‘Homeland’ recap: Heat is on so Allison spins her lies
In a desperate attempt to disguise her identity as a “mole” for Russia’s intelligence service, the CIA’s Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) spins a devious web of lies on “The Litvinov Ruse,” Episode 509 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) discovered Allison’s dark secret by stealing a computer owned by Ahmed Nazari (Darwin Shaw), a onetime Russian asset in Baghdad.
Now Carrie breaks the devastating news to her former boss, CIA official Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), that his colleague and lover Allison is a traitor.
“She wanted me dead, Saul,” Carrie exclaims, referring to the three times Allison and the Russians launched assassination attempts. “Anything to keep from being exposed for what she truly is!”
But Saul is reluctant to accept Carrie’s accusation, emphasizing that “the implications are catastrophic” if Allison rose to the rank of Berlin station chief while feeding classified intel to Moscow for more than a decade.
Seeking solid evidence that would stand up in court, Saul and Carrie collaborate with Astrid (Nina Hoss) from Germany’s BND intelligence service to monitor Allison’s movements and communications.
When Allison doesn’t act suspiciously during initial surveillance, Astrid ups the ante. She meets Allison at a café and pretends a Russian agent is defecting and that he’s bringing documents proving the CIA is critically compromised.
This spurs Allison to carry out an elaborate escape plan by switching trains in Berlin and eventually making her way to a Russian safe house in Potsdam.
“I’m burned,” Allison tells her Russian handler Ivan Krupin (Mark Ivanir). “You have to get me out of Germany. Now!”
“You’ve been played,” Ivan yells as federal police raid the compound. “You led them here!”
That’s when Allison hurriedly concocts a bold ruse. She asserts that Ivan is a mole who’s clandestinely working for the USA.
“I don’t want to be a cliché,” Allison tells CIA leader Dar Adal during an interrogation, “but do you mind telling me who’s responsible for this travesty?” Because someone “tore apart 12 years of painstaking work,” she falsely claims.
“You can’t just send him back to Russia,” Allison says of Ivan. “They’ll put him against a wall and shoot him after what he’s done for us!”
Are Dar, Saul and Carrie buying Allison’s bogus story? They’re analyzing it, at least.
Meanwhile, the CIA’s Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) finds himself bound and gagged inside a chemical weapons lab operated by jihadi terrorists. He quickly determines that his captors are creating deadly sarin gas for an attack on European soil.
Peter’s only hope for preventing a massive loss of life is persuading sympathetic Qasim (Alireza Bayram) to betray his jihadi brothers.
“Terror is a necessary prologue to a caliphate,” Qasim says in defending his comrades. “If the West gives us what we want,” he adds, “we won’t have to use the gas at all.”
What the terrorists want is the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad and recognition by the United Nations that the brutal Islamic State is a legitimate entity. But that’s never going to happen, Peter points out.
You’re wrong, Qasim counters. If the terrorists prove that they possess sarin — using Peter in a gruesome demonstration — the West might agree to their demands.
After wrestling with his conscience, Qasim acts to save Peter just before he’s videotaped inside a sealed chamber that fills with sarin. While Peter struggles with his guards, Qasim sneakily injects an anti-sarin drug.
“Maybe you will live,” Qasim whispers.
Perhaps, but it doesn’t look good. When the nerve gas enters Peter’s lungs, he convulses and falls unconscious on the floor. For Pete’s sake, that drug better work.
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