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Homeland - Species Jump - Review: "It's always the Russians"

This week’s “Homeland” was solid, once again, going from chaotic, to suspenseful, to dark and gloomy. It wasn’t as action packed as the past few episodes, but the developments were pure pleasure. The plot is slowly falling into place and it’s pretty darn intense. I can’t stress this enough, but Claire Danes is bloody brilliant and in this episode, we got to see just how versatile she is, because Carrie went through an amalgam of emotions within the hour.

Right off the bat, as we witness the household trying to leave for work and school, Carrie is disorganised, chaotic and irritated. It’s safe to assume here, that Carrie’s meds aren’t as balanced out as they should. She’s all over the place. Maybe, just maybe, she shouldn’t be medicated with drugs out of a guy’s trunk.

It would have made sense that she would have been seeing connections that simply weren’t there, because of her altered mental state. Dante looked concerned about her wellbeing. Why would we think anything else? They’re working together. They’re partners. On this show though, you can never truly trust anyone. His possible involvement was a really great twist, one that I was absolutely not expecting. It’s a good thing Max stuck to his guns, and stopped Carrie from telling Dante about their illegal surveillance on Wellington.

The problem now is: who is going to monitor Carrie’s med intake? She probably isn’t going to a doctor any time soon, and we could be seeing her go down the rabbit hole sooner rather than later. But in the past, Carrie did do her best work when her meds were all out of whack. It could still end really badly for her.

Last week’s operation led to a “What the fuck?” moment for Carrie, and in “Species Jump” she and Max continue to try and understand what is happening, but it’s Saul that brings to light the whole thing. It’s Carrie’s turn to be played. She is livid, and Saul can definitely relate. He was once in her shoes.

One thing to take from this episode was that you don’t fuck with Carrie, because she’ll fuck you right back. After going out to the bar to seemingly celebrate their win over Wellington, for what looks like a good time, they drug Dante in order to investigate his apartment. Everything about these scenes were incredibly well done.

In this episode, Saul’s long and complicated relationship with the Russians continues. Saul saw right through the Lucasville incident, and with the help of Sandy, a Russian Expert, forced out of the CIA and into academia. There were a lot of allusions to Homeland’s fifth season, when Saul had been played by Allison Carr. During that season, Ivan had been working with Allison, and he’s back, but not as one of the bad guys, not really. He is not part of Yevgeny’s plan, and does not want there to be any American casualties on American soil. Leaving breadcrumbs for Saul to follow, Ivan sends out a mayday call for Saul. When the ex-CIA got there though, it was already too late. Ivan’s end was really dark, but very well executed and only demonstrated how far they are willing to go by mercifully killing one of their own.

More than only Lucasville, Saul’s micro-team discover some similarities between the Lucasville fake news story leak, and Wellington’s meme. At least part of the plan seems to be working. Simone’s immunity deal is shining over the good that the president is trying to do. Gosh, with this show I’m so confused, I never know who to root for. At one point I hate the President, at others I like her. What am I supposed to feel? Tell me, please. But really, that’s what makes this show great: the multiple facets of every character. More than just President Keaton, and now I feel bad for Wellington. He’s only pawn in all this, played by a woman. I have to add: how freakin’ easy is it to control the news cycle? What the hell?

Overall, I thought the episode was pretty great with every aspect continuing to be well dosed. I can't believe they’re in their seventh season and still going this strong.

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