Showrunner Alex Gansa mentioned several weeks ago that this season of Homeland was structured into three, four-act arcs. The first ended with our realization that Saul has used Carrie to lure out Javadi, and last night, the second act ended with another holy sh*t moment. It also appears that, in the last act, the series’ major characters — Saul, Brody, and Carrie — will finally be brought back together in an effort to, I think, use Javadi to effect regime change. How? I have no clue. But, things are beginning to come together; errant plot strands are coming into focus; and Dana Brody is still nowhere to be seen, which made last night’s Homeland episode one of the best of the season, and sets up what looks to be a thrilling final act in which we finally see Saul’s plan — whatever it is — come together.
Previously on: Saul turns Javadi, plays him back into Iran, and supremely pisses off Senator Lockhart; Carrie finds out that Javadi’s lawyer, Bennett, knows the identity of the Langley bomber.
1. Mira and Saul are slapping uglies again — Mira and Saul have reunited, and they’ve put a renewed effort into their marriage (although, by the end of the episode, Saul’s week-long trip smacks of same old, same old). Mira breaks it off with her lover, and he (Alan) is both confused and hurt. Later in the episode, Alan is snooping around Mira’s house and leaves a bug, either because he’s a jilted ex-boyfriend stalker, or more likely because he’s trying to get intel on Saul. It just goes to show you that, if your husband is the acting director of the CIA, you really have to be aware of the guy you are cheating on him with.
2. Fara’s motivations come into focus — We better understand why Fara is so upset with the plan Saul had for Javati. She wanted him dead, as a kind of revenge on behalf of her Iranian family. She’s not committed to Saul’s new plan; in fact, she’s so disillusioned with it, that she stays home with her ailing father. After a man from the “Inspector General’s office” looks in on Fara, her ailing father figures out that Fara is not a banker. She is, in fact, working for the CIA. This isn’t good because, if they found out in Iran that she is working for the Americans, it will put her extended family back home at grave risks.
3. The F**k Monkey Is Pissed — Saul tells Mike Higgins (the White House Chief of Staff) that he’s turned Javadi; Higgins is dubious, as he should be since the only assurances Saul has are, “I know the man. He knows how the game is played.” After a pissing match with the Senator, who is excused because his security clearance is a level below operations, Saul debreifs Higgins on Phase Two: Regime change. Saul is going to move Javadi up the chain of command into a senior military position, and from there, effect regime change.
What does not make sense to me, however, is how Saul plans to do this in the next nine days, before Senator Lockhart is approved as the CIA Director and Saul is ousted. I guess that Saul thinks that, if the President approves of it, the plan will go forward with or without him?
4. Second trimester, baby! — We find out through an ultrasound that Carrie is now 13 weeks pregnant, that she drank considerably during the early part of her pregnancy, that the stress of her job is putting the baby at risk, and that she has no immediate plans to terminate. She just wants to find the baby-daddy, who we are now certain is Brody.
5. Carrie Takes a Bullet — Quinn and Carrie work with Dar Adal in an attempt to flush out the bomber, knowing that Javadi’s oily lawyer, Leland Bennett, arranged the bombing. They are successful in leading Bennett’s assistant, Franklin, to the bomber, which they plan to apprehend. However, it becomes clear that Franklin is not going to exfiltrate the bomber, but rather, kill him.
Carrie wants know part of that, because she thinks the bomber is the only person who can prove Brody’s innocence. She ultimately disobeys orders risks her cover, and compromising the entire Javadi mission by trying to prevent Franklin from killing the bomber, but she’s stopped when QUINN F**KING SHOOTS HER.
It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong here. Either 1) Franklin disobeyed orders from Bennett and killed the bomber without Bennett’s permission; 2) Bennett knew that Saul’s crew was listening in, and attempted to lure Carrie out; or 3) Saul actually played Carrie.
6. Brody’s Back — That last scenario — that Saul played Carrie — makes some sense, in light of the fact that the trip Saul took was to retrieve Brody, who he found where he was left in episode three: Strung out in a bunker, in a very bad way. What. the. f**k?
Next on: Brody gets clean and sober, and executes one last mission for Saul, apparently in under the nine days Saul has left as acting CIA director; Brody also gets a visit from Carrie.
1. Did Saul play Carrie?
2. Will getting shot mean that Carrie loses the baby?
3. Who does Alan work for, and why is he bugging Mira’s computer?
4. Whose side is Dar Adal really on?
5. Does anyone know what Saul’s grand plan is?
6. Will Fara be found out, and how?
7. How long has Saul known the whereabouts of Brody? Did Saul arrange for Brody to be imprisoned in Caracas?
8. What mission could Brody possibly be pulling off for Saul? Clearly, it’s an assassination, but why Brody?