Homeland TV Wiki
Dar Adal
Dar Adal S6
Status: Alive
Nationality: Flag of the United States American
Affiliation: Central Intelligence Agency
Profession: Director of the CIA (formerly)

Director of CIA Black Operations

Others: Saul Berenson (friend)
Played by: F. Murray Abraham
Season(s): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Appears in: 31 Episodes
First appeared: "Two Hats"
Last appeared: "All In"

“There’s something dogmatic and dangerous, something distinctly un-American.” says Dar of Elizabeth Keane.

Dar Adal is a CIA Black Operations Director and an old friend of Saul Berenson's. He and Berenson served for a period at the CIA station in Nairobi, Kenya, mainly on covert operations in neighboring Somalia. (Homeland Novel: Saul's Game)


The first mention of Dar Adal 's name came in the novel:

Dar is a character, who appears in the novel written by Andrew Kaplan:


Dar Adal holds a senior position in the CIA and once worked closely with Saul Berenson. He now leads a covert department of the secret services in which agents are infiltrated into other operations, most of which have a second mission beyond their actual task.

Peter Quinn is part of his team and has been hired to closely monitor Nicholas Brody, who is one of the few people who knows about Vice President Walden's involvement in drone attacks on Iraq that were hidden from the public. Peter Quinn has been ordered by Dar Adal to kill Brody as soon as he has fulfilled his usefulness as a double agent against Abu Nazir. Dar Adal's team was likely brought into the operation by David Estes, as he is involved in the Walden drone scandal.

The 12/12 bombing of the Langley headquarters[]

After the attack on the CIA in Langley, in which 219 people, most of them employees of the CIA itself, were killed, Saul Berenson became the new acting head of the secret service. He calls Dar Adal to his side, who from now on serves as his deputy and acts as a hardliner for Saul. Saul often leaves him to deal with the shady things that come with the work of the CIA.

Dar Adal becomes an important advisor to Saul Berensen after he temporarily takes over the leadership of the CIA. Together they discuss their next steps in the investigative committee before Congress and how to deal with Carrie Mathison. Dar makes it clear to his friend that Congress is desperate for retribution for the attack.

That's why he sent Quinn and several other agents to track down six people involved in the attack. He wants Saul to give the order to eliminate them and is ultimately able to convince him to do so, even if Saul would rather get to the possible mastermind, Majid Javadi. The mission succeeds and Adal is convinced that he did the right thing.

In order to get rid of Carrie, who Adal considers a threat, he finally agrees with Saul that she should be institutionalized, which Saul ultimately does. Without knowing it, Saul is in cahoots with Carrie and has not let Adal in on his actual plan. Finally, Senator Andrew Lockhart approaches Adal and asks him for help in taking over the leadership of the CIA.

Adal then begins to investigate why Saul has not been available since Carrie was released from the clinic and approaches Quinn. Since he doesn't want to talk either, Adal confronts him with a photo he found that makes him a prime suspect in the murder of Javadi's ex-wife. However, Quinn remains silent.

Finally, Adal confronts Saul, but Saul does not want to reveal what exactly he is planning for Javadi. However, he appeals to his old friend to trust him. Finally, Adal only learns together with Lockhart that Saul is planning to bring Javadi to Tehran in order to use him to infiltrate the government. Adal is convinced of the plan and immediately takes Saul's side.

Adal finally uses his contacts to find out who was really behind the attack on Langley and can actually lure the mastermind behind it out of his reserve. However, because of Carrie's careless intervention, they have to watch as the actual bomber is killed.

Finally, Adal learns that Saul was on his way to Venezuela in the meantime and is surprised when he presents Brody to him. Saul then lets him in on his plan to use Brody to smuggle him into Iran to kill the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and give Javadi a better position. Adal is immediately on board and helps Saul get Brody, who is now a drug addict, in shape.

This succeeds, but the mission to bring Brody to Iran almost fails because his team is exposed by the local police. Adal struggles to convince Lockhart and Higgins not to involve the President in their spy mission. In fact, Brody still manages to get across the border.

Adal and Saul then wait to see whether he will succeed in killing Akbari, but they have to watch as he seems to thrive in his new role as a hero and martyr. That's why they initially don't believe him that he actually managed to get to Akbari and eliminate him. But now they have the problem that getting Brody out of Iran is becoming critical. When Javadi advises them to hand Brody over to him so that no suspicion falls on him and he can continue to rise, Dar Adal is convinced that he is right and also advises Saul to give up Brody. When he sees that Saul wants to save Brody for Carrie's sake, he approaches Lockhart and tells him about the situation. He ensures that Brody is handed over to Javadi's people, even if this means incurring Saul's wrath. He makes it clear to his friend that he no longer had any other choice.

