Last night’s episode of Homeland dropped a major bombshell — and, you know, an actual bomb. In the last few seconds, Miranda Otto’s Allison — itinerant bureau chief and recent bedfellow of Mandy Patinkin’s Saul — was revealed to be something of a nefarious double agent, involved in an attempt to murder Carrie (Claire Danes) and, possibly, in Gen. Youssef’s (Yigal Naor) plane explosion, which she coolly regards from below.
So why, exactly, is Allison working against the very agency that employs her? Why is she trying to murder Carrie? Why is she sleeping with Saul? (That last point is particularly resonant for me, a noted Patinkin enthusiast.) Let’s review what we learned in this episode — and what we don’t yet know — about Allison, the show’s only ginger who has not slept with or been raised by Carrie.
1. Allison was working with some Russian dudes to kill Carrie
Near the end of the episode, an anonymous Russian dude attempts to gun down Quinn (Rupert Friend) in front of the post office, where Quinn’s just dropped a photo “proving” he killed Carrie. Fortunately, Carrie, who’s actually still alive and resplendent in a terrifying wig, rushes to save Quinn, who manages to murder said Russian despite a fresh gunshot wound. In a moment of quick thinking, Carrie steals the now-dead Russian’s cellphone, and later, calls its only saved number. Who picks up? Allison! Allison, who’s just escorted Gen. Youssef onto a plane with promises to support him as he attempts to overthrow Assad, then watched him explode to death. What we don’t know is whether Allison ordered Carrie’s murder, whether somebody else ordered her to order the murder, or whether she will ever stop sleeping with Saul. We also don’t know why she wants Carrie dead. I mean, sure, Carrie has terrible tastes in wigs, but does she deserve to die for it?
2. Allison was involved in Gen. Youssef’s plane explosion
A normal human response to a plane exploding: “Oh my God.” This was Saul’s response when he watched Gen. Youssef’s plane explode. Allison’s response was to stare blankly, like she was waiting to take a particularly slow elevator up to her dentist’s office. So, yeah, Allison knew that this plane was going to explode. She also helped load Gen. Youssef’s plane with $10 million so that he might make good on his promise to help engineer a regime change in Syria — meaning she likely helped plant the bomb, as well. What’s not clear yet is why Allison would work so hard to convince Gen. Youssef to install himself as Syria’s new leader, then blow him to smithereens.
3. Allison has likely been in cahoots with the Russians all along
Looking back at this season’s first few episodes, Allison’s behavior points to the possibility that she’s been purposefully screwing up to discredit the CIA. Remember how chill she was when hackers stole those super-sensitive CIA documents? Or how she sloppily tried to undercut Saul? (Nobody undercuts Saul, Allison.) What then looked like general incompetence now looks like a calculated takedown. It seems Allison, who’s likely working with the Russians to keep Assad in power (remember the whole plane-explosion part?), is doing her part for the cause by slowly dismantling the CIA, or at least making it appear utterly awful at its job. What’s unclear, again, is why Allison wants to keep Assad in power. Why side with the Russians? And how do the Israelis play into all of this? Was Allison scheming with the Israeli ambassador at that lovely Passover Seder?
4. Allison is not good enough for Saul
Clearly, Allison is terrible. So why is Saul involved with her? One theory: Saul’s boning Allison for the same reason Carrie started boning Brody. Saul’s too smart to be seduced by a fiery mane and a low-cut blazer. He must know that Allison’s shady. My bet is he’s sleeping with her only to get close to her and figure out her motives. And if he wasn’t suspicious before, he certainly must have been when she stepped away to answer Carrie’s call—and watched a plane explode before her very eyes as if it were a Wheel of Fortune rerun.
Chin quiver of the week
Carrie’s chin got a real workout during her farewell video to Franny. To be fair, there’s no better time to cry hysterically than when you’re filming a video explaining your fake death to your own child.
Beard of the week
Mandy’s beard was particularly on point this week, as was the ensemble he chose for his garden subterfuge. Earth tones do him a lot of favors (see above image for proof).
What’s in Carrie’s ubiquitous messenger bag this week
That goddamn wig!!!
Betrayal of the week
Allison, to Carrie, to Gen. Youssef, to her country, to Dar Adal, to Saul, and to me, for continuing to engage in sexual relations with Saul.