Category: Season 7



On Carrie’s calling

Claire’s comments in THR, published Thursday, about what drives and motivates Carrie, got me thinking about a really interesting and key shift in her journey that I’d not thought about before. As a foundation, here’s what she said:

Her driving force really is her patriotism, her devotion to her country. That’s tested in a lot of different ways, and she keeps returning to it. She wonders if she’s qualified to continue doing her work as somebody with her condition, and then we discover this season that maybe that’s not as much of an obstacle as her role as a mother. She has to really come to terms with that reality, which is obviously a very painful one. Her calling is real and powerful, and it’s something that she’s had to honor no matter what the cost, basically. There has been a lot of cost, [but] I think she’s not so afraid of her condition anymore. I think she used to believe that disqualified her from a human connection, but she is extraordinary. If she is careful about focusing her gifts, she can be very constructive, and if she’s not, she can be the opposite of that. There’s always that tension.

This got me thinking about the unique way in which both Carrie’s mental illness and her role as a mother were addressed this season, as well as how they both challenged Carrie and her devotion to “the mission.” 

When Carrie tells Brody, mere hours before his eventual death, that she believes she was put on this earth for their paths to cross, we understand for a brief yet monumental moment how she perceives her own purpose. Maybe it was originally about patriotism (“I missed something once before. I wont–I can’t–let that happen again”). In that moment, she seems to have convinced herself that it was all, ridiculously, left up to fate. If not for Iraq, if not for that prison cell, if not for… And on and on.

Since Brody’s death, and the potential dismantling of that understanding of what all this meant, much of Carrie’s journey–both personal and professional–has been about her arduous, at times frustrating, road to understanding her identity, her place, and her home. In other words: who is she, and where does she belong? This journey has mostly revolved around the quartet of mother, calling, illness, and connection. If Carrie could “have it all,” she would be a loving and caring mother, kick ass at work, maintain her mental and personal well-being, and share intimacy and love with someone who reciprocated. 

In season four, while she quells her new role of mother, she commits fully–and scarily–to the calling, becoming The Drone Queen. At the end of the season, she has an epiphany (after speaking to her own mother) that her illness doesn’t default her into a lonely, loveless existence.

In seasons five and six, she devotes herself to motherhood (and connection in various degrees) while trying to suppress the calling. She experiments with the direct relationship between the calling and her illness–i.e., the “super power.”  

It’s not until season seven that all these things converge and then combust. We talked at length this year about the ways in which the show was or was not making a statement about women having to “choose” between motherhood and careers, home and work. We asked, with exasperation, why couldn’t Carrie have all of it? And, indeed, she wondered the same things. She thinks, late in the season and with false clarity, that she is capable of it. (The intersection of Carrie’s illness, her devotion to the calling, and her own failures as a mother in “Clarity” make it one of the most important episodes ever of the series. In hindsight, it offers the best indicator of both the writers’ and Carrie’s understanding of her purpose and identity.) 

As time has passed, I’ve believed more and more strongly that the show actually wasn’t making a blanket statement about all women but rather a statement about the extraordinary circumstances of one woman: Carrie Mathison. Namely, that the supreme risk and self abnegation involved in what she does (in all she does) is what, as her sister says, she was “born to do.” And something that she’s been pulled to since childhood. 

(Indeed, I think the writers tipped their hand by showing all the ways in which Maggie–raised in the same house as Carrie–does have it all. “It” being: a loving husband, beautiful family, and successful career.) 

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to take comfort in her heroism and daring when we see the great human toll it takes on her and those in her orbit. We are meant to ask–constantly–at what point the ends are not justified by the means. Was Carrie’s tenuous sanity worth losing if it meant saving American democracy? What about Franny’s well-being? Could there have been another way? If there was, would it have led to the same outcome? The show has always been about the very real, very human stakes of the work Carrie does (and, to a lesser extent, war overall). 

The show has also always been about the choice (they even named an episode after it!), which Carrie must continue to make, time and again, between her “calling” and between “human connection,” as Claire terms it. They were the first points in the quartet that were emphasized, most notably in season one with Carrie’s not-really-a-question “I’m gonna be alone my whole life, aren’t I?” The show explores the ways in which they might be mutually exclusive (and not just for Carrie, but for Saul and Quinn, too). 

Which brings me back to “I believe I was put on this earth for our paths to cross.” In this single line of dialogue, Carrie doesn’t choose between one or the other. She ties them up together so that they are intertwined. The calling is the human connection. (Additionally, she’s pregnant with his child and earlier that season exploits her mental illness to get back to him. To her, they are all inextricably linked.)    

