Category: by: gail

The #FreeDarAdal campaign is officially a go!

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Let’s get Max right on it!

Episode 11 was fantastic–my personal favorite of this season. So much suspense and sabotage. It was good to see Saul finally trusting Carrie (even though he’s still not my favorite person in the world and I hate that she plead to him that she’s sane at this point in the series).

I agree – it was a great episode! I fully admit I’m biased though – I come for Claire Danes and stay for the spy stuff.

It’s about DAMN time for Saul and Carrie to be back working together again. Their partnership and trust is still in the rebuilding phase and she has been back and forth A LOT over the last couple of seasons – so it did make sense to me that she has to convince him that she is a) sane and b) all in. Carrie is not going to hand over custody to Maggie last episode to roll over and play fucking dead now.

I’m fully supporting the plaid-shirt-as-pregnancy-camouflage theory except that she got FULLY NAKED for one scene. Why bother trying to hide a prego belly under a hideous plaid shirt if there’s a nude scene looming on the horizon????

As someone who truly appreciates Sara’s passion project of dissecting Carrie’s FASHUN choices each week – can I just say that I’m totally here for the plaid? I think it’s less about hiding a preggo belly and more about being on TREND. I AM HERE FOR THIS. #holla

On a scale of That 1-10, 10 being very likely, what are the chances that Dar returns to tell Saul Quinn is alive and well and hiding out overseas? 🤣

So we saw Dar tonight and Quinn wasn’t mentioned – but I think it’s safe to assume we haven’t seen the last of Dar Adal – especially with how annoyed he was to hear that Saul and Carrie were working together. Dar’s annoyance with Carrie is as high as ever. I got the feeling that Dar was merely biding his time…

Fans of Ivan/Mark Ivanir, you’re in luck, because about a week after his last episode on Homeland, he made an appearance on HBO’s new show, “Barry.” And did you know that he’s also a prominent voice actor in a number of bestselling video games? I think he’s great!

Mark Ivanir’s IMDB page is quite the expansive resume! He got his first big break in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List in 1993 and has been in a ton of television shows like Alias, 24, Monk, Fringe, Madam Secretary, Blacklist, etc.

IMDB has him listed in four episodes of Barry, which I’ve heard is a really good dark comedy! If anyone watches it – let us know how it is and if it is “something that won’t ruin your life!”

what i love about LLG’s interviews is that you get the sense she would love the show as much as we do even if she didn’t work on it

I’m biased – I LOVE LLG. She is one of my favorite directors. Her ability to bring the vision of the writers to screen with added depth and texture is an amazing talent. One of the things I admire most about LLG is her genuine enthusiasm for not only her projects, but the works of others. She is always so gracious – so I agree, she would definitely love the show whether she was on it or not.

Dar will be back coming episode! Cool! We will know if there is a quinspiracy!

On QC vs BC: Carrie and Brody love each other and there’s no love story in a show or film I believed in as I believed in theirs. Quinn on the other hand is Carrie’s best friend. He works with her, he had a difficult past, they’re just pretty much alike. The thing with QC is, they really really like each other and are attracted to each other, but the thing is: that’s not love. There is a difference which our society loves to ignore. Rewatch the first 2 series and you’ll see what love is.

To quote my friend Frangi, “we all feel what we feel.”

hellyeahomeland: “Clarity” | Directed by Dan …

hellyeahomeland:

“Clarity” | Directed by Dan Attias

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The episode opens with a calm, dazed Carrie being wheeled into a hospital room to undergo her third and last ECT treatment. It’s a striking, abrupt shift from the last moments of “Useful Idiot,” where Carrie is crouched against a wall, screaming in horror at the delusions her own mind has created.

The time jump between episodes is about a week, and this opening scene has a lot of ground to cover. Where is Carrie? What’s happening to her? And, most importantly, how is she feeling? In a sense, it needs to provide us, the audience, that same sense of clarity that Carrie finally achieves by episode’s end.

These two shots, filmed from Carrie’s perspective, rendering the subjects blurry and out of focus (ironic, we know), do a lot of that work.

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The parallels between Carrie’s ECT in this episode and the one we see at the end of “Marine One” are so blatantly obvious that it feels almost ridiculous to point them out. But Sara will never pass up an opportunity to talk about “Marine One.” First, we should acknowledge the rhythm and choreography of ECT is likely very similar session to session, and even hospital to hospital. It’s like drawing parallels between two appendectomies on Grey’s Anatomy. For a medical procedure, how many different ways are there to do it?

In the editing room, though, it’s clear they made a purposeful decision to connect the two, from the winced face Carrie makes, to the shot of her twitching leg, to the birds eye view of her face post-procedure.

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“Clarity” | Directed by Dan AttiasThe episode opens with a calm,…

“Clarity” | Directed by Dan Attias

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The episode opens with a calm, dazed Carrie being wheeled into a hospital room to undergo her third and last ECT treatment. It’s a striking, abrupt shift from the last moments of “Useful Idiot,” where Carrie is crouched against a wall, screaming in horror at the delusions her own mind has created.

