Homeland

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Collage Created By Jason Jones

Collage Created By Jason Jones

It’s that time of year, when everybody’s coming out with their “Best-Of Lists” and we are adding yet another list to the pile. Welcome to The First Annual NOTTIE AWARDS, our version of the numerous Awards shows that get televised across the planet. Our list varies from other awards, in the fact that we cover the entire year of 2014. The NOTTIE AWARDS, breaks down the year starting with the 2013/2014 season’s conclusion, going through the summer shows as the first half of the year. The second half of the year covers the 2014-2015 Television season, making sure that all performances throughout the year, receive the recognition, they deserve.

As you peruse the list, you’ll notice that all categories have four names, except for two categories; Most disappointing series of the second half’s vacant. The other category that breaks the rule’s the Best Supporting Actor, in the second half, there were far too many outstanding performances to limit that category to just four actors. In all categories, the name listed first and in blue, won the category, the runner-up’s listed second and in red, the third and fourth names are just randomly listed.

All choices were made by Jason Jones and I, all decisions by the Judges are final (Although, We’d Love Your Feed-Back.)

And on to the Awards:

First Half

Best Actor: James Spader-The Blacklist, Tom Mison-Sleepy Hollow, Lee Pace- Halt and Catch Fire, Sean Bean-Legends

Best Supporting Actor: Peter Capaldi-The Musketeers, Walton Goggins-Justified, Jon Voight-Ray Donovan, Tom Felton-Murder in the First

Best Actress: Mackenzie Davis- Halt and Catch Fire, Joelle Carter-Justified, Kerry Bishe- Halt and Catch Fire, Kathleen Robertson-Murder in the First

Best Supporting Actress:  Amy Acker-Person of Interest, Tamla Kari-The Musketeers, Sarah Shahi-Person of Interest,  Marissa Neitling-The Last Ship

Most Disappointing Show: The Leftovers, The Black Box, Resurrection, Power

Best New Show: The Blacklist, Legends, Halt and Catch Fire, Murder in the First

Most Underrated Show: Justified, Supernatural, The Musketeers, Halt and Catch Fire

Best Show: The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Legends, Justified

Second Half

Best Actor: Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, Ioan Gruffold-Forever, Elyes Gabel-Scorpion, Matt Ryan-Constantine

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Waterston- The NewsroomJohn Noble- Sleepy Hollow, Judd Hirsch-Forever, Misha Collins-Supernatural, Jesse L Martin-The Flash, Mark Sheppard-Supernatural, Michael James Shaw-Constantine, Robert Patrick-Scorpion, Mandy Patinkin-Homeland, Robin Lord Taylor-Gotham, Sean-Pertwee-Gotham, Donal Logue-Gotham, Rupert Friend-Homeland

Best Actress: Claire Danes-Homeland, Anna Gunn-Gracepoint, Emily Mortimer-The Newsroom, Alana De La Garza-Forever

Best Supporting Actress Olivia Munn-The NewsroomJacki Weaver-Gracepoint, Elizabeth Henstridge-Agents of SHIELD, Chloe Bennett-Agents of SHIELD

Most Disappointing Show: None Applicable

Best New Show: Forever, Scorpion, Constantine, Gotham

Most Underrated Show: Constantine, Forever, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow

Best Show: The Newsroom, Homeland, Person of Interest, Forever

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Seventies were a “learning decade” for the American people, as a President and Vice President resigned their posts, in a year’s time. We also found out about clandestine missions undertaken by the FBI and the CIA and that these missions occurred with very little oversight. New laws and bills got passed, making United States Intelligence Agencies, more accountable, limiting their abilities to do things our citizens would disapprove of. However after 9/11, many of the restraints got lifted and some say the Agency operates as it did in the Sixties.

How must it feel, for an idealistic CIA Agent in the field, risking their lives fighting corrupt governments around the globe, to find out that your Agency’s run through back-door deals, that undo all the good that you accomplished? In the fourth season finale of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” former Islamabad CIA Station Chief Carrie Mathison, dealt with that realization in the episode’s closing minutes. Even the one man she trusted, now seems to have feet of clay.

There was very little action or excitement in the season finale, but this season’s had plenty of both in previous episodes. This was an episode, that gave it’s audience some deep background information about the characters, revealing things about the Mathison family, that had never even been hinted at. We also watched as Carrie blew what might have turned out as her “Happy Ending,” by her indecision and fear of commitment.

Carrie’s back in the States and in the first scene we see her looking at a man’s belongings, his shoes, his ties, an extensive matchbook collection, souvenirs of trips throughout his lifetime. Suddenly Carrie’s sister Maggie walks into the room holding an old razor, their dad’s who just passed away and we realize they’re sorting through his belongings. Suddenly the doorbell rings, she looks out the window and sees a Government staff car and a chauffeur in her driveway, she tells Maggie she’ll handle it.

She answers the front door, to find Agency official Dar Adal waiting for her, he tells her he’s sorry about her dad and asks if she’s going to invite him into her home. She tells him that Frannie’s asleep, and they sit down on some furniture on her front porch. Adal, dispenses with social graces and gets right to the point of his visit, he asks Mathison where Peter Quinn’s at. Carrie tells him she’s not sure if he’s returned from Islamabad, he’s on a mission to kill Taliban leader Haissam Haqqani, Dar tells her Haqqani’s back in the tribal areas and out of Quinn’s reach. He leaves, but asks her to contact him if she hears from Peter.

