree and enter the church, led by Jackie Goodman, the widow of the agent executed by Elkins. It’s on the verge of turning very ugly before Mary Elkins shows some class and invites the widows to sit with her. It’s the Christian thing to do, but more importantly, it’s a vindication of Elizabeth’s strategy. From berating her chiefs of staff to her personal appeal to Jackie and her powerful address to the nation, Elizabeth is on terrific form. She’s never looked more presidential. It’s a good week for Madam President and she doesn’t get too many of those. Hail to the chief.

    Notes and observations
    • It was a relief this week to have a break from Brett O’Keeffe and his self-serving garbage. It’s going to be quite the challenge to broadcast The Real Truth from whatever federal hellpit he ends up in.
    • She’s unemployed and up to her eyeballs in debt, so how exactly is Carrie financing her crew of mercenaries? Is there a Just Giving page we haven’t heard about?
    • “We cannot allow what divides us as individuals to continue to undermine what unites us as people.” Elizabeth’s post-Lucasville address is reminiscent of Jo Jo Cox’s maiden speech in parliament.
      • Saul’s instincts about Yevgeny Gromov are correct – IMDb now confirm him as Costa Ronin’s character.
      • Ivan has a neat line in folksy wisdom. The story of how Snake River got its name is a parable on the effects of misunderstanding and mistranslating other cultures.
      • Anson and Carrey have a sexual history and he certainly fits her relationship template of every-kind-of-wrong. We might voice concerns about a trailer-dwelling drunk who took a sledgehammer to the family room and seemed to enjoy assaulting Simone a little too much, but who would listen? Not Carrie. Currently he’s the reckless devil on her shoulder to Dante’s cautious angel. Who will win out?
      Now that David is in the clear who is behind McClendon’s murder? Is Krupin on the level? What will Carrie’s squad do when they realise she can’t pay them?
     
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  5. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    s07E08:
    Saul and Carrie were playing with fire, having Dante poisoned in order to get to the truth. I doubt the CIA would approve.
    Simone and Dante have been working for Russia to bring Keane (and USA) down --- who else? Feels like there needs to be more players involved. Or perhaps it's more like real life where Russia is playing it brick by brick for a very long period of time.

    I feel this season of Homeland is so much like real life, and it's thrilling. Just like season 5, set in Berlin. I like these seasons far better than seasons 2-3. I feel the best decision Homeland ever did was to get rid of Brody and his family. They were 1 season only material.

    Also, will Carrie FINALLY let Franny live a happy and stable life for now on? Carrie will always put her job first. This isn't the first time she's put Franny in a horrible and unsafe environment. Hopefully for the girl, it was the last time. Carrie, as good as she is at her job, really can't understand normal people and their needs. I hope she gives custody of Franny to her sister.
     
  6. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 7 – Andante
    David reveals his true love, Carrie takes up Dante’s offer of a place to stay while colliding with Maggie and Max gets read the riot act

    James Donaghy


    In case you haven’t noticed, she isn’t the most reliable.”
    We had every right to expect a world of pain for Dante when Carrie and her crew of trained killers had him at their mercy. It’s a little disappointing that in the end they just have a bit of a snoop around his flat. A stirring Dante prematurely brings their fun to an end and Carrie suddenly remembers a redhead first-grader of her occasional acquaintance who needs running to school. Her dicey parenting triggers a row with Maggie and Carrie just can’t back down. She walks out of a stable home and once again, it’s Franny who suffers.

    This is Carrie on tilt – her judgement flawed, her credibility shaky and her credit maxed out. When she can’t even gain entry to a low-rent motel, she accepts Dante’s kind offer to stay with him. After all, he makes banging pancakes and there’s about a 10% chance he isn’t a Russian spy. Once Team Mathison are left alone, it’s Franny who discovers photos of Dante’s first wife Audrey – the infamous bipolar ex over whom he drank himself to distraction.

