Now That’s How You Do An Episode of ‘Homeland’

Season 5, Episode 4: “Why is This Night Different?”
Original Air Date: Oct. 25th, 2015
Grade: A

After last week’s mismanagement of Carrie’s illness, I feared the worst for Homeland. I was afraid that we would be treated to some kind of insane plot line where Carrie was a kind of super hero while off her medications. Thank goodness it didn’t keep going because a continuation of that plot would have been too hard to swallow.

This week, let’s break down the good and the bad, the ups and the downs in Homeland’s fourth episode, “Why is This Night Different?”

The Ups

  • Let’s just go ahead and get my favorite part of the episode out of the way: Carrie’s video to Frannie. We know that from last season, Carrie hasn’t exactly been the best parent or role model, but it seemed like this season she was ready to make amends. Everything about this video felt real and Carrie didn’t need to go off her meds to make us empathize with her. I know I harp on the writers’ use of Carrie’s disease a lot but that’s only because I think it weakens such a strong character.

carrie homeland

  • I especially enjoyed Carrie’s determination in the video. She slips up a few times when she says, “I’m doing everything I can to get back to you” when Peter reminds her that “getting back to Frannie” isn’t much of a possibility.
  • Speaking of Peter, reuniting him with Carrie has been fantastic. I know that I was worried about his mental well-being, but he appeared to be somewhat normal around Carrie. I just hope that they skip the romance between the two because I still remain adamant they’re BETTER AS FRIENDS.
  • THE TENSION! Ho, boy! I haven’t felt that knocked around by a Homeland plot in a while. Following Carrie and Quinn around Berlin is exhilarating. Of course the obvious answer to Carrie’s woes is that Saul put the hit out on her, but like Carrie, viewers were baffled–has Saul really gone so far as to try to kill Carrie? I mean, he still defends their relationship to Allison early on in the season. Throughout the episode I went from suspecting Saul to Dar Adal to even Allison and now I don’t know who to trust and that is when Homeland is at it’s best. 
  • Though we should all know by now to never, ever trust the Russians. Krupin, Gabe H. Coud’s friend, unfortunately learns this lesson the hard way. It was a gruesome scene but an important one in setting up the Russians as this season’s “bad guys.”


  • I haven’t been invested in Saul and Allison’s plot this season, mostly because it felt meandering and over-the-top in its own way but it definitely hit a high note tonight. I did NOT see the ending coming and Saul’s reaction tells me he didn’t have the slightest clue he might be betrayed either.

(Goodness, I really want Allison to be the bad guy. She has to be in league with the Russians, right? She knew about Quinn and Saul’s relationship and used it to her advantage. It seems too easy for Homeland though.)

The Downs

  • The portrayal of “hackers” feels almost laughable on the show. I’m not sure what I expected with such a story line but for Laura Sutton and her new hacker friend, Sabine, to be able to go into a chat room and ask for Gabe H. Coud feels a bit far-fetched. This is a guy with a target on his back. The CIA knows that he is the one responsible for the leak (though we haven’t seen anyone go after him) and so for him to just blindly and naively respond to someone asking for him makes him look like an idiot. Granted, his judgment hasn’t been the best so far. (Note: I want Sabine to be in more of the show.)


  • Jonas. What the what? He seems pretty nonchalant for a dude whose girlfriend has gone off the deep end, knowing that there’s a powerful someone out there who wants her dead.
  • The lack of Otto During. I know he isn’t exactly “in” this part of the story, but I just really like his character.
  • That’s it. There really weren’t many lows in this episode.

Needless to say, this was a roller coaster of an episode and with three out of four episodes of Homeland being solid this season, I’m excited to see where this ride is going.

Homeland airs Sundays at 9PM EST on Showtime. 

Jen Stayrook
Jen Stayrook
Don't let the fancy nerd duds deceive you; Jen’s never been described as “classy.” You can find her on Twitter where she stalks all of her favorite celebrities: @jenstayrook. Or you can find her on Steam or Xbox dying in every game she plays as "Rilna." Email:

Latest articles

Related articles

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.