Saul Berenson’s sitting on his bed watching ISI leader and ally of Haqqani, Nasneem speaking to the press about the United States cutting off diplomatic relations with Pakistan. She insults the USA, says that her country’s been under the United States thumb for too long and says if they want to leave, let them. Saul’s wife Mira shuts off the set with the remote control and tells her husband he’s got to get his mind off Pakistan. He got terminated by the contractor he worked for, he wants to return to the Agency, but she tells him he realizes that’s not possible. He says he has to get dressed for his meeting.

Carrie takes Frannie to the park in her stroller and an older gentleman walks up to them and asks if that’s Frannie, he’s a friend of Carries father and has yet to hear of his passing. He tells her that Frank loved her daughter so much, then asks if she’s Carrie. Mathison’s taken aback, but the man tells her that Frank bragged about her all the time, that she had problems adjusting to motherhood, but she’d be back to raise the baby. He said Carrie’s made of tough stuff. She thanks the man for telling her that and heads home.

Carrie and daughter return from the park and she notices a strange car in the driveway with Missouri plates. After she hands off Frannie to the nanny, she walks into the kitchen, shocked at whose with Maggie. It’s the girl’s mother Ellen, a character never mentioned during the series until this point. Turns out Ellen went out to get some milk 15-years earlier and never came home. Carrie’s enraged to see her, asking if she thinks she can pull off the grieving wife routine after all this time?

Carrie tells her to leave the house, when Maggie reminds her that the house belongs to her and she wants Ellen to stay. Mathison says then she and the baby will go elsewhere, which prompts Ellen to leave the house, Maggie hesitates a minute than runs after her but Ellen’s driven away.

Saul meets with a top Government official Joe Crocker, about the possibilities of regaining his position as CIA Chief, with Lockhart’s resignation pending. Crocker tells him there’s nobody he’d rather run the Agency, but once Haqqani releases the tape of Saul as a prisoner, his nomination would go down in flames. Saul then asked about getting a bureau or even become Chief of Station, but Crocker tells Saul it’s not in the cards.

Carrie and Maggie are sitting on the front door step, as Carrie somewhat apologizes for the way she treated their mother. She says to Maggie that she thought she hated Ellen and Maggie responded, she thought so too until she showed up. She says that now she’ll be out of contact for another 15-years, but Carrie tells her she got the tag numbers and can find out where she lives in an hour.

The funeral’s the following morning and Carrie gives the eulogy for her dad. She mentions the things he cherished, like the Baltimore Orioles and he’d yell at the TV for his team to stop stinking up the diamond. She then says he had his demons, but he learned how to control them, then he taught her how to control hers when she developed the same illness. She thanks him for taking care of Frannie, but tells him she’s ready to take over now.

Outside the church mourners come to embrace her and wish her condolences, when she sees Quinn standing 50-yards away, she excuses herself, runs over and embraces him telling him she’d been worried sick. He drives her back to the house in his truck and he got out of Pakistan due to his friends in German Intelligence. Carrie then tells her she had Haqqani in her sights, ready to shoot, when Aasar Khan stopped her, she omitted that Dar Adal was in the vehicle with Haqqani.

Maggie asks Carrie who Peter is and she tells her he’s a friend from work, Maggie says that he’s getting along famously with Frannie. Mathison seeks out Saul and asks Mira if she can steal him for a bit and she smiles and says of course. She asks what he learned in his meeting with Crocker and Saul says not a whole lot. Carrie asks what his explanation of Adal being with Haqqani and Berenson says he left names out of the conversation. He says that right now that information stays with them and don’t share it with Quinn and she wholeheartedly agrees.

Peter comes over right at that moment and asks if he’s interrupting  and they tell him not in the least. the three sit down at a table that looks like it’s in a screened in porch. Peter asks if Carrie’s dad liked Irish Whiskey and she says sure, as Quinn pulls three glasses. After they’ve talked for a while Lockhart, arrives to pay his respects and apologizes for being so late but he got tied up with his lawyers. Peter pours him a glass and they toast.

Quinn stays to help clean up and then Carrie walks him to his truck, Maggie smiles when they leave, showing that she thinks he and Carrie belong together. The couple make small-talk ass they walk back to the truck and Peter has that look on his face like he wants to kiss her but he’s afraid, she looks back looking very frightened. But suddenly they pull together and fall into a deep and passionate kiss.

As soon as they stop, Mathison says she’s going to screw this up and Peter says she’s silly. He tells her he’s seen her at her worst and she says he should’ve run for the hills. Quinn then tells her he wants out of the Agency, but he can’t do it alone, he needs her by his side making the move with him. He asks her to consider it and drives home.

She can’t sleep, so she  gets out of bed and heads into her dad’s room, sits down at his desk and goes through the drawers. She finds a bunch of pictures of her parents when they first got married and sees how happy they looked. The first thing in the morning she’s loaded her suitcase and tells Maggie they’re going on a road-trip to see her mother. Maggie convinces Carrie to leave Frannie with her and Carrie drives to Missouri.

