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Homeland - Better Call Saul - Review: "Reunited, And It Feels So Good."

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“Someone betrayed us.” – Allison
“You think?” –Dal Adar

This week on Homeland, Gabe-h-Cuod calls to arms, Carrie reaches out for help, Quinn tries to end things, Saul suspects an old friend and Allison tries to pin Dal Adar against Saul. A lot is happening simultaneously on the show and a lot happened in this week’s episode, but the storylines that have felt disparate until now, have now meshed into one. It’s in times like these, in episodes like this one that I am grateful for the show’s full 52 minutes. It always goes by way too quickly, is always filled with so much intrigue, so much action. Just imagine how much less stuff they could get to, if the show was the broadcast length of 42 minutes. It would suck. Okay, end of a tangent. The title of this season’s fifth episode is “Better Call Saul” and if there was any reference made, this week, to the show that shares its name with, I missed it on behalf of not having watched the show. Anyone know if there was any?

When we last left each other, Quinn was in a pretty bad shape, he had been gunned down in the middle of the post office parking lot and a lot of grunting and moaning ensued. Things haven’t improved for him since, they’ve actually degraded. He’s most certainly NOT fine and there is still a lot of moaning and grunting going on. A LOT.

“That does not look good.” – Carrie

His bullet wound does not, in fact, look good, and while Quinn tries to play the tough guy at the beginning of the episode, with trying being the important word here, he doesn’t hold onto that ideal very long. He’s really hurt. In fact, he’s so hurt that he doesn’t feel there is a way to continue without putting Carrie in harm’s way. He wants her to go, to save herself, but she won’t. She stayed to get answers and she’s slowly getting there. I believe though, in his mind, he believes he’s holding her back because of his injury. He believes that by leaving, she’s going to be safer, that with him gone, she’s going to execute her fallback plan.

When Carrie sees how badly Quinn is doing, she calls for help. The boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, came back in the picture to help Carrie save Quinn, thinking it was Carrie that needed help. Reluctantly, he agreed to help and he’s doing a really shitty job at it. I want him gone. I want him dead. I want him ending in a fiery death. I can’t be the only one. He’s just so whiny, always complaining. I feel like he brings nothing of value to the show, to his interactions with Carrie, except try to pull her away from what’s important. He simply doesn’t get it. And another thing. How the fuck did he manage to lose Quinn? The man can barely move, come on, dude.

Rupert Friend has been playing the emotionally detached persona for the first few episodes of the season, and while I loved how he played the silent killer, loved how he managed to act without saying anything, his performance in this particular episode broke my heart. His emotional journey in “Better Call Saul” was intense and poignant. One question I have to ask though: Quinn, why tie-wraps and a brick over a gun? I really question his choice of a suicide method; he went with complicated over simplicity. The ending to the episode was beautifully tragic as he tried to walk away from the person offering to help and failing to end his life. The desperation in his mannerisms was just so poignant, so troubling to watch. I’m not sure I trust the mysterious ally though; he kind of popped out of nowhere, a lot too willing to help him. It’s fishy, right?

A glimpse of Allison’s plan is revealed to us in “Better Call Saul.” She’s trying, and succeeding at putting Dal against Saul. I still don’t understand her endgame, though. The only thing we know is it has something to do with the Russians. I absolutely loved the covert meeting in the parking lot between Allsion and Yvon. So much was said, and unsaid, so much was simply felt.

I think the fact that Allison is the bad guy makes me like her a lot more than in the beginning of the season. I strongly hope that her motives are not tied with feelings she has for the wrong person. Please not let it be about a woman who got in way over her head when she fell for the wrong person. I enjoy strong female characters, good or bad, I don’t care, but I want them strong. Strong doesn’t necessarily mean cold, though. I loved witnessing Allison’s reaction to the picture of fake dead Carrie, she’s still human after all. It only leads to the questions, why was Carrie her problem? Why did they need her dead? What’s so special about her? My guess is, it has more to do with Saul, and his connection to Carrie, than with Carrie herself.

We still have a lot of questions, and so does Carrie. For her, the first step into understanding what is happening, is identifying the man who tried to kill Quinn. Through him, Carrie believes she can narrow down on who is trying to kill her. Her plan of attack means her phone call to Allison’s cellphone did not spark a memory. I understand it’s difficult to identify someone by only one word, but I was hoping Carrie would have at least realised she knew the voice on the other end of the line, without being able to identify it. As it looks like the phone call didn’t give them a direction in which to focus their investigation, Carrie goes to Astrid, Quinn’s ex-lover, for help. Without knowing who within the CIA she can trust, Carrie, rocking the brunette wig, might I add, convinces the women to help them. You can feel the tension between the two women, maybe even a little jealousy on the German’s part, but Astrid ultimately agrees to help them out for Quinn’s sake.

She, or more precisely her boss, manages to identify the man by lying about who the information is for. The man was a gangster working for the Russian Intelligence, information which ultimately links all the stories together. Carrie comes to the conclusion that there was something in the documents the Russians did not want her to see. Can we now safely assume the hack was engineered all along? If it wasn’t, was Carrie a problem to Allison because she thought Carrie had vetted the documents for Laura, therefore she had already read them? And on the documents is incriminating information on Allison? I’m just spit balling here.

“We didn’t do it Saul. We didn’t murder the general that you never met to discuss the coo that you weren’t planning.” -Luskin

Saul’s weak point once was Carrie, this season, it turns to Israel and his connection with the Israeli Ambassador to Germany. Saul has a blind, trusting point when it comes to the people he cares about, to his friends, to his family. In this episode, everything about the attack on the general and about the bomb that set off mid-sky is pointing towards Luskin, Allison made sure of it. It doesn’t take long for Dal to doubt Saul and his intentions and start tracking his every move. Really? It was that easy? He really is a pussycat.

There is one thing I need clarifying on though, and that’s the relationship between Allison and Saul. They don’t love each other that’s for sure, I don’t even think they like each other. Why are they together? I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a more awkward kiss than the one between them when Allison dropped Saul off at his hotel. They’re most certainly both using each other for something, but what? What does Saul want from her, apart from the obvious? It’s convenient, yes, but I don’t buy it, it’s simply not Saul.

“It is only when our voices are united that we become too loud to ignore.” -Numan

I loved that line from Numan’s anonymous video. Identifying the contact through whom Korzenik sold the hacked documents, Gabe-h-coud sends out a video to get people together at the Russian Embassy, in the hopes of gathering enough people to have a voice, to get answers about his friend. While his prostitute friend has trouble understanding why he’s doing it, why he’s risking his life, I see it as him being a genuinely good person, and incredibly idealistic. Numan still has hope for his disappeared friend, but we witnessed Korzenik’s demise last week and know for a fact that ship has sailed.

His video has the desired effect though, and the protest was possibly my favorite scene of the episode. I can’t exactly explain why that is, but the montage was brilliantly executed. The different angles, the quit cuts gave us emotion and tension. It was simply great. Carrie gets out of the black, in an attempt to get a hold of the hacked documents which she thinks are in Laura’s possession, being certain they are connected to the attempt on her life.

Laura doesn’t have the documents, and neither does Numan, but the journalist does have another idea on how Carrie can get a hand on the classified documents. I guess it’s at that moment that Carrie decides she “Better Call Saul.”

We’ll have to wait until next week for the proper Saul and Carrie reunion, but from the looks of that promo it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.

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