Homeland: 5×02 – The Tradition of Hospitality

*****SPOILERS AHEAD*****

Homeland spun off its axis last night. That’s right – the very foundation of the show – Carrie’s bi-polar personality which constantly placed her in harm’s way was always balanced by the inherent trust we had in Saul.

But at the end of the episode called The Tradition of Hospitality, we see a startling message. Peter Quinn had been placed in Berlin, by Saul Berenson,

as the agency’s off-the-books, with full deniability (the agency will disavow – you’re on your own buddy) as the local hit-man on call. After completing a mission in which he was to take out a woman who worked in Berlin as an ISIS recruiter, Quinn went to the dead drop – a Deutsche Poste in a Berlin neighborhood. He opens his post office box and has received his instructions on his next target – Carrie Mathison.

How did we get to this point is the question I know you are asking.

So the nexus in which we find ourself in Episode 2 of Homeland’s 5th season on Showtime, begins in Berlin before heading out to Lebanon’s border for the refugee situation, and then to Beirut, where more serious matters are about to go down. And the episode ends in Berlin.

Last week we had the data breach by a couple of porn boys who had nothing better to do than to heckle the local Muslims with a doctored video. This came to the attention of the CIA, who just so happened to have a sub-rosa contract with the German Intelligence. Since the German constitution did not allow the Germans to spy on their own people – they got into bed with the CIA and the Americans do it for them.

Naturally there was a leak to the German press – and the shit really hit. Saul, on orders from Dar Adal was dispatched to Berlin to get to the bottom of this.

Meanwhile Carrie, now working as head of security for the During Foundation was asked by Otto During to amp up security for his visit to the refugee camp on the Syrian/Lebanese border. This involved Carrie making some under the table deals as well as securing an invite from the Hezbollah High Council.

Cash was paid (40K) to a Walid at the refugee camp – but he’s only guarantee an hour visit.

Back in Berlin, Saul softly told the Berlin Chef de Mission (CIA head) that she would be recalled to Langley – in effect blamed for the security breach. But she was a longtime supporter of Saul Berenson so she was going to just take her punishment and see her career go down the tubes.

She calls Dar Adal at Langley and suggests that Adal put Saul’s head on the spike instead of hers. He takes this under advisement.

Mean at the refugee camp where conditions are deplorable, as security near impossible. Otto During makes his tour and gives his speeches. They only have an hour – so clock watcher Carrie begins to get edgy and nervous. She urges him to wrap it more than a few times.

A sure-fire give away that an attack would be imminent.

Sure enough – here he comes – eyes looking at the ground, wearing a hefty coat that was a sure giveaway of concealed bombs. But During security including Carrie spot the threat and shoot the guy before he can detonate.

Carrie has to get Otto out of the country. Their group escapes in two cars only to run into a land mine on the way out. One car is destroyed. Not the one with Otto and Carrie, so she lives another day.

Later we find that the deal Carrie made was tossed aside. Under torture, Walid confesses that Otto was not the target – instead it was Carrie herself – the so-called CIA lady. Boom.

Otto gets on his plane. Carrie declines stating she’s going to poke around to see what happened.

Meaning Quinn has been trailing his target, and finally gives her a going away present – a bullet hole between the eyes.

He takes a photo and sends it off to his control. The new assignment is decided and placed in his dead drop.

Okay – the fact that Carrie has now been targeted, and by Saul no less, sis the big shocker. Saul may have had enough of Carrie, and besides that, photos were taken of Carrie meeting with the journalist who leaked the story.

Yes this a key element for Homeland and I think they want us to tangentially think of the Snowden affair. Only this was an inadvertent hack stemming from the CIA’s own probe. This was a not a whistle blower kind of thing.

So we are back to Carrie. She’s in Berlin, has her daughter, a good job, and a good man in her life – but she cannot resist dabbling in her own world of geopolitics, spy craft, and trouble.

Carrie's Berlin squeeze

Carrie’s Berlin squeeze

Two things we know – she has two targets on her back – one from the Hezbollah, and one from Saul/Quinn. Or maybe Dar Adal has his fingers on Saul’s play with Quinn and Saul doesn’t know it.

We’ll have to wait and see.

A pretty decent episode but far from perfect. We all knew that Germans could not hold the journalist on charges – because if that went public – so would the under the table deal. As it was, more documents were about to be turned over to the journalist had she not been arrested before those documents hands.

So, in my view, that whole interrogation of the journalist was a waste of time.

I’m also not buying that Saul agreed with the Berlin CIA head – Allison Carr (above) – he never said that he supported the decision – he said only that his hands were tied.

As I stated earlier – the whole business of Otto During and entourage touring the refugee camp safely was a ludicrous idea. Don’ we have bounties on certain people. Why would we not assume that the other side works the same way?

What was surprising was that it wasn’t During that was the target rather it was Mathison herself. Okay, maybe not so surprising. You have all heard the term long memories haven’t you. What is surprising is that attempts, as in straight assassinations, on her haven’t been tried before.

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