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Review: ‘Homeland’ Season 5 Episode 6 ‘Parabiosis’ Breaks Through the Wall

Review: 'Homeland' Season 5 Episode 6 'Parabiosis' Breaks Through the Wall

Immediate Reaction

Did she get off the plane?! Okay, so Carrie was never technically on the plane, but whether she was or not is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things. We knew she wasn’t going anywhere: From a narrative sense, running away is never the answer, and from a viewer’s perspective, the main character of “Homeland” isn’t going to fly off to Neverland halfway through the season. Carrie’s story this week started off with some promise as she explained to Saul — in less than convincing terms — why he should trust her with confidential documents. He refused at first, but thankfully the vice applied by Russian spy Allison was closing in on Saul, leaving him with no one else to turn. How that equates to trust is still a bit spotty, but the “right is right” side of things (combined with everyone’s desire to see Saul and Carrie be father/daughter buddies again) makes his arc somewhat satisfying.

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Homeland’ Season 5 Episode 5 ‘Better Call Saul’ Sticks to the Plan

But what about Carrie? We’ve now gone two weeks without much development on her end of things. After what I thought was a pretty finalized break-up last week, Carrie ended things with Jonas for real this time around. Her post-breakup text scrolling was pretty heartbreaking, even if we knew she wasn’t about to abandon her daughter. Perhaps it’s Carrie’s psyche that we’re supposed to be appreciating. She committed to abandoning her life fairly quickly, and she’s certainly fallen out of fighting mode (after Episode 4). Will Saul’s renewed faith be enough to get her back on her feet? We better find out next week, or “Homeland” could be looking officially lean in Season 5.

Best “Homeland” Twist

So I guess Quinn’s healthy enough to take down a pissed off giant. After nearly dying last week, Quinn seemed intent on making his way peacefully out of the doctor turned manager’s makeshift hospital, but the recently-released Zayd had other plans. Luckily, Quinn’s training helped him keep his distance from the big man and end the fight quickly. Now he’s stuck at the halfway house at least one more night, and how he continues to interact with the Syrian terrorists within should prove interesting. Quinn, if you remember from the premiere, has some extreme views when it comes to Syria, so getting some one-on-one time with a congregation of its citizens might cause even more of a ruckus next week.

Crazy Carrie Level: 3/10

Deleting pictures of your kid off your phone may not sound like the craziest thing to do when you’re trying to leave behind your old life, but Carrie gave up pretty quickly. She didn’t take much time to think after asking Jonas for just that during their final fight (right? they’re really broken up this time?). Instead, she quickly tried to flee the country in the hopes that doing so would keep her loved ones safe. After all, why would Carrie believe in herself if even Saul couldn’t anymore? While understandable, Carrie’s logic is also frustrating. She’s faced more difficult circumstances, and she didn’t even try looking for Quinn. She quit. Carrie is a lot of things, but a quitter she is not — usually. So yeah, she was a little bit crazy this week. But that happens.

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MVP (Most Valuable Performer)

Fan favorite Saul Berenson — played by everyone’s favorite, Mandy Patinkin — has had a rough season so far. He’s shared a few words with Carrie that seemed a bit harsh. He’s divorced from his wife, who had helped Saul stay grounded (and who was, herself, well-liked). And he’s sleeping with a freaking Russian spy! Work-wise, all he’s accomplished so far is getting a prospective replacement dictator blown up and making everyone suspect him of being behind it. Poor Saul. 

Thankfully, he and Carrie share more in common than a willingness eagerness to disobey orders. When the times get tough, they turn to each other. Saul was backed into a corner, forced to defend his actions and find a scapegoat for what happened — someone who wasn’t his good buddy from Israel. So what did he do? He gave them the people Carrie told him to give: Russians. Moreover, he went above and beyond to get Carrie the documents she needed to survive, and hopefully what will become the very documents to get Saul off the hook. There, carrying us through ever step of our emotionally-conflicted journey, has been Patinkin; steadfast, earnest and sly enough to bring a smile out even in the darkest circumstances. Mandy Patinkin — always the man.

Quote of the Night

“There’s a line between us that you drew.
Forget that. It’s a fucking wall.” – Saul

After Saul refused to help Carrie, I had to go back and find out why. The “wall” he mentioned seemed so firmly backed by a vehemence from the ex-CIA director, and yet I couldn’t remember exactly what bricks he’d used to build it. Part of it is that Carrie apparently played a part in keeping him out of the very chair he once held. In their confrontation in Episode 1, she claims he’s still mad at her for “tanking his bid for directorship,” but Saul says that’s not it anymore. He’s more upset she’s gone to work for “the other side,” referring to Otto During (Sebastian Koch). The fact that he holds Carrie’s new boss in such contempt isn’t all that surprising given a) his family made their fortune by making POW’s work their steel mills during WWII, and b) Otto has taken over Saul’s role as Carrie’s moral compass. But what is notable is that despite this hatred — which may end up being justified, as Otto has yet to prove himself innocent of anything (and frankly, Koch would make a great villain) — Saul still sought out Carrie’s boss and trusted him with crucial, top secret documents. He humbled himself to get the job done. Carrie undoubtedly took notice in those final minutes, and if she did put up the wall, I believe she’s about to take it down.

Grade: C+

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