Four months after Brody's death, Saul is no longer employed by the CIA and plans to start a private security company. He also offers Adal a position, but he is more than satisfied with his involvement with the CIA.

The U.S. embassy in Islamabad[]

When the two next meet at Sandy Bachman's funeral, Saul and Adal discuss the current situation in the CIA. Adal makes it clear to his old friend that after a few incidents in Pakistan, Lockhart is no longer undisputed and that his friend's chances of returning to the CIA have never been better.

When Adal notices that Quinn has withdrawn after the death of Sandy Bachman, he visits him at his apartment and confronts him. However, Quinn makes it clear to him that he doesn't want anything to do with him or his former troop.

When Adal learns about the events in Pakistan, he recognizes the opportunity to give Saul a good starting point for his re-entry into the CIA. To do this, he makes a deal with the terrorist Haissam Haqqani, who kidnapped Saul and used him as leverage to initiate a prisoner exchange of his people. He manages to get Haqqani to give him the video that could discredit Saul and promises to remove him from the death list if in return he agrees not to take in or train terrorists. Saul is initially shocked that Adal would make such a deal, but then sees the opportunity presented to him after Lockhart announces his resignation due to the incidents at the embassy.

Carrie, who wants to confront Dar Adal in search of Peter Quinn, who disappeared overnight without a trace, confronts him with her knowledge that he was seen with Haqqani. He then advises her that she should talk to Saul first before turning to anyone else. When Carrie sees that Saul apparently knows about Adal's contact with Haqqani, she is stunned and leaves Adal's property upset.

Berlin station[]

Dar Adal is working in Langley to find a solution to the Syria conflict when he sees Peter Quinn, who has spent the last two years in the crisis area, sharply criticizing the CIA's approach. Together with Saul, he believes that they now have to change something in their strategy when they receive the news that there has been a serious data theft in Berlin that is endangering cooperation between the USA and Germany.

Saul is sent to Berlin and not long later, Adal receives a call from Allison Carr, who asks him to reverse her withdrawal from the German capital and withdraw Saul instead. Adal considers whether it wouldn't actually be better to order Saul back when he meets with Etai Luskin and could thus jeopardize their plan to overthrow Assad's government. To do this, they want to get the Syrian General Youssef on their side and make him the new head of state with the support of the USA. After a meeting with Youssef, his plane suddenly explodes and ruins the plan.

Suspicion of Israeli involvement in the attack soon falls as bombs are found that Israel also used against Iran. Adal is also reminded that Saul had met with Luskin the night before, so he can't simply ignore the suspicion that Saul might have had something to do with it. He then orders Saul to be monitored, but he notices this. The two men finally try to talk, and it emerges that Saul still believes that Adal has not forgiven him for his mistakes thirty years ago in Israel and therefore now suspects him of helping the Israelis, although it is now clear to him that The Russians must have carried out the attack. Adal then demands that Saul take a lie detector test because Saul refuses to reveal how he came up with these accusations.

However, since Saul flees and takes copies of the stolen data with him, Adal is forced to have his old friend arrested and taken out of Germany. However, Saul manages to escape and finds shelter with Luskin. From there, Saul receives information from Carrie that Allison is working for the Russians, which the two eventually tell Adal. He can't believe that Allison is a double agent and has her arrested when she actually tries to escape to a Russian safe house, where she meets with Ivan Krupin. During his interrogation, however, she asserts that Ivan is her spy and that he works for her.

Just at this time, an IS video was released threatening a poison gas attack. Adal is willing to work with the BND to prevent this and even lets Allison convince her to let her help. He himself confesses to Saul that Quinn had asked him to follow a lead that ended with Quinn falling into the hands of IS and now having to serve as a demonstration victim. Together they finally contact the American government to ask for instructions.

Together with the BND and, above all, Carrie Mathison's help, everyone manages to prevent the attack. However, Adal has to realize that he underestimated Allison and that she actually worked for the Russians. He later visits Quinn in the hospital. He is in an induced coma and has suffered severe damage from the poison gas, so it is impossible to say whether he will ever wake up again. Adal then tells Carrie, who is standing guard at Quinn's bed, that he found Quinn in an orphanage and quickly realized what talent lay within him. Quinn then became the CIA's youngest spy. He then gives Carrie a letter that Quinn once gave him for her and leaves the hospital.