Later that day an old friend and fellow operative Dale shows up at Peter’s apartment and tells him they’re going on a mission to Syria, but Quinn says he’s not going and he’s quitting the Agency. Dale thinks he’s joking at first, but Peter makes it clear he’s serious. Dale pulls out all the stops, but fails to convince his friend, so he hands Quinn the possible last letters from the agents heading over.

Carrie drives straight through the night and arrives at Ellen’s home in the morning. She rings the bell and a teenage boy, answers it and asks if he can help her. She asks if Ellen’s home and he tells her she went to work, Carrie asks teaching and the boy confirms it and says Jefferson. He asks who she is and she replies just a friend and then just stands there. The boy tells her he’s going to school, Carrie apologizes and gets in her car. We watch the boy ride off on his bike and Mathison drives to Ellen’s school.

Ellen’s surprised to see her and Carrie tells her she drove all night. Carrie asks whom the boy is and Ellen tells her it’s her brother, Tim. Carrie blurts out that’s why you left to have more children and apologizes, but Ellen says she deserves it. She can’t talk now, but asks her daughter to come to her home at 3:30 that afternoon.

Berenson and Adal meet in a restaurant booth for a breakfast meeting. Dar asks Saul how his meeting went with Crocker and Berenson says he’s out of the running for CIA Director. Adal asks him, what he’d say if Dar could guarantee to get him back on the very short list to become Director and Berenson, replies he’d tell Adal he’s having a major senior moment.

Adal puts a tiny plastic container on the table and Saul asks what’s that, Dar replies it’s the tape from Haqqani, it’s supposedly the only copy, but Haqqani promised he’d never release it publicly. Saul asks what Dar gave in return and the longtime Agency employee, told Saul he took him off the kill list and gave him free rein in Pakistan in return for keeping terrorists out of Afghanistan. Saul replies Haqqani’s the terrorist and though Adal agrees, he says Haqqani will take over Kabul in the next few months.

Adal then explains the world according to him, which brought no great revelations for viewers. We met Dar Adal in season two of the series and we’ve witnessed him conveniently switch sides, according to the situation. Adal originally pushed for Berenson to become the permanent Director of the Agency last season, but quickly sidled up to former Senator Andrew Lockhart, when he got the position.

Saul tells Adal that he’s uncomfortable with the situation and making deals with enemies, Dar reminds Berenson, that there’s plenty of precedent in the global community. Then he says to Saul to come back to his home and lead them, the Agency awaits him with open arms.

Carrie’s in her hotel room, when Peter calls and says there’s a rumor she’s in Missouri and she tells him she drove there to talk to her mother. Peter asks if she’s given any thought to his proposal and she basically tells him she’s too wrapped up with her mother, to give it any thought. Quinn says that if the answers, a no, that’s okay.

Carrie assures him she’s not saying no, but she just found out she’s got a teenage brother. Then she says, she’s off making crazy trips, just like her dad did, how will things work out between them and Quinn says, so this is the no. She once again assures him, that it’s just the opposite, she just can’t handle pressure right now. She says she’ll call him when she gets home, he says sure, then throws his phone to the floor.

Mathison heads to Ellen’s house and she asks her mother if there’s any chance she’ll confront Tim’s father and her mother tells her the father took off before she gave birth. Carrie asks her why didn’t she just say she got pregnant and come home. Ellen replies she couldn’t bring herself to admit it, she had hurt too many people. She then admits to Carrie she had numerous affairs and Frank always forgave her and took her back, but she crossed the line in her own mind this time.

Carrie says that Frank always said she just couldn’t live with him being bi-polar, but she said her father was loyal. Carrie says she always thought she couldn’t have a long-term relationship because of her condition. Ellen says that’s not the case and Carrie leaves. Mathison heads back to her motel room and packs her bags, then calls Quinn, but his number’s disconnected as is his e-mail account. She gets Adal’s voice mail and asks where’s Quinn then drives home.

The four-man unit that’s heading for Syria makes it’s final preparations, when Quinn arrives asking who’s the new guy, he steps up and Peter says he’s taking his spot. The rookie’s unhappy, but Dale’s extremely pleased that Peter decided to join the mission.

Mathison drives to Adal’s house and rings the bell until he gets to the door, she thanks him for returning her message and he replies she’d supposed to contact him when she saw Peter. She asks where he is and he tells her to get in the house. He tells her that he’s most likely in Syria at this moment, she says she needs to speak to him and he replies they went dark an hour before. He says it’s an open-ended mission, and they’ll most likely head home from Iraq. She says she needs to talk to him and Adal says she can’t.

She then looks him dead in the eye and tells him she saw him with Haqqani in Islamabad. He asks her what game she’s playing and she says getting what I want. She says if she doesn’t get her to speak to Peter, she’s heading to the Washington Post and telling them what she saw. He says she’s crazy and perhaps she’d like to talk to Saul first, she replies she knows what Berenson will say. Adal says, well ask him yourself, opens the door to his patio and she sees Saul sitting there. Her face shows her shock and disillusionment, she silently leaves, gets into her car and drives away, ending the season.

Photo Courtesy of Showtime

Photo Courtesy of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

After bouncing back from a rather listless and tedious third season, the fans have experienced a roller-coaster ride on the Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” this go-round, which makes the episode entitled “Krieg Nicht Lieb,” really seem like they just attempted to fill an hour, without advancing the story, more than a few inches. The series ends season four on Sunday night November 20, and this episode came off as  out of place, with the solid, dramatic stories the series played out over the past few weeks.

