If I had a hundred of me. I'd give this episode a standing ovation.
Before you scroll down and read this post. Know that the information below would likely contain spoilers from Season 7 Episode 8 of Homeland. Though...I'd recommend you just go through the whole series....just in case...um...I drop a hint unintentionally!
My history on doing Timestamp Commentary dates back to Season 5 of Homeland. The reception to the idea had positives and negatives. I stuck with it for a couple of episodes, then moved to Tumblr (the home of 'the fan'). While on Tumblr I held off sharing my whole commentary, and just left it for readers who initially enjoyed reading my posts and requested it directly.
(Just making sure the content is adequately hidden to give you time to close this window --- and hold off before returning to view the rest of the post!)
Opening Credits - That line 'He saved our lives' was from last season, yet when I hear it again this episode....in the credits (I know it's been in the credits for the entirety of this season)...I think about Brody...maybe Season 2-3 (After Carrie's first hand run in with Abu Nazir)?
12:48 - Carrie dropping off Franny at school - oh no...the: 'You can't tell anyone' instruction has been done before right? Or Carrie hasn't done that with Franny yet?
I get the feeling that there would be a number of viewers who'd be up in arms in relation to the absence of a scene from Child Services. I think the likelihood of that happening is low...just because it was already done last season. The constant of Carrie going into mania is (sort of) acceptable as managing being bipolar is part of her.
13:18 - Franny clutches onto her favourite teacher and doesn't let go even when Carrie says goodbye - Oh....I see the gap. Carrie asked if Franny was okay, but she didn't wait for Franny's answer.
19:04 - Saul compares Carrie to a deranged vigilante - Even if this was quite a heavy scene....I....had to smile at that. I don't know why...but a manic version of Bruce Wayne donning the bat-suit....somehow comes to mind.
Could that be a future incarnation? And again....the Brody reference ('I can break him, you know I've done it before')...and before I get multiple hits of deja vu, Saul mentions that he doesn't trust her anymore. I am confused with that one. Didn't they sort that out already post Season 6? Or is Saul thinking about all those times he questioned Carrie and is keeping score?
Come on Saul...if that's the issue....Why!? Why!? Haven't you been covering stuff too?
23:37 - Dante reacts to Carrie showing the travel overlap between him and Simone - Why do I still believe that Dante is innocent? Well probably not innocent in manipulating Carrie into buying his story about a bipolar ex. More like: 'innocent in the timing of his travel with Simone'.
That reaction....just doesn't look like Brody's. Yes...I'm trying to channel Cal Lightman. I am now wondering if there is a superimposed gif between Carrie interrogating Brody during Season 2 of his 'bomb video'. So maybe that's why Carrie missed it? Though it was suspicious...it will ultimately be relevant.
I'm now curious to find out the score between Carrie and Saul in terms of their investigations. But then that wouldn't be fair to the show.
24:03 - Staredown between Dante and Carrie - I get it now. How Carrie has told Saul she knows Dante well. From their conversations that's the bit that would push Dante's buttons (accusing him of treason) because....if he isn't working with Simone...He'll fess up. Because he believes that he is a patriot.
28:19 - Saul asks Carrie about her meds - now what Carrie? Who will step in to watch your doses!?
32:30 - Saul glancing at Carrie's new messages - At first I was at loss at who Maggie is, then after reading the messages....I realised that its not Saul's phone at all!
34:50 - Dante telling his side of the story - damn it Dante! Really!? Wasn't there a flicker of deception there!? What about the lie about your ex wife being bipolar. Or she telling Carrie that Dante was obsessed with Carrie getting a promotion...while he ended up being close to a scapegoat a fabrication by Dante too?
Unless...Dante already made peace with it. Because I am hoping that soft spot for Franny was genuine!
37:27 - Paley checks in with Simone - Whoa...not using 'Senator'. Okay...building more trust. That means you believe what Keane told you earlier!!! The downside is...now you're going to be a target...just like that FBI agent who would have been a good conspiracy solver with Carrie (Season 6)
38:39 - Paley grills Simone - Oh no..it was just to play Devil's Advocate! I do hope that's your Bluffing face Senator Paley!!!
45:39 - Carrie explaining to Maggie what's going on - Duty vs Love. Now we see how strong Carrie's sense of duty is. Where was it? The opening credits of Season 1 where Carrie mentions she had no choice?
46:10 - Carrie sits in her car and let's a frustrated yell - The Emmy...right there. Has she been nominated every season!?
47:52 - Yevgeny meeting with the Ambassador - Okay. So...I'm guessing this is a head fake. there really was no message from Moscow. What there is..is the Ambassador a rogue too? He probably recruited Yevgeny and had to do with that situation the first time.
My theory...if we're going to follow a theme of 'Lone Wolves'.
48:16 - Yevgeny tells the Ambassador that he isn't finished - Another Mirror moment! Maybe that's why Dar isn't visible this season. Because this feels like a clandestine op spiraling out of control. Another Mirror to what happened to Brett O Keefe in Lucasville.
