Homeland – Separation Anxiety: Season Five Episode One – Recap & Review

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

That’s the line originally spoken by Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather III (1990). But as it is fall, and TV is introducing the returns of some of it’s best series, this remark just happens to fit the character of Carrie Mathison in Showtime’s Homeland which kicked off its 5th season last night.

The only way out is back in – Homeland Season Five


Carrie has left the CIA for greener pastures – The During Foundation located in Berlin. She may have traveled a great distance from Langley to get to Berlin, but her new post at the Foundation is Head of Security. She sets up in Berlin with her daughter now about three and a new boyfriend. So despite the fact that we can say that the girl is out of the CIA, but maybe we can say she’s still in the business.

Speaking of the business, Saul Berenson is now the CIA European Division Director, and he along with Dar Adal are sill moving the chess pieces, aka assets, around on their turf. Peter Quinn is recalled from Syria where he has been stationed for the last 28 months performing the duties that only the sharp end of the stick can do.

He’s questioned about his work and he fires back at a room of powerful CIA suits when he tells asks them sarcastically – What strategy?  He’s upset, of course, and angry. You know, doing wet work can’t be all that much fun. And to be honest as only Peter Quinn can – the strategy isn’t working.

So he’s assigned to Berlin, where a situation has developed. Some wiseguys in Berlin have decided to prank a Jihadist recruiting site by posting a doctored but inflammatory video.

Little did they know that this would come to the instantaneous attention of the watchers at the CIA Berlin station. The CIA and Germany had a non-public agreement. Due to restrictions of the German constitution, the German domestic intelligence service was prevented from ‘spying’ or surveilling their own citizens. So the deal was that the CIA would do it for them.

Once this prankish video hit the net – the bells and whistles went off in the Berlin station. So using probes and pings and whatnot the CIA began to trace  the source of the video – you know locate the uploaders. But due to a security flaw that had gone unnoticed, this poking around by the CIA had made them vulnerable to a return probe.

Long story short – 1361 files were stolen from the CIA servers containing – you guessed it – all the data involving the CIA efforts for the Germans. A serious security breach to be sure.

And the shit really hits the fan when these hackers reach out to a journalist and she’s considering publishing the news of the breach.

Meanwhile Carrie Mathison’s employer Otto During says that he and Mathison have to head out to the Middle East. It is kind of a business deal regarding charitable donations for humanitarian refugee relief. A number of big time philanthropist billionaires are willing to write huge checks – but only after During has gone abroad to check it out. The problem is that this means heading into Hezbollah territory.

So that’s why During wants Mathison to go along. Security measures are needed. But Mathison really doesn’t want to go there – because she knows, almost better than anyone – that Security cannot be arranged solely by her. She’d need help from the other side.

So Carrie visits a Berlin mosque and asks to speak to the Imam – a Sheik Hafiz. She asks him to contact Al Amin, the Hezbollah leader and arrange a meeting so she could explain the why and the who. Meaning they need an invite from Hezbollah Council Leaders or else security would be impossible – as in a meaningless word.

Of course just by asking, Carrie has stepped into some deep shit.

Before you know it, she’s grabbed up on the street, a hood is tossed over head, and she’s taken to an unknown location.

Where she meets Al Amin who already hates her. Al Amin was part of Abu Nazir’s crew once upon a time. Al Amin’s son was a victim in the CIA’s takedown of Abu Nazir.

So this is what’s at stake for Carrie who is now in Al Amin’s hands.

We are just one episode into the fifth season of Homeland. The creative heads have snatched something straight off the pages of today’s newspapers – and that would be the humanitarian efforts concerning the Syrian refugee crisis.

So it looks like Peter Quinn will be in Berlin unless he follows or is sent to watch the backs of During and Mathison, to that refugee camp on the Syrian/Lebanese border. Saul has already arrived in Berlin too. He wants to have a look about that security breach.

No one smiles in this face to face crossing of paths between Carrie and Saul

No one smiles in this face to face crossing of paths between Carrie and Saul

Of course he and Carrie cross paths, and despite her having saved him last season – they aren’t on good terms.

It’s no wonder. Saul is ever the pragmatist and ever the one to buy into the CIA plan. And why not – he’s one of the planners. Meanwhile Carrie is the dreamer and the well-intentioned one who, as always,  will find a way to run off the tracks. Drugs and peril await.

The Germans have already backed away from their agreement. If the news gets out that Germany is using the US CIA to spy on their own people that won’t be good. And that journalist has already told those concerned that she’s publishing.

German Intelligence Official: This operation is over Saul: That's a mistake German Intelligence Officia: No, trusting you was the mistake

German Intelligence Official: This operation is over
Saul: That’s a mistake
German Intelligence Official: No, trusting you was the mistake

So the Germans are going to cut the American off at the pass – so to speak. At least publicly and officially – but I’d count on Saul working out some sort of under-the table deal replacing the original deal which was under-the-table as well.

I am looking forward to this season. As expected the show’s producers will not be shy in painting the Americans into a dark corner:

Otto During: Nothing has made the world more dangerous over the last 15 years than the foreign policy of the United States… and he is Mathison’s new boss.

Have a look at the Season Five Trailer –


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