    A candid chat at Treasury reveals that Audrey is not bipolar and Dante was never an alcoholic. The former Mrs Allen does, however, mention that there was a simmering resentment from Dante about carrying the can for whatever went down in Kabul while a certain blonde Drone Queen got promotion after bombing a wedding party. So that’s Dante’s pique.

    The man himself does some spying of his own in Carrie’s room round at Maggie’s. He discovers printouts of his LinkedIn profile and is shocked. There’s someone who actually uses LinkedIn? It prompts a frank late-night discussion between the two where they decide that there is nothing quite as alluring as a mortal enemy. It takes a team of armed men to pull them off each other. Seriously, these two.


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    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Morgan Spector as Dante. Photograph: Antony Platt/Showtime
    She trusted the wrong people, used her considerable energies to help a foreign power undermine our government.”
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    Saul pays a visit to David Wellington to tell him he knows he’s being set up to take the fall for McClendon and that Simone is very likely a Russian agent. He pumps Wellington for every bit of info on Simone he can get. With the presidency at stake, he can’t afford to screw around.

    His next step is to strong-arm Max into working with his team. Together they unearth Russian oligarchs on the board of Simone’s NGO but that isn’t enough for an intransigent federal judge who stonewalls Saul in his attempt to interrogate Simone. It’s back to square one. Fortunately, Max comes through by cross-referencing Simone’s movements with Dante’s trips overseas. Their paths cross five times, which seems a little too much of a coincidence. If Saul can’t get to Simone then Dante is the next best thing. He swings by his place with a few close Swat-team buddies and is alarmed to find Carrie and Dante in flagrante in the living room with a severely traumatised Franny nearby. It’s at times like these Carrie is relieved she doesn’t have a job to be sacked from.

    Will the walls of this White House come tumbling down?”
    Elizabeth figures that she doesn’t need to comment on the video of Wellington confronting Simone. After all, how bad can it be? While attending the ceremony for the heroes from the convoy bombing at the Virginia war memorial, she receives and reads David’s letter of resignation. She appreciates the grim irony that he falls on his sword just as she takes credit for his masterstroke. A conversation with Saul confirms that Wellington has been played like a harpsichord by the Russians. Nonetheless, she visits him that night to officially refuse his resignation. If this sorry episode has proved nothing else, it’s that David is fully devoted to her and with her enemies gathering she needs someone at her side willing to take a bullet for her.

    Notes and observations
    • The second personal letter from David to Elizabeth, stressing that Simone meant nothing to him was a strange one. Is David in love with her? I don’t think I’m OK with that.
    • “Since what you’re really asking is whether you’ll sit in this chair anytime soon, the answer is no.” Elizabeth puts her oily vice-president Ralph Marlin firmly in his place.
    • Latisha, Maggie, Quinn and now Dante – pretty much everyone who meets her gets on better with Franny than Carrie.
    • There’s a welcome return for Hop the stuffed rabbit who survived the siege last year. Indefatigable.
    Is David crushing on Elizabeth? Will Saul get to Simone before she testifies? Will Franny ever experience responsible parenting? The comments are open.
     
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  7. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 6 – Species Jump
    David is horribly out of his depth as Simone sets up her endgame, and there’s a decisive victory as old Russia clashes with the new guard

    James Donaghy


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    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. Photograph: Showtime
    It helps that this guy Wellington is like a walking meme”
    When he has time to reflect, David Wellington may well ponder exactly when everything went to hell. When Simone is subpoenaed to appear before Senator Paley’s judiciary committee he is furious. He gallantly buttonholes Paley on her behalf who tells him: “I don’t think you know her as well as you think you do,” and on that we can definitely agree. Before you can say “honey trap”, Simone lawyers up and begins negotiating an immunity deal. When he confronts her in a tapas bar, she stages an altercation that is duly filmed, uploaded and sent viral by the same army of bots that spread the ‘JJ is dead’ story. Wellington is thrown under the bus like an indie drummer and it hurts. He’s so far out of his depth, it’s not funny. We terribly overestimated him.