She says she sounds crazy. As the audience, we wholeheartedly agree. But Brody doesn’t. He says it’s not crazy. It’s the only sane thing left to hold onto. 

When Brody died, and in her grief, she did let go. How could it have been her sole purpose given the way it ended? Watch as she recoils from her daughter, later from Saul, then from Quinn. 

There was a line drawn after Brody died. On one side of it, a Carrie who understood who she was. We can scoff and roll our eyes and say she was deluded and out of her mind and HELLO HE WAS A TERRORIST. We may be right about all of those things. This may not be the final destination. 

On the other side of that line, however, is a Carrie who has flailed, who is lost, who struggles, who has tried various permutations of motherhood, calling, mental stability, and human connection–though never all at once–at the cost of a number of human lives. The possibility that they might all be tied together in some fantastical, fateful amalgam seems but a fleeting memory. 

It’s also a Carrie who has been indoctrinated into a different kind of a calling, the kind Quinn articulated clearly in his letter. The kind of purpose that drives out all else–your family, your health, your connection–the way darkness drives out light. 

I have nothing to add right now but I want this to save and read again, because I thought so many times about all these questions. Thanks for writing such a thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

hyhpodcast: This week @pinkys143 and I are di…


This week @pinkys143 and I are discussing the season seven finale “Paean to the People,” which elicited from all of us strong reactions ranging from disgust to pride. We break down the conclusion of Elizabeth Keane’s presidency, the redemption of Carrie (and Saul?), and where the show and its characters go from here. Sighs on sighs on sighs, y’all.

(Alternate titles: “Carrie’s Pain,” “Full Circle,” “Cherries.”)

iTunes | Direct Download


Wait! What? We know for sure Dar is on episode 11? How do know this?

Promo pics were posted here earlier this week.

hellyeahomeland: So many people. So much bloo…


So many people. So much blood on your hands. 

Recap Roundup

Homeland Season 7 Episode 8 “Lies, Amplifiers, F*cking Twitter”

I liked this episode a lot more than the soul crushing, slow moving car crash of last week – but the Franny storyline is just so hard to watch. I really don’t want to watch them drag out a custody battle either. I’m glad to see Saul and Carrie working together again. But like, is Carrie on the payroll now or what? 

AV Clubwritten by: Scott Von Doviak

“We know what Carrie really lives for anyway, and it sure isn’t parenting. Now that Saul has Dante in custody, Carrie is itching to get in on the interrogation, insisting she’s the only one who can get through to him. Saul has his doubts, mainly because the last time he saw Carrie, she was engaged in coitus with the suspect. “I don’t trust you,” he tells her, which should be the understatement of the year given all the water under this particular bridge. Yet she’s still able to win him over, and on some level it makes sense: their talents don’t really overlap that much. She’s fire and he’s ice; his unflappable rationality is complemented by her impulsive intuitiveness. This is nothing new under the sun, but getting Danes and Patinkin back on the same playing field can only be a good thing.”

Vulture – written by: Brian Tallerico

“This week’s excellent episode of Homeland amplifies Carrie Mathison’s eternal dilemma — her personal life versus protecting her country — offering riveting new material while also feeling of a piece with the history of the show. Even the Franny material really works, anchored by Claire Danes’s performance and strong writing. It’s hard to disagree with Carrie’s sister Maggie that she has put her daughter in an abusive, unsafe environment. While it’s tempting to root for Carrie to have it all, she’s traumatizing her daughter in the process. And now, she’s forced to choose country over family.”

Paste Magazine – written by: Matt Brennan

“But for a moment I caught myself falling for Carrie’s vulnerable streak, for the fact that I’m still not sure, seven seasons in, when she’s putting it on for effect and when she’s really baring her soul. (I’m not always sure she knows, either.) She is, when she wants to be, the ultimate empath: “”I know, just like you, how unbearable it is to be on the outside after you’ve been in,” she says, blinking back tears, seeming to soften him. “I know how it happens. How things derail. You think, ‘No, I can mange this,’ but step by step, somehow you end up very far from where you ever wanted to be.” Perhaps it’s that we now expect this to be the first trick in her repertoire. Perhaps it’s that Dante’s rationale for participating in the Russian active measures campaign remains more theoretical than emotional. Perhaps it’s that Homeland no longer sees fragility as a source of power. The fact remains that Carrie’s questioning fails to generate the tension, or the answers, of the earlier sequence, and the air is out of the tires long before Saul’s soul-crushing “Fuck.”

