Moment of Goodness: Carrie and Saul [SPOILER], Homeland “Game On”
[WARNING: Major spoilers for tonight’s Homeland]
OK, every time I think Homeland is teetering on the brink of disaster, something saves it for me. In last week’s “Tower of David,” I just couldn’t understand the pacing of the episode with so much of it taken up with all that Fugitive Brody business. I get that we hadn’t seen him as of yet, but I kept wanting the action to cut to Carrie. Those Venezuelan scenes seemed interminable.
This week, a good portion of “Game On” dealt with Dana and her shady (and shaggy) boyfriend. You see, they went on the run together. Ugh. The more interesting stuff was clearly the Carrie Mathison portion. Honestly, I would have been happy with a Carrie Mathison solo hour of television.
At the beginning of the episode, Carrie was still in the hospital but was on the verge of getting released…or so she thought. A hearing was held but her dad and sister weren’t there and even with all her doctors and other experts giving her glowing recommendations (which surprised me a tiny bit), a release wasn’t in the cards for her. She was so close. But she was deemed a “security risk” which meant she was going nowhere.
And then all of a sudden, the nice (pushover of a) nurse announced that Carrie was free to go. And that creepy guy from last week (Franklin) showed up at her house. He said it was just a 24-hour furlough but it could be more permanent provided she meets with his contact.
So, Carrie says she’ll meet with him and then immediately tries to get out of dodge. However, she finds she can no longer access her bank accounts. Her car has been repo’d. And she’s being followed. Her attempts to exit stage right include an impromptu booty call with a recent conquest. The next morning, she steals his money yet still gets caught by creepy mccreepster in the light of day. Carrie has no other choice but to get in the car with him and rendez-vous with Leland Bennett (the always great Martin Donovan, Saved!, Weeds, Wonderland, Pasadena and Rogue).
Bennett basically wants Carrie to turn traitor and help his Iranian client figure out how six of his recent associates had been targeted and killed. For this and other pertinent information, she would be handsomely paid. And if she got a bit of revenge for what her so-called friends have put her through then it’s good all around.
Carrie agrees but she has her own conditions. 1. She won’t name names. 2. She doesn’t want to see Bennett ever again. 3. She only wants to meet his client in person. Now at this point, after what Carrie’s been through, I never thought she would do something like this. I’m wondering what the hell is going on. I mean, it would serve Saul and F. Murray Abraham (who plays Dar Adal) right — they’ve really done a number on her — keeping her locked up in the hospital and making her business public (not her name, but still the important people know who Saul was talking about). But there’s no way Carrie would do something like this, right?
At the end of “Game On,” Carrie ends up at Saul’s house. And I’m massively intrigued. I worship Saul and Carrie scenes but things have been so strained between them recently that I didn’t know what to expect. What we got was my Moment of Goodness for this episode. It turns out that Carrie and Saul were in on this together. It was a con the whole time. Now Carrie is in with Javadi (well, almost), which means he’ll have to step foot on American soil. And that way, Saul can get him and make him pay:
Carrie: “It worked, Saul. They picked me up this morning.”
Saul: “Who did?”
Carrie: “A man named Franklin. He took me to a house in Potomac where I met with Leland Bennett.”
Saul: “The lawyer?”
Saul: “What did he say? What did he say, Carrie? What were his exact words?”
Carrie: “He said his client recently lost six business associates and would like to know how those men were identified and targeted.”
Carrie: “It has to be.”
Saul: “Did you hold out for a meeting in person?”
Carrie: “I did it just the way you said. I told Bennett the meeting had to be face to face.”
Saul: “And he went for it? (Carrie nods) You’re an amazing person, Carrie Mathison. Amazing.”
One of the things I’ve lamented about this season is the fact that Carrie and Saul have been so disconnected. So this scene? This was exactly what I needed to see. Every Homeland season usually provides at least one validation moment, meaning, we get rewarded for having faith. This one was it. And it was glorious. However, I’m a little bit worried, too. And it had to do with this part of the Moment of Goodness:
Saul: “You’ve been very, very brave.”
Carrie: “You should’ve gotten me out of the hospital, Saul. You shouldn’t have left me in there.”
So maybe Carrie wasn’t supposed to have been in there as long as she ended up being imprisoned? Saul went off plan in order to ensure this con’s success? I mean, Carrie seems even more damaged by her time in the hospital. In the season three premiere, Saul struggled to make decisions in his new position as acting head of the CIA. Now he’s going above and beyond. Hopefully this will all be worth it if they can get Javadi. But someone might need to be worried about Carrie’s mental health.
A few other “Game On” thoughts: 1. Dana’s shady boyfriend might be a killer? I’m moderately intrigued. 2. So happy to see Diego Klattenhoff make an appearance as Mike. I know he’s on NBC’s The Blacklist as a regular. But I love him on Homeland and I love Jessica and Mike. I hope we’ll see more of him in future episodes. 3. The preview for the next episode looks epic.
Homeland airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
Go behind the scenes of “Game On”:
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