‘Homeland’ 4.04 or The Bad Girls Club or Will The Real Carrie Please Stand Up?

homeland_iron_fireLast night’s Homeland is brought to you by the letter A. A stands for addiction.

In last nights episode, Carrie officially went from “crazy bitch” to just “bitch” and it’s a lot scarier than we could have imagined. With her bipolar disorder under control she is more ruthless than when she was full blown manic.  Is she really this cold? Was Brody the only thing keeping her emotionally connected to the world? Could we blame the medication?

Oh and 9/11 conspiracy theories are so 2002.

THE SEASON ARC (PAKISTAN)

This episode finds the gang still in Pakistan and Carrie going about her investigation from three different angles, and grabbing at least three different men by the balls, literally and figuratively:

1) Carrie has to convince Saul to stay a little longer, call in some favors, and “stir the pot” among Pakistani Intelligence. Through Saul, Carrie wants ISI to know someone is on their tail.  Saul reaches some well-dressed ISI guy with more security detail than Barack Obama, and he is clearly interested in knowing who that someone is but Saul isn’t giving up any names. And why would he when he didn’t get an answer to one question.  Nonetheless, Carrie’s plan works and the pot gets stirred…

2) Carrie hones in on the freelance Pakistani operative in the YouTube video of Sandy’s death and his name is Farhad Ghazi.  The team sets up a surveillance situation equipped with cameras and a clone of his mobile phone, as they await his next directive.  As soon as Saul has tipped off the ISI in his meeting with suit-and-tie hottie, a call comes through to Ghazi let him know that he’s been made and is possibly being watched, which seems to be the plan but before they can stop him (or decided to stop him)…

3) Farah calls in with the news that in the process of following Aayan she has discovered that Haissam Haqqani is alive, and was not in fact killed during the drone mission in the pilot.  Carrie and Quinn ask themselves how that could be possible and why?  First of all, intel from Sandy’s source (or Sandy himself) was far more compromised than they imagined and Sandy was killed to protect Haqqani.  Secondly, why would the Taliban and ISI confirm Haqqani’s death if he was alive?  They come to the conclusion that the Taliban would be better off having everyone believe he was dead, but why would ISI?  What could they have to gain? Could Haqqani be working for them? Or worse could they be working with Haqqani?

THE PROTAGONIST ARC (CARRIE)

Oh Carrie. What is one to believe anymore? Carrie is about as good of an actress as Claire Danes and it is frightening to question every move, every squint, every word coming from her as a possible play on those around her.

Did anyone else cringe at Carrie’s sexual assault on poor Aayan? CRINGE! I can’t even discuss it.  This was not a James bond seduction.  He’s a kid who just lost his whole family and she’s lying to him about everything and taking his virginity! For shame, Carrie.

Will the real Carrie please stand up?  Who is she?  Is she just these missions?  Even if she has no soul, where is her personality within it all? Does she not have any personal stakes other than to succeed and pat herself on the back?  Quinn seems closer than anyone to figuring her out…

THE SUPPORTING ARCS (QUINN, SAUL)

Didn’t Quinn make quite the compelling argument for qualifying as an addict? To drone missions equaling “killing by remote control“. It’s a hard pill to swallow not just for Quinn and Carrie, but as an American on the macro-scale, that “bringing the war to [our] enemy” we didn’t preemptively “save lives” if we also made just as many enemies in the process.  On the micro-scale, that the conduits of these plans can become addicted to the thrill, the fear, the power, and an dare-i-say an inflated sense of heroism.  At least Quinn can own up to it, is attempting to remove himself from it, and remembers the little boys name in Caracas.  Truly now, could Carrie say the same about those she’s killed?

Saul seems to be going down the rabbit hole with Carrie but, like Quinn, fully aware of what the choices he makes mean to himself and his future.  He is no longer hoping that he doesn’t ruin his home by following Carrie around, he is very aware that he is putting it in jeopardy and seems prepared to deal with the consequences if and when he decides to go all in (which he has not, as of yet). Some snippets from this marvelous exchange between the two —

Carrie: That’s a huge fucking deal! Something’s going on!
Saul: Something’s always going on.

Saul: Quinn called me last week, concerned.
Carrie: About what?
Saul: You.
Carrie: Me? He’s the one who wigged out.
Saul: Maybe that was the more appropriate response.

THE AMBASSADOR’S HUSBAND

Well, if we haven’t found the mole, the icky Ambassador’s husband.  A disgraced author turned Poli Sci professor who has been selling documents straight from the Ambassador’s desk to ISI.  Now here is where I have a problem: why oh why would he do this?  It’s covert so definitely not for recognition.  Money would seem the obvious answer but I’m sure between himself and his wife they make a decent living?  Plus, what would he do with the money that he then could explain to his wife? I hope we get an answer to that.  The pathetic excuses he made to his wife were exactly that, pathetic.  I hope this badass ISI handler, Tasneen, makes him pee his pants at least once this season.  She might be evil but I’m loving her. She looks like she could do it, and he looks like he would.

One question: what was with the medicine Aayan handed off to his uncle and why is it so important?

As always, let me know what you thought about this episode of Homeland below.  Till next week!

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