Homeland recap: season eight, episode 10 – Clarity

Homeland recap: season eight, episode 10 – Clarity


I’m not a hero, but as it turns out, safe has its advantages, too’

We rejoin Carrie, a week after the hospital meltdown, for her third and final ECT treatment. With normality restored, her thoughts turn to keeping hold of Franny.

The toughest battles are the ones you’re woefully ill-equipped to fight. It is obvious that Franny is alive thanks only to dumb luck, and Maggie makes a compelling case for custody. Carrie can only stick with what she knows, subcontracting Anson to gather evidence on Maggie’s unethical but ultimately compassionate off-the-books medicating of Carrie during the Langley years. It will mean Maggie never practises medicine again and casts doubts over her suitability as a guardian. It’s the nuclear option.

A direct plea from Maggie at the hearing stops it being deployed. Mercurial brilliance doesn’t raise a child. Maggie is a blue, calm sea, but Carrie has always been a storm. There’s a blessed moment of clarity where she haggles Maggie down to fortnightly visitations and signs off on sole custody. With finality comes peace. Franny, Maggie and Carrie are relieved beyond measure. No one, viewers included, wanted extended courtroom ping-pong on this one.

If we don’t produce some hard evidence that screams Russia … I don’t see her making it to the end of the year’

Keane as mustard … Elizabeth Marvel as President Keane.

Keane as mustard … Elizabeth Marvel as President Keane. Photograph: Antony Platt/Showtime

With Dante dead, Simone presumed dead and Yevgeny wherever he pleases, Saul despairs at ever winning this one. It takes Sandy to make the connection no one else is making. Yevgeny and Simone is a love story, she tells him, one that goes back 11 years to when he was making his bones as a young spy and she was doing her doctorate at the Sorbonne. A baronial dacha by the river on the outskirts of Moscow seems the likely location. Yevgeny is, of course, indestructible, but extracting Simone is just about doable. What he needs is a maverick genius, recently out of residential psychiatric care, who just hours earlier lost custody of her sole child, who somehow supports a crack team of tequila swigging mercenaries despite crippling credit card debt. The Mathison missile is armed, programmed and set off towards Moscow. The Russians won’t know what’s hit them.

What of the people’s business have we, any of us, managed to get done in the first 100 days?’

You remember the chastened and humbled Senator Paley we briefly glimpsed last week? That’s all behind him now. In a crisis, most people return to what they know, and there’s nothing he knows like riding President Keane. He’s out to invoke the 25th amendment, but that needs the signature of vice-president Warner and he assures David that his support for Elizabeth is solid. “I took an oath to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he reminds him. What a relief. That’s that settled.

Privately, though, Warner is wobbling like a Weeble, hearing out Paley when he pitches removing the president to him at dinner. Elizabeth moves to fire the cabinet members she suspects are behind Paley, but Warner tries to reassure her of his loyalty and all he asks is that she rescind the firings. The president, however, is done with half measures. No one tells her who to fire. If you can’t handle her at her Enemy of the State then you damn sure don’t deserve her at her Active Measures. A defeated Warner slinks off to sign on to the 25th amendment and begins petitioning the supreme court. That civil war Brett O’Keefe kept talking about could be here sooner than we thought.

Notes and observations

  • A newbie might ask how Yevgeny got out of the locked down Regent Medical Center. Seasoned Homeland viewers just add it to the box marked, “Stuff we’ll never know,” and move on.
  • If Yevgeny banging on about Sergiyev Posad in his unpublished novel from university really has revealed his present-day location it is a chilling thought. May our own terrible undergrad literary efforts never come back to haunt us thus.
  • Amy Hargreaves is great this week, particularly in her courtroom address to Carrie. Even though that particular storyline has tested the patience, the emotional truth of the sisters’ relationship, conflict and ultimately love was powerful.
  • President Keane firing four members of her cabinet feels like it could be a huge error. I’ve liked Elizabeth’s work a lot this season and don’t want to see her removed from office by the gutless poltroons you really wouldn’t want around you in the trenches. She will need Saul to bring back something spectacular from Moscow to have any hope of survival.

Exactly how much damage can Carrie do in Moscow? How useful an idiot is Senator Paley? Would you salute President Warner? Have your say below.

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