Carrie decides to meet Yevgeny again. Haqqani realises there is a traitor in his camp. Saul manages to cut a deal with Haqqani.
Director: Keith Gordon
Writers: Gideon Raff (original Israeli series Prisoners Of War), Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Jonathan Redding
Cast: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Numan Acar, Costa Ronin, Nimrat Kaur
Streaming on: Hotstar Premium
Episode: 3 – False Friends
Carrie arranges a meeting with Yevgeny
The encounter with Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin) at the bar in the previous episode has been playing on Carrie’s (Claire Danes) mind. Yevgeny had made it sound like the two were working together. Of course, Carrie doesn’t remember getting in on any such agreement, thanks to her memory lapse. But she does have a theory. Maybe Yevgeny helping her out with G’ulom is an indication that he’s willing to be recruited as an American asset. Or has she recruited him already in the gulag? Carrie may not be a Russian spy after all, but Yevgeny might be an American one.
Carrie is confident that Yevgeny will try to make contact again. She convinces the station chief Mike (Cliff Chamberlain) to postpone her departure back to Germany so that she can meet him again. Mike agrees but he still doesn’t trust Carrie, and wants a surveillance team to follow her when she goes to meet Yevgeny. It is also revealed that Mike has tasked Jenna (Andrea Deck) to get close to Carrie to keep an eye on her.
Sure enough, Yevgeny makes contact, asking Carrie to meet him outside a mosque. She arrives at the location but Yevgeny is nowhere to be seen. He appears only when the mosque prayers begin on the loudspeaker, thereby rendering his conversation with Carrie inaudible to their tail. Yevgeny reveals to Carrie that she had tried to hang herself in the gulag, but he had saved her and managed to get her back on her meds for a couple of weeks. He did all this in exchange for “one thing”. But before he can tell what that is, prayers conclude and he leaves.
Carrie’s fixation over Yevgeny ever since she saw him in Kabul is understandable. However it seems uncharacteristic of her to be least bothered about Saul (Mandy Patinkin) being in Talibani captivity. If the previous seasons of Homeland are anything to go by, Carrie’s first instinct would be to do all it takes to have Saul released. There is, however, no such indication this time.
Someone has betrayed Haqqani
The previous episode ended with Taliban chief Haissam Haqqani’s (Numan Acar) men abducting Saul after an attack on Haqqani’s convoy. It doesn’t take long for Haqqani to figure that Saul wasn’t behind the attack. It was the ISI, and someone from his camp has been colluding with them. The mole turns out to be Haqqani’s son Jalal (Elham Ehsas). Jalal is opposed to his father’s desire for peace. The confrontation between Haqqani and Jalal contains the most powerful dialogue of the episode, “We are just strong enough never to lose and just weak enough never to win.” There can never be a winner in this endless war, and as we’ve seen, the ISI has been exploiting this chaos. Haqqani decides to spare his son’s life but excommunicates him. We later see Jalal wandering hapless on a deserted road when he is picked up by ISI’s Tasneem Quereshi (Nimrat Kaur), indicating that Jalal’s role is not yet over.
Saul is now free to go, but he’s determined not to let his encounter with Haqqani go waste. He gets Haqqani to agree to the terms of the peace deal.
Is a storm brewing in the United States?
Beau Bridges makes his first appearance this season as US president Ralph Warner, as does Linus Roache as his ever-reliable man Friday David Wellington. The developments in the last season resulted in Warner assuming presidency and Ben Hayes (Sam Trammell) from the opposition party becoming his veep. This is the first instance in American history that the president and his deputy are from opposite parties. It now appears that the vice-president is preparing to challenge Warner’s seat. We will see more on this in the forthcoming episodes.
Meanwhile, upon Saul’s return to Kabul, he and Carrie have a meeting with president Warner via video conference. Carrie suggests that the president’s presence in Kabul may provide impetus to the peace deal.
Episode 4 of season 8 of Homeland will be released on Monday, March 2.