- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 12 November 2015
- Written by ANNA BLAINE | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The recent episode of Season Five’s Homeland entitled “Better Call Saul” has finally started to pick up the pace after four episodes. This season, former CIA intelligence officer Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) is the target of an assassination attempt and faces numerous dangerous enemies coming out of the woodwork as a result of stolen classified CIA documents. Who could be behind the assassination attempt on Carrie’s life? How many more people will die because of those stolen documents? These are some of the questions that are slowly being unraveled in the latest episode of the Showtime drama.
Homeland is easily one of the best shows on TV right now because it manages to integrate real life issues going on in the world today. The war on terrorism is something that has received a lot of focus in the first four seasons of this series, and now Season Five is dealing with a whole new ballgame of characters in a setting like Germany that has long history of violence. After leaving the CIA to raise her daughter, Carrie is forced to confront her old life again headfirst. She must interact with people that she was not on good terms with after leaving the agency, such as her former mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). She also faces Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), the assassin and potential love interest whom she is currently in hiding with trying to figure out who wants to kill her. One of the most game-changing moments this season is a shootout in the middle of a crowded square with children having just been let out of school. An injured Quinn barely escapes with his life as he and Carrie must flee the scene.
A bunch of colorful characters stand out in this new season. One of them is Astrid (Nina Hoss), a German intelligence officer acquainted with Peter Quinn that helps out Carrie in her time of need. Astrid is cynical, but sharp and quick-witted. She adds an interesting dynamic to Carrie, whom she interacts with in this episode. Another new character is Allison (Mirando Otto), a former Baghdad station chief and Saul’s new protégé. She has stepped into the role that Carrie chose to relinquish, and as such, she and Saul are a package deal right now.
This season contains many plot lines that mirror real life, such as the danger of the Assad regime in Syria. Saul concocted a bold plan to replace the President of Syria with someone that he can monitor. Ultimately his goal is to bring an end to ISIS, but his plans were foiled by a turncoat working for the Russians, who are a big presence in Syria right now. In “Better Call Saul,” the Russians are revealed to be carefully plotting something that will allow them to strike while the iron is hot. They seem to pose the most danger right now, but how will Saul find out?
Meanwhile, Carrie has to race against time to uncover the assassination attempt on her life. She thinks that whoever hacked the CIA and stole the classified list may be the one behind all this, and so she enlists the help of an Edward Snowden-type journalist who is after those same documents but who ultimately can’t help her.
Danes does a splendid job of showing the increasing level of anxiety and stress that Carrie goes through. She keeps Carrie’s biopolar disorder at the forefront of her performance, remiding the audience that her condition sometimes dictates her behavior. She can be difficult to handle and unruly when off her medication, but she also has a brilliance to her. She is good at what she does despite her mental health setbacks, so this makes her an intriguing protagonist.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out with Carrie putting the clues together and solving the identity of her would-be killer. Maybe the Carrie-Saul-Quinn team will be back in action before we know it.
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