Homeland Season 5 Episode 8 Review: All About Allison

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There's something to be said about the element of surprise.

I'm not talking about that of the characters, but of the viewer. Homeland Season 5 Episode 8 could have been much better if we at home didn't already know Allison was a spy. Even learning about how she became a spy lost it's impact because we've known it for too long.

At least Carrie has finally figured it out, perhaps a little bit later than would have been optimal, but she got away with her life. So huzzah! Saul and Quinn are on different journeys, and while both are in trouble, Quinn is in the most imminent danger.

Needing Allison - Homeland

Let's start with Saul. Despite the tantalizing words to Etai on Homeland Season 5 Episode 7, he really had no intention of defecting. It was a gag between two old friends to state the gravity of his situation.

And it's grave, have no doubt. Now the only thing we really have to worry about is whether Carrie will be able to find Saul in time to tell her what she has discovered, I suppose, because unless I misunderstood, he has just enough time to get word from her before going before being given over to the authorities. Crisis averted. 

Quinn, on the other hand, put a little too much faith in his Jihidi friends. As you do. I'll be honest, when he first got out of the truck and was peering into the house, seeing only two guys, I thought he missed the entire operation, and they had already gone on without him.

It was nice of them to wait around and actually include him in their return trip to Berlin. Apparently he's going to be a part of the festivities. And, really, who doesn't want to be a part of what appears to be a truck bomb? Oh goody! Just days ago he was looking at jumping into a river or dying in a dumpster. This will be far more exciting.

We've always heard you cannot negotiate with terrorists. Now we know you cannot reason with them and attempt to thwart their evil plan to wreck civilized society to go fight in the desert, either. Quinn should have known better, I suppose, given how long he has worked with them in Syria.

Now onto Allison and Carrie. We got the entire story of their meeting, pretty much from both of their perspectives, even if we only saw the other side of the door by way of Allison's. 

The gist of it Allison was a good agent who had her fill of war and misery and wanted to take her asset's offer of money to go live happily ever after. She was caught, and instead of happily ever after she's under the control of someone's thumb forever more. 

The only part of her story that was unclear to me was when she was caught getting ready to put the final plan with Ahmed Nazari into motion, and Ivan walked into the room. She let out an expletive that was not in English. That, together with Carrie's earlier inquiry when they first met about where is home...Wisconsin by way of Milan – a lot of shopping...still has me uncertain if she's American first or Russian. 

The ease with which she accepted that Ivan was watching and she had to give over her life because she had been caught...she's Russian first, then? I'm sorry if I have been unable to pick up on that, so please don't hurt me. I had become certain she was Russian first, but then Ivan's talk of "our two countries" made me think I was wrong. 

Yet why would she not put up more of a fight at seeing him in particular? She appeared to know him. She was so unfazed. It had to be the easiest asset turn ever. Even with all the cameras and the evidence, wouldn't a normal person try to turn it to their advantage first before giving in? Oh well. Let me know you thoughts on that in the comments please.

Years later, that's obviously what everyone wants to hide from Carrie. That's why Ahmed is alive. He was going to leave the country with Allison. Carrie obviously became very close with Judge Samir after Allison left, and that's something Ivan perhaps never counted on in his plan when he left Ahmed alive.

If Allison is nothing more than a turned American asset to Ivan, that would be why he calls all the shots and puts her into danger, even if it means losing the best asset they have. Strange to go through all that and lose her, but she's constantly being tested.

She was seconds away of pulling the figurative trigger on Carrie in the courtyard, and we can guess she'll be one unhappy traitor reliving that decision over and over and over again for the rest of her life. Damn those cigarettes. Nothing good comes of them, even when you're using them to pull a figurative trigger.

It's a little too convenient that the one photo Numan found of Banana Joes in St. Lucia's was almost of the exact same angle of the one featuring Ahmed, and even more ridiculous that Ahmed is so friggin' vain that he has a photo of himself at Banana Joes as his screensaver, but hey. Whatever works for the story.

The only outlier that I have to assume is going to come into play one way or another is Otto's crush on Carrie. Is he going to refuse to help her or is something going to get in the way of his helping her when he realizes she still loves Jonas? That's a really childish thing to toss into the middle of all of this, but why else, well, throw it into the middle of all this?

Alrighty guys. Tell me what you think. What's going to stop everything from coming out into the open? What's coming next? Was any of this a surprise for you? Do you wish we had been in the dark about Allison all this time until "All About Allison"? Hit the comments!

All About Allison Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Homeland Season 5 Episode 8 Quotes

Allison: Welcome to Operation Iraqqi Freedom.
Carrie: That bad, huh?
Allison: Worse.

  • Permalink: Worse.
  • Added:

Carrie: Do you think he's bluffing?
Allison: He's a laywer. It's a negotiation.