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Homeland 8×11 The English Teacher recap

Saul backchannels.

Homeland - 8x11
Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

The eleventh and penultimate episode of Homeland season 8, saw Carrie (Claire Danes) trying to work out if Saul (Mandy Patinkin) had an asset in the Kremlin.

If you want to avoid spoilers for Homeland season 8, we suggest you stop reading now. If you don’t mind then please keep reading.

The episode opened up with Carrie being held in the CIA HQ Subbasement. She was soon released when Saul sent a man named Kevin Dance (Cris Bauer) over. He explained that he would be representing her at trial and that she would be staying with Saul. As he walked her out, Carrie spotted the news of the car bomb in Afghanistan where everyone had died but Jenna Bragg (Andrea Deck).

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

At the White House, Saul and Zabel (Hugh Dancy) had a heated argument in the oval office. Zabel was rather keen on military action against Pakistan but Saul wanted to avoid nuclear war. President Hayes (Sam Trammell) asked Saul what he suggested and he suggested backchannel talks with the Pakistani’s and a surgical strike against Jalal (Elham Ehsas).

Saul headed home and saw Carrie. He’d basically done everything he could for her and was prepared to stand up for her. He updated her on events and Carrie offered to tell the White House what she heard on the flight recorder. Saul said it was no use without the actual flight recorder as evidence. Carrie posed the question that maybe Saul had an asset in the Kremlin he could call on. He said the rumours were just that and he wished there was a secret agent he could use.

A flashback showed a young Saul (Ben Savage) in East Berlin in 1986. He paid a visit to a book shop where he had a secret meeting. The flashback ended when an unknown woman pulled a gun on him.

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

Jenna arrived back in the US and it was clear she had a very lucky escape with visible injuries from the car bomb. She was surprised to find Carrie waiting for her at the airport and not particularly keen to talk to her. Carrie followed her and asked for her help yet again. Jenna wasn’t in the mood but Carrie caught her interest when she said she found the flight recorder.

Carrie told her what was on it and Jenna asked where it was. Carrie told her Yevgeny (Costa Ronin) stole it and Jenna tried to walk away. Carrie needed her to help delay proceedings against her so she could find the asset in the Kremlin. Jenna managed to get her to tell her everything then ran to Saul to tell him what Carrie was up to. She started with details of the flight recorder and Yevgeny and was surprised when Saul said it was all true. She decided not to tell him more and told the FBI she needed some time to recover before giving her testimony.

To try and keep control of the escalating situation, Saul spoke to Tasneem (Nimrat Kaur). As Pakistan didn’t know where Jalal is, Saul asked for details of a location he might be so they could strike it. She did as he asked and Zabel was delighted they were dropping bombs. Saul went to the situation room and watched everyone celebrate the strike.

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

At the courtroom, Carrie was read a huge list of charges that were being brought against her. Even one of them would probably finish her so she needs to find a way out. In the bathroom she was approached by a woman who said she was a friend of Yevgeny. She gave a business card and said they could help if she needed anything.

When Carrie arrived back at Saul’s she was shocked to find Jenna waiting for her. She brought along a file about a man that Saul had recruited called Andrei Kuznetsov (Sergey Nasibov) who was now living in the US. He wasn’t the double agent but might had information. Jenna asked if Carrie really wanted to betray Saul but she said she had no choice. Jenna decided she was done with the CIA.

Carrie put her hair up and popped some glasses on and paid a visit to Kuznetsov. She gave a fake name and said they had a mutual acquaintance – Saul. The man said he didn’t know him until she gave him classified detail about his past. She made up a story that his files were being declassified and she was filling in the blanks that weren’t in the files.

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

Kuznetsov said he’d have to talk to Saul to confirm. Carrie called his bluff and said to go ahead. He picked up the phone then changed his mind and told her everything she wanted to know. He explained that his fellow recruits were executed when he defected. Carrie spotted a mysterious woman in one of his photographs and she turned out to be an English teacher. She also asked about a red leather-bound book that caught her eye and was told that Saul used to use the position of them in a book shop window to indicate meetings.

The scene jumped to the United Nations and showed a female translator working with the Russians, obviously Saul’s spy. Saul was there too and he caused a scene, shouting at the Russians to give up the flight recorder. After he was taken outside by security the Russians had a conversation. The woman listened in and overheard them talking about Yevgeny running an operation.

The mystery woman was then shown going to a book shop and looking at a red leather-bound book. There was then a flashback showing the next events of a younger her holding a gun to young Saul. She wanted to help and offered to be his agent on the inside but he turned her down.

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

Back at Saul’s house, Carrie decided to poke around Saul’s impressive collection of red leather-bound books. She realised that there was a correlation between the handwritten dates on the inside cover and major Russian intelligence events such as Chernobyl, Gorbachev and Crimea.

Meanwhile, a package arrived at the hotel where Saul was staying in New York. He had it sent to his room and it was the book the woman had been looking at. Inside the binding he removed a small slip of paper that read “The price has already been asked. It’s Yevgeny Gromov’s play.”

Another flashback to Berlin showed Saul getting into some trouble with some Germans. They tried to put him in a car but he fought back and managed to flee. They chased him down, cornered him and pulled guns. Before they could shoot they were shot and killed by the mystery woman. This was the event that got him to trust her.

Homeland - 8x11

Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME

Carrie called Yevegny’s female friend who gave her the business card. She drove Carrie to a fancy mansion where she had a laptop waiting with a secure video link to Yevgeny. She confirmed that Saul’s asset existed and said she knew how they communicated. Yevgeny confirmed that the Kremlin had the flight recorder. Carrie asked for some records but Yevgeny already knew about Andrei Kuznetsov.

Carrie demanded the flight recorder and Yevgeny reminded her that the war with Pakistan was coming. He told Carrie that if Saul died she would be the likely handler for his asset. Yevgeny said the only option was to kill Saul! Carrie shut the laptop and stormed out. Would she really kill Saul?

Can’t wait for the final episode? Read our Homeland season 8 episode 12 preview.

UK viewers can watch the next episode of Homeland season 8 on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9pm.

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