The time jump between episodes is about a week, and this opening scene has a lot of ground to cover. Where is Carrie? What’s happening to her? And, most importantly, how is she feeling? In a sense, it needs to provide us, the audience, that same sense of clarity that Carrie finally achieves by episode’s end.

These two shots, filmed from Carrie’s perspective, rendering the subjects blurry and out of focus (ironic, we know), do a lot of that work.

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The parallels between Carrie’s ECT in this episode and the one we see at the end of “Marine One” are so blatantly obvious that it feels almost ridiculous to point them out. But Sara will never pass up an opportunity to talk about “Marine One.” First, we should acknowledge the rhythm and choreography of ECT is likely very similar session to session, and even hospital to hospital. It’s like drawing parallels between two appendectomies on Grey’s Anatomy. For a medical procedure, how many different ways are there to do it?

In the editing room, though, it’s clear they made a purposeful decision to connect the two, from the winced face Carrie makes, to the shot of her twitching leg, to the birds eye view of her face post-procedure.

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Including solely because we know, via Claire’s Instagram, that her moody gaze out the window was directed at this.

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This episode focuses a lot on Keane’s cabinet, since they’re the ones who can push her out of office if they get a majority and then the Vice President’s sign-on. Throughout this season (and last) Keane has been something of an island. Hell, it took seven episodes (or nineteen if you call all of last season) to reveal just who the hell her VP was. So this wide shot of them all seated around the table in the “Roosevelt Room” is really… something.

We have no idea whether it was intentional to fill this room with so many dudes, let alone so many white dudes, let alone so many old white dudes. It’s pretty interesting considering her later comment that a not insignificant number were foisted upon her. It’s also interesting because Keane was supposed to be this great maverick, pushing the status quo. Keane herself can’t be older than 50 (Elizabeth Marvel is 48) and yet the average age of the people seated around this table cannot be less than 65, right?

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It’s quite uncommon to see Keane surrounded by so many people. She’s usually only ever shown in a room with one or two other people (again, no man’s an island, but this woman is). Similar to her command a few episodes ago when she invited the press into the Oval Office, here she turns on the charm and the camera puts her center frame. (And, as in that episode, her momentary rush of accomplishment and goodwill is quickly quashed.) She’s filmed from below, seeming more powerful. Which in hindsight we know is terrifically ironic as that room is the figurative snake pit.

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SORRY more “Marine One” parallels. The jacket Carrie is wearing here is very similar to the one she wore in “Marine One.” Same color, same suede detail on the collar. What’s the point they’re trying to make here? Maybe this?

We also need to note that she and Anson are wearing very similar jackets. In fact he’s kinda got her “Marine One” ensemble on, including the grey hoodie. Are they planting subtle (or, as it were, not so subtle) love vibes (they sometimes dressed Carrie and Brody alike) between them or just trying to strengthen our understanding of their friendship?

The show has been drawing parallels between characters all season with intentionally similar costuming. We’ve seen them do it with Saul/Ivan, Carrie/Yevgeny, and here with Carrie/Anson. In this episode, both Carrie and Anson are out of work, former intelligence officers that are down on their luck. The similarity between their clothes seems more of a nod to that than to anything romantic.

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Sara uses the Pages app for all her solo word processing needs and is absolutely DELIGHTED that Carrie does too. This is Carrie at her most depressingly earnest. That’s possibly the most dreary bulleted list that ever existed. Gail finds it interesting that the title of the episode isn’t spoken out loud by anyone, but rather written here on this “blink and you’ll miss it” list of Carrie’s.

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The progression of Carrie in this episode is interesting. After the psychotic break last week, it’s almost like they hit the reset button (and ECT is medically similar to that for some patients). She starts groggy and disoriented. Later, she’s calm and polite, though a little confused, in her meeting with Rhonda.

Here, with Saul, she maintains that calm. But she also seems hopeful. Remorseful. And small. Look at how tiny she looks with him as he speaks softly to her, asking how he can help, realigning their relationship along the familiar father/daughter dynamic before she kindly asks why he’s really there. Meanwhile, Saul is slightly out of frame, dressed in black, his face not visible. More and more over the years he’s become the figurative devil on her shoulder. As he tries to recruit her for “one last mission” (how many times have we heard that before?) she smiles. Carrie has already written that she has “clarity” but she describes it as feeling “calm” and “thoughts not racing.” In other words, she’s able to form cogent thoughts understandable to the average person.

But it’s not the same clarity she achieves later. If it was, she wouldn’t be smiling.

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Included because OH MY GOD what in the fresh hell is this restaurant decor? It’s an “old boys club” in every possibly overt way. We’ve got black walls, massive black and white landscape paintings with ornate gold frames… a circa-1985 white pleated leather couch. That weird af wine bottle thingy. And of course some fresh flowers not actually on the table but somewhere off in the distance. Our heads hurt. 

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You ever notice how Keane often looks down and away during difficult conversations, typically when she’s challenged, unable to look the other person in the eye?

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IJLTP (She still can’t look Wellington in the eye.)

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At first we weren’t sure what the purpose was of Carrie writing down those notes throughout the courtroom scene. On rewatch, it dawned on us. Both Maggie and Carrie wrote down things they intend to say but ultimately decide not to. Maggie, with her handwritten note that she opts not to read, in favor of just speaking to Carrie directly. And Carrie, who scribbles a few things we never see.