    You think Dante might be a part of that? You think I might be a part of that?”
    Carrie wangles herself a seat at the committee and like everyone else present, is struck by what she hears. Unlike everyone else, she has the Carrie-o-vision eyes and ears in the Wellington household showing that David is as innocent as a babe. It prompts a return to that solid Homeland staple, Carrie in trouble, calling on Saul. He is naturally appalled by her illegal surveillance operation, but he quickly slips into problem-solving mode. He lends a sympathetic ear to her predicament and so much more. He joins the dots between the Simone Martin affair and what happened at Lucasville. He points out that it was Dante who brought Simone’s parking ticket to her attention and the scales fall from her eyes. Carrie wants Dante’s guts immediately, but Saul insists she lay low for a while as he works the Russian angle – he can’t risk her alerting anyone. She agrees. It’s the only sensible thing to do.

    She reneges on that agreement and puts together an operation with her squad which involves honey trapping and sedating Dante in his own apartment. He will awaken to the sight of a seriously pissed off Carrie and her crew of ill-informed underpaid goons. Dating Carrie really is more trouble than it’s worth.


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    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Morgan Spector as Dante. Photograph: Showtime
    If you’re right, whoever’s bankrolling this woman also wants McClendon’s murder pinned on the White House.”
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    Naysayers will gripe that his handling of the Lucasville standoff was not an unqualified success, but Saul is still smarter than the average bear. He works his socks off this week initially hitting up Russia expert Sandy, another refugee from Allison Carr’s downfall in season five. He teams her up with Clint – “the best information scientist at Darpa” – and they get to work back-engineering the Russian conspiracy.

    Ivan, meanwhile confirms himself as a rotter by meeting up with Yevgeny Gromov. He tells Gromov that Saul is on to him and berates him for recycling his methods but like all social media influencers, Gromov is not one to be put off by a few haters. He’s part of a new breed, one that disdains the old Russia that Ivan embodies, contemptuous of its protocols and its failures.

    Realising he’s in trouble, Ivan arranges a meeting with Saul. It’s the last thing he ever does. Yevgeny intercepts him, sticks him tied up and alive in a body bag before dumping him over the side of the boat. It’s a grisly death and further evidence if it were needed that this Gromov kid does not play.

    Notes and observations
    • Simone getting a parking ticket always felt a bit unlikely and it makes a lot more sense if it was engineered as now seems the case.
    • Many of you in the comments called that Dante was up to no good, but don’t claim victory just yet. At least wait until Carrie and her squad have a few hours’ quality time alone with him.
    • I do like the look Elizabeth gives David when she hears about Simone Martin for the first time (“The convoy, now this?”) It really takes the wind out of the announcement of her bond program for public schools which I was looking forward to hearing more about.
    • It feels like a bit of a misstep to portray Krupin as the Bible-quoting Christian when Putin’s Russia is so closely enmeshed with the Orthodox Church. It does, however, give Gromov the chance to recite the Old Testament back at him before he kills him, like Jules from Pulp Fiction. He has the makings of a great Homeland villain.
    Will Dante survive ordeal by Carrie? Is David doomed? Can Yevgeny be stopped?
     
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  8. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Both the above are from the Guardian

    With the events going on in salsbury, life is imitating art in this season

    Im still missing Peter Quinn though
     
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  9. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    from the Guardian
    Really enjoying this series

    Carrie is strung out on fake Ritalin and about to lose custody of her daughter, while Dante fesses up and Saul takes a chance

    James Donaghy

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    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and McKenna Keane as Franny Photograph: Fastfox/Antony Platt/SHOWTIME
    Step by step, somehow, you end up very far from where you ever wanted to be.”

