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S08.E11: The English Teacher

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Ok seriously? Carrie has to kill Saul to prevent a war? I really hope she reorganizes his book shelf before that happens.

And I guess Ben Savage is the go-to when shows need someone to play a young Mandy Patinkin. LOL. The dubbing was horrible though.

Loved it when Zabel was being a smug little shit about Pakistan giving up Jalal's "location." And Saul is all "Yeah, sure. Let's go with that." Smirk.

 

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First time Carrie finds out those special ops agents got killed, she gives it a couple of seconds, then goes “hmm.”

Then she tells Jenna that neither of them are to blame for those casualties.

Finally, when they charge her for those deaths, she retches in the bathroom at some federal building and Olegs agent makes contact.

Was her reaction guilt or having those deaths put against her?

Jenna gets gaslit not just by Carrie but Saul as well.  She doesn’t drop the dime on her, in fact helps her track down Saul’s asset.

Then they have flashbacks of young Saul in Berlin recruiting the asset.  They go for a Third Man vibe, with lot of shadows and other dark colors, give it a monochromatic sheen.

Actor playin young Saul looks like Young MP but must not sound at all like him because whenever young Saul speaks, his back is to the camera.  So we see he has an asset, which he denies having.

Saul gets Tasneem to give the US a fake target to blow up and hipster beard bro says “fuck yeah!” in the Situation Room.  That’s some professionalism at the highest levels of govt. right there.

But it isn’t enough and US and Pakistan continue to escalate.  OK, again unrealistic geopolitics but whatever, implausibility is nothing new on this show so why should it refrain from more implausible BS on its way out?

Carrie figures out Saul discovered all the historic secrets of the Soviet Union and Russia in the last 35 years through this one asset but still doesn’t know the identity.

So Oleg says Carrie has to kill Saul and then she will find ou and can trade it for the black box.

Melodramatic much?  She isn’t killing Saul.  She’s a fucking fanatic — no it’s her bipolar disease — but she doesn’t kill for the good of the nation.

No she just gets a lot of people killed with her recklessness and incompetence.  But she’s not a murderer!

She could just betray him, tell the POTUS and the CIA that he’s hiding a bargaining chip and show them the books.

For her sake, the translator better defect right away.

 

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All of a sudden this translator is so key to the plot? The guy in witness protection surfaces with no clue that he even existed in previous seasons? What's going on with Saul? Is he a double agent? I am so spacey with all of this season's plot. 

I am lost but I usually am. I am lost about what went down with the safe house, so I have to rewatch episode 9. 

Then I probably will have more clarity. 

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Agh, Jenna sure folded like a lawn chair with being ready to bring Carrie down to then aiding her to providing clues to finding the asset. I was chucking at Carrie’s face when Jenna told her she was quitting because it was reading “weak as hell”. Jenna just wasn’t about that life like Carrie.

Which brings me to Carrie. I’ve watched this show from the beginning so I’ve seen her batshit, but she really believes killing Saul in exchange for the black box will save the world and somewhat exonerate her? I’m hoping Saul now sees it coming and there will be another way, because I don’t want this to be the way Saul goes out. I wouldn’t put it past Carrie for one second to kill him if she thinks she’ll “win”.

Also, how is Carrie inheriting an asset when she isn’t even a government employee anymore? I feel like her clearance would be in shambles at this point.

Zabel and Mr. President continue to be clueless idiots. I rolled my eyes at their “fuck yeah” proclamation. 

Edited by Sharper2002
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49 minutes ago, surfer said:

Loved it when Zabel was being a smug little shit about Pakistan giving up Jalal's "location." And Saul is all "Yeah, sure. Let's go with that." Smirk.

Same here. Zabel is being passive-aggressive with his "well, it won't be with back-channel talks!" not realizing those talks have already concluded and that Saul only had to make one phone call. Zabel, for such a douche you sure have a lot of sand in your vagina.

39 minutes ago, scrb said:

First time Carrie finds out those special ops agents got killed, she gives it a couple of seconds, then goes “hmm.”

FWIW, this is consistent with how she has acted in the past. When her sister basically blackmailed her into giving up custody of Frannie, Carrie reacted by swearing a couple of times and beating on her steering wheel. After that, it was like the kid was never there in the first place. Based on that I'd say Carrie's IDGAF threshold was already set as high as it will go.

