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Homeland recap: Better Call Saul

Carrie finds friends in unexpected places, while Quinn struggles to survive.

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Stephan Rabold/Showtime

Homeland

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
5
run date:
10/02/11
performer:
Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, Mandy Patinkin
broadcaster:
Showtime
genre:
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A Cold War is brewing between Saul and Dar Adal, and it’s all Allison’s fault. The woman we met early in the season begging to keep her job showed just how ruthless she could be tonight by pushing the two CIA men just enough to create conflict between them. But at the same time, new allegiances are forming: Carrie, who has a knack for forging questionable alliances when faced with impossible tasks — remember Hezbollah in the premiere? — has turned to Quinn, Jonas, Astrid, Laura, and finally Saul, because of her kill order. Numan, reeling from the murder of Korzenik’s girlfriend, Katja, and the disappearance of Korzie himself, calls on the help of hacktivists embedded in Berlin. The only player not looking for a helping hand? Quinn — poor, poor Quinn. But we’ll get to that. 

The hour begins at the tarmac in Switzerland, where Allison carefully shapes the conversation about who could be behind the explosive murder of the general. Those of you who picked up on her answering her phone in Russian last week were right: Allison is secretly working with Russian intelligence to… Well, this part isn’t clear yet. What is clear is that Allison has put on a solid front so far. While Saul’s still in shock, she gets right down to business. “Somebody betrayed us,” she says, planting the (obvious, as Dar points out) seed of suspicion in both men’s heads while diverting the attention away from herself. Later, as she drives Saul home, she nurtures that seed by suggesting that Israel could be the culprit because Üter had brought up the government’s disapproval of the general during the seder

That same night, Allison drives and meets with Ivan Krupin, the Russian intelligence officer who last week had been pontificating about the merits of being cynical instead of trusting to poor Korzenik. Here, the needle’s shifted to trusting, as he warmly greets Allison and assures her that she’s doing well. She’s worried, though, about the call she took right before the plane exploded and whether her kill order on Carrie can be traced to her. (So Allison pulled the strings with that, orchestrated the plane explosion, and has Saul wrapped around her little finger? She’s a spy extraordinaire/femme fatale straight out of a Bond film.) “You better f—ing relax, Allison,” Krupin says, promising her that anyone tracing the dead shooter’s steps will find out first about the Russians, not her.

Allison’s not satisfied with the answer, even after seeing the “proof” of Carrie’s death. “My nerves are shot,” she admits, but just as Krupin is about to leave, she asks him to stay. He does and reminds her to make sure to use Saul’s close relationship with Üter against him, and only after Dar’s suspicions are raised, should she give Saul the passenger manifest to seal the deal. Lips trembling, Allison thinks it over and agrees. It’s worth noting that Allison is clearly not 100 percent comfortable with this plan. She’s shaken at what she believes she’s done to Carrie, and she’s not sure if she can succeed. Just look at Miranda Otto’s glazed eyes in the scene…

… which makes me wonder whether Allison will pull through with the plan beyond this episode. For now, she continues her mission without hesitation. When Dar Adal stops by her office in Berlin — as Krupin predicted he would — she feigns surprise at his intel that the plane’s bomb was identical to the type of bomb Israeli forces have been using. She even lightly defends Saul as Dar thinks out loud about whether Saul’s relationship with Üter could have made Saul the leak. And with those moves, she gets what she wants: Dar asks her to tail Saul. 

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With that, she goes ahead and prints the plane manifest, but it’s not of the plane that exploded. Instead, she has highlighted one passenger who took a plane from Berlin to Geneva the day before the general’s death: Üter, who flew under one of his aliases. Allison robotically grabs the manifest and heads to Saul. She plays him, offering the “evidence” and acting worried about what it means. Saul gets upset and asks Allison not to go to Dar with the information — which, of course, is exactly what she intended; this way, Saul’s already keeping secrets from Dar, and he’s invested enough in his friendship with Üter to go straight to the source. 

And he does, but tensions flare between him and Üter. Both sides have committed wrongs, after all: Saul is accusing the Israeli government of having something to do with bringing down the plane; Üter reminds Saul that he had said the other day there was no coup, no interest in the general in the first place. As he told Allison earlier, Saul believes the simplest answer is usually the correct one, and in this case, he sees the coincidences as proof of his friend’s betrayal. Little does he know he’s offering proof of his own betrayal as he speaks: The surveillance Dar ordered has snapped damning photos of his meeting with Üter, and as Dar looks them over with Allison, he fully believes Saul has been planning something with the Israelis. Saul is losing each of his allies, it seems, except for…

NEXT: Carrie, who refuses to get the hell outta Dodge

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