Season 6[]

When Senator Elizabeth Keane is elected President of the United States, Dar and Saul relocate to New York to advise her on the country's foreign policy and intelligence efforts. Dar begins secretly plotting with his cabal to undermine Keane out of concern that her antiwar platform will lead to undesirable overhauls of the intelligence community. He starts by seeding a rumor that Iran is running a parallel nuclear program with North Korea, thereby contravening the terms of their nuclear agreement. When Dar learns that Carrie is discreetly advising Keane on foreign policy, he begins working against her as well, sending one of his special operatives to spy on Carrie from across the street of her apartment, and calling child services to place her daughter Frannie in foster care. Dar also oversees the operations of a vast troll farm run by right-wing radio host and provocateur Brett O'Keefe to spread disinformation targeted at Keane.

Dar Adal S6

Dar soon learns that a faction within his cabal (led by General Jamie McClendon) has escalated the scope of the operation without his approval, and are now plotting to assassinate Keane and frame Quinn as the perpetrator. Dar calls Carrie to warn her about the assassination attempt; Quinn ultimately sacrifices himself to save Carrie and Keane. Dar is arrested and put in federal custody for his role in the conspiracy. Despite expressing regrets about losing control over his cabal, Dar nonetheless warns Saul that Keane cannot be trusted, and his suspicions are apparently corroborated when Keane arrests over 200 federal employees (including Saul) as backlash for the attempt on her life.

Federal prison[]

Sam Paley is in prison and visits Dar Adal, who he explains about the new events surrounding Keane and Saul. Paley hopes to gain information about Saul's intentions in Moscow. In return, Dar Adal would benefit from a new administration. Dar explains that Saul is certainly not in Russia with Carrie and her team for diplomatic purposes. The CIA doesn't know anything. He assumes that Saul has his own small team and advises Paley to look for Russia experts to find out who is on it.

Character profile[]

Dar Adal, the enigmatic and cunning character from the television series Homeland, is a force to be reckoned with. His manipulative nature and secretive persona make him a complex and intriguing character. He is a master of deception, operating behind closed doors and pulling strings to achieve his goals, regardless of the means. Dar Adal embodies the shadowy figures that exist in real-world politics and power struggles, making him a captivating and multi-dimensional character.

At first glance, Dar Adal appears as a trusted advisor, someone who works diligently and quietly behind the scenes. However, it quickly becomes apparent that his motivations are not as selfless as they initially seem. Dar Adal is the epitome of Machiavellianism, a philosophy that emphasizes the use of cunning and manipulation to maintain power and control. He is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything to achieve his objectives and solidify his own position of influence.

One of the striking aspects of Dar Adal's character is his ability to operate in the shadows. He is a master at concealing his true intentions and maintaining a facade of loyalty and reliability. This ability to mask his true nature is reminiscent of the concept of the "shadow archetype" in psychology, which represents the darker, hidden aspects of the human psyche. Dar Adal embodies this archetype, always lurking in the shadows, pulling strings and manipulating events to suit his agenda.

Dar Adal's willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals raises ethical questions about the lengths one can go to achieve power and control. His actions often blur the line between morality and immorality, leaving the audience questioning his motives and the consequences of his actions. This theme can be explored through the lens of utilitarianism, a moral theory that advocates for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Dar Adal's actions may be seen as a means to an end, where he rationalizes the sacrifices he makes for the greater benefit.

The character of Dar Adal also exemplifies the concept of the "puppet master," someone who manipulates events and people from behind the scenes without ever being directly involved. He orchestrates complex plots and manipulates individuals to achieve his desired outcomes, maintaining control while avoiding direct responsibility. This idea of puppetry can be traced back to the concept of the "invisible hand" in economics, where the actions of self-interested individuals are ultimately guided by an unseen force that leads to beneficial outcomes for society as a whole. Dar Adal can be seen as the embodiment of this invisible hand, manipulating events and people to bring about the desired outcome.

Despite his morally ambiguous actions, there is a certain level of admiration for Dar Adal's intellect and strategic thinking. His ability to stay one step ahead of his adversaries is a testament to his shrewdness and foresight. This intelligence and foresight make him a formidable opponent, someone who is not to be underestimated. Through his actions, Dar Adal showcases the power of knowledge and information, serving as a reminder that those who possess the right information can often shape the course of events.