I've got nothing on Jenna's sudden reversal in attitude after hearing Carrie's praises from Saul. That wasn't enough for me. If someone I respected gave me a speech detailing the virtues of someone I had really good reason to dislike, I don't think I'd be compelled by such a speech. Jenna keeps falling for it though, making me wonder if she is naive, idealistic or just poorly written. We really needed a why from her on this and we didn't get one, except maybe after effects of a concussion. And if that is the explanation they want to go with, I'm calling bullshit.

At least this episode established that while Saul might have mastered social engineering, his tradecraft is a bag of ass and always has been. He gets a walk-in and tells her to get lost. He has no cover story for the KGB mooks hassling him. Fast forward to today and Carrie broke the code to his super-secret agent in about a day.

Carrie learned her tradecraft at Saul's School of Shitty Spy Work as well with her Clark Kent disguise. What if Saul's old buddy does decide to call him? Who came to visit you? Never heard of her and can't find any record of someone by that name working in records. What did she look like? Pretty, blonde and skinny... sounds a bit familiar. Oh, wait, she had glasses on? Couldn't have been...

Weird detail: Yevgeny is sure that if Saul dies, his secret agent control codes will be passed down to Carrie. This could not have been the originally plan because I don't know where Carrie was in 1987 but she sure wasn't in the CIA (if we assume Carrie is the same age as Claire Danes, she would have been in grade school back then). So Saul must update this plan from time to time. Fair enough, good thinking. But why didn't he update it after the seventh time Carrie lost her mind? As she herself pointed out, she's not even in the CIA right now. How's she supposed to run this asset for him? How would she do so from within the various hospitals and institutions she regularly finds herself an involuntary guest of? Carrie and Yevgeny (but him especially) should see this flaw in the plan. There is no real reason to believe that Saul's secretest of secrets are promised to Carrie in the event of his unfortunate demise.

Another thing: Carrie said she had cracked their comms yet neither of them suggests a man-in-the-middle play (where Carrie would send a message pretending to be Saul and saying "meet me here, it's urgent"). If you have compromised a spy's communication channel you basically own them and you can certainly fuck with them.

Last but not least, if the Russians have the black box, why would you assume they haven't messed with it by now? It would be sort of comical if after everything they went through they got back a recording of the pilots saying "oh shit, it's Haqqani himself aiming an RPG right at us! And his guys are unfurling a banner that says "fuck you America but especially the CIA"! What's that all..." BOOM.

 

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Fantastic penultimate episode. 

She’ll do it. Or she’ll turn the gun on herself, thereby sparing both herself a conviction for treason and Saul from having his cover blown. Her daughter is long-forgotten; there’s only Carrie and her real true asexual love Saul.

It’s called religious fanaticism.

Edited by Alistaire · Reason: Added
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2 hours ago, DakotaLavender said:

The guy in witness protection surfaces with no clue that he even existed in previous seasons? What's going on with Saul? Is he a double agent? I am so spacey with all of this season's plot. 

There was no reason for Carrie—Saul’s true believer like Brody was Nazir’s—for her to have looked for Kuznitzov (yay, Pennsylvania, bookending this series with secrets). It won’t matter to Carrie if Saul is or isn’t a double agent. She’ll either kill him or turn the gun on herself.

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Jenna continues to be as easily manipulated as ever. It's a good thing she decided to quit because she would be terrible in the field.

Heh, I was really wondering about Saul's books (before Carrie figured out his whole system) because he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who's picking up decorating tips on Pinterest or Instagram and rearranging his library by color.

I did laugh when Saul told that guy was about to go make an idiot of himself but not to stop him. 

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I really liked this plot twist, as preposterous as it was, but once again Carrie was too lucky. The witness protection guy would just start talking to her?  What if she was a Russian spy?  And why would Saul save all those books with the dates? Shouldn’t he have destroyed them?  Oh, he likes things hidden in plain sight. Yeah, okay. 

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7 hours ago, surfer said:

And I guess Ben Savage is the go-to when shows need someone to play a young Mandy Patinkin. LOL. The dubbing was horrible though.

I thought the casting of Ben Savage as young Saul was inspired, but I did not realize it had happened before. They should have just let him speak, but perhaps he is not good with imitating voices.

I am actually pretty excited about how this will end. Will Saul sacrifice himself or will Carrie somehow do that? I have a hard time believing she will betray Saul, but I could be wrong. Their relationship represents her last connection to her humanity, since her child has been long forgotten.

My somewhat silly wishlist  for finale:

Saul brings the English teacher to the US and they get married and live happily ever after.