Evacuating the United States Embassy in Islamabad’s running smoothly, the process began in the previous episode after Taliban leader Haissam Haqqani and his men took over the Embassy, killing some Agency members and wounding many. CIA Station Chief Carrie Mathison, remains at the Embassy with a skeleton crew and a duel mission, following protocol in closing down the bureau and getting Agent Peter Quinn, whose gone rogue to head home with the rest of the Americans. Quinn’s out to assassinate Haqqani, a probable suicide mission that he tells everyone he’ll survive.

The episode opens on a busy street in Islamabad and we see ten foot banners of Haqqani hanging from every building, Mathison asks ISI bureaucrat Aasar Khan if he’s happy that the Taliban leader’s attained folk hero status and Khan replies he tried to stop it from happening. Carrie asks why he couldn’t and Khan tells her it was a coup.

The subject turns to Quinn and Aasar, tells her that the ISI search-teams have instructions to shoot to kill on sight. Carrie stresses how valuable Peter’s skill-set make him in the Agency and Khan laughs and calls him an assassin who set fire to a bazar. He tells Mathison that it’s Quinn’s head or his and asks if he’s pursuing Haqqani, she first says she doesn’t know then admits to him that he is.

Carrie heads back to the Embassy and talks to her staff, saying her most important mission’s to get everybody out safe including Quinn. Max asks why she’s not trying to help Peter and she replies it’s a suicide mission he’s going in alone unprotected, Max asks what if they protect him and Mathison dismisses the idea without thought.

We see Peter in an alley, rummaging through a garbage bin and grabbing two rags, which she then wraps around the palm and knuckles of each hand. He jumps over a stone-wall, breaks into a house and puts his hand over the mouth of the blonde woman sound asleep in her bed. Although this woman’s new to us, she knows Quinn and realizes the mission he’s on. She tells him he needs a shower, then tells him they’re still some of his clothes in the drawers.

The woman’s a member of the German Consulate in Islamabad and she agrees to trace the burner phone he found on the member of Haqqani’s crew he shot in the previous episode. She also agrees to help him construct a pipe-bomb made from C-4 explosives. She returns later to see Peter’s acquired a large quantity of C-4 and she tracked down the newest generation of the burner phones, thus tracking down Haqqani and his followers.

Max opens a safe and pulls out a black leather gym-bag, Carrie as Station-Chief gets immediate notification once the safe’s opened and she asks Max what’s in the bag. She opens it to find a large amount of cash and Peter’s passport, she asks Max where Quinn’s hiding and he tells her he doesn’t know. She finally convinces Max that Peter’s mission’s doomed to fail and he’ll get killed in the attempt and he gives up Peter’s location.

Quinn’s finishing his shower when he hears the doorbell ring, then someone knocking and of course he doesn’t respond. The German woman arrives home right then and asks if she can assist Carrie and she replies she’s looking for Quinn. The woman smiles says she’s not heard from him months. Carrie asks to leave her contact info, at first the woman demurs, then finally agrees. Mathison notices the water on the floor from when Peter stepped out of the shower.

Carrie’s in the garage about to get into her car, when Quinn comes down and congratulates her for finding him, but he tells her he’s still going through with her plan. At that point two men from Mathison’s security team come into the garage and attempt to bring Peter back to the Embassy. However Peter immediately over powers one of them, then grabs the second man’s pistol and shoots the guy in the leg. He puts his hand around Carrie’s throat and says if she wants to stay alive, listen, then he drives off.

Back at the Embassy, Mathison receives a call from CIA Director Andrew Lockhart, whose biding his time until he gets replaced after the Embassy takeover. He asks Carrie if something’s going on in Islamabad, as all these meetings are going on that he’s left out of. Mathison replies that if something’s going on, she’s out of the loop as well and they promise to inform the other of any updates.

We head to the hospital that Aayan Ibrahim’s girlfriend Kiran works at and she finds a manila envelope with her name on it, and enclosed are three photographs and a note. The pictures show Ibrahim talking with his uncle Haqqani, the second shows the Taliban leader shooting his nephew and the third shows Aayan dead on the dirt road. The note asks that she meet the person who left the photos in the hospital’s room number 37.

Peter’s there waiting and Kiran asks how can she know the pictures are real, Quinn shows her a flash drive and says she can watch the entire tape, that’s just a few frames. He tells her Haqqani killed a bunch of his friends as well and he wants to make the Taliban leader pay, but he needs her help.

Back at the Embassy, one of Carrie’s staff informs her that the video of Haqqani shooting Ibrahim’s gotten leaked to the Internet and gone viral immediately. There’s a message calling for a protest against the Taliban leader in the next hour at the exact location Haqqani’s at. Carrie gets a car to drive her to the protest, certain this is the attempt on Haqqani’s life that Peter’s planning.

Quinn’s put the C-4 in a metal pipe with a receiver in it, that he’s got the transmitter for, he then attaches a large cardboard sign with Aayan’s picture on it to the pole, this is how he’ll get the pipe bomb into the rally. The protest takes place in a rather narrow area, making the good-sized crowd appear enormous. Police are on the sidelines getting ready if needed and the crowd gets louder and more agitated.