In conclusion, Dar Adal is a captivating character in Homeland who embodies the manipulative and secretive nature of shadowy figures in real-world politics. His willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals, coupled with his ability to operate in the shadows, make him a complex and intriguing character. Drawing on high-minded concepts such as Machiavellianism, the shadow archetype, utilitarianism, puppetry, and the invisible hand, Dar Adal's character provides insight into the dynamics of power and control. While morally ambiguous, there is a sense of admiration for his intellect and strategic thinking. Dar Adal serves as a reminder of the power of knowledge and information in shaping the course of events.[x]

Skills And Abilities[]

  1. Strategic thinking: Dar Adal is known for his ability to think strategically and plan his moves carefully. He is able to anticipate his opponents' actions and plan accordingly.
  2. Manipulation: Dar Adal is a master manipulator, able to use his charm and charisma to influence others and get what he wants.
  3. Networking: Dar Adal has an extensive network of connections within the intelligence community and government, allowing him to gather information and resources quickly.
  4. Interrogation: Dar Adal is skilled in the art of interrogation, able to extract information from subjects through a combination of psychological tactics and intimidation.
  5. Surveillance: Dar Adal has expertise in surveillance techniques, allowing him to gather intelligence on targets and track their movements.
  6. Combat skills: Dar Adal is shown to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat and weapons training, making him a formidable opponent in physical confrontations.
  7. Crisis management: Dar Adal is calm under pressure and able to make quick decisions in high-stress situations, making him a valuable asset in crisis management scenarios.
  8. Political savvy: Dar Adal is adept at navigating the political landscape and understanding the motivations of those in positions of power, allowing him to manipulate situations to his advantage.


The name Dar Adal is fictitious, and generated, in part, as a poke from Alex Cary at his writing colleague, Henry Bromell. “Henry never got names of characters right,” Cary laughs. “He’d get them slightly wrong. I was writing the episode where Adal is introduced, and Henry was writing the episode that was to follow it. Rather than call the character John Wilson or something more obviously provisionary, I called him Dar Adal, just to fuck with Henry. I knew he’d never be able to get it right.” - Homeland Revealed

“‘Dar,’ in Arabic, means ‘home,’” Abraham explains. “I thought that was kind of interesting–because ‘home’ is part of the title of the show.”

From NYT's homeland review and interview with the created of Homeland: "And, having interviewed the Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa this week, who let it be known that Dar’s presumed sexual abuse of Peter was not at all a sure thing, I feel I can permit myself again to have a little bit of begrudging fondness for the old man. Just as Quinn had himself, perhaps" so in other words they haven't decided.

Dar Adal is a black ops specialist, leading a secretive cabal within the CIA (informally referred to as "the Group"). It is likely to be Political Action Group (PAG). Within Special Activities Center(SAC) there are two separate groups:

  • The Political Action Group is responsible for covert activities related to political influence, psychological operations, economic warfare, and cyberwarfare;
  • SAC/SOG (Special Operations Group) for tactical paramilitary .


  • DAR: "Still afraid to get your hands dirty Saul?"
  • SAUL: "I still prefer to figure the problem out...not obliterate it"
  • DAR: "You're too soft for this line of work. You always have been. I'm amazed you've lasted this long".
  • "She finally brings you down, like I always told she would".
  • Dar Adal said to Saul: You remember what Graham Greene said, don’t you? The secret services are the only real measure of a nation’s political health. The one true expression of its subconscious.”
  • Keane: 600,000 voted for me, who voted for you?
  • Dar Adal: Nobody!
  • “It was never my intention for things to turn so dark.”
  • "The sway she holds over you... and Saul, I'll never understand... " - Dar talking with about Carrie


His once great character was turned into a horrible caricature of a character - a character who once navigated effortlessly through all the shades of grey (no pun intended) that a career in intelligence demands.

The writers chose an ugly path for Dar this season [six]. Dar’s character is meant to represent the Realpolitik of power. I’m not certain empathy is in his play book.

Let‘s separate three things:

A) F. Murray Abraham is a great actor and portrayed Dar as wonderfully layered and nuanced.

B) The character Dar until S06.E07 was a complex personality who navigated through decades of intelligence work, well-aware that our world requires compromises and impossible choices.