Carrie is killed by Russians (a sacrifice for Saul and America)

Dana Brody, recently graduated from college, and gets hired as a CIA analyst . This could also work for Franny in  time jump 

Saul’s ex Mira turns out to be a Pakistani asset

A virus infects the world and makes all this spying moot

 

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3 hours ago, GussieK said:

I really liked this plot twist, as preposterous as it was, 

I really liked it too and think the only reason it seems preposterous is because this season overall was poorly written, poorly written because it’s political agenda got the writers to focus (literally) all over the map. When you think about it, this season, in order to bring the series to an end, had to conclude the Carrie/Saul bromance. Instead we had to pretend to be diverted by a « dumb president  interlude » every episode. Max’ death was gratuitous. 
 

The season should have focused on Saul, Carrie, and Yevgeny, as I was 100% certain it would before it began. And I called it last week: Yevgeny will kill Saul. He’ll get Carrie out of the country away from her treason charges and probable death sentence.

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11 minutes ago, Alistaire said:

I really liked it too and think the only reason it seems preposterous is because this season overall was poorly written, poorly written because it’s political agenda got the writers to focus (literally) all over the map. When you think about it, this season, in order to bring the series to an end, had to conclude the Carrie/Saul bromance. Instead we had to pretend to be diverted by a « dumb president  interlude » every episode. Max’ death was gratuitous. 
 

The season should have focused on Saul, Carrie, and Yevgeny, as I was 100% certain it would before it began. And I called it last week: Yevgeny will kill Saul. He’ll get Carrie out of the country away from her treason charges and probable death sentence.

Here's my guess.  Yevgeny will kill Saul, the English teacher will kill Yevgeny, and Carrie will be who knows where . . .

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It would have been nice if we'd heard rumors of Saul having an asset in the Kremlin prior to the 10th episode of the last season. We didn't need to see the asset so I don't have a problem with her actually getting on screen until the penultimate episode, but we needed to at least have heard the rumors (unless that did come up in a prior season and I forgot about it). As for who the asset is, I find it hard to believe that someone who translates English into Russian would be involved in many high-level meetings where everyone speaks Russian. She'd sort of stick out if she sat in the room doing nothing or tried to make herself useful by translating Russian into Russian. 

It does seem like it's being set up for either Saul or Carrie to die in the finale. If his gambit works, Yevgeny will become the new head of the SVR. 

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Remember Javadi, the head of Iranian intelligence he was trying to recruit as an asset?

Or him thinking he could get peach in Afghanistan.

Hard to believe that Saul would be the one to break all these big intel coups over the past 30-40 years with the Soviet Union/Russia.

What about the fuckup in Berlin when he was sleeping with the agent who turned out to be a Russian asset?

He's messed up so many times that it doesn't exactly paint a picture of a high level of competence.

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3 minutes ago, Loandbehold said:

It would have been nice if we'd heard rumors of Saul having an asset in the Kremlin prior to the 10th episode of the last season.

Oh how the mighty are fallen :) Just kidding. From the episode in Season 1, where Abu Nadal gets the razor blade, to Aileen's being tipped off about having her (and her poor husband's) cover blown in their new house near Marine One, to--there's a third "mole thing" in Season 1 I can't recall right now--malcontent viewers have complained that the series never explained Who, How, When, Where, Why. So malcontents have been waiting all these years to see if the mole would be revealed. I was certain it was either Saul or Mira.

In fact, the grande finale might still have one more shocker, that being that Saul has been a double agent all along. But I'd argue that the show indeed gave viewers rumors of someone having an asset somewhere who pulled off magic tricks starting in Season 1.

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7 minutes ago, scrb said:

What about the fuckup in Berlin when he was sleeping with the agent who turned out to be a Russian asset?

Definitely not a fuck-up, in my opinion. Allison kicked him in the cajones by going over his head and getting Dar Adal's help keeping her post (William R. Moses made a kind of pathetic five-second guest appearance as the German ambassador who was sacrificed in her place). Saul hated Allison, but on this show, hating someone and screwing them don't seem contradictory. In fact, the opposite. :) I figured that Saul decided a friend with benefits (God, I hate that phrase) arrangement would help him keep her, his enemy, about as close as he could.

There is a bit of revisionist history trouble here, though, because as I recall, he expresses *too* much shock at the discovery she's a double agent. Even assuming his shock was all an act, one would assume that his interpreter-asset could have kept him abreast of Allison's treason without him having to resort to sleeping with her.

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I don't remember there being ANY sense that Saul knew he was sleeping with a double agent at the time.

He had to get her killed to clean up his mess.

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3 hours ago, GussieK said:

Here's my guess.  Yevgeny will kill Saul, the English teacher will kill Yevgeny, and Carrie will be who knows where . . .

