All About Allison
|"All About Allison"|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Dan Attias|
|Written by||Ron Nyswaner|
|Original air date||November 22, 2015|
|Running time||52 minutes|
In flashbacks, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) arrives in Baghdad for the first time. She is there to replace Allison Carr (Miranda Otto), a case officer who is frustrated with the futility of the situation in Iraq and has decided to take leave. Allison introduces Carrie to one of their most valuable assets, Iraqi attorney Ahmed Nazari (Darwin Shaw), though Ahmed voices his refusal to work with anyone other than Allison. Allison and Ahmed meet privately, where Ahmed indicates romantic feelings for Allison and reveals he's systematically stolen $8 million from the Ministry of Justice. When Allison agrees to run away with him, Russian intelligence agent Krupin (Mark Ivanir) enters the room. Krupin points out that everything in the room has been recorded and hints that Allison could face federal prison. If Allison agrees to become a double agent for the SVR instead, he offers her half of the money along with mutual information exchange that will help her climb the ranks of the CIA.
During a stop for supplies, Quinn (Rupert Friend) gets suspicious of the jihadist group he's escorting to Syria. When he goes to investigate what is being loaded onto their truck, one of the men knocks him out. Bibi (René Ifrah) remarks to a confused compatriot that they are going back to Berlin, as was always the true plan. Quinn wakes up later, finding himself tied up in the back of the now moving truck, where he can see a supply of chemical weapons.
Carrie arranges a public meeting with Allison where she pleads with Allison to review the case files regarding Ahmed Nazari. A sniper is positioned to shoot Carrie on Allison's signal, but she opts against it. When Numan (Atheer Adel) successfully hacks into Ahmed's laptop, Carrie takes note of a photo of Ahmed at a beachside bar. Carrie recalls a conversation in Baghdad where Allison mentioned a bar in St. Lucia. After a web search confirms it to be the same bar, a shocked Carrie says "Oh my God... Allison."
The episode received a rating of 82% with an average score of 7.8 out of 10 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus stating "Homeland finally provides a compelling backstory for Allison's character, though too few narrative pieces snap into place in 'All About Allison'".
Judith Warner of The New York Times commended the way in which Carrie and Allison's perspectives were integrated in the flashback scenes, while also opining that Carrie's discovery of Allison's secret was "a bit too much of a shortcut". TV.com's Cory Barker said of Allison's backstory: "this reveal did what all great flashback reveals do: made the audience reconsider some of the assumptions they had about a presumably villainous or treacherous character". Cynthia Littleton of Variety praised the episode's cinematography, and also described Miranda Otto's performance as "fantastic in the episode, letting her cool exterior melt just enough for us to get a glimpse inside".
- "All About Allison". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Warner, Judith (November 22, 2015). "'Homeland' Recap: Season 5, Episode 8, 'All About Allison'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Barker, Cory (November 23, 2015). "Homeland "All About Allison" Review: Back to Baghdad". TV.com. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Littleton, Cynthia (November 22, 2015). "'Homeland' Recap: 'All About Allison' Reveals the Ties That Bind". Variety. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Porter, Rick (November 24, 2015). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Walking Dead' rises with Glenn's fate revealed, 'Into the Badlands' down in week 2". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- Porter, Rick (November 17, 2015). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Into the Badlands' starts well for AMC". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 17, 2015.