48:43 - Yevgeny asks the Ambassador how he needs to get to Simone - Okay. So maybe the op was sanctioned by the bigwigs in Moscow. But the repercussions! If Simone disappears or dies...it'll put Keane and Wellington in deeper trouble. If she changes her testimony...Paley would know something is up.
1:01:22 - Dante lays motionless on the floor and Carrie breathes a sigh of relief - Homeland...Bravo! What a plot twist! How many head fakes are those starting when Dante asked for a lawyer? Three? Four?
So there's the notion that Dante is innocent (1) but then Carrie knows he is lying. The lawyer arriving mentioning that the person he called filled him in on his case...which speaks to Dante's innocence (2). Dante discovering that he has a lot of ink in his hand and starts to have chest pains which could mean that he was involved but then he wanted to help Carrie (3). When he finally gets Carrie in the room with him he tells her about his conversation with Simone (4) and the lawyer. Carrie yells down the hall to stop the lawyer, but instead the 'lawyer' is watching the monitors next to Saul.
Goodness standing ovation from me! Now I am interested to hear about what they used on Dante. Is this the stuff hey use to fake death!? Wait a minute!? Could McClendon possibly be alive? He defected to Russia?
Yes. It's odd that I went for this episode first. I made a call based on my excitement about the episode. It might be my longest timestamp commentary yet!
Now that I've finished the episode, well...it's likely that McClendon is indeed dead. Though a part of me thinks...well...I don't know. It might be the ultimate 'head fake' of the show. But to what end though? If McClendon is alive...he spills state secrets? But this guy is a patriot right?
I know...I haven't forgotten the Season 6 finale.
Quotes from Recaps:
- "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?" - James Donaghy (The Guardian)
- "Once more, with feeling: Poor Franny." - Dave Nemetz (TV Line)
- "The episode takes a 180 over and over, and may be some of the best writing in Homeland history." - Greg O'Shalae (Hidden Remote)
Some commentary from Reddit:
- " 'Lies, amplifiers, @&*#%*$ Twitter!' is how I’m going to answer anyone who asks me how I’m doing from now on. And I’m going to say it just like Claire Danes did."
- "I burst out laughing when I came to this subreddit after watching the episode and saw that was the episode title"
- "This season would really be a lot more enjoyable if I could stay up all night finishing it."
- "When Carrie gets out of her unsuccessful interrogation and finds out Maggie had more success interrogating Frannie."
- "Update: Carrie’s still not on anyone’s payroll"
- "It’s Easter, so Quinn is going to resurrect from the grave tonight, right?"
- " To me he is always Colin Sweeney, his character from The Good Wife, lol)."
- "Did anyone notice the board with all the suspects have dates of birth but Carrie’s is blank? That was definitely intentional."
- "I look forward to the opening credits every week. It’s like a symphony of words, images, and ideas. I feel like the show’s opening credits is what it feels like inside Carrie’s head."
- "Bad cop / Crazy cop"
- "Next week on Homeland: Frannie does Carrie's taxes. Conflict occurs when she claims Carrie as a dependent."
- "Drop kid off at school, interrogate Dante for 20min., arrive home at 8pm."
- "solid episode. This season started a little rocky now it's getting real good."
- "The show has been on fire this season, really loving every episode so far."
- "I think the pen was just black ink, then they pumped the poison in through the ventilation system once the lawyer left. That's why Saul made Carrie wait to go in."
Why do I still frequent the platform despite what I experienced? At the moment people are somewhat respectful on Reddit's Homeland community.
Note: For parents. I'd recommend you to watch this yourself first (yep, the whole thing!), before deciding if you would like to give your teens the 'nod' to watch it. Though if really want an episode from the show to watch with them, this might be one to go for. As it does not have graphic content (except for the language) compared to the last episode and a number of episodes from Season 1.
Photo by Brian Jones
(I picked this photo to represent the location where Simone was held.)
I look forward to reading your own commentary as a reply below or link to your post (whether or not it is on Steemit)! If you think you have the name of the next film or TV show I should watch...go for it. Feedback is welcome here.
#1 - Here's a tweet linking to one of my Steemit posts
Previous Commentary posts:
- 42 (2013)
- Miss Sloane (2016)
- Before I Fall (2017)
- Arrival (2016)
- 1 Mile to You / Life at These Speeds (2017)
Search Terms: Viewer Timestamp Commentary / Lawyers / Witness Protection / Resignation / Fake Death / Poison / Suspense / Ritalin / Tucker Gates / Anya Leta / Patrick Harbinson / Chip Johannessen / Claire Danes / Carrie Mathison / Elizabeth Marvel / President Elizabeth Keane / Linus Roache / David Wellington / Morgan Spector / Dante Allen / Mandy Patinkin / Saul Berenson / Amy Hargreaves / Maggie Mathison / Dylan Baker / Sam Paley / Costa Ronin / Yevgeny Gromov / Sandrine Holt / Simone Martin / Elya Baskin / Mackenzie Astin / Bill Dunn / Claire Keane / McKenna Keane / Duty v Love / Duty Versus Love /