    If you have a heart, spare a thought for Franny “Franny Banany” Mathison. You are barely born before your father is hanged from a crane, you survive a siege, are taken into foster care then raised by your aunt while your useless mother serves overseas. Last week’s SWAT team interruptus finally pushes her over the edge and Maggie gives Carrie an ultimatum: either she checks herself in to hospital or she starts proceedings to take custody of Franny. Carrie is naturally horrified, but not so horrified that she doesn’t once again prioritise work over her daughter, despite being unemployed. Her unsalaried minister-without-portfolio roaming brief brings her to a familiar scenario – face-to-face with Saul, pleading to be put into service.

    “I can break him. You know I can.” With time running out, Coach throws his mercurial protege into play – and a blistering showdown with Dante. “Do they know what a lunatic I’m sitting across from?” he asks.

    Yes, they do, Dante – that’s why she’s currently between jobs, strung out on fake Ritalin and about to lose custody of her daughter. None of which is to say that she is a soft touch. She rides him mercilessly during the interrogation, taking him on an emotional rollercoaster he won’t forget in a hurry. After charm, empathy, threats and verbal abuse fail, she resorts to that old stalwart – attempted murder. The contact poisoning delivered by his fake lawyer’s pen in effect loosens Dante’s tongue, but also flatlines his cardiovascular system. He gives up Simone and implicates himself right before his heart stops. It’s what Professor Piehead would call “another partial success” for Carrie. A second dead traitor showing up so soon after McClendon – that really would be bad optics.


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    Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. Photograph: Fastfox/Antony Platt/SHOWTIME
    The things we thought could never happen in this country apparently can.”

    The good news for Elizabeth is that Senator Paley is willing to halt proceedings against her for the good of the office. The bad news is that the price tag is her resignation. She finds his terms not to her liking at all and sets her attack dog David Wellington on the case. The Russians need to learn that actions have consequences.

    “They’ve had a free run at us. Tell them in terms they understand.”

    He conveys a message to the Russian ambassador that the US will consider Simone Martin testifying a hostile act. It is strongly worded enough for the ambassador to tell Yevgeny that Simone must not testify. The subtext is clear – Simone must be taken out. Yevgeny opts to take this literally by taking her out of the safe house, planting a big smacker on her lips like Daffy Duck and driving her off into the sunset. What Bonnie and Clyde antics might these two get up to next week?

    I don’t trust you, not like I used to – running around like some deranged vigilante.”

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    Stranger than fiction: Deep State, Homeland and post-truth TV
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    Saul has always known his mentee was special. Touched equally by genius and madness, she has saved the day as often as she has ruined it. It has long been his job to tell which version of Carrie has shown up on any given day. On this given day, he decides to run with her berserk high-risk poisoning plan that may very well still blow up in their faces but it is enough to get the warrant for Simone Martin’s arrest he so desperately needs. He races towards her hideout, only to find Yevgeny’s men have already got to Simone. He won’t know if he made the right call until Dante is confirmed dead or survives.

    Notes and observations
    • “The problem isn’t that you don’t love your country, it’s that your country doesn’t love you back.” Carrie makes a good stab at unravelling Dante’s motivation, even if it ultimately doesn’t work.
    • Yevgeny is not just about drowning double agents, rescuing operatives or disseminating fake news. His slick under-pressure elevator pitch blackmailing Simone’s lawyer proves him a true all-rounder – a Swiss army knife of spycraft.
    • Carrie grilling Dante is reminiscent of her epic interrogation of Brody in season two.
    • “Your entire mental health plan is having me tell you when to medicate because you have no idea.” Dante throws Carrie’s self-medicating in her face to drop her in it with Saul. He is definitely concerned, but it’s nothing he hasn’t heard before.
    What next for Franny? Will Dante pull through? And are Yevgeny and Simone Homeland’s new power couple?
     
  10. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 9 – Useful Idiot
    The Russian network goes to ground, Yevgeny shoots the messenger and Carrie gets a mouthful from a doppelgänger haranguer

    She needs stability or else she’ll end up like you’
    Dante shrugs off the poisoning like a Skripal and wakes up to Carrie assuring him he was nobbled by the Russians. He gives her a response code for social media that will tell the Russian operation to disassemble and disperse. When they deploy the code, it flushes out the entire network – multiple social amplifiers get their tickets pulled. It is a huge win.