Carrie’s car’s stuck four blocks away, she puts a wrap around her head then swipes a traditional Pakistani dress to slip over her clothes, so she doesn’t stand out. As she gets closer to the rally, Peter drops the pipe-bomb down a sewer grate that’s directly in front of the driveway, Haqqani’s car will use minutes later.

Carrie arrives and realizes where Peter’s stashed the bomb so she stands on the grate. Quinn calls her cellphone and she tells him she won’t move, as he’d be shot seconds after the bomb exploded. She tells him she can’t lose him, he curses her, hangs up the phone and puts the transmitter in his pocket.

Seconds later as all the Anti-Haqqani protesters got driven away, a Pro-Haqqani crowd screams his name in adulation. The limo’s sun roof opens and the Taliban leader stands up in the car waving to the crowd, which causes Carrie to snap. She pulls a pistol and is just about to shoot the terrorist, when Khan stops her pointing out one of the occupants of the car, longtime CIA bureaucrat Dar Adal.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 9:00 pm on Showtime.

Photo:  David Bloomer/SHOWTIME

Photo: David Bloomer/SHOWTIME

Warning: Spoiler Alert!

The Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” takes a one week hiatus next Sunday, so the show-runners left their viewers with an episode busting at the seams, successfully fitting in lots of developments, in the 46-minute broadcast. The episode concluded with an ending I doubt any viewers saw coming, a two-pronged attack by the Taliban, staging the first event to pull off the second part of their plan. Meanwhile the American Embassy in Islamabad’s rather clueless to the entire situation, getting second-hand information on the initial attack and totally unaware what’s about to take place directly below them.

The show opens with the camera fixed on an older, gaunt-looking man, wearing an orange prison uniform, a voice off camera states the man’s name and the camera pans to the next man, all the way to the fifth, by then we realize these are the prisoner’s getting exchanged for the release of former CIA Director Saul Berenson. The man stating the names, hands off the prisoners to Peter Quinn, who signs for them, then transports them to the American Embassy.

Back at the Embassy, Carrie Mathison’s debating CIA Director Andrew Lockhart on whether Aasar Khan’s truly an ally of the United States. The Islamabad CIA Station Chief, says that Khan saved her life and gave up Dennis Boyd, but Lockhart grumbles that he’s yet to give her any names to watch out for on his side. Carrie tells the Director, that Khan’s not going to turn on his own people, but he’ll let her know if something’s amiss.

I wrote earlier in the season that Carrie’s assistant John Redmond’s the biggest asset the Islamabad bureau’s blessed with, at times seemingly the only agent that knows how to handle a situation properly. Though Redmond, attempts to come off as the embittered veteran, just putting in his time until retirement rolls around, he knows how to quickly get to the heart of the matter, demonstrated so well in this episode. He asks the Ambassador’s husband and American traitor Dennis Boyd into his office, to ask him a couple of questions and Boyd doesn’t have any idea what will take place in the next couple of minutes and how it’ll change his life forever.

Redmond starts off low-key talking about murdered Station Chief Sandy Bachman, and it’s come to light that Bachman traded US classified information to a Pakistani source, in return for getting locations of highly valued targets. He references Boyd and Bachman’s friendship and asks the professor if he knew anything about that. Dennis denies any knowledge and then John asks him if he’s certain as the stolen documents emanated from his wife Martha’s laptop. Boyd asks Redmond if he believes the Ambassador got involved and the veteran agent, shakes his head no. Dennis then asks if John believes he gave Sandy the documents, and Redmond say’s he doesn’t know, then asks him if he did. Boyd vehemently denies involvement and Redmond keeps it low-key, telling him that’s fine, if he thinks of anything further, to let John know, Dennis walks out with a false sense of security.

We get our first appearance of Saul in the next scene, as he’s sleeping on the dirt floor of his cell, when two guards wake him up and pull him over to a chair, once he’s seated a woman enters wearing a full veil. She takes off his glasses, and proceeds to wash all the dried blood off his face with a bowl of water and a wash-cloth. When she finishes, he’s taken and put into an old panel van and driven away.

Quinn drives up with the SUV filled with the five Pakistani prisoners and Carrie’s waiting on the loading dock when he arrives. Peter says to Carrie to please tell him they’re doing the right thing and Mathison responds that getting Saul back’s the right thing. Redmond brings Boyd into an interrogation room where Carrie’s waiting, we hear  him on the way in saying he already told John he has no knowledge. Carrie’s facial expressions tell us, she’s not going to utilize her diplomatic skills in this interchange.

She pulls out a bunch of different documents and lays them in front of them, then asks Boyd if he recognizes the documents, he first replies he doesn’t then asks if he should. She takes the gloves off and says these are the documents Redmond told him about earlier, the one’s he stole off his wife’s computer and of course he once again denies everything. Mathison at that point blows any restraints that held her back and tells Boyd that he poisoned her. She pulls out a prescription bottle and asks him if he knows what he gave her, the pills are hallucinogens, twice as powerful as LSD.

