Poor Sodding Saul: What We Learned From This Week's Agonizing Episode Of 'Homeland'

After the twisty revelation from last week’s Homeland, Alex Gansis revealed that the season is basically being told in three parts of four episodes apiece. Last week concluded the first part, so we could expect that this first episode in Act II, “The Yoga Play,” would be a slower-paced, table-setting episode, and for the most part, that’s exactly what we got. Table setting, and a lot of gut punches for poor Saul, who had his world crash around him this week.

The Yoga Play — When someone says, “The Yoga Play,” you expect a more interesting caper than what transpired last night. You mean, the Yoga Play just means go to Yoga class, have someone be your double, and sneak out the back? That’s it?? That was kind of anti-climactic. Anyway, the point of the Yoga Play was to sneak off and see Agent Hall, the FBI agent keeping tabs on Nicholas Brody, because Jessica came to Carrie and begged her to help find Dana, and Carrie thought Agent Hall would be the appropriate person to harangue. To be honest, that was kind of a weird call. What was Jessica’s thought process there. “Hmmm. My daughter is missing, and the cops aren’t being much help. Hmmm. Why don’t I ask my terrorist husband’s former mistress, who has been disgraced by the CIA and locked away in a mental institution. PERFECT!”

Anyway, it worked. Carrie berated Agent Hall into giving a damn by reminding Agent Hall that not all joy rides end happily ever after, see, e.g. Romeo and Juliet.

The whole gambit, however, ended up being pretty useless, because Agent Hall didn’t factor into tracking down Dana, so all it did was to put Carrie’s operation in danger, which was also kind of a weird call. “Hmmmm. My lover’s daughter went joyriding with a psychopath. What should I do? Oh, I know! I’ll endanger a huge operation that required that I get called out during a Congressional hearing and spend some time in a mental institution, all so we could lure out a terrorist who financed the bombing of the CIA. Why not endanger that by sneaking away to berate an FBI agent into tracking down a 16 year old brat? PERFECT! ”

The motivations in this show don’t always make sense. Did it endanger the operation? We’ll circle back around to that below.

Dana, Dana, Dana — Once again, entirely too much of this week’s episode centered around Dana, who I understand uses Internet comments to fuel her character’s emotional breakdowns. The one good thing about the Dana plotline, however, is that it shows that Dana is not the most annoying character on the show. That title belongs to Leo, her boyfriend, who has barely changed from his arc on Dexter. He’s the same sniveling doucherat. Dana finally came to this realization on her own when, while picking out corn nuts in a convenience store, she overheard a news report reveal that Leo had been committed because he failed to follow through on his suicide pact with his brother. That’s gotta be awkward, too. You’re sitting there with a lap full of your brother’s brains, and you’re like, “You know what? This just doesn’t feel right. I think I’ll go microwave a frozen pizza now.”

After confronting Leo about it, he sniveled through a few lies, and may or may not have come clean (who cares?) before Dana told him to go screw, and turned herself in to a police officer.

Did she get arrested for stealing her Mom’s car, and costing law enforcement considerable time and money in having to track her down? Was she re-institutionalized? No, don’t be silly. The cop just dropped her off at home, and she walked back into her room and had a nice cry. Here she is thinking about the the “Dana is the Worst” comments on Twitter.

Oh, Dana. Why do you have to be so worthless? Also, what was the point of that entire subplot? If Leo doesn’t come back and try to kill her, then it was all for nothing!

F*ck Me — The best moment of the entire episode, actually, was Quinn’s response when Saul came clean to him about the Carrie operation. “F*ck me.” Our sentiments, exactly, Quinn.

Saul put Quinn on Carrie detail, meaning Quinn had to surveil both Carrie and the Javati’s surveillance of Carrie. Besides a potentially sexually charged moment between Carrie and Quinn in the garage, the only payoff in that surveillance came when Quinn had realized that Javati’s men had taken her. So Quinn knows what we know: That Carrie is alone, on an island, which is where’s she best, so thinks Saul.

The question is (I guess): Did Javati’s men make her and bring her to Javati anyway, or is Javati just kind of a dick, and he stip searches and checks for bugs on all of his informants? It doesn’t seem like the most effective way to get your informant to cooperate, but what do I know? We’re not even 100 percent sure that it was actually Javati, since he called himself Azari, though that is almost certainly a cover identity. Am I even spelling Javati right?

But what we do know is that Javati can’t eat a burger without spilling condiments all over him, which was a really useful scene in last night’s episode, huh? THE TERRORIST IS A MESSY EATER.

I Don’t Want to Hear About Your Lover Right Now, Darling, I’m Kind of in the Middle of Something — Well, the sh*t rained down on poor Saul last night, that’s for damn sure. That guy had a rough day at the office. First off, he has to go duck hunting with that sh*t monster, Senator Lockhart, and Saul doesn’t even like duck hunting! Then, while he’s out shooting things he doesn’t care about shooting in order to schmooze up Senator Lockhart so he can assure himself Senate confirmation as the new CIA director, Senator Lockhart is all, like, “Uh, dude. You’re not going to be the next CIA Director. I’m going to be the next CIA Director.” So, basically, Sauls’ worst nightmare: The guy that has been trying to dismantle the CIA is now going to be running it, and poor Saul — who is all about spies and intel — is gonna have to answer to a guy who is all about Iran and drones.

Saul, however, has two weeks left as acting CIA Director, which he hopes to use to take out Javati and making Senator Lockhart look bad before the Senator becomes his boss.

And if that’s not bad enough, Saul has to go home, all bummed and Saul-faced, and what does he find there? His wife having dinner with “a co-worker from Mumbai,” which is definitely code for, “The guy I’m f*cking on the side.” In the universe of Homeland, it’s also possible that it’s code for, “The guy I’m f*cking, who is also a terrorist, and guess what, honey? I AM THE MOLE.”

But Saul doesn’t want to talk about her wife’s affair right now. He has more pressing matters, like the FATE OF THE FREE WORLD. Saul’s just happy that his little protege, Carrie, has been snatched and grabbed by the bad people, who may or may not torture information out of her. WE GOT ‘EM RIGHT WHERE WE WANT ‘EM NOW!

(As always, thanks to Chet Manley for the fantastic GIF work)