In Episode 8, “Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter,” we find Carrie Mathison facing another family vs. country internal struggle, and Saul facing yet another can he trust Carrie moment, with the presidency hanging in the balance. Time is running short for Saul to prove that the Russians are behind an operation to frame the president’s administration for the murder of the general convicted of treason. As we learned in the last episode, he has arrested and is holding Dante, the FBI agent, with whom Saul had warned Carrie to stay away from, leading to the traumatic ending witnessed by Carrie’s daughter Franny.

A presidency going down?

With the congressional hearing, where the witness will falsely testify to the administration’s involvement in the general’s murder, only days away, senators from both parties pay a visit to President Keane. They urge her to resign for the good of the country and assure her that, if she resigns, there will be no need to go through with the hearings. President Keane, knowing that her administration is innocent, declines the invitation.

Worried about Saul’s progress with proving Russian involvement before the hearings, she voices her concerns to the chief of staff David Wellington. They agree that he will begin a backup plan and meet with the Russian Ambassador. He will issue a direct message from the president, that if the operative testifies before Congress, there will be serious repercussions for Russia.

Carrie vs. Dante round one

Saul permits Carrie access to his base of operations. She pleads her case to Saul that she alone can get Dante to talk and confirm that the congressional witness, Simone, is, in fact, a Russian operative. Saul tells Carrie that they will only have one chance but ultimately gives that chance to Carrie.

During the interrogation, Carrie and Dante dance around their history and their relationship, and she starts laying out evidence, including suspicious travel records that put Dante and Simone in the same places at the same times in Europe.

Just when it seems that Dante may give something up, he says that he is done and wants a lawyer.

Carrie leaves the room and Saul tells her that her sister has been calling. Carrie goes home to face her sister, who has had to pick Franny up from school, as Carrie once again was a no-show.

Family vs. country

Carrie arrives home and is greeted by her sister Maggie who is not happy. She tells Carrie that the school called her after they couldn’t reach Carrie. Franny couldn’t stop crying and Maggie had to pick her up. After some coaxing, Franny told Maggie of the traumatic event she went through with armed men breaking into Dante’s apartment and dragging him out.

Maggie tells Carrie that, as a physician, she has a duty to intervene when a child is at risk.

She gives Carrie a choice of letting Maggie help her check in to a hospital to get needed help, or she will start proceedings to take custody of Franny away. Carrie, not able to face her own family crisis amid the country’s crisis, leaves, heading back to Saul with another idea for breaking Dante.

Extreme measures

We soon learn that Carrie’s idea is to bring in a fake attorney who has Dante sign a paper that he says will be filed with the court and get him released. Soon after the lawyer leaves the room, Dante starts feeling sick and notices ink on his hand. Like the recent ex-spy and daughter poisoning in England, Dante knows that he has been poisoned, thinking that the Russians are tying up loose ends.

Carrie rushes in and Dante gives them the needed information on Simone. Saul now has what he needs to prove Simone is a Russian operative and the administration is innocent of any wrong-doing.

We learn that Saul and Carrie planned the poisoning and Carrie is now giving him the antidote since they got what they needed. The only problem is that Dante goes into cardiac arrest and needs to be rushed to the hospital, prognosis unknown.

To make matters worse, the administration’s backup plan pressure on the Russian ambassador has worked. The lead Russian operative in charge of the operation locates Simone at her safe house awaiting her testimony, and his team extracts her. Instead of killing her, however, they bring her back to the leader and they share a passionate embrace.

With Simone gone, presumably dead, and Dante’s survival from their extreme interrogation measures in question, Saul realizes, they may now be back to square one.