He tries to leave and finds the door’s locked, he says he wants to speak to his lawyer and Carrie laughs at him.  She tells him there’s no lawyer coming, she’s got complete authority to do whatever she pleases, she tells him if he refuses to cooperate he’ll be end up in a black-ops site. He says they’ve been repudiated and closed and Mathison, says officially, letting the word hang in the air. She then tells him she’s got the authority to shoot an American citizen on foreign soil. Suddenly the door opens and Ambassador Martha Boyd’s standing there looking incredibly angry. She asks Carrie what’s going on and the Station Chief says they’re questioning her husband. Boyd tells her she’s out of line talking to Dennis without clearing it through her. She tells Mathison she’s through, in Islamabad and the CIA, then tells her husband they’re leaving.

The Boyd’s head back to their living quarters and Martha asks Dennis what that was all about and he replies that Mathison accused him of stealing classified documents and giving them to Bachman, and she responds with saying You, as if that were outlandish. But then she says something must’ve triggered their investigation, could there be a colleague or student at the university that might have tarred him. He says of course not and she tells him she needs to leave to take care of the prisoner exchange. She tells him to stay in their quarters and if Carrie bothers him again to call her.

Martha leaves her quarter, going straight to a conference room with Carrie in attendance and we figure out quickly that Martha’s a co-conspirator trying to get Boyd to admit his guilt. She says she was unsuccessful, but she’ll keep prodding. Carrie starts to head out to where the prisoner exchange will take place and Peter attempts to join her, but she tells him she needs Quinn to stay in the War Room and to keep his eyes open for the least bit of suspicious activity.

Saul got moved the evening before to Islamabad where he receives a greeting from boy, no older than ten and the boy keeps staring at Saul and Berenson meets his gaze, but it soon ends. That night Saul and the boy sleep in the same room and the child starts trembling in his sleep, as a result of a nightmare, Berenson softly whispers something in Arabic, then made shushing sounds and the boy got comforted. The next morning the boy wakes Saul up with a glass of water, whether it’s a result of Saul’s actions the night before is unknown.

Boyd attempts to leave the Embassy and a Marine Sergeant stops him and seconds later Martha’s rushed to the parking lot in a car. She asks him what he’s doing and he says he wanted to get to the University to bring back term papers to grade. Boyd asks her husband what’s in his bag and he says papers, and she has the Marine take the bag from Dennis, she opens it to find it filled with clothes, his passport and cash. She tells the sergeant to put her husband in one of the cells in the Embassy.

Saul’s put into another panel van, but this time the boy joins him, which confuses Saul until the child straps on a suicide-vest. Berenson calls the guard a coward for sending a child, but the guard replies the boy wants to do it, as a drone killed his father and brother when Saul ran the Agency. Berenson’s handcuffed to a bar in the back as they head to the exchange.

Claire’s about to head to the exchange when her cellphone rings and it’s Mira Berenson, Saul’s wife, asking for assurances that her husband come out of the situation alive, she knows what the Agency’s like and they’re willing to sacrifice their own. Carrie says not to worry, as she’s handling the operation and Mira replies that’s what worries her. She says she’s turned into an exceptional agent that Saul’s so proud of but she loves her husband and she believes Mathison does as well, her voice sticking in her throat she says she does then promises that Saul will come out unscathed.

Carrie, Redmond and a soldier comprise the United States delegation, while the Pakistani Foreign Ambassador, Nasneem and Aasar Khan as usual represent their country. Nasneem tells them that after they’ve identified the prisoners, Haqqani’s men will bring Saul out and then the exchange can take place. Carrie picks up her cellphone and responds Yes Sir, then walks away from the group, she’s actually calling Khan to tell him this doesn’t feel right to her and he confesses to have gotten left out of the loop on the planning of this operation, a very unusual move. He hangs up and she waits a minute or so before she finishes her make-believe call.

The five Pakistani prisoners get taken to the meeting area, taken from the vehicle and lined up in a row as they’re chained to one another, the Pakistan representatives give Haqqani’s the green light and the panel van with Saul in it pulls up, the two guards get out of the front seats to take Berenson out of the van, but he fights his hardest to stay in there. They bash his head against a metal pole and he goes limp, so they pull him from the van. Then the boy comes out as well and all see that he’s wearing a suicide vest. Carrie calls Nasneem, who contacts Haqqani and says the boy’s insurance, as soon as the exchange takes place he’ll depart with the prisoners.

Both sides prepare to make the exchange, the Pakistani prisoners head towards Haqqani’s men but Saul takes a deep breath then sits down on the road, refusing to rise or move, halting the prisoners from Pakistan, from going further. The man who possesses the detonator for the vest threatens to blow them up and Berenson tells him to do it, egging him on to push the button. Carrie and Nasneem exchange messages, Mathison suggests they send some of the troops to carry Saul and the ISI agent says Haqqani would blow them up. She then suggests she go alone and Nasneem gets the okay from Haqqani.

She tells Saul to get up but at first he ignores her, then tells her she betrayed him. She admits she did but it was to keep him alive and he replies he can’t live with this, that our country gave up five terrorists for him. She tells him that Mira called and she promised to bring him home alive and she’s not leaving without him. He tells her then they’ll  both die, but she asks what about the  boy, Berenson responds they strapped it on him, it’s their responsibility not his. She then tells him he sounds just like the Taliban, that’s not the may she knows or the way he reacts, then  she smiles and says I want to go home, he smiles back and the exchange’s completed, Carrie picks Saul’s glasses up off the road.