    Meanwhile, Yevgeny and Simone have a private jet to take them back home. They are just feet from boarding when Yevgeny gets the call that Dante is missing. Protocol demands he return to the motherland and lets the Americans deal with the chaos he wrought so effectively, but leaving loose ends is not his style. A cannonball run across the country ensues; he hooks up with Clayton, who tells him that there is no way he is getting to Dante. Yevgeny’s witty riposte is to shoot him in the guts and drag him into the ER. Nabbing a medic’s swipe card, he makes his way up the floors for a heart-to-heart with Dante. He tells him – truthfully – that the Russians had nothing to do with the poisoning. Dante is given pause. Sure, she will wipe out the occasional wedding party, but would Carrie really lie to a traitor to protect the president? There are lines.

    While that is going on, Carrie pops into Maggie’s to see if there is some emotional stability she can disrupt. When she learns that Maggie is with a lawyer pursuing the custody case, she rushes to school to take Franny out early. She is delighted. At last! Mommy is putting her needs first. With Carrie, though, national security trumps family security every time. One call from Dante and she drops Maggie like a sack of spuds. She does just enough to convince Dante she wasn’t behind the poisoning and he tells her to lock down the hospital. A deeply disappointed Yevgeny decides it is time he had some face time with a hospital pillow.

    [​IMG]

    You realise the longer this goes on, the more I become the leader my enemies say I am’
    We have gazed in awe at President Keane’s iron fist this season, but what of the velvet glove? Finessing the bullish Senator Paley into keeping his yap shut and toning down his hourly calls for impeachment is no easy task. She delegates it to David and Saul and their skilful PowerPoint presentation on the Russian operation does the trick. The story it tells is so absurd it has to be true – not even the worst Brett O’Keefe caricature of Elizabeth would tell a lie this large. Paley is forced to confront that he is the titular useful idiot, an unwitting rube for the Russian bear. His high horse sermonising drops dramatically. “I am the tip of the spear of one of the most insidious attacks ever perpetrated on the institution of American democracy,” he says. Now you’re getting it, Senator!

    Notes and observations
    • Safe house, protected witness, enhanced security – they are all just words in the Homeland universe. If they want you burnt, you are toast.
    • The consensus in the comments is that Franny is an unwelcome distraction. You will get no argument from me there. It will be good for the show when Carrie admits that this whole parenting thing just hasn’t worked out.
    • “Build a narrative about unity in the face of adversity – some crap like that.” Paley tries to jumpstart his spin machine but his heart is really not in it.
    • “I protect my people.” Sure, Yevgeny – when you are not drowning them, suffocating them or shooting them in the guts.
    • Before that flashback, I had quite forgotten about Carrie seducing Aayan for her country. “It looks like you’re boring a child,” said Quinn at the time. Not her finest hour.

      https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/apr/15/homeland-recap-season-7-episode-8-useful-idiot
     
  11. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season eight, episode 10 – Clarity
    There’s a change of pace as Elizabeth gets tough, Franny’s fate is decided and Carrie gets back in the game and heads to Moscow

    I’m not a hero, but as it turns out, safe has its advantages, too’
    We rejoin Carrie, a week after the hospital meltdown, for her third and final ECT treatment. With normality restored, her thoughts turn to keeping hold of Franny.

    The toughest battles are the ones you’re woefully ill-equipped to fight. It is obvious that Franny is alive thanks only to dumb luck, and Maggie makes a compelling case for custody. Carrie can only stick with what she knows, subcontracting Anson to gather evidence on Maggie’s unethical but ultimately compassionate off-the-books medicating of Carrie during the Langley years. It will mean Maggie never practises medicine again and casts doubts over her suitability as a guardian. It’s the nuclear option.