Also a possibility. I opt for Yevgeny staying alive, though, because of his mysterious and never-explained, "You mean that's all you remember?" question when they met at the square where Dunne and Jenna tried to eavesdrop on them. I think or maybe hope that the final episode lets the viewer know the exact nature of the Carrie-Eugene (yes, Yevgeny=Eugene) relationship during her captivity.

The important thing to remember about Homeland, at least for me, was that it was such a feminist series. Gurl Power, 2010-style, that the producers kept going. Fara discovering Haqqani was alive at great risk to herself, Astrid flipping the bird at Carrie in Islamabad, for Quinn's sake, Tasneem almost certainly giving Haqqani the go-ahead to invade the embassy when Saul stalled out on the tarmac... That annoying Laura person in Season 5 publishing CIA information... Even poor Dana, maybe especially poor Dana, setting the tone for the importance of being a stand-up woman... Heck, even Carrie's mother not really apologizing for leaving Frank and starting over with her new baby boy in Missouri...

Anyhow, I say all this because if the series were to end with Carrie on her own, out of the U.S., she would be a nobody, a literal pariah. If on the other hand, she sticks with Eugene, she is almost certain to recoup some position of importance within some intelligence community somewhere, and will ride off into the sunset victorious.

10 minutes ago, scrb said:

I don't remember there being ANY sense that Saul knew he was sleeping with a double agent at the time.

--Which is why I said that Season 5 then becomes problematic, because, dang, he knew and had a hand in just about every major geopolitical event involving the Soviets for forty years. So you'd think New Blonde Spy would have dropped a dime to tell him he's sleeping with the enemy.

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15 hours ago, scrb said:

Saul gets Tasneem to give the US a fake target to blow up and hipster beard bro says “fuck yeah!” in the Situation Room.  That’s some professionalism at the highest levels of govt. right there.

Every time I get annoyed and disgusted by him, see him I have to remind myself of all other amazing complex parts he played.

)

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She won't kill Saul.

I don't want Yevegny to live. 

I liked the interpreter, and their method of communication. I hope neither one dies, but this is TV, so Saul might die anyway. 😞

I understand Jenna's feelings, but the CIA has never been a hippy, peace-loving community. They are trained to defend themselves, to use people, and to kill if they have to. 

17 hours ago, surfer said:

 

And I guess Ben Savage is the go-to when shows need someone to play a young Mandy Patinkin. LOL. The dubbing was horrible though.

 

 

Oh, that's who it was! I thought I recognized him.

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Carrie's attorney was a surprise. Pretty late in the game to bring in an actor of Chris Bauer's recognition just for a couple of scenes. Seems like a waste to me. But hey, True Blood reunion! Kinda.

For a minute there instead of Saul having an asset in the Kremlin, I wondered if he was the Kremlin's asset but didn't know it. Yikes!

Lol, Carrie had some balls asking Jenna to help her again. Something's still not right to me about Jenna though. Guess we'll never know unless she pulls a surprise in the finale.

Right, Saul, Carrie never loses sight of what's important. She has such tunnel vision she can't  see all the unnecessary collateral damage she causes until it's too late.

Did they think the audience wouldn't figure out that Ben Savage was playing a young Saul? They had to dub Mandy Patinkin's voice in and only show Saul speaking from behind? Silly.

Surely just faking Saul's death is too easy. And not insane enough for Carrie.

I think even if Saul and Carrie manage to get the black box back that warmonger Zabel will find a way to discredit its significance to the wooden-headed puppet boy Hayes.

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
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1 hour ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Carrie's attorney was a surprise. Pretty late in the game to bring in an actor of Chris Bauer's recognition just for a couple of scenes. Seems like a waste to me. But hey, True Blood reunion! Kinda.

Wait, who else was on True Blood? And I wonder if Chris Bauer is a fab and wanted a role before the show ended 

Edited by nara
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Very 24 cliff-hanger.

With Dar, Max and Quin dead, and their families estranged, there will be no one to register the impact of whatever happens. 

All they have is each other, and too much has happened for them to ride off into the sunset together, so I think it would be most fitting that one dies and one is left to live with it, and wander the earth Kwai Chang Caine style.

Edited by TVbitch

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If she were to kill Saul and get away with it, she wouldn't be protected anymore by Saul against her charges, and I certainly don't think the information on the flight recorder would ever come to light given this administration.  She certainly wouldn't be in a position to receive  the intelligence background on Saul's asset, being in jail and all.