On the podcast we talked about how the episode was almost anticlimactic. We were all expecting some big, ugly, combative courtroom battle. Instead we get Carrie and Maggie finally, after three decades, seeing and accepting each other. It ends with a whisper, instead of a crash. (Yes, that is a reference to “The Vest” and also the title of a playlist Sara created a few years ago.)

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There is a lot of wide-eyed Carrie in this courtroom scene. This is her expression after Maggie gets off the stand, when she realizes her sister is right, staring ahead, at nothing in particular. This is the moment she achieves the clarity the episode is referring to. The clarity that Saul will always be a phone call or house visit away from Carrie walking out the door. The realization that she can’t give it up, no matter how achievable it seems at present. 

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This wide shot of Carrie seated all alone in the courtroom draws a heavy parallel to “Imminent Risk” last season. The outcome in both episodes is the same–Carrie is separated from Franny–but, weirdly, so, so different.

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The picture of President Thomas Jefferson in the background to the left of Wellington is interesting. The Jeffersonian government restrained itself from diminishing individual liberty as a protection against tyranny from the majority, as well as prohibited individuals in society from infringing on the liberty of others. Later in this scene, the Vice President quotes famed French philosopher, Jacques Maritain: “Power without authority is tyranny.” Something that President Jefferson understood and something that President Keane apparently does not.

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Look at that narrow eye! This is like the human personification of the expression “snake pit.” Love. The absence of the American Flag in this scene is notable given that Keane’s decision to move forward with the cabinet firings is more about her own self preservation than the office for which she serves.

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This shot reminds us a lot of the one from Sandy’s funeral in “Trylon and Perisphere.” Also, y’all ever notice that in these types of shots Carrie is almost always on the left? We have no idea if that’s significant or just an unconscious quirk of the show.

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Sigh… Sara just needs to talk about this for a second:

This was the shot of the episode for me. Carrie peering around the corner, leering almost, at this sickeningly sweet real-life Normal Rockwell painting? What the fuck is this even? The cookies, the milk (from a glass bottle!!! Where does one even procure milk in a glass bottle in the year 2018?).

This shot is incredible, breathtaking, and so… heartbreaking. It’s like all of Carrie’s insecurities, all of her hurt about what she’s giving up, and what she couldn’t do, and what she couldn’t be, wrapped up into one image. This will stay with me for a long time.

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Here’s the opposite direction. The resignation on her face, the disappointment. Again, look how small she is. This is just so powerful to me.

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It was impossible to capture in a single image the level of acting Claire does in the five seconds where she’s hesitating about what to say to Franny so we made a gif instead.

LOOK. AT. THIS. Give her an Emmy. Goddamn, please, just freaking do it. She is unreal. Can y’all even believe we get to watch her every week?

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We think this may be the last time they are ever onscreen together. Don’t hate her, but this scene is giving Sara major Dana/Brody vibes circa “One Last Thing” (i.e., the last time they ever spoke). Carrie observed that moment between Dana and Brody (again, peering from behind a doorway). She observed all the pain and disappointment and resentment and sorrow and things left unsaid. Franny’s not old enough to really vocalize those emotions to Carrie, but when she asks if her mother is ever coming back, we know what she’s feeling.

(In the context of the above being so similar to “One Last Thing,” Sara needs another moment: So, I think a lot about how Carrie thinks about Brody in the context of Franny. There’s never been any discussion between them–at least that we’ve observed–about Franny’s father. When Carrie observes Brody saying those final words to Dana, she’s carrying his child, though he doesn’t yet know it. And she kept that child because she wanted “a part” of him. How does Carrie think about him now? Brody was by no means Father of the Year, and as Gail pointed out on a recent podcast, just by virtue of who her father was, Franny is already at a disadvantage. It raises the stakes twofold on Carrie’s parenting. Would he be disappointed? Does Carrie think he would be disappointed? Sometimes I wonder whether, as much as Carrie feels let down by herself in all her shortcomings as a mother, she also feels like she’s letting him down.)

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“Now go. Go do what you were born to do.” Definitely the line of the episode and possibly the line of the season, if not the series. It’s the ethos of Carrie Mathison and of her entire journey thus far boiled down into ten words.

As she walks out of Maggie’s house, away from that part of herself, that part she was never able to reconcile with the part that she was born to do, she steps from the darkness and into the light. We get the sense that she’s finally accepted it. That this is who she. She strides forward with purpose, intensity, focus… and clarity. No turning back.

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In the closing moments of the episode, we see Carrie and Saul, positioned like the two pillars of the show they are, on opposite sides of the frame.

Saul leans to the side, relaxed, almost crouched. He hasn’t just made the most excruciating, monumental decision of his life. Carrie (again on the left) is dressed in all black, drawing all focus to her face. She’s seated stick straight, her neck strained, looking solely ahead, eyes wide. Behind her, we can see the grass-lined streets of suburbia, that Normal Rockwell image she’ll never be able to achieve, getting smaller and smaller.