Homeland s5 ep 11

Saul and Carrie hope that Quinn will be able to provide some intel on where the attack’s going to be. There’s a minor problem, of course: Quinn’s still in a sarin coma. But this isn’t our first rodeo, and we viewers know that in TV hospitals there’s no such thing as a coma that you can’t be brought out of. Fortunately Quinn’s in the Landstuhl military medical centre, so Carrie doesn’t even need to point a gun at the remarkably compliant doctor to get him to do it. He gives a half-hearted warning about the possibility of seizures, cerebral haemorrhage, death… yeah, yeah, says Carrie, whatevs, wake him UP already. Which the doctor does, and Carrie gives it her best shot (“it’s really important you wake up”), but all it yields is some lumpy black goo from Quinn’s oesophagus. (Ew.) Carrie, though, has noted that Quinn’s bullet wound was treated by someone with medical expertise; perhaps, she logic-leaps, a jihadi-linked Good Samaritan? So rather than sit and hold Quinn’s hand she goes out into the field, perhaps the only place where she ever comes close to happiness. First stop – Hezbollah’s man in Berlin, who grudgingly points her in the direction of Dr Samaritan.

Saul’s pursuing a different course: Marwan, the hapless shopkeeper from last week, is still in custody, and is being subjected to some enhanced interrogation techniques. Düring makes a more-in-sorrow-than-anger call to Saul to remonstrate; Laura, of course, goes on TV to jump up and down and make it all about her. Saul gets Marwan into a nice room with a cup of tea, and tries to push him to remember something relevant, but Marwan can’t or won’t. (FWIW I think it’s “can’t”.) So Saul reminds Marwan of the sort of things that the Germans are likely to do to him if he can’t come up with anything more helpful and pops out for a minute to watch Laura’s interview on TV. But when he goes back in, poor Marwan has jumped out of the window. Saul looks like a broken man at this point; although not, it should be said, as much as Marwan does. (Nor is it the first time something like this has happened to Saul in Homeland-land.)

Meantime, everyone seems to have forgotten that Allison is, in all likelihood, a Russian spy; she has a minder (Conrad) who more or less lets her do what she likes, she gets to sit in on meetings about the terrorist threat, and she’s on point when the need arises to speak to a Berlin-based professor, Dr Aziz, about last week’s dead jihadi. With this level of supervision it’s not remotely surprising that her new Russian handler manages to leave a USB drive on her car with her next instructions, and follows them up in person: Allison is to let the attack take place, because the West needs to be alerted to the threat of “radical Islam”.

So Allison and Conrad hit up Dr Aziz, and in order to frighten him into revealing what he knows about the attack she demands Conrad’s gun. This still isn’t our first rodeo, so we know that Conrad, in handing his gun over, signs his death warrant. And so it proves: she shoots Conrad, pulls out another gun – didn’t anyone ever search her? – gets out of Dr Aziz that the attack’s going to be at the Hauptbahnhof train station, shoots Dr Aziz, then shoots herself to make it look like she was the victim, telling everyone that the attack is going to be at the airport. And even though there are bodies all over the place, everyone is remarkably keen to take Allison’s word for what happened, because it’s Allison.

Everyone but Saul, that is, possibly still bruised by the revelation that she was diddling Ivan while he thought he was her one and only. Allison needs surgery on her self-inflicted bullet wound, but Saul gets in first and interviews her, starting to pick away at her story. He leaves her room for a few minutes in order that she can have some more treatment, and when he returns… she’s not there. Oh, Saul. Twice in one episode. Fool me once, etc.

So it’s down to Carrie, as we knew it would be. She has a photo of one of the jihadis, and she has information leading her to believe that the attack’s going to be at the train station, where we leave her chasing Qasim, the man charged with actually setting the device off, into a tunnel. Which is a good cliffhanger to end a good episode, and to set up next week’s finale. I’d probably have liked ‘Our Man In Damascus’ more were it not so dependent on the remarkable stupidity of Dar Adal and the rest of the Berlin CIA team on the Allison issue. And, of course, the way that something bad happens every time Saul leaves someone unattended.

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2 thoughts on “Homeland s5 ep 11

  1. adamcreen December 23, 2015 / 10:56 am

    We all know Homeland is set in an alternate universe, where the CIA building was blown up etc. But who knew it was also a universe where Willy Brandt airport (code: BER) was finished on time and is operational, unlike our universe where we STILL have to use Tegel (code: TXL) due to German inefficiency?

  2. Jed Bartlet December 23, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    German inefficiency? Is that a thing?

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