Homeland: Useful Idiot could apply to just about everyone

Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME, Homeland
Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME, Homeland /

In the spy game, there is a good chance of being played. The latest episode, Useful Idiot, is how Homeland demonstrates that just about anyone can be turned.

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Carrie (Claire Danes) has problems at home. Shocker. She’s insane, would rather Netflix and chill than supervise her daughter, and is only a few days of no meds away from painting walls with her bodily fluids.

After last week’s issues and insanity with f**king Twitter, the issues at home might just be what the doctor ordered. Or, in Carrie’s case, what the doctor should order. Too bad for her things don’t work out to her liking. Unfortunately for her, there are still Russians to contend with.

Carrie has issues at home.

Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) threatened Carrie last episode with custody, and it looks like she’s proceeding. She won’t answer any of Carrie’s calls and is meeting with a lawyer. Let’s be honest, it’s not like Carrie is even remotely a good mother. It’s probably best for Maggie.

Nonetheless, Carrie grabs all of her belongings and all of Maggie’s stuff, shoves it all into three bags, and heads for the car. She calls Maggie’s husband Bill (Mackenzie Astin) an F-Bomb on the way out the door.

The Russians plan their getaway.

Simone (Sandrine Holt) and Yevgeny (Costa Ronin) are nearly safe. The plane is ready. Then they find out Dante (Morgan Spector) hasn’t checked in lately. Nobody knows where Dante is.

Yevgeny knows he has to tie the loop. Leaving the possibility of Dante being alive, and completely turning on them, would ruin all they’ve worked to built. Considering the President (Elizabeth Marvel) is basically being crucified in the media for a General’s assassination, and Simone’s disappearance will certainly be added onto the pile, Dante is too big a risk to let go.

Carrie and Dante have a hospital heart to heart.

Despite nearly dying, and beleiving he was poisoned, Dante is not talking. Carried tells him the confession already happened. Dante still doesn’t buckle. Consequently, Carrie mentions talking to his parents about Dante being poisoned by Russians, and she even promises a generic WitSec option with her considerable influence.

After a quick talk, Dante spills the beans. Moreover, he lets her know about a Twitter “burn code” that tells all sleeper agents to cut bait. It’s a potentially ground-breaking discovery that could destroy and expose Yevgeny’s entire team.

An enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Unbelievably, Saul manages to talk Wellington into a tag-team on Senator Paley (Dylan Baker). They tell him everything, eventually showing him a organizational chart with essentially everyone on the show. All are tagged with a label:

  • T – Target
  • RA – Recruited Asset
  • UI – Useful Idiot

Paley ends up being a Useful Idiot, and is pissed. He vents to his assistant, which is incredibly stupid considering how easily he was duped before, and formulates his reaction.

The Russians network falls.

Carrie convinces Saul, who convinces the President, to deploy the burn code. They have to take over a fake Twitter account and tweet, “Darwin loves Bitcoin.” Presumably they all dump Bitcoin (smart move), but the sleeper agents reply “What about ripple?”

It’s possible Dante could be playing them one last time, actually informing Yevgeny of being captured, but they take the risk. Several fish bite, and the network collapses. Yevgeny does not take it kindly. As his network bails, he has one last mission at the hospital on his mind.

Yevgeny makes his way into the hospital by killing one of his own guys and pretending to be saving him. Moments later, he’s in Dante’s room convincing Dante to call Carrie and ask about the poisoning. Subsequently, Dante tries to warn Carrie and he ends up suffocating via pillow.

Carrie cracks.

Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME, Homeland
Photo: Antony Platt/SHOWTIME, Homeland /

Everyone Carrie loves dies. The end of the episode is one of the most intense in Homeland history. The writers have delivered absolute bombshells in back to back episodes. Anyone not watching Homeland is missing out. Carrie speeds to the hospital frantically, knowing her helplessness, knowing Dante’s fate. While doing so, she imagines accidentally running over Maggie, and revisits the deaths of Brody (Damian Lewis), Aayan Ibrahim (Suraj Sharma), and Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend). She hallucinates and sees herself in Dante’s nurse. Insanity. The cheese is officially off the cracker.

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So, who is the useful idiot? Wellington and Paley for getting played? Carrie and Saul for thinking they turned Dante? Indeed, Carrie is a useful idiot for leaving him alone at the hospital. Or maybe Dante was the useful idiot for thinking things would work out any way other than what they did.

Homeland airs Sundays on Showtime.