Homeland episode 5.06, Parabiosis, was a bit of a slog. It took us through a lot of exposition, a little bit of stupid, and a tad too much coincidence, to set up the rest of the season. At the approximate halfway point, I guess it’s time to shake down where we are, and where we’re going, and move some chess pieces around the board. Plus, we’ve had five nearly-perfect episodes, I guess we were owed a weaker one.
1. the natural union of two individuals, such as Siamese twins, so that they share
a common circulation of the blood
2. a similar union induced for experimental or therapeutic purposes
I feel I am expected to take deep meaning from this? Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, joined like Siamese twins? Or Quinn’s benefactor giving him blood? I’m not sure.
I have a lot of frustrations this week. Saul was too stupid, or too slow on the uptake. Mandy Patinkin played it perfectly; in his confrontation with Carrie, we saw pride, arrogance, anger, and supreme self-confidence. His face said, Why should I listen? But that’s the thing about listening, your ears keep functioning whether you will it or not, and eventually, Carrie’s message got through. He was stupid to refuse to pay any heed to Carrie, and he’s stupid to STILL not recognize there’s a mole. Sweeping the station was an obvious move, I can’t believe Dar Adal objected, or indeed, that it hadn’t already been ordered. But there’s this other thing: Saul didn’t talk about the postal drop in the station. It was covert and unsanctioned, remember? A bug couldn’t have picked up that it existed, because there was nothing to hear. It was discussed outside only. Now, the plot to depose Assad Al-Bashar, yes, that was discussed, and that was what Saul was focused on in the sweep. But Carrie’s information gave him something more, and should have clearly pointed to a mole.
Dar Adal makes little sense as well. He’s angry at Saul, and suspicious of him, but surely in an operation of this size they should be pursuing multiple avenues?
Good riddance Jonas, by the way. Either he doesn’t believe that someone is trying to kill Carrie, which is crazy, since he saw the bullet hole that went through Quinn, or he thinks she can just go home and forget it all happened, even though, hello, trying to kill her, which makes him dumber than Saul.
Speaking of Quinn, his Good Samaritan is not only a coincidence, but two coincidences. Just happened to find him, and just happened to be the landlord of a terrorist cell the day they (third coincidence!) get released from prison. Just, wow.
In reviews, every week so far this season, I’ve expressed a certain level of astonishment that Homeland has been so freaking great, and so smart, and hasn’t collapsed into a pile of stupid. I was kind of feeling bad, like I was damning the show with faint praise, by being surprised at its excellence. Maybe it’s, y’know, excellent, and I shouldn’t be surprised. But somehow I knew an episode like this week’s was coming, and by “somehow” I mean, “past experience has proven”. Still, this was a pretty good episode, strong in a lot of ways, and I am by no means giving up on the show. Even the best shows have intermediate episodes, especially at the mid-season mark.
We’ll see what happens. What did you think, Basketcases?