TV Show Review

TV Review: HOMELAND: Season 5, Episode 6: Parabiosis [Showtime]

F. Murray Abraham Mandy Patinkin Homeland Parabiosis

Showtime‘s Homeland Parabiosis TV Show Review. Homeland: Season 5, Episode 6: Parabiosis resumed the undertone of a conversation that began in Separation Anxiety between Düring Foundation Head of Security Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and CIA European Division Chief Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). Watching Saul’s face during their brief conversation, it was instantly apparent that he didn’t want to talk to Carrie and that he didn’t believe a word she said. Chief Berenson’s poker face was flawless. It was predictable yet good writing that they were at odds (one was a spy master and the other, a former spy. Suspension was their playground.). What was not predictable was Saul’s journey throughout Parabiosis and the realization that he eventually came to at its conclusion. By the end of the episode, with suspension swirling and time running out, Chief Berenson quickly learned who his friends were and who his friends were not.

The humanitarian / doctor segment of Parabiosis introduced a segment of the “War on Terror” that is not shown enough of: that not everyone that believes in Muhammad is evil and/or a terrorist. It was marvelous and sad to hear about a ‘good guy’ that was not allowed to practice his medical craft in Germany, reduced to peddling his wears to those that could afford his care (and those that couldn’t i.e. “Do no harm”) in a apartment building.

The suspension of CIA Special Operations Group Operative Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) being a spy by Hajik (Jarreth J. Merz) was absurd since Quinn arrived at the apartment building hospital before Hajik was released from prison. Quinn had been randomly picked up on the street by the doctor.

The CIA could have orchestrated all of that but they couldn’t have known the doctor would take Quinn to his apartment building hospital in lieu of a hospital emergency room. Hajik only saw Quinn’s ‘American’ appearance, fueled by who Hajik was and his past, not based upon anything that unconscious Quinn had done. It was a wonderful juxtaposition: a jihadist was stereotyping an American, who was actually a CIA Operative, about not being what that he seemed (in Quinn’s case: unconscious, injured, and a mercenary).

Super Powers showed Quinn’s quick ability to improvise on-the-fly. Parabiosis was no different but it was his hand-to-hand combat skills that were the most electrifying during the finale of his story’s segment. Quinn being injured was the only reason the fight lasted longer than three seconds, much like the fight that took place between Mossad Operative Michael Rivkin and NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo during Season 6 of NCIS. The brutality of the Parabiosis fight (a scream, a low blow, etc.), between injured and uninjured opponents, made it that much more realistic.

The two ‘operations’ that Chief Berenson pulled off in the third act of  Parabiosis, one an information gathering mission, the other, a data dissemination request, were the death rattle of his suspensions about Carrie Mathison. Both were well-written character moments. Usually within Homeland, Carrie Mathison is the star and focal point of an episode. In Parabiosis, it was Saul. Seeing a spy master play youngins’ as though they were instruments in his toy box was rewind-worthy. CIA had electronic eyes and ears on him as well as human eyes and Chief Berenson shook them all as though he were only taking off an unneeded jacket.

When Carrie was presented with her previously requested information, she wasn’t nearly brought to tears because she had what she needed to solve her marked-for-death mystery, it was because of what in represented – a re-validation of Saul Berenson’s faith and trust in her.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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