Why not just tell Saul and devise a plan together to give them a fake asset, like maybe that spineless Russian ambassador ... or let Saul decide between war and outing his asset.  This whole sequence of events spelled out by the Russian will never come to bear if she kills Saul.  Too many variables.  I think the Russians true goal is a dead Saul.

Edited by econ07
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3 hours ago, nara said:

Wait, who else was on True Blood? And I wonder if Chris Bauer is a fab and wanted a role before the show ended 

The actor who's been playing the former VP and now POTUS was also on True Blood.

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I don’t know what is going to happen but I know that it will not be pretty.  I liked Evgeny until he took the flight recorder. Now I hate him. But still prefer him to Zabel. As long as he goes down next week, I’ll at least take some pleasure in that. 

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2 hours ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

The actor who's been playing the former VP and now POTUS was also on True Blood.

Sam Trammell. 

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27 minutes ago, icemiser69 said:

If they had killed off Carrie a couple of seasons ago as they should have, the vast majority of people that have died since then would still be a live.

Carrie isn't good at her job, she is a moron.   The bigger morons are the ones that haven't "put her down" long ago.  She isn't an asset, she is a liability.

Jenna couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted her the "ca".  Another dim bulb on a series full of dim bulbs.

Does Linus Roache know that he is no longer on L&O?   Either the writing for his character on this series sucks, or he has limited range as an actor.  

The writing on this series over all really does suck.  The only thing that makes it worse is that it is predictably sucky.

 

 

That's why it was shocking the show lasted as long as it did. Especially when one of the main characters is not only a liability, but how they got to their job is beyond baffling. Hell, almost all the characters on the show make you question how they "could save the world" when they couldn't spell right or were; "Well, we don't want to hurt their feelings." Oh please. 

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The problem is that Carrie and Saul have been written as these brilliant spymasters who figure things out better than anyone else but always have blind spots big enough to drive a truck through, leading to some terrible consequences. Oh, well.  I’m still entertained and looking forward to the finale.

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No one accused of conspiring to kill the President would be out on bail and able to cross state lines without some kind of surveillance.

With the relationship that Saul & Carrie purportedly have, why didn't she just tell him that Yevegny & the Russians were demanding Saul's Kremlin asset in exchange for the black/red box?  They could've come up with some type of plan together.

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5 hours ago, GussieK said:

Oh, well.  I’m still entertained and looking forward to the finale.

So am I. A “nit pickers’ guide to ‘Homeland’” school of criticism elicits the question why anyone would waste their time on something so uninteresting.

No one has considered that Jenna has lied through her teeth about quitting the CIA. She asked for more time at her deposition possibly because she’s playing what Carrie used to call a long game. Just a thought.

In any event, drama requires the willing suspension of disbelief. If a viewer isn’t willing to gain something from a particular series, why watch at all?

(The answer: because irony is extremely entertaining, meaning that all great series operate on two or more levels of meaning; and “Homeland’s” greatest level of irony is about to be revealed, I suspect, this coming weekend.)

Edited by Alistaire
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Well Danes is the star song way were they going to kill off her character.

Homeland is heavily dependent on her to attract viewers whereas a more ensemble show like Game of Thrones brings in viewers because of the story.  Not to say GoT writing is great, just that it's attractive to a lot of people.

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Same reason many "nit pickers" stayed with The Affair and other shows through the end, just closure.

Homeland started out great.  That start gave it a lot of momentum but gradually, the show just fell apart, lowering the bar more and more.

Nitpicking or should viewers try to turn off their brains in order to enjoy the show?  This isn't suppose to be "The A-Team" type of a show.

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23 hours ago, Alistaire said:

Also a possibility. I opt for Yevgeny staying alive, though, because of his mysterious and never-explained, "You mean that's all you remember?" question when they met at the square where Dunne and Jenna tried to eavesdrop on them. I think or maybe hope that the final episode lets the viewer know the exact nature of the Carrie-Eugene (yes, Yevgeny=Eugene) relationship during her captivity.

The important thing to remember about Homeland, at least for me, was that it was such a feminist series. Gurl Power, 2010-style, that the producers kept going. Fara discovering Haqqani was alive at great risk to herself, Astrid flipping the bird at Carrie in Islamabad, for Quinn's sake, Tasneem almost certainly giving Haqqani the go-ahead to invade the embassy when Saul stalled out on the tarmac... That annoying Laura person in Season 5 publishing CIA information... Even poor Dana, maybe especially poor Dana, setting the tone for the importance of being a stand-up woman... Heck, even Carrie's mother not really apologizing for leaving Frank and starting over with her new baby boy in Missouri...