TVLine – written by Dave Nemetz

“HEY, REMEMBER FRANNY? | Carrie barely does: Her poor daughter is clearly traumatized by the late-night raid and rushes into her teacher’s arms at school, but Carrie ignores that and runs off to interrogate Dante. She gets a series of frantic calls from Maggie, though, and learns when she gets home that Franny cried all day at school and Maggie had to bring her home. Maggie knows about the raid, and she’s had it: She wants Carrie to check herself into a hospital tonight, or she will file for legal custody of Franny. Carrie protests that “the country is under attack, right now,” and that Saul needs her, but Maggie fires back that Franny needs her more. Carrie ends up storming out, leaving Franny with Maggie and screaming futilely alone in her car. Once more, with feeling: Poor Franny.”

Entertainment Weekly – written by Shirley Li

“Quick: If you were to choose from the likes of, say, Lucille Bluth, Betty Draper, Cersei Lannister, Norma Bates, and Carrie Mathison, who would win Worst TV Mom? Okay, so maybe the winner wouldn’t be Carrie, but she’s definitely in the running.”

I Watch Homeland So You Don’t Have To – Season…


Quinn: “Is there no fucking line?”

Now I know why this particular line was kept in the title sequence. It’s because there is no line. We knew this all along, but the answer rings out crystal clear throughout this entire episode.

Opening scene is Carrie dropping off Franny at school LIKE NO BIG DEAL after the night she had. She asks poor Franny not to tell anyone anything about what happened, because mommy will be in big trouble (Cynthia: WHICH ANY REMEDIAL PARENT KNOWS IS NOT OKAY). Franny runs to her teacher and won’t even tell Carrie bye, while the teacher gives Carrie a knowing glance. 

Next, Carrie calls Saul. OF COURSE Saul allows Carrie into his secret ops hideaway, and OF COURSE Saul allows Carrie to interrogate Dante. Dante rips into Carrie pretty good. (For all the parallel here with S2E5 Q&A, Cynthia pointed out a very important difference. Dante is not vulnerable like Brody was, so Carrie “can’t do fuck all” with Dante.)

Dante: “At least now it makes sense. I open my house to you, next thing I know the SWAT team’s breaking down my door.”

Carrie: “That wasn’t me.”

Dante: “Sure.”

Carrie: “You think I’d put my daughter through that?”

Dante: “Absolutely. I don’t think you give a damn about anyone.”

Dante: “Do they know? Do they know?”

Carrie: “What?”

Dante: “What a lunatic I’m sitting across from.”

Even Dante thinks there’s no fucking line Carrie won’t cross. Dante softens slightly, but he still won’t break for Carrie, and asks for a lawyer. (A lawyer? Yeah, I definitely scoffed at that one, cause since when does a fucking lawyer matter in situations like these? Didn’t help Brody!)

Meanwhile, Maggie is blowing up Carrie’s phone, and Saul tells Carrie to go home. Carrie pops a pill and finally slinks back home right after Franny falls asleep. Maggie won’t even let Carrie go upstairs to tell her goodnight. 

Franny wouldn’t stop crying at school. They couldn’t reach Carrie, so Maggie picked her up. Maggie finally pulled the truth out of Franny.

Maggie: “So she told me about last night at your friend’s place. Men breaking down the door, pulling her out of bed, you screaming as your friend was dragged from the house? And then in the morning, you took her to school. You took her to school and you left her there.” 

Just sit on that for a moment – how heartless it is to do such a thing. (Amy Hargreaves delivered those lines superbly.) 

Bottom line: Maggie is also a doctor and a mandated reporter. That means because of her profession, she is legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the authorities. Thus, Maggie gives Carrie an ultimatum: check herself into hospital now or Maggie starts legal proceedings for custody of Franny. Carrie tries to make a run for Franny upstairs, but Maggie stops her. 

Maggie: “Come with me right now. I will drive you. Franny will come see you every day. You’ll get well. You’ll keep your child.” 

Carrie hesitates.

Maggie: “Carrie. How is it possible you are even hesitating?”

Carrie goes on about the country being attacked and “lies, amplifiers, fucking twitter.”

Carrie: “I’m working with Saul. He needs me.”

Maggie: “Franny needs you more.”

In the end, Carrie makes a choice (just like Quinn made his choice in S4E1 The Drone Queen and saved Carrie instead of Sandy Bachman), and it isn’t Franny. She walks out of the house and enters her car, where she screams to herself. If Carrie is willing to abandon Franny (I could even say AGAIN at this point, because Carrie did abandon Franny when she took the Islamabad CIA station chief position.), then there’s definitely no fucking line she won’t cross. But Carrie’s not done crossing lines just yet…

Carrie rushes back to Saul with a new plan to break Dante. They provide Dante with a fake lawyer who requests that Dante sign a motion to release. After the lawyer leaves, Dante notices what looks like black ink on his fingers. He starts to feel ill and collapses on the floor, calling for help. Carrie attempts to go help him, but Saul makes her wait for a moment (almost like when Tasneem makes Handsome Khan wait 10 minutes before calling for reinforcements for Carrie and Saul during S4E10 13 Hours in Islamabad). 