A three-vehicle convoy, escorts Saul, Carrie and John Redmond back to the Embassy, Saul’s sitting in the back still attempting to come to grips with what’s happened. Redmond’s phone rings and he turns to Saul and tells him it’s Mira. Carrie hands him his glasses, he puts them on pulls the phone to his ear and says it’s me. Suddenly the lead car in the convoy explodes, causing the other two cars to pull over, a drone or missile destroys the second car.

Lockhart’s in the Embassy and hears the explosion, then asks what’s going on and the agents quickly determine the convoy got attacked. The CIA Director orders all the Marines from the Embassy to the scene. Martha Boyd heads into the cell Dennis’ held in and asks how did they wind up here. He tries blaming the CIA, but she stops him. A knock on the door and a guard assesses her of the situation, she tells her husband all the Marines went to respond and Boyd freaks out. He says that’s why Nasneem wanted to know and Martha asks about what? He told her about the tunnel that the CIA use to get in and out of the Embassy undetected.

We head to the tunnel just in time to watch Haqqani and his men enter the tunnel in droves, will he truly succeed in driving the United States out of Pakistan?

The Story Continues on Sunday December 7, at 9:00 pm on Showtime. 

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” presented, a lean, tight, a fast-paced episode in their sixth episode of the season, it also radically changed the season’s dynamic in the process, besides giving us a further look into the competence or the inability to think clearly in times of crisis. We got a glimpse of just how evil, a traitorous character could get and further proof that Carrie Mathison, while an exemplary agent, lacks the skill-set of a CIA Station Chief. While watching her seemingly perfect plan fall apart, Mathison fell apart as well, almost sacrificing her mentor and former Director of the Agency Saul Berenson, until Peter Quinn brought her to her senses.

One could accurately describe CIA Agent Carrie Mathison, as an agent that does whatever it takes to complete the mission she’s assigned to. However to achieve that, Carrie’s made some questionable moral choices, some of which have hurt her, or her cause rather than help it. In the show’s first season she engaged in an affair with a married man, that she believed was a traitor to our country. Her assessment was accurate, however she arranged a way to clear the slate for him and planned to run away with him and start a new life. That fell apart as the second season concluded, when Intelligence officials named Nick Brody as the prime suspect in the bombing of the CIA headquarters and he began a life on the run.

This season Mathison manipulated a naïve medical student, Aayan Ibrahim, the nephew of Pakistani terrorist Haissam Haqqani by seducing him and the young man revealed that his Uncle’s alive, after the CIA believed he got killed in an airstrike on a family wedding.  Ibrahim, felt nothing but shame after their first twist, but then got addicted to the forbidden fruit and Mathison played him like a violin. This episode began with the couple in bed as Carrie quizzes Aayan about his new identity, that he’ll use once he gets to London. As the test concluded, she game him a new passport and money and said they’d leave that night.

The next few seconds prove critical to the episode, but in reality doesn’t make much sense. The move that triggers the rest of the plan into action’s a decision the med student makes, that Carrie could only hope would occur, Ibrahim tells her that he needs to go back to his University to collect his belongings. If Aayan stayed in the safe-house, Mathison couldn’t implement the rest of her plan, a move that struck me as little more than wishing on a wing and a prayer.

Although she had luck on her side in that instance, she’s unaware of a  high-placed mole, attempting to get himself off the hook with the ISI, as United States’ Ambassador Martha Boyd’s husband Dennis, starts watching the Station Chief and her associates around the clock. In the last episode breaking into her apartment, he discovered her stash of meds that keep her Bi-Polar condition in check, he uncovers far more important information in this installment.

Carrie’s alienated two of the people she counts on the most over the last few episodes, Peter Quinn and Fara Sherazi. She tries to enlist Quinn’s help in the day’s operation, but his anger and resentment, convince her he’s not the right man for the job, so she gives the assignment to her assistant John Redmond. Her encounter with Fara, begins just as rocky and Mathison reacts by spewing out all her frustration with the mission on the young woman whose completed each task assigned to her. Calmly, but firmly, Fara tells Carrie not to treat her like the enemy, because this mission’s on because of the footwork Sherazi did and her discovery that Haqqani’s alive. Chastened, Carrie asks her to head to the safe-house and get rid of every scrap of evidence that Mathison and Aayan were there. Dennis Boyd, eavesdrops on the conversation and follows Fara out of the building.

Quinn gets reports that Farad Ghazi, wasn’t on the plane to South Africa, that Berenson alerted him to in the previous episode. Ghazi’s the man the ISI hired to manipulate and manage the supposedly spontaneous riot and subsequent pummeling to death of Sandy Bachman and didn’t board the flight to South Africa. Instead he set up the kidnapping of Berenson for the ISI, as the former CIA Director got assaulted in the airport’s men’s room and injected with a drug that knocked him out. Quinn, unaware of the danger Saul’s in tells the analyst to attempt to contact Saul and find out what he knows.

Aayan’s in his dorm room packing his stuff, when his girlfriend Kiran walks in and asks where he’s going and he tells her to London. She asks why he didn’t tell her and blames Kiran’s father, who got him kicked out of the University, when he reported Ibrahim stole drugs. She asks him to take her with him twice, the second time we can see he no longer cares for her and she see’s it as well. When she finds out the “journalist’s” a woman, she asks if he’s in love with her and he responds she doesn’t know.

