Homeland: Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter is f**king amazing

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

Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter is Homeland’s way of amplifying the U.S. vs. Russia spy games.

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Homeland left with a big bang on the last episode. Carrie (Claire Danes) and Dante (Morgan Spector) were working their way through the Kama Sutra when Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and his men blasted down the doors. Whether or not either finished is undetermined. Now that Dante is a prisoner, however, Carrie plans to F him another way.

“Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter” is amazing, one of the best Homeland episodes of all time. The twists and turns keep viewers perpetually guessing.

Dante is on ice

Dante is officially a suspect, based on intel Carrie developed, and is primed for interrogation that Saul refuses to let Carrie conduct. Saul basically says he doesn’t trust her. Carrie’s impassioned plea, however, makes him pause.

The second Carrie walks in the door, Dante is all fire and brimstone. He basically tells everyone listening that Carrie is insane, buying drugs from a shady character in a parking lot, and none of her previous drugs are working. Indeed, he says everything in her head is a fantasy, and basically tells nothing but 100% truth about Carrie.

Once Carrie drops down the transparency over a map that links Dante’s travels with Simone’s, however, he doesn’t have much to say. Moreover, he has even fewer words when they escort him to the front door to relieve himself, and they use the planning room that has his mugshot on the wall.

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Who’s the better spy?

Carrie tells Dante she knows why he flipped (i.e. the Kabul mission). She empathizes. Persuades. She incrementally wears him down. Then he suddenly calls BS and says, “I want my fucking lawyer!” One point Dante.

A brief detour to handle family business

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

Carrie storms out and Saul tells her to head home. Maggie’s been blowing up Carrie’s cell. Apparently, Frannie was crying at school all day because of the flash-bang that happened during Carrie and Dante’s fast bang. Frannie is a psychological wreck like her mother.

Shocker, Maggie is mad at Carrie. Another surprise, Carrie is baffled, almost offended about Maggie’s frustrations. Maggie tries to make her go to rehab, but Carrie says, “No, no, no.” Even when custody over Frannie is thrown on the table, Carrie pauses and mentions her current mission in a hyperactive, staccato panic. Frannie clearly comes second to national security. It’s just difficult to imagine a mother making that choice, but that’s exactly what Carrie does.

She’s probably the worst mother in television history. At least Cersei Lannister, Gemma Teller, and Norma Bates seem to prioritize their children. Let’s go ahead and call it a tie between Carrie and Farrah Abraham.

The General McClendon’s death is officially a murder investigation

Senator Sam Paley (Dylan Baker) and a group of other politicians walk into the Oval Office with an ultimatum. They bluntly ask the President to resign because Simone (Sandrine Holt) will implicate President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) via her Chief of Staff David Wellington (Linus Roache). The funny thing, the President is adamantly denying any connection. If they keep pressing, however, might just pull the trigger on Simone if she’s being framed for McClendon.

Given Wellington’s established love for President Keane, he tries to work other angles to save his crush. He’s willing to to be the fall guy, just like he mentioned before, but he’s also willing to do some digging. He wants to get dirty. In fact, it’s his idea to involve the Russians.

Wellington conveys wishes

Plain and simple, Wellington tells a Russian Ambassador named Viktor if Simone perjures, the U.S. will treat it as a hostile act. The Russian Ambassador tries to play coy, but Wellington isn’t having it. Pure hard ball. He threatens repercussions for Russia and tells Viktor to pass word to the Sixth Directorate.

Wellington mad dogs Viktor and says it one more time, “Pass.The.Message.”

Paley makes a play

Senator Paley goes to visit Simone in a picturesque cabin in the woods. The campfire is burning. You can almost smell the s’mores. Paley absolutely grills her about the $50K and connection to Wellington. Tears flow from Simone’s eyes fast enough to get an Academy Award as she parrots a prepared line about Wellington’s “friend in trouble.” It’s clear Paley doesn’t care about the message veracity, only her ability to sell it.

Eat your heart out Bryce Dallas Howard.

Viktor relays the message

Honestly, what could Viktor do other than follow through with Wellington’s demands? He tracks down Yevgeny (Costa Ronin) and lets him know the Simone game-plan is over. After a quick retort and debate, Viktor makes it clear the message is straight from the top of Moscow politics. It’s no longer a debate. It’s an order. Consequently, Yevgeny confronts Simone’s lawyer and threatens her. He demands Simone’s location. He mentions the lawyer’s mother is at a nursing home, and makes a second demand for Simone’s location. The race is on. Who gets to Simone first? Yevgeny or Saul/Carrie?

Homeland has an amazing climax and Carrie evens the score

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

The final few minutes of Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter is truly dizzying. The episode takes a 180 over and over, and may be some of the best writing in Homeland history.

At first Dante’s lawyer comes in and barks out orders. He hands Dante a pen and asks him to sign documents. (Naturally, everyone watching thinks that’s really a lawyer Carrie hired.)

Subsequently, Dante clutches his chest, and it’s clear he was poisoned like McClendon. (Maybe that isn’t Carrie’s lawyer?)

Disregard. It actually IS Carrie’s fake lawyer. While clutching his chest, Dante confesses to Carrie that Simone actually is a Russian spy.

Perfect plan, except Dante’s heart stops.

No problem, however, because Saul tells the President and Wellington they have Simone’s link to the Russians.

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

Conversely, Wellington lets Saul know about their earlier pressure play on the Russian Ambassador.

Saul nearly sh*ts a brick as a result. He says they put a target on Simone’s back.

Fortunately, Saul’s on the way to talk with Simone. Then the police cars go flying by. Saul arrives just in time to hear the Russians got Simone.

Only they didn’t “get” (i.e. kill) her. They just grabbed her and took her to Yevgeny.

Next: Revisit how Dante and Carrie first started on Homeland

“Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter” may be one of the best episodes in Homeland history. The amount of misdirection is amazing. Saul and Carrie went from a sure-fire thing to potentially nothing. If Dante dies, they are left with a suspiciously missing witness who would have implicated Wellington and President Keane. Without Dante’s further confession, Simone’s absence only reinforces the belief some have that this administration is willing to kill to stay in charge.

Homeland airs Sundays on Showtime.