What Is Saul's Fate on 'Homeland'?

by Ariel Kay

On Homeland, Saul has always been a constant, someone who the audience could rely on, even as Carrie (or Brody or Quinn) became ever more erratic and less predictable. He's just good ol' uncle Saul, there to pick up the pieces and stand strong against whatever evil forces are plaguing the CIA at the moment. But two episodes ago, the show finally flipped that script, and now Saul's fate is the one hanging in the balance — he's in the hands of a very unpredictable Pakistani terrorist, and anything could happen to him. Could Saul die on Homeland this season? It's a distinct possibility.

After Saul was snatched from the Islamabad airport and drugged by ISI operative Farhad Ghazi, we knew his prospects were bleak. But it wasn't until last week's episode, when we learned that not only is Pakistani intelligence working with Aayan's uncle Haqqani, but that Ghazi handed Saul over to the terrorist without a backward glance. This is the worst situation anyone could have imagined for the former head of the CIA to wind up in. In a menacing clip from the next episode, "Redux," we learn a bit about Haqqani's plans for his new captive. As you can guess, they don't sound too good.

Based on that scene, it looks like Saul will last a little longer. He's a powerful bargaining chip for Haqqani, and he's much more valuable alive. And as we saw last week, just because Saul is no longer working for the U.S. government doesn't mean that he's not important to the CIA. Both the terrorists and Carrie's team need Saul — at least for now.

But that doesn't mean his time with Haqqani is going to be all pillow fights and gossip sessions. It's more than likely that we'll see some sort of "interrogation" (read: torture) scene coming up soon this season. (Well, at least most viewers will see it. I'll be covering my eyes and thinking happy thoughts.) After all, the terrorist leader had no qualms about killing his own nephew, one of his last remaining relatives. There's no chance he'll go easy on Saul, aka one of the "infidels."

So could Saul actually perish before Season 4 is done? It might happen. After Brody's unexpected death last season, Homeland may feel a need to top itself once again. And beyond just basic shock value, Saul's death would have a huge affect on Carrie. We've seen her go from just "doing her duty" to actually morally compromising herself again and again this season. Could Homeland be radical enough to chastise its main character by killing off the only person she really cares about? For Saul's sake, I sure hope not.

Another possibility is that Saul's capture — and Carrie's own willingness to sacrifice him — will be just the reality check she needs to get back her moral compass. Another trailer for "Redux" shows the spy gathering intel on Saul's whereabouts, and then being captured herself. With Homeland, you never know what's real and what's not — remember when Carrie spent half of last season in a psych ward, and then the audience discovered it was actually part of her own plan? Still, if she is captured alongside Saul, the CIA is really in trouble.

Maybe Haqqani only took Saul to get to Carrie. She did seduce Ayaan, not to mention killing Haqqani's family with a drone during a wedding. Whatever his plan is, you know it's only going to get more intense throughout the next six episodes. We're officially half-way through Season 4 at this point, but there's a whole lot more story left to tell.

Images: Joe Alblas, David Bloomer/SHOWTIME