Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Wow! What an episode of Homeland on Sunday night. Just watched it last night courtesy of my DVR.

Toward the end, Carrie is losing it. She starts imagining all the people she's known and worked with who get killed. She imagines running over her own daughter, the sensitive, confused Franny, who was just about to be kidnapped by mom out of school before her sister can get a restraining order against Carrie. Carries is a mess. She's got to get admitted now, no?

As all of this transpires, the hospital where Dante Allen has been taken, is crawling with Federal security and Yevgeny still gets into Dante Allen's room and suffocates him with a pillow? Okay, Yevgeny is dressed in scrubs pushing a cart of towels wearing someone else's ID badge, but really, this is the best the Feds can do to to protect you? Of course the story wouldn't advance without these flourishes.

Yevgeny Gromov, the Russian spy as played by Costa Ronin, is a very believable Russian because he is from Russia. The casting is always so spot on.

Yevgeny gets into Dante's room to keep him from flipping back to being an American and not a Russian agent. Dante thinks the Russians got to him with that poison pen and ink and not that it was really Carrie and Saul. Yevgeny tells Dante as sincerely as a liar can, that he doesn't poison his own people.

The tainted ink of course induced a near fatal heart attack, thus the hospitalization. And Yevgeny's right. He doesn't poison his people. He shoots them in the gut so they bleed and he has to carry his fellow spy Clayton into the ER severely bleeding, so he can create a distraction of hurried activity that a gut wound will create in the ER, and swipe an ID card from a staff member. Yevgeny is nothing short of a highly skilled operative.

Along the way to the hospital we get a real sense of what a pissed off Russian sounds like talking to his boss. Apparently Carrie has gotten Dante to blab about "go to the ground" codes that Yevgeny will use on Twitter (yes, Twitter, not Facebook) to get his spy network that he his operating on U.S. soil to abort the mission. A reply code is needed.

It is this reply code that Carrie becomes so satisfied about as members of Yevgeny's network tap in and are traced. A hedge fund guy from Greenwich, Connecticut gets identified and his wife opens the door to F.B.I. agents. This is great. Nobody likes these hedge fund guys that create vast fortunes at the expense of others. Go get him.

Saul is as always an absolute mensch. His withering fish-eye looks at the utterances of those around him should have his eye replace the one that's on the back of the dollar bill that stares out from that pyramid. Saul is Carnac: All knowing, all seeing, all telling.


YouTube was consulted so the exact wording behind the Johnny Carson's Carnac character could be used. Johnny, as those who are already on, or nearing Medicare coverage will remember, opened an envelope handed to him by his sidekick Ed McMahon with an answer, that Carnac would divine the question to.

The 1987 selection I made came up with this answer: Cleopatra, Napoleon, Julius Caesar. Carnac's answer/question was: "Who does Shirley Mclaine give as references."

Senator Paley has been "read-in" on the plot. He is eventually feeling very foolish and very much had. Saul has a handy PowerPoint presentation (who doesn't have a PowewrPoint presentation) to share with the Senator.

Saul explains. Saul shows an organization chart. Where would a PowerPoint presentation be without a chart of some kind? Saul explains that Simone Martin is a Russian agent working for the G.R.U. an agency connected to the Sixth Directorate of Russian military intelligence. This rings so believable if you've been reading anything by Jason Matthews, veteran C.I.A. spook turned novelist. Directorate S.

Next to names on the chart are letters. Next to president Elizabeth Keane's name is a T. Next to Simone Martin's name is FO. Next to Dante Allen's name identifying him as F.B.I. are the letters RA. Next to Senator Paley's name are two letters, UI

A clearly shaken Senator Paley stands and stares at the chart. "What are the initials UI next to my name?"

Saul pauses. Saul always pauses before he speaks his always well chosen words. He explains. The initials are designations used by the G.R.U. T is for Target; FO is for Foreign Operative; RA is for Recruited Asset.

Saul turns to look at David Wellington, President Keane's Chief of Staff, who was also completely taken in by Simone into the plan by the Russians to topple Elizabeth Keane and give Beau Bridges as the vice president some acting work. Through the coming attractions we see that Beau makes it into the next episode.

Does the G.R.U. have such a chart on the current players at the top of the U.S. Government? What initials are next to Donald Trump's? There must be initials next to Donald Trump.

Senator has begged the question about UI  "What does it stand for?"

Saul, with out judgment in his voice tells the Paley: Useful Idiot.


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