Carrie runs to help Dante and finally gets what she wanted out of him.

Dante: (gasping) “It’s poison. Poison. Poison. It’s the pen. The lawyer. The lawyer.”

Dante: “Like McClendon. Russians.”

Carrie: “How do you now?”

Dante: “Simone. Simone told me.” 

Dante is given an antidote, but something goes wrong, terribly wrong. Maybe it’s because Saul made Carrie wait? Maybe it’s because Dante wouldn’t take the pills Carrie offered, and who would after just being poisoned? In any case, Dante’s heart stops, and he’s rushed to the hospital. Again, no fucking line… 

All the while, Keane dispatches Wellington to put pressure on the Russians through the Russian Ambassador, who twists the message slightly and passes it on to Yevgeny: Simone cannot testify. Saul races to Simone with his arrest warrant, but it’s too late. Simone is gone, spirited away safely into the arms of Yevgeny… her lover. 

The episode ends with Saul breaking the bad news to Carrie, while Carrie is in the hospital with Dante.  

Saul: “They got to her. The Russians did. Now Dante’s all we got.”

It’s Carrie’s turn to break the bad news to Saul about Dante. 

Saul: “Tell me he’s gonna make it.”

Carrie watches Dante’s nearly lifeless body being worked on by the medical staff. The look on her face (to me) seems like one of déjà vu…cause she’s been here before, with Quinn. 

So, Carrie crossed yet another line, but there may be no payoff in the end. And if Carrie whispers to Dante how he should follow her voice to the surface, because she’s waiting for him…I swear to fucking…

Recess is over.

Recess is over.

hellyeahomeland: HOMELAND – season seven, par…


HOMELAND – season seven, part one
one poster per episode [insp]

Carrie is the anti-woman, the id inside all of…

Carrie is the anti-woman, the id inside all of the women who hate participating in passive aggressive female nomenclature.:


This is not the most well-written thinkpiece about Carrie Mathison I’ve ever read, but it showed up on my Claire Danes google alert this morning. I don’t agree with everything in it, but it brought up some interesting points about how we see Carrie through the lens of her womanhood and motherhood. Some interesting tidbits:

In a way, Carrie is the anti-woman, the id inside all of the women who hate participating in passive aggressive female nomenclature….

I think I love this Carrie character so much simply because Carrie refuses to “do woman,” the way society expects her, or any woman to do it. Women obviously have come along way, but there are still some basic ideals that no matter what, and no matter how liberal of a bubble you try and hide in, society does not allow for. The main one being, don’t F*&% with Motherhood…with a capital M. Motherhood is unanimously agreed upon as being sacred. Fatherhood is not sacred. Fatherhood is valued, important, admired…but it is not sacred.

When it comes to motherhood, oh well… I agree with the difficulties and injustice in society having different perceptions when it comes to motherhood and fatherhood. But in the end it comes done to a child needing a <i>parent</i> – biological, emotional, related by blood or by adoption or simply someone who constantly cares despite all the struggles which might come with raising a kid – who cares and tries not to jeopardize the child’s well-being against the <i>perception of motherhood</i> (with or without an M) at every juncture. And it doesn’t need some sociology discussion about that – sometimes a wrong choice is just a wrong choice. So rather expecting Carrie to „do woman“ I‘d expect her to count her daughter into the choices and sacrifices she makes.

Parenthood is not just babyshowers, playdates and coffee mornings and Western societies allow a lot of choices how to fill these roles and responsibilities.

So my wish for Carrie is the same as it always was, to find a balance between both her professional calling and her role as mother, sister, aunt, friend and partner. <i>That</i> would be an intriguing story wrt feminism, womanhood and motherhood.

Deciding to have a baby makes a female a mom whether she likes it or not, and in that the shrink in S6 told a simple truth: Sometimes a 4 yo has to come first.

So that’s not really encouraging at all, and it’s not a masterpiece of feminism either.

Seeing where this might go, is not really a modern feminist tale but again a story about why women can’t have it all and those who try get punished the hardest.

hellyeahomeland:”But something fucked is happe…


”But something fucked is happening…”

Gold Medal for Max. @ascloseasthis open your little shrine.