C) Dar abused Quinn as a teenager - and there is no redemption for that. Never. Many abusers claim to love their victims. I don’t know if they do or not. But that doesn’t make their acts any less cruel, less wrong or less soul-crushing.

Why Alex Gansa decided to ruin a great character of his creation is one of the questions for which we probably will never get a satisfying answer.

They ruined his character--both professionally and personally. The "ambiguous" abuse storyline is completely infuriating and unnecessary. Doesn't make sense that Saul is still friendly toward him after all of this. F. Murray Abraham deserves better. And we deserve better.

The ruined a great layered character for gratuitous reasons. And then they didn’t even care to tell the story.

Quinn appears to be Dar’s Achilles heel. Dar may justifiy whatever he did to teenage Quinn because he believes he loves him. It’s complex and ugly but at least Dar didn’t send an assassin after him!

I am grateful that Rupert named it as what it was:

“I wouldn’t call it a “relationship.” Quinn was a minor [at the time], so there’s no doubt it was an act of abuse. There’s no “relationship.” But the idea is Quinn was preyed on not just by Dar but by cronies of Dar.”

Compare and contrast, Alex Gansa’s statement in the NYT when asked about the same matter:

Well, you know, it was intimated at the end of last season, too. In that scene where Quinn was comatose, and Carrie and Dar were having a conversation by his bedside about how Quinn was originally recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency. But I really prefer to interpret those scenes in a slightly different way. There may have been some predatory behavior, but whether there were actual sexual acts that took place – look, that’s up for interpretation.

And then, when being asked again: “You know, I’d rather not say.”

Abuse is no topic for ambiguity but demands stern condemnation. HomeLand and Alex Gansa, once again, failed.

When Gansa got the green light for two more seasons he probably felt he could do whatever he wanted.

Dar Adal was always a fascinating character to me. I loved F. Murray Abraham’s performance and how masterfully he navigated through all the layers of black and grey that Dar Adal is made of. That’s tainted now.

I can’t bear the thought that Dar, the man who used and abused Quinn, will likely be back. HomeLand is has very few leading characters and I suspect Gansa won’t be able to resist keeping Dar in play.

The prison conversation between Dar and Saul feels like it was there to place nuance onto Dar’s villainy, and to show that he cares for people who are important to him. But it didn’t work for me.

I found Saul’s chit chat with Dar regarding his new love/sex interest hard to watch.

The line is: "The sway she holds over you... and Saul, I'll never understand... ", Dar's palpable contempt for Carrie is one of the best things he brought to the show as a balance to many of the men we see her interact with on the show. I thought the screen-time he had in S6 was awesome, but frustrated they basically made him into a villain (instead of a more nuanced antagonist).

Behind the Scenes[]


Fiction books
Carrie's Run
Wiki da Homeland TV Fandom

Homeland: Saul's Game | | Wiki da Homeland TV Fandom

Season 2
"The Smile" "Beirut is Back" "State of Independence" "New Car Smell" "Q&A"
"A Gettysburg Address" "The Clearing" "I'll Fly Away" Two Hats Broken Hearts
"In Memoriam" "The Choice"
Season 3
Tin Man Is Down "Uh... Oh... Ah..." "Tower of David" Game On "The Yoga Play"
"Still Positive" Gerontion "A Red Wheelbarrow" One Last Thing "Good Night"
Big Man in Tehran The Star
Season 4
"The Drone Queen" Trylon and Perisphere Shalwar Kameez "Iron in the Fire" "About a Boy"
"From A. to B. and Back Again" "Redux" "Halfway to a Donut" "There's Something Else Going On" "13 Hours in Islamabad"
Krieg Nicht Lieb Long Time Coming
Season 5
Separation Anxiety "The Tradition of Hospitality" Super Powers "Why Is This Night Different?" Better Call Saul
Parabiosis Oriole All About Allison The Litvinov Ruse New Normal
Our Man in Damascus A False Glimmer
Season 6
Fair Game The Man in the Basement The Covenant A Flash of Light Casus Belli
"The Return" Imminent Risk Alt. Truth Sock Puppets The Flag House
R Is for Romeo America First
Season 7
"Enemy of the State" "Rebel Rebel" "Standoff" "Like Bad at Things" "Active Measures"
"Species Jump" "Andante" "Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter" "Useful Idiot" "Clarity"
All In "Paean to the People"

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