    A direct plea from Maggie at the hearing stops it being deployed. Mercurial brilliance doesn’t raise a child. Maggie is a blue, calm sea, but Carrie has always been a storm. There’s a blessed moment of clarity where she haggles Maggie down to fortnightly visitations and signs off on sole custody. With finality comes peace. Franny, Maggie and Carrie are relieved beyond measure. No one, viewers included, wanted extended courtroom ping-pong on this one.

    If we don’t produce some hard evidence that screams Russia … I don’t see her making it to the end of the year’

    [​IMG]

    Facebook Twitter Pinterest
    Keane as mustard … Elizabeth Marvel as President Keane. Photograph: Antony Platt/Showtime
    With Dante dead, Simone presumed dead and Yevgeny wherever he pleases, Saul despairs at ever winning this one. It takes Sandy to make the connection no one else is making. Yevgeny and Simone is a love story, she tells him, one that goes back 11 years to when he was making his bones as a young spy and she was doing her doctorate at the Sorbonne. A baronial dacha by the river on the outskirts of Moscow seems the likely location. Yevgeny is, of course, indestructible, but extracting Simone is just about doable. What he needs is a maverick genius, recently out of residential psychiatric care, who just hours earlier lost custody of her sole child, who somehow supports a crack team of tequila swigging mercenaries despite crippling credit card debt. The Mathison missile is armed, programmed and set off towards Moscow. The Russians won’t know what’s hit them.

    What of the people’s business have we, any of us, managed to get done in the first 100 days?’
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    You remember the chastened and humbled Senator Paley we briefly glimpsed last week? That’s all behind him now. In a crisis, most people return to what they know, and there’s nothing he knows like riding President Keane. He’s out to invoke the 25th amendment, but that needs the signature of vice-president Warner and he assures David that his support for Elizabeth is solid. “I took an oath to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he reminds him. What a relief. That’s that settled.

    Privately, though, Warner is wobbling like a Weeble, hearing out Paley when he pitches removing the president to him at dinner. Elizabeth moves to fire the cabinet members she suspects are behind Paley, but Warner tries to reassure her of his loyalty and all he asks is that she rescind the firings. The president, however, is done with half measures. No one tells her who to fire. If you can’t handle her at her Enemy of the State then you damn sure don’t deserve her at her Active Measures. A defeated Warner slinks off to sign on to the 25th amendment and begins petitioning the supreme court. That civil war Brett O’Keefe kept talking about could be here sooner than we thought.

    Notes and observations
    • A newbie might ask how Yevgeny got out of the locked down Regent Medical Center. Seasoned Homeland viewers just add it to the box marked, “Stuff we’ll never know,” and move on.
    • If Yevgeny banging on about Sergiyev Posad in his unpublished novel from university really has revealed his present-day location it is a chilling thought. May our own terrible undergrad literary efforts never come back to haunt us thus.
    • Amy Hargreaves is great this week, particularly in her courtroom address to Carrie. Even though that particular storyline has tested the patience, the emotional truth of the sisters’ relationship, conflict and ultimately love was powerful.
    • President Keane firing four members of her cabinet feels like it could be a huge error. I’ve liked Elizabeth’s work a lot this season and don’t want to see her removed from office by the gutless poltroons you really wouldn’t want around you in the trenches. She will need Saul to bring back something spectacular from Moscow to have any hope of survival.
    Exactly how much damage can Carrie do in Moscow? How useful an idiot is Senator Paley? Would you salute President Warner? Have your say below.

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/apr/22/homeland-recap-season-eight-episode-10-clarity
     
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  12. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    PS Think I saw online that Claire Danes is pregnant in real life! Does anyone know where Dar Adal is this season?
    Im missing him!
     
  13. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Only 1 episode left of the season! Some exciting movements in the plot going on with Simone Martin and the president.

    I hear Claire Danes is pregnant. Anyone knows when they begin taping the last season? Will they hide Carrie behind big plants and bags, will Carrie have another kid or will Claire give birth before they begin taping? Hmmmm.....
     
