Homeland: Species Jump links nearly everything together

Homeland Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME - via CBS Express
Homeland Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME - via CBS Express /

Species Jump is how Homeland links nearly everything together, and it’s jarring.

More from Showtime

Carrie (Claire Danes) is still hot on the case of the General’s murder and the connection between Simone (Sandrine Holt) and Wellington (Linus Roache). Meanwhile, the previous episode made it pretty clear their connection was merely physical, because she didn’t inform him about her assault. That means someone else bankrolled the General’s assassination. The Homeland plot thickens.

Meanwhile, Saul (Patinkin) moves to confirm his Russian theory. His meeting with Ivan (Shaun Toub) was semi-productive, but he’s still just holding on to his theory that a mysterious Russian spy named Yevgeny (Costa Ronin) was behind the leaked hospital photo.

Frannie goes to school.

One of the worst part of any show is when a child actor grows up enough to where they can’t just be the adorable kid. They get lines, and it’s usually atrocious. Nothing new in Homeland.

Nonetheless, getting Frannie ready in the morning is apparently chaotic. For most kids it’s seven a.m. wake up, get fresh and go downstairs. Then a bowl of cereal and rush to the bus as the clock ticks on and on. Carrie, however, is all piss and vinegar in the morning, like she hasn’t taken a pill to counteract her bipolar disorder in weeks. That means two things: She’s about to get great at her job, and she’s about act like a Woodstock-era teen.

All of this is pretty crazy because of how slow Carried is to catch on to the lack of Wellington guilt. After Simone didn’t tell him about her assault and blackmail, it was pretty clear he had nothing to do with the General’s murder.

While Carrie and Max (Maury Sterling) watch the Wellington surveillance, they discover even more about Simone. She’s getting a subpoena to appear in front of Senator Sam Paley (Dylan Baker) and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Consequently, Wellington meets with Senator Paley in the morning. Wellington says she’s way outside the scope of the administration investigation. Sam’s like, “IDGAF. See you at the hearing.” He really hates President Keane (Marvel).

Saul goes to class.

Homeland Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME - via CBS Express
Homeland Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME – via CBS Express /

A college professor named Sandy preaches to a auditorium full of brain-dead Millenials about the Cold War. A quick question about Russian space exploration has all students staring either at cellphones or drooling. From the back of the class Saul (Patinkin) answers Sputnik, and the classroom zombies moan like Walking Dead extras.

Sandy goes on about Russian missiles, and an eventual Russian spy plane shooting. The obvious connection is contemporary terrorism. When Saul talks to her after class, she doesn’t seem super pleased. Just cordial.

Saul introduces Sandy to a techie nerd named Clint from DARPA. She’s non-plussed, and Clint seems completely oblivious to the severity of his current situation. Ultimately, however, Clint and Sandy help Saul reach a startling conclusion.

Never trust a Cold War Russian.

Ivan goes to a house showing and sets up a meeting with Yevgeny. His liason, Charlotte, isn’t happy about Ivan coming out of deep-cover a year early. Protocol is nonetheless broken, however, and Charlotte sets up the meeting.

Old Russia vs. New Russia

Yevgeny Gromov is new Russia. He’s ruthless, and has learned from Cold War failures. When he talks to Ivan, he doesn’t see an equal. Even though Ivan clearly double-crossed Saul, Yevgeny sees himself superior to Ivan.

Ivan feels similarly. Ivan says Yevgeny was lazy, plagiarizing his old material, and Saul noticed. In order to stop Yevgeny, threats are made. Calls back to Moscow are promised, because President Keane cold retaliate against Soviet allies if Yevgeny’s actions are proven.

Yevgeny’s parents lost everything, and his brother died of tuberculosis. He’s not impressed by the threats at all.

Carrie and Saul spill the beans.

Claire meets with Max to talk about Simone, Wellington, and Paley. Claire is pissed she can’t get into to see the grilling Simone is about to receive. She gets a late notification, however, and realizes Dante is in the room. She’s just in time to hear Simone get questioned.

After being confronted with photographic evidence, Simone initially lies. Sam pressures, however, and Simone declares a senior White House official contact. Carrie sees through the BS and pulls Dante into the hallway to discuss. Unfortunately for her, Dante is far more interested in her bipolar disorder and ensuring she gets help.

Later she meets with Saul to tell him about the surveillance on Wellington, the potential President connection, the General assassination link, and Simone’s uncertain connection to it all. Saul proposes an alternative theory, one where the Russians are linked into the picture, and Dante may be running the show.

Everything gets tied together.

As the President has a discussion with press, they all get a mass update about Simone’s immunity deal with the Senate Judiciary Committee. President doesn’t care, but Wellington is sh**ting bricks. He subsequently confronts her at a bar, and she’s suddenly an Academy Award winner, claiming harassment and threats. Perfect for a nearby nosy lady with the cellphone.

The quick video grab goes viral in minutes, and Saul’s DARPA nerd tracks down some of the traffic to automated Twitter accounts. The accounts link almost identically to those connected to the Hazelton hospital photos (i.e. Yevgeny).

Just after that revelation, a secret line reaches out to Saul bearing the code-name John Bishop. Sandy figures out it is Ivan.

Carrie’s still the master spy.

Carrie gets the spy crew together, including Dante and that Doxie dude. She’s full-on field agent again. Using her sexuality to ensnare an asset. Same thing she did to Brody (Damian Lewis). This time, however, it’s Dante, and he doesn’t have a clue. She smiles, plays with her hair, touches him unnecessarily.

Carrie goes back to Dante’s house. He thinks he’s suave, but she’s in complete control. Dante is completely trashed, but it may be just a bit more. Dante is KTFO and it becomes clear she drugged him when she opens the door for all her spook friends to come in, rubber gloved like a housecleaning service.

I didn’t trust that dude in The Mist, and I never trusted him on Homeland.

Next: Revisit Saul's suspicions about Russian involvement

The Homeland transition from Middle East terrorism to Russian tampering has been effortless, and aligns fairly well with modern American politics. A true credit to the writing.

If Carrie ends up being right, that means Dante is a Russian mole. Considering Yevgeny and his goons put Ivan in a bag and tossed him into a river, it’s pretty clear new Russia is in control. If Dante is linked to Ivan, he’s in trouble. If he’s linked to Yevgeny, he may be the man moving all the chess pieces.

Homeland airs Sunday nights on Showtime.