In Episode 9 of Homeland, “Useful Idiot,” we find Senator Paley(Dylan Baker) using star witness Simone’s disappearance to his political advantage, Carrie(Claire Danes)and Saul(Mandy Patinkin) scrambling for proof of the Russian operation, President Keane(Elizabeth Marvel) trying to lay low, and the head of the Russian operation, Yevgeny, ignoring requests from Moscow to cut the operation off and head home. This has all the feel of a transitional episode, intended to set the course for the remainder of the season. The big reveal this week is the news that FBI agent and Russian operative, Dante, survived the poisoning from last week’s episode but is still unconscious.

Dante survives and ignoring orders

This we find out immediately that Dante(Morgan Spector) survived the deliberate poisoning to gain information and is unconscious in the hospital, under guard, and under Carrie’s watchful eye. When Dante wakes up, Carrie reinforces the story that it was the Russian’s that poisoned him to tie up loose ends for their operation to bring down the presidency. She tells him Simone is missing, probably killed by the Russians. Dante gives her further information including a Twitter account name and code tweet that will bring response tweets from all the Russian operatives using fake Twitter accounts, ending the operation. Carrie calls Saul with the news.

Meanwhile, Simone is put on a private jet as the operatives start clearing out of the United States.

Head of the operation, Yevgeny, refuses to go, ignoring calls from Moscow that will order him to shut the operation down. Instead, he works to track down Dante with one of his operatives named Clayton.

Political games and hacking Twitter

With Simone gone, Senator Paley is using her disappearance for political gain, hinting to the press that it is President Keane’s administration that got to her, to protect themselves.

He even goes as far as to suggest that impeachment of the president may be in order.

Back at Saul’s operation, his team figures out that if Dante was telling the truth, they could use Twitter to end the Russian operation and track down their operatives in the United States. The only issue is that it means the United States government would have to hack into a private Twitter account.

Saul wants the president’s ok on this one. It’s all eerily similar to the current Facebook headlines.

Saul meets with President Keane and gets the needed approval. He also convinces her to bring Senator Paley into the loop in hopes that he will tone down his rhetoric, while they try and prove the Russian plot. Saul and Chief of Staff Linus Wellington( Linus Roache ) meet with Senator Paley and Saul breaks down all the evidence. He lets Paley know that he is identified as a “UI” by the Russians. When Paley asks what “UI” stands for Saul tells him “useful idiot.”

Dante gets a visitor

As Saul’s team hacks Twitter and starts to roll up the operation, gaining suspects as they go, Yevgeny and Clayton realize what is happening, and they meet at the hospital where Dante is.

While this is going on, Carrie finds out that her sister Maggie is meeting with lawyers to get custody of Franny(Lotta Pfitzer). Carrie heads to Franny’s school to pick her up, planning never to return to Maggie’s house.

Clayton is supposed to convince Yevgeny that the operation has succeeded as much as it can and that they need to clear out. Instead, Yevgeny pulls out a gun while they sit in the hospital parking lot and shoots Clayton. He then uses Clayton as cover to gain access to the hospital, pretending to be bringing in a gunshot victim. During the chaos of staff trying to help Clayton, Yevgeny grabs a hospital keycard from a staff member and starts looking for Dante’s room.

Carrie chooses country once again

Yevgeny finds Dante, and he is sitting in a chair staring at him when he wakes up. During the conversation, Yevgeny tells Dante, he would never poison his people and claims that Carrie did it to him to gain information. He convinces Dante to call Carrie and press her on it and listen to how she tries to lie to him.

The call gets through to Carrie just as she is leaving the school with Franny. In the school hallway, with Franny listening, Carrie is cussing and frantically telling Dante that it was the Russians, not her that poisoned him. As Franny is looking traumatized, standing next to a horrified principle, Dante can hear the panic in Carrie’s voice and that she is dealing with a problem with her daughter.

He yells into the phone that Yevgeny is there, and they need to lock down the hospital. Yevgeny then puts a pillow over Dante’s face and the phone goes dead.

Carrie, who was just getting ready to leave with Franny, then tells her something has come up and she needs to stay at school. Carrie rushes out to her car and quickly backs up out of her parking space, not realizing that a panicked Franny has followed her out. She almost runs her daughter over, but still leaves her there crying, heading to the hospital.

When she arrives, she hears someone from the hospital saying that he didn’t make it. Carrie is in full melt-down mode having visions of all those that have died working with her including Brody(Damian Lewis) and Quinn(Rupert Friend). She is looking at Dante and asking herself “What did you do?”