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Homeland - Parabiosis - Review: "How The Wall Came Down"



The fifth season continues to satisfy with its sixth episode, “Parabiosis,” as some questions were answered, more were asked, and Quinn continued to be a badass. This week’s episode was a lot more character driven than the last few, as the plot seemed to stall. The pace was, for the most part, slower than its predecessors, but “Homeland” always manages to balance it out. The episode still managed to be great, to be tension and emotion filled, just like we like them to be.

Carrie tracked down Saul at the end of last week’s episode, when she realised she needed his help to uncover the hacked documents, and hopefully understand why the Russians want her dead. We had to wait a whole week, to actually witness their interaction, and there wasn’t much of one. The conversation was mostly one sided, as Carrie explained her predicament, until Saul decided he’d heard enough to turn the woman down.

Just like Saul, I was, and still am, intrigued by the Russians involvement in the story. Though his, “Want to tell me why the Russians give a shit whether you’re alive or dead?” was a tad rude, I share his interrogation. What’s up with the Russians? There wasn’t much focus on the Russians in the past seasons, and I wonder what’s the show’s take on the relations between Russia and the USA. With Berlin, USA and Russia in the mix, I’m having Cold War vibes, I don’t know if that’s just me.

“There’s a line between us that you drew. No, forget that. It’s a fucking wall. Let’s stand on our own sides, okay?” -Saul

The two have been on thin ice since the beginning of the season, their relationship hindered because of Carrie’s career choice and betrayal, in the eyes of her mentor and friend. There’s a wall between them, a During Wall, and something big separating them became more evident when Saul categorically refused to help her out. In my mind it’s a weak excuse for this much hatred and coldness, but maybe I’m missing something bigger. He barely listened to what Carrie risked her life to tell him, or so Carrie thought, or so I thought.

Parabiosis defines the physiological or anatomical union of two individuals, and whether Saul likes it or not, Carrie and himself are united, and they’ll always be united. They’ll always share an intellectual connection. They’ve been through too much together, shared so much. It’s no secret I really don’t like Jonas, and I think what Saul and Carrie share is what Jonas and Carrie miss. They have the same background, the same aspirations. They get each other, or they did.

In the past, Saul was always the one to unable her crazy theories, even when she had a lot less to go on than she has now, but not this time, he’s blinded by anger, halted by pride. Saul turns Carrie away, leaves her dumbfounded in the parking lot, but her words make their way through his mind, more than he’s willing to acknowledge at first. It can be understood right from the bat from the viewer’s point of view that her theories, her words, are creeping into his subconscious. His own people are watching him. In the hotel parking lot, in his hotel room and then traumatizing the maid, he realised the signs he’d overlooked.

“It’s not the Israeli, and it’s not me.” -Saul

Dar and Saul are also on thin ice, neither one having confidence in the other anymore. After Saul orders a full building swept, hoping to find bugs, they argue about the Israeli, about the surveillance team on him. Saul, without mentioning the source of his information, tells his boss Carrie’s theory about the Russians. When he failed to mention Carrie, his source, the wall between Saul and Carrie started to crack, and a wall between Dar and Saul began to mount. He’s still protecting her, even after Dar calls in for a polygrapher, because Saul’s that kind of person.

With one well-placed, well-designed bomb, Allison successfully put Dar and Saul against each other. Yes, it really seems like it was that easy. Do they have no loyalty between each other?


One thing the red head did fail at, though, was keeping the Russians out of the scrutinizing eye of Saul Berenson; she failed to keep their anonymity on their involvement in the plane crash. Allison must be, after overhearing the conversation between Dar and Saul, pedaling around, trying to figure out how the hell Saul Berenson figured out the Russians were involved, how he managed to link all of it together. I can’t wait to see her reaction when she realises Carrie is alive and has Saul’s help. How long is it going to take for her to realise who Saul’s stolen documents were for? She’s a bad person, but she isn’t dumb, I doubt it will take her long.

Carrie asks her billionaire philanthropist boss to get her a plane, ask to be taken far away, in the hopes of protecting the people that are left that she cares about. Carrie isn’t alone, but she’s very close to being, and it can be felt during her conversation with During. She feels alone, and it was touching to see her explain how Saul wouldn’t help her out. She doesn’t have him on her side anymore, everyone’s gone. There really is nothing left for her in Berlin, and nothing left for her to do. She tried her best, did what she could without her CIA resources. She’s simply out of options. It rare to witness a Carrie that’s given up, that doesn’t know where to turn, and it was a sad site to witness.

Saul isn’t the only one to have deserted her. Jonas, the boyfriend I still despise and sincerely hope we’ve seen the last of, also cut his ties with the blonde. To top it off, Quinn sacrificed himself for Carrie in last week’s episode, willing to die rather than put her in harm’s way due to his injury. Carrie knows that, and she feels bad for it, she feels like everything is her fault.

“I went to Saul, Berenson. And he’s always been there for me, always. And this time he wasn’t, and I was just shocked, I guess. I had no idea how much he hates me.” -Carrie

While Carrie is certain that Saul has given up on her, he has a change of heart. As mad as he is with her, he knows she’s a damn good agent, and he was always one to trust her instincts. With a revised security clearance, and his access was denied, he has to get creative in order to honor Carrie’s demand and get her the documents. Saul puts himself in a lot of trouble, a lot, and I wonder in what type of trouble he’ll be in next week’s episode, getting the flash drive to her. He must put his trust in the man he despises and step on his pride. With very little time to explain his plan to During, Saul still manages to come through for Carrie before he gets taken away by his own people.

I wondered why Saul had taken the time to hang his coat as I watched the episode, he was in such a hurry, why take the time? His move all made sense when During found the flash drive in his pockets. This is one of the many things I love about this show, the ingenuity and intelligence of the characters. It’s all in the details.

Otto comes through for both Saul and Carrie and brings her the drive before she gets on the plane, and I absolutely loved that very slight smile at the end from Carrie. He came through for her. She’s not alone in this.


While all this was happening, Quinn was getting treated for his gunshot wound, and things are definitely looking up for him. In “Better Call Saul,” Quinn was in a downward spiral both physically and mentally. The most unlikely of allies helps him out, nurses him back to heath, infusing him with his own blood. Waking up, Quinn finds himself in a Syrian base-camp, (I guess) cared for by a doctor turned building manager. His safe heaven is put to the test when, because of Laura's published documents, Zayd, along with a dozen Muslim men, gets released from prison due to the questionable body of evidence against them. Quinn's break is put to the test, and his very short lived respite ends. The man doesn’t trust Quinn; he's certain Quinn is an American spy. And I had to wonder… Is he? Is he still a spy? Was he ever? What’s the definition of a spy?

Despite the suspicion planning over him, the doctor still nurse Quinn back to health, continuing based on the saying that whoever wants to go to heaven should honor his guests. Once they see him fit enough to leave, things get messier, though. Things quickly escalate into a messy fight, a deadly fight, and even nursing a bullet wound, Quinn’s a badass. Crushing Zayd’s windpipe, and thus wins himself another night with them.

Do you think the trio getting back together by the next episode?

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