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Homeland - New Normal - Review: "Rough"

This week’s Homeland was a particularly emotional one as everyone raced against the clock in an attempt to stop a terrorist attack on Berlin, and by the same occasion, unknowingly locating Quinn.

An ultimatum was given, and a tight deadline was to be met in order to stop the release of the Sarine Gas. In an attempt to prove the validity of the threats that came with their demands, the terrorists demonstrate the effect of their invisible and merciless poison. Broadcasting on every television is a censored video of a man slowly succumbing to it. The bombshell that it’s Peter Quinn in the video affects the characters differently, but affects everyone, nonetheless. The treat of the gas would still have been real without Quinn as the victim, but his involvement only added an incredibly emotional aspect to already the stressful situation and episode, which will definitely transpose onto next week’s episode.

Last week’s episode was free of Otto, Jonas, and Laura. This week, we weren’t that lucky. The journalist, filled with na├»ve agendas, brings to the foundation, seeking legal assistance, a man who she claims was wrongfully convicted. I get that the evidence against him was obtained illegally, but that doesn’t, in any way abstain him of his faults. I can’t be the only one thinking that? Learning of the man’s knowledge of the hearsay, in prison, about the attacks on Berlin, the band of merry men react very differently. Laura doesn’t think it pertinent, while Jonas thinks it’s their duty to turn him in. As annoying I find him, I have to agree with him. But the fact that he doesn’t seem moved by the fact that the man being tortured is Quinn, the man he failed to watch over, bothered me probably more than it should have. Laura on the other hand, is starting to annoy the hell out of me. Seriously, are you purposefully this dense? She’s so focused on wanting a civil suit against the government that she’s losing sight of the bigger picture. Damn, Laura, I used to root for you.

Asking for a minute alone, Otto picked up the phone. As he did, I definitely wasn’t expecting a call to Saul Berenson, partially because they hate each other, but mainly because I do not trust Otto. I’m really not sure he’s one of the good guys. In this scene though, he did seem to be doing the right thing, which seemed weird, for me. Any one of you guys think Otto purposefully arranged for their guy to get picked up?

The majority of last week’s episode focused on proving Allison was a Russian double-agent, and just when they thought they had, Allison turned it around on them. Saul, who’s incredibly silent during Carrie and Dar’s colorful exchange on the subject, definitely isn’t buying Allison’s story. Thank god. He gets his chance to talk with her, to get things of his chest, but things don’t go over so well, for him.

I would never have qualified him as an overly angry person, but he definitely burst out at that moment, playing right into Allison’s game. It’s way easier when you get to play the victim. We could easily see, though, how angry he was with her for having played him for fool, and how angry he was at himself for not having seen it. She had him accused of a crime she committed; she turned his own people against him as they were a lot faster to convict him than they are to convict her. She almost got away with ruining his life, with killing Carrie, and when his mind made the connections to all the people that were dead because of her, he exploded, understandably.

Allison momentarily won over Dar. He doesn’t believe her, per say, but he’s not ready to accuse her, and with the threat on Berlin, it’s all hands on deck, even Allison, and even Carrie. I have to give it to her though, Allison’s efficient, and she’s good, when her priorities are straight. The fact that it was Sarine played right into her game, with her Russian source, Yvan, being knowledgeable about Syria’s chemical weapon stock pile, giving her even more credibility in Dar’s and the CIA’s eyes.

“Someone’s thinking fast on her feet. If she wasn’t so bloodless, you’d really have to top your hat off to her.” -Carrie

Saul isn’t buying Allison’s story, same goes for Carrie and Astrid, who team up in this week’s episode. I find pretty sad that Carrie had to wait until her crusade against the Russians was over, until she got pushed aside by her former employers, to even mention Quinn, the man who saved her life, on more than one occasions. Nine freakin days. That’s abusive, Carrie. Astrid’s reaction was spot on, as she took it upon herself to help Carrie look for Quinn, while obviously judging the woman for having left him to die. Astrid is becoming my favorite recurring character, this season.

Checking out the security cameras close to where he was last seen proved useless, as soon enough, Quinn’s painful demise got broadcast on the country’s televisions. As Carrie watched the video for the first time, her knees weakened, but that doesn’t stop her from watching the video, again and again, in the hopes that Quinn, in his last moments, found the strength to signal to them. It was hard to watch her watch the video. I could feel a knot forming in my stomach during that scene. “Homeland” does have the most gruesome and tragic death scenes.

Tragedy brought the two blonds closer together, as we got to witness their character progression. I’m always a fan of female comradery and that’s exactly what we get to witness between the two as Carrie begins to beat herself up about what happened to her, and Astrid comforted her.

Managing to lower the possible hideout spots to about 30, they go on a mission to locate the terrorists’ compound. Astrid and Carrie are the ones that find the building, and by the same occasion, Quinn. The face of pure relief when Carrie realised Quinn was still alive was poignant, and heartfelt; it involuntarily made me smile. That’s good acting.

Quinn is having a particularly tough season, bullet wounds, and poisonous gases, but the shot of Atrophine seemed to have at least given him a chance. He’s not in top shape, but he’s alive, and that’s something.

I wanted the trio to get together again all season, but that’s definitely not the way I pictured it, though.

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