  14. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 11 – All In
    The Moscow caper is an unbearably tense barnstormer as Carrie’s Hail Mary pass takes the game into overtime and next week’s finale

    James Donaghy

    [​IMG]


    The world is watching. The Kremlin has lost control. You are the problem’
    Carrie flanks Saul at the table as he gets to work telling the Russians how miffed he is at their rotten subterfuge. When he can finally be bothered to swing by, Yevgeny answers the numerous accusations levelled against him with flat denials and some world-class whataboutery chronicling the US’s history of less-than-stellar foreign interventions.

    Saul can field this garbage all day, particularly as the whole meeting is a decoy so that Anson and his boys can snatch up Simone at the dacha. Calamity strikes on the exfiltration op, though, when they are ambushed by Russian agents who seemingly knew about their plans. With one man down and the element of surprise gone, it is clear to everyone that they need to flee back home or face a trip to the gulag.

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    Everyone except Carrie, that is. She didn’t lose her mind and her kid to walk away when she’s this close to the prize. She persuades Saul to put the squeeze on Yakushin by emptying his sizeable US bank accounts. All he needs to do to get his cash back is give up Simone. It works like a charm, with the general sending a battalion of his
    balaclava’d SVR goons to storm the GRU headquarters where Simone is now holed up. Chaos reigns. It’s awesome.

    Carrie and her team slip into the building during the melee. A quick Harold Lloyd tribute on the balcony and she’s into Simone’s suite, where her welcome is a gun trained on her head. With the clock ticking and her life on the line, she reminds Simone what happens to Yevgeny’s allies when they become a problem: Krupin, Clayton, Dante – not a pulse between them. Simone can’t deny the cold logic of it. With a quick switcheroo, the pair are out of there. Carrie may well have started the next Russian Revolution, but she went all-in and got Simone all-out. Maggie wasn’t kidding. She was born to do this.

    ‘Worst part is, she told me. She told me not only that it was Russians, but that they were using me to get to her’
    Demonstrating the survival instincts of a rat in a tight corner on a pressing schedule, Paley visits Dar Adal – a prisoner of conscience, legally detained for a crime he did commit. The prospect of freedom loosens Dar’s tongue and he advises Paley to go after whatever Russian experts are coordinating Saul’s covert op.

    His chief of staff, Janet, is straight on the case. She leans on Saul’s IT whiz Clint who, in a triumph of trope over nuance, lives in his mammy’s basement. One mention of the attorney general and he folds like a cheap suit, giving up the operation’s location, the mission intent and lets slip the fact that Simone is still alive. Saul really could stand to vet his nerds more thoroughly.

    Janet passes on the intel to Paley and virtually frogmarches him to the Russian ambassador so he can join that betraying-your-country craze everyone’s into this year. When he stalls – paralysed by the enormity of the act – she speaks to the ambassador herself. That’s the great thing about Russians – they are always ready to listen to treason.


    [​IMG]



    They’re not gonna stop, these people lined up against me’
    The supreme court back the invoking of the 25th amendment and Elizabeth is finally moved out of the Oval Office by vice-president Warner. President Keane is not quite done yet, though. Warner needs a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress to ratify his presidency or Elizabeth is back in power and, as usurpers go, he’s terribly underwhelming. When the footage of the Russian carnage goes viral, Paley demands that he disown Saul, and Warner looks lost. It’s lonely at the top, old boy.

    Notes and observations
    • Was Yevgeny really coming to kill Simone? I say no. The love story is real and to kill her before she flipped is too cold-blooded even for him.
    • David’s worry from Like Bad at Things that Elizabeth would be the first president since Harrison not to make it to 100 days seems prescient, but I think she’s going to come through this crisis like all the others. She always finds a way.
    • Some commenters have proposed Janet as a Russian mole and that increasingly sounds like a good shout. She has the clout, the smarts and a ruthless streak that
      • would make Allison Carr blush.
      • “She’s not an idiot.” I liked Yevgeny’s show of respect for Carrie. Mortal enemies they may be, but game recognises game.
      Is Yevgeny now gunning for Simone? Can Keane survive? What will happen to the major players in the finale?
     
