Tonight’s episode of Homeland equally focused on Carrie’s rapid spiral to crazy-town and negotiating Saul’s safe release. Saul and Crazy Carrie happen to be my two favorite characters on Homeland, so I was super psyched to write this review as a guest appearance similar to my man Damian Lewis, aka Ghost Brody! So let’s get into it, shall we?
On the Saul front, CIA Director Andrew Lockhart was flown into Islamabad to negotiate Saul Berenson’s safe return at any cost. This was told to Saul by none over than Haqquani towards the end of their several day bonding trip throughout the countryside. The look on Saul’s face seemed to be nausea at the thought of being an unintended bargaining chip to release any terrorists or political prisoners he’s spent his life rounding up and locking down. I really enjoyed Haqquani and Saul’s frank discussions about Islam versus the Western world, and felt the writers did a good job trying to portray the greyness in a world of black and white. That while Saul pointed out that Haqquani, aka fictional bin Laden, taught “an entire generation to live one foot in the afterlife,” Haqquani reminded Saul that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Yet, the U.S. chose to instead to invade and occupy Afghanistan, Iraq, and (kind of) Pakistan.
Tracy Letts had an extended stay in tonight’s episode and was really laying it on thick with the ‘I’m head lion, hear me roar’ one-liners. My two favorite CIA Director Lockhart lines of the night were; “Come on Mathison, time to go look these fuckers in the eye,” and his simple two word “the president’s,” while not even looking up from his phone when Martha demands to know who gave him the authority to negotiate the aid package with the Pakistani government.
Lastly on the #SaveSaul front was the conversation between Quinn and Carrie as they drove to the airport to watch security footage during the time of Saul’s kidnapping that mysteriously wouldn’t exist. Carrie pointed out that Saul would have wanted them to go ahead with the strike they aborted in last week’s episode even if it killed him and Quinn didn’t disagree. However, a few minutes later, Carrie is grasping at straws trying to put together a rescue mission in 12 hours that needs something more like 12 weeks to plan. It certainly didn’t help that Dennis Boyd aka Spy Jr. had swapped Carrie’s bi-polar medication for some sort of hallucinogenic.
Side note – remember a few episodes back when Quinn does that awesome covert cell phone bug while the target was sleeping a few inches away but it worked out because it’s Quinn? Well even if you do, Quinn did not, because he couldn’t sense someone was in Carrie’s apartment when he went to go check on her, let alone Spy Jr.
The last few scenes of Carrie’s complete unraveling where she thinks the hospital guard is Quinn and when she shoots men in the street with her finger gun were very dramatic and heart stopping. I absolutely thought she actually shot the men outside the hospital and would have to deal with that in the next few episodes, so I was relieved that that was part of the hallucinations. Seeing Brody, on the other hand, I had no doubt was a hallucination because this show and its viewers wouldn’t be able to handle that ridiculous of a plot twist.
I’m thankful the show didn’t end on an improbable but slightly possible cliffhanger of Ghost Brody being Alive Brody and showed us that it was Aasar Khan who was cradling Carrie as she wept for Brody. However, I found it very unbelievable that he would have no idea who Brody was, because Brody was extremely famous at the time of his death, not to mention knowing who the American station chief in Islamabad was and about her background would be part of an ISI agent’s job.
All in all, I thought this was one of the strongest episodes this season.