As Aayan’s about to leave his dorm, he sees a big imposing guy who appears to be an ISI operative waiting for him. He sneaks out the back-way and gets a jump on the other man, he then hides in a building and the guy runs past it, thinking Ibrahim’s still in the crowd. He makes it back to the safe-house and tells Carrie the story and she says that the development’s very bad and they’ll have to push back the departure. But the medical student has another idea.

He says his Uncle Haissam can provide him safe passage to Afghanistan and he can fly to London from there. Carrie tells him it’s too dangerous, but suddenly the man who followed Aayan and several others, break into the safe-house and attack the pair. Mathison gives the medical student his passport and money and screams run, he eludes his attackers, by climbing onto the roof, then jumping down to the street behind the house, he watches from the shadows as the men carry a struggling Mathison and put her in a van and drive off. That’s when we find out the attackers were CIA operatives and the whole attack was nothing more than a ruse to scare Ibrahim into running to his Uncle. But how could Carrie be certain, that Aayan would want to leave the safe house before heading to London.

Fara heads to the safe-house and gathers three Hefty-bags worth of belongings and puts them near the front door, she then covers a broken window pane with cardboard and masking tape. When she does we see Dennis Boyd outside the house. When Fara gets ready to leave, she fails to notice Aayan’s family photographs scattered on the floor, with the bag containing them on its side. She doesn’t get suspicious that the cardboard, covering the window pane’s been pushed inward, but it’s obvious Boyd came in and rifled through the bags.

Dennis then sets up a meeting with Nasneem, his ISI contact at an al fresco café across from the safe-house then informs her about the former operation and gives her some pictures of Ibrahim, which makes her smile broadly. After telling Boyd he has a gift, she excuses her quick exit as she needs to relay the information immediately.

Tech genius Max, loaded a tracking chip into Aayan’s passport, so they’re able to follow him on his journey, they watch him board a bus that will take him to a town near one of his Uncle’s training camps. He encounters trouble with a soldier questioning his passport at a check-point, but bribes the soldier to allow him to proceed. He then gets back on the bus and for the first time in weeks the young man smiles broadly as he recognizes the spot he and his Uncle spent many hours at when he was a child.

Quinn gets a message from the analyst that Saul never boarded his plane and Peter realizes something terribly wrong’s in play. He heads down to where Carrie and the others are monitoring the situation and tells her Berenson’s missing. Seconds later, Haissam Haqqani  arrives at the spot his nephew’s at, telling the young man he should never have come there. He then asks if his American girlfriend’s aware that he’s there and Ibrahim attempts to play dumb. Right then Haqqani signals to an aide and they drag a bound man out of the car, we immediately realize it’s Saul. The Uncle asks Aayan if he knows this man and the young man truthfully says he doesn’t. Haqqani tells his nephew there’s an American drone over their heads ready to take them out, because of Ibrahim’s actions. He kisses him on the lips, thanks him for the meds and shoots him between the eyes. Carrie screams to her operatives to take the shot, but Quinn screams Saul’s there, she repeats the orders screaming again, but Peter tells them they have the former CIA Director with them and they can’t fire. Mathison looks Quinn in the eyes, realizing he’s right but she’s filled with contempt. She heads to her office, pacing back and forth like a caged tiger, then in a fit of fury knocks everything off her desk with one sweeping motion.

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 9:00 pm on Showtime. 

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This young Television Season keeps expanding, hence the recap-lineup for “Not Just Another TV Site,” continues to grow as well. Last week we added two new shows to our Sunday schedule and this Sunday, we add yet another, to keep you up to date on the “Shows That Really Matter.”

The Evening begins at 8:00 pm, in Storybrooke, as the search for Anna continues on “Once Upon A Time.” In the previous episode we found out that Anna helped out David in the Enchanted Forest as the future Charming defeated an Evil  Bo Peep  and seemed headed to contact the Dark One, Rumpelstilskin. Mary Margret took over as Mayor of the town at least temporarily as Regina dropped into deep funk. In episode three, “Rocky Road,” we’ll find out if Elsa and Anna get reunited and if Regina makes any progress in her search for the author of Henry’s book. Chelle Figler will give you the lowdown on the ABC series, after the show.

Time to break out your favorite zombie paraphernalia, as “The Walking Dead,” returns at 9:00 pm on AMC.  The cult-favorite opens the new season with an episode entitled “No Sanctuary.” Will any of your favorites lose their lives in the season premiere. Will the cure for the pandemic that caused folks to become zombies become reality? Chelle Figler, a passionate fan of the series will offer her insight after the episode airs.

Carrie Mathison’s heading to Islamabad as the CIA Chief Of Station, after the former chief got stomped to death by an angry crowd in the previous episode of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland.”  This week’s episode also starting at 9:00 pm, “Shalwar Kameez,” revolves around Mathison attempting to recruit some of the locals, to help the Intelligence Organization, a most difficult task, given the disdain they have for the CIA.

Ending the evening on a lighter note, the new Fox comedy, “Mulaney,” takes center stage at 9:30 pm with the new episode, “The Doula.” John’s got a new girlfriend whose a Doula, can the new relationship survive the comedians rather eccentric group of friends. Jason Jones, will break down the episode, later tonight.