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  15. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Homeland recap: season 7, episode 12 – Paean to the People

    Carrie pays a heavy price for victory, Saul comes to the rescue again and there’s a stunning mic drop from Elizabeth before the final curtain falls

    James Donaghy

    [​IMG]

    Paean to the People ... Elizabeth Marvel as President Keane. Photograph: Antony Platt/Showtime
    ‘I’m not gonna save your asses now by reading some stupid
    statement saying this was all a CIA plot’

    When her path to the embassy is blocked by police, Carrie decides to do a little sightseeing, avoiding the major tourist traps, leading the might of the Russian state on a wild goose chase around their capital. She is eventually captured by Yevgeny and when he finally realises it is Carrie, not Simone, that he’s been chasing, he drops her with a straight right. The grin that comes from her bloodied face tells him she’s won. Simone has been extracted. Carrie came off the ropes swinging, stole his lover from under his nose and played him like an accordion.

    Still, a filmed apology from Carrie to the Russian people would go some way to rewriting the narrative. Yevgeny deploys a classic carrot-and-stick strategy. Comply and she gets her meds; defy and she goes mad. Carrie chooses the latter as we know she always must. Death before dishonour. The mission comes first.

    Christ’s sake. I’m offering you three of the highest-level captures in the last decade’
    Saul has been on enough death-or-glory missions to know that it’s the journey home that’s the tricky part. Millions are watching the assault on the GRU building, making it the least covert covert operation in history. No wonder Mirov starts asking questions and when his delegation is barred from entering the airport, Saul is forced to appeal directly to the abysmal

    President Warner for help. Things look
    grim but Warner goes from zero to hero in a flash, slapping down Paley and shredding the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office. Either Saul’s party make it on to the plane or the ambassador will be detained along with every other Russian diplomat in the country. One phone call and the barrier comes up. Saul, Simone and the rest of the gang are free to leave.
    [​IMG]

    As they fly away, Saul can’t help thinking that he’s left a little something behind in Moscow – blonde, bit of a handful, but oh so worth it. It takes seven months of negotiating, wheel spinning and nailbiting before the exchange is made on the Estonian border. The broken woman they dump at his feet is Carrie all right, but exactly how much of her is left is anybody’s guess.


    ‘For over 200 years, we have had an angel on our shoulder in this country. Lately, I’ve been wondering where she’s gone’

    Seldom will you see a vindication as emphatic as that enjoyed by Elizabeth. Simone Martin’s testimony puts her in the clear and back in the White House. She has the mandate and moral authority to do as she pleases. A string of executive orders expanding sanctions against Russia are lined up, but first she broadcasts directly to the American people. The woman who made a career of tearing up the script speaks off the cuff and from the heart. She starts with some division-bad-unity-good stuff that any chump could have written, but she then throws a curveball. She identifies the biggest obstacle in the way of progress: President Elizabeth Keane. Her next and final act as president is the removal of this most divisive figure. You can almost hear David’s strangled cries of protest, but the lady’s not for turning. Now that Warner has proven his mettle, she has a decent enough substitute. Let him be fed feet first into the wood chipper of public opinion and see how he fares.


    [​IMG]

    Why Homeland deserves to go out on top
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    Notes and observations

    Notes and observations


    A big thank you for your interest and your comments this season. Do let me know if you think they nailed the landing in this episode and where you think the show should go in its eighth and final season.

     
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  16. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have enjoyed this series of Homeland but its not the best and I have missed Dar Adal appearing in all episodes.
    I wonder what the future holds for Carrie?
     
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  17. Canon

    Canon Soap Chat Fan

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    I've just finished S7, it was a solid Season but maybe not as exciting or as gripping as the previous three years. The story - Russian interference in American politics - would have seemed like a far fetched tv plotline just a few years ago.
     
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