 

54 minutes ago, scrb said:

Homeland is heavily dependent on her to attract viewers whereas a more ensemble show like Game of Thrones brings in viewers because of the story.  Not to say GoT writing is great, just that it's attractive to a lot of people.

I'm a bit frustrated by the mystery of Carrie's relationship with Yevgeny and if there IS anything more to reveal I wish they hadn't waited until the finale.

I think the show went from being feminist to expecting both other characters and the audience to love Carrie the way the showrunners do, and I think GoT had the same problem with Emilia Clarke. They gave Danerys such glowing treatment (despite the fact all she wanted was power and had three nuclear weapons to get it) for years that the final season seemed to make no sense. I mean, Carrie's always been problematic but I haven't seen the mission-focused agent Saul talks about in years. She's just running around with her own version of Drogon giving the orders.

Also, could they give Linus Roache SOMETHING to do in the finale? He used to be a character who could think. I'm glad he's employed but hate that he's been restricted to making copies.

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I did enjoy seeing Carrie’s “study cards” carefully placed on Saul’s living room carpet. I noticed that one for 2016 read “Active Measures/US Election.” OK, “active measures” concerns Russian interference to topple elections so in the Homeland universe who did this affect? President Keane? And where do we think the real universe and the Homeland universe’s timelines diverged? I would assume Bush was president on 9/11 and then Homeland’s universe didn’t get Obama, they got someone unnamed whose VP was Walden (Jamie Sheridan) in S2 before he blowed up real good? Sorry if I’m being a bit dense regarding the show’s history as it has pertained to the White House.

Edited by TimWil
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6 hours ago, chick binewski said:

I'm a bit frustrated by the mystery of Carrie's relationship with Yevgeny and if there IS anything more to reveal I wish they hadn't waited until the finale.

Yep. The opening credits shouldn't have included Yevgeny's voice-over, "That's all you remember?" (or something to that effect). I mean, seven months was long enough for her to give birth to Yevvy, Jr.  😈

6 hours ago, chick binewski said:

I think the show went from being feminist to expecting both other characters and the audience to love Carrie the way the showrunners do [...] Carrie's always been problematic but I haven't seen the mission-focused agent Saul talks about in years.

I never considered Carrie either a feminist or mission-focused. I have always considered her a villainous character. Always. She brings heartache and suffering to any situation she enters, and I'd double-dare anyone to show me even one national security anguish she was truly responsible for averting. Dana Brody was the heroine in regard to The Vest. And if you say that Carrie was responsible for getting her true love out of the country... her own true love... Why the hell didn't she go with him?

Because she's a narcissist in capital letters who wasn't that into him, not in the end. Starting in Season 3, the feminists in the show segued from being represented by Dana and poor Jessica to Fara. In Season 4, the feminists were definitely Fara and Aayan's girlfriend Kieran, who comes through for Quinn when he's still hell-bent on nailing Haqqani. In Season 5, there's Astrid, the sexiest woman ever to appear on the show. Season 6: Keane. Season 7: Maggie. All these strong women distract attention away from an essentially villainous protagonist.

You're right when you say that the showrunners are in love with Carrie. I'd bet 90% of regular viewers are in love with all the decent people whose lives she has ruined, because she likes dressing up in lots of gray and black and dun and pretending she's Superwoman.

I'd like to throw a little schadenfreude in her direction this coming week, because I truly hope she comes to a bad end.

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2 hours ago, TimWil said:

I did enjoy seeing Carrie’s “study cards” carefully placed on Saul’s living room carpet. I noticed that one for 2016 read “Active Measures/US Election.” OK, “active measures” concerns Russian interference to topple elections so in the Homeland universe who did this affect? President Keane? And where do we think the real universe and the Homeland universe’s timelines diverged? I would assume Bush was president on 9/11 and then Homeland’s universe didn’t get Obama, they got someone unnamed whose VP was Walden (Jamie Sheridan) in S2 before he blowed up real good? Sorry if I’m being a bit dense regarding the show’s history as it has pertained to the White House.

Carrie thought that Keane was involved with the Russians somehow, I think - when she had everyone from the CIA arrested. Carrie was focused on her as the problem, and then Saul pointed out that she'd been used by the guy from the FBI.

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Did they explain how Carrie, charged with involvement in killing the president and a bunch of other treasonous stuff, is wandering around and having repeated contact with Jenna, a witness against her? I thought the season started off strong but it's all kind of falling apart.

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4 hours ago, Alistaire said:

I never considered Carrie either a feminist or mission-focused. I have always considered her a villainous character. Always. She brings heartache and suffering to any situation she enters, and I'd double-dare anyone to show me even one national security anguish she was truly responsible for averting. Dana Brody was the heroine in regard to The Vest. And if you say that Carrie was responsible for getting her true love out of the country... her own true love... Why the hell didn't she go with him?

Because she's a narcissist in capital letters who wasn't that into him, not in the end. Starting in Season 3, the feminists in the show segued from being represented by Dana and poor Jessica to Fara. In Season 4, the feminists were definitely Fara and Aayan's girlfriend Kieran, who comes through for Quinn when he's still hell-bent on nailing Haqqani. In Season 5, there's Astrid, the sexiest woman ever to appear on the show. Season 6: Keane. Season 7: Maggie.

I go back to two S1 scenes that always stuck with me throughout the series: the premiere episode (I think) when Saul rebuffs Carrie with disgust, then during The Vest when he understands her color-coded wall. They were established & respected each other enough for him to find HairflipCarrie a total wtf, while he glowed with admiration when she put the pieces together during a breakdown. While Carrie was obviously sloppy with people, she did seem to be able to direct her vision for a while. And Saul was, to me, Carrie's human credential. He believed in her so for a while I did, too. 

But yes, her leaving Brody has never made sense no matter how many times I watch.

I think my main reason for hating this season is Fara -  or more correctly Haqqani for showing up as someone we were think of as a solution and peacekeeper. It just didn't work for me at all and I didn't buy that it would work for Saul, either.

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On 4/18/2020 at 11:45 PM, Sharper2002 said:

Agh, Jenna sure folded like a lawn chair with being ready to bring Carrie down to then aiding her to providing clues to finding the asset. I was chucking at Carrie’s face when Jenna told her she was quitting because it was reading “weak as hell”. Jenna just wasn’t about that life like Carrie.

Which brings me to Carrie. I’ve watched this show from the beginning so I’ve seen her batshit, but she really believes killing Saul in exchange for the black box will save the world and somewhat exonerate her? I’m hoping Saul now sees it coming and there will be another way, because I don’t want this to be the way Saul goes out. I wouldn’t put it past Carrie for one second to kill him if she thinks she’ll “win”.

Also, how is Carrie inheriting an asset when she isn’t even a government employee anymore? I feel like her clearance would be in shambles at this point.

Zabel and Mr. President continue to be clueless idiots. I rolled my eyes at their “fuck yeah” proclamation. 

I just think she is probably naive to think that she is ever getting that black box back by those means.  

If Carrie kills Saul, they have no reason to give the blackbox back.  How often has saul used that Russian asset?  So she probably isn't feeding him tons of information that he cannot get from other sources.  

So, they give the box back and get the name of the turned asset who isn't really giving Saul anything.....OR, they get rid of Saul, they keep the box, Carrie goes insane with guilt and depression, and the US goes to war with Pakistan.  

That sounds like four birds with one stone if the Russians don't give the blackbox back. 

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On 4/19/2020 at 8:44 PM, econ07 said:

If she were to kill Saul and get away with it, she wouldn't be protected anymore by Saul against her charges, and I certainly don't think the information on the flight recorder would ever come to light given this administration.  She certainly wouldn't be in a position to receive  the intelligence background on Saul's asset, being in jail and all.

Why not just tell Saul and devise a plan together to give them a fake asset, like maybe that spineless Russian ambassador ... or let Saul decide between war and outing his asset.  This whole sequence of events spelled out by the Russian will never come to bear if she kills Saul.  Too many variables.  I think the Russians true goal is a dead Saul.

This.  They are NEVER giving that blackbox to Carrie.  

Isnt this how assets are recruited?  First you're asked to just do something small, let's say....disable the system for two minutes so the Russian spy can do you a favor.  

And so on and so forth, until Carrie is killing Saul for him. 

Russians end up with a dead Saul and a turned US CIA agent with the identities of US assets.  Once Carrie kills Saul why wouldn't they hold that over her head to get more information?  It's what Carrie would do.  And, throw in getting to sit on the sidelines while the US gets in a war with Pakistan.  

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7 hours ago, chick binewski said:

I go back to two S1 scenes that always stuck with me throughout the series: the premiere episode (I think) when Saul rebuffs Carrie with disgust, then during The Vest when he understands her color-coded wall. They were established & respected each other enough for him to find HairflipCarrie a total wtf, while he glowed with admiration when she put the pieces together during a breakdown. While Carrie was obviously sloppy with people, she did seem to be able to direct her vision for a while. And Saul was, to me, Carrie's human credential. He believed in her so for a while I did, too. 

But yes, her leaving Brody has never made sense no matter how many times I watch.

I think my main reason for hating this season is Fara -  or more correctly Haqqani for showing up as someone we were think of as a solution and peacekeeper. It just didn't work for me at all and I didn't buy that it would work for Saul, either.

Agree with everything you wrote here. Since I posted so frequently this week, I can’t find where I refer to the sexual rebuff. Saul’s rebuff establishes immediately what in Season 1 couldn’t be construed as anything but respect. However, as the series advances, the line between respect and co-dependency on a fellow true believer becomes awfully vague. 

Everything about the detente with Haqqani disgusted me—except for the fact that it’s 100% true to character in regard to fanaticism in old age. Fear of one’s own death very often makes zealots “play nice” with the looming Void. You may not be old enough to remember that both Menachim Begin and Anwar Sadat started their political carriers as radicals. If Homeland hadn’t wasted ridiculous time this season on railing about imaginary Dumb-and-Dummer President 🙄, Saul’s true decline and personality change might have been put under the microscope, or at least remarked on. Mr. When Doves Cry transformed into Buddha.

Unlike Javadi, still interested in feathering a nest Grim Death will ask him to bid adieu to before long, Saul beats his swords into ploughshares because he is and always has been the exact American equivalent of Haqqani: an unregenerate zealot. (Dar Adal was a psychopath pure and simple, whose career as a child predator Saul conveniently overlooked.)

The Homeland writers couldn’t have devoted an entire season to geriatric psychology amongst the spy community. I get that. The writing this season was fantastic in regard to finally showing Carrie in all her true and ugly colors. The flight recorder was a McGuffin from Day One, because no one would have cared what it said anyway. Still, “what Carrie wants, Carrie gets,” and she has the National Security Advisor around to indulge her. 

Anyone who still regards her as a heroine... may share more than a little of her personality disorder. Please note I don’t say her mental illness, because from the beginning, she has suffered from both. So this season accomplished that—revealing her hollow, repulsive personality for what it is. But by avoiding a deep dive into Saul’s hollow, repulsive personality, it shortchanged Homeland’s audience and final season. It also made certain the Soviets (yes, you read that right) remain stock villains.

As of Saturday night, I’ll be able to say, Forget about it, Jake; it’s Chinatown. But I’ll remember all of Homeland’s “little people” for a long time.

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4 hours ago, RealReality said:

This.  They are NEVER giving that blackbox to Carrie.  

Isnt this how assets are recruited?  First you're asked to just do something small, let's say....disable the system for two minutes so the Russian spy can do you a favor.  

And so on and so forth, until Carrie is killing Saul for him. 

Russians end up with a dead Saul and a turned US CIA agent with the identities of US assets.  Once Carrie kills Saul why wouldn't they hold that over her head to get more information?  It's what Carrie would do.  And, throw in getting to sit on the sidelines while the US gets in a war with Pakistan.  

There is a reason the last episode has as its title the name of the original series...and I think you just described it. Carrie turns into the monster she started the series trying to kill 

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10 minutes ago, Alistaire said:


Anyone who still regards her as a heroine... may share more than a little of her personality disorder.

Your analysis was interesting, but I found this part to be rather inappropriate.

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18 minutes ago, Alistaire said:

 

Anyone who still regards her as a heroine... may share more than a little of her personality disorder. Please note I don’t say her mental illness, because from the beginning, she has suffered from both. So this season accomplished that—revealing her hollow, repulsive personality for what it is. But by avoiding a deep dive into Saul’s hollow, repulsive personality, it shortchanged Homeland’s audience and final season. It also made certain the Soviets (yes, you read that right) remain stock villains.

As of Saturday night, I’ll be able to say, Forget about it, Jake; it’s Chinatown. But I’ll remember all of Homeland’s “little people” for a long time.

I agree that the one sentence is inappropriate, but this "repulsive personality" did what was best for her daughter, and did have a peaceful few years with her, it seemed (and her boyfriend at the time). She knows that her daughter is safe, that her sister is taking good care of her. She didn't let that guy take her sister down in court, with the revelations that would have cost her her license as a doctor. She was taken into Russian custody, in order to help a witness go free, and enter the United States using her identity (she saved her life). 

She isn't perfect, none of them are, but this isn't the Hallmark channel. 

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