‘Homeland’ 4.07 or Whose Medicine Is It Anyway?

Episode 407Last night’s episode of Homeland was brought to you by the letter M. M stands for Medicine. As in the knowledge of Carrie’s medicines, which have proven quite useful to the ISI, and Haqqani’s which will hopefully help the CIA out just as much.

First, a digital round of applause for the cast and crew on Homeland this season who are beyond killing it. The dedication put into each episode for this fourth season was beyond what I expected at this point or ever at all on television. It’s beautiful. Claire Danes, wow. If there was ever a time for the inexplicably inactive Claire Danes Cry Face Tumblr to make a comeback, it’s right now.

Secondly, and in the words of the incomparable Joss Whedon: “Where do we go from here?” This episode changed the whole season, the way I see it. Forget tactical warfare, forget psychological warfare. We have crossed over into psychiatric warfare! (Sidenote: I wondered in last week’s post whether ISI would sabotage Carrie’s medication to make her go insane. Confirmed and yet surprised they took that route.)

THE A-STORY

Recap here, to be sure we caught every bit despite the emotional turmoil. Following Saul’s kidnapping, CIA Director Lockhart flies out to Islamabad and, with Ambassador Boyd’s help, secures a meeting between the ISI delegation and the Embassy/CIA station heads. But first, Quinn looks for Carrie inside her apartment while Prof. Boyd is mid-medicinal-switcharoo. Thankfully for Boyd, he is not caught red-handed and Quinn leaves the apartment none the wiser. At first I innocently assumed that the pills which Boyd replaced her antipsychotics with were placebos (likely because this was my theory from the week before), but of course they were something far more serious than that; an opiate or psychotropic from the looks of it.

Carrie, it turns out, has been with Fara and Max attempting to locate the nurse that supplied Aayan with the medicine, as well as Kiran Jafari, his ex-girlfriend, in order to find out exactly what that medicine was. The nurse has been missing for a few days, it turns out but Kiran should have a shift coming up.

At the delegation meeting, and as predicted, ISI acts as though they know nothing of Saul’s disappearance. Boyd, being the diplomat she is, keeps a cool head, uses her words carefully and does her best to maintain relations while resolving the matter at hand. That is of course until Lockhart steps in, accuses them of not only knowing about Saul’s kidnapping but aiding in it, with the serious threat to pull a $2 billion aid package from Pakistan, per POTUS. Later Boyd is so upset she momentarily considers resigning, until Hubby Dearest convinces her otherwise (does she not suspect yet?), and she turns the whole thing around again on Lockhart through “working the diplomacy channels”. Nice move, Ambassador.

Outside the meeting, Carrie catches “Hot ISI guy” (henceforth HISIG as I am as of yet unable to pinpoint the character’s name) and demands to see the airport footage from Saul’s kidnapping. HISIG calls her out on her erratic behavior (although at this point she’s not quite that erratic) and all-too-calmly agrees to show her the footage. As Carrie and Quinn head down to the airport, Carrie admits to Quinn that she understands why he did what he did, although tactically she still believes he was wrong. Nonetheless, she feels relieved that Saul is not dead on her account because the guilt of Aayan is enough as it is. When they arrive at the airport, HISIG reveals that the camera footage which should have captured the kidnapping conveniently malfunctioned and does not exist. Meanwhile, Carrie begins to go paranoid, demanding that a random airport employee shows her the contents of their briefcase. She is embarrassed when it turns out he is only carrying his lunch in there.

Later, she begins to ramble on and get amped up in the decision room. Lockhart is utterly confused and asks that she please go and take as much time as she needs to chill the fuck out. What follows is a whirlwind of insanity through Carrie’s eyes beginning with a call from Max claiming that the Kiran, Aayan’s ex, had just shown up to work at the hospital. Carrie arrives at the hospital to find, and subsequently harass, Aayan’s ex-girlfriend but is unable to even remember the nurse’s name. Quinn shows up in a hospital security uniform and attempts to restrain her but she kicks his ass and escapes out the back door in attempt to find the girl again.

After an incredible shoot out — which thankfully for Carrie turns out not to be so — she is arrested, thrown into an isolation cell somewhere, put in a very fashionable straight jacket, and dropped off in the library of a mansion. Here she imagines Brody has returned from the dead and fights against the desire to believe that he is alive. Her performance was brutal, and seeing Brody’s face again after the cold and horrible person Carrie has been (“Maybe that is the awful truth. I was willing to let you die”) was a kick in the gut because at that moment you know that she knows she is horrible. Suddenly, I feel sorry for Carrie again. Upon watching the episode a second time around, you realize that she was not imagining her conversation with Brody, she was simply imagining his face. The words coming out of Not-Brody’s mouth are those of a stranger who doesn’t understand what is happening in Carrie’s mind.

Unfortunately for her, the feeling of comfort in his face is just too strong, and she begins to weep more desperately and uncontrollably than ever. As it turns out, and unbeknownst to Carrie, she is crying in the arms of HISIG.

THE B-STORY

The only secondary story developing in this episode was that between Haqqani and Saul, who calls Haqqani out on the senselessness and non-necessity of the killings he orchestrated at his family’s wedding and of his nephew, Aayan. Haqqani blames America for corrupting Muslim society, religion, and culture in Afghanistan by taking over their country despite the Taliban not being based there, and then refusing to leave. I cannot do their conversation justice here, even in transcription, but I certainly let go of something louder than a chuckle at:

Haqqani: You point your finger at Islam, but if Christianity is to be judged by the misery it has caused mankind, who would ever be a Christian.
Saul: I’m a Jew.
Haqqani: Yeah, well…

Twice in the episode, there is a powerful cutaway to Saul’s reactions as Haqqani interacts with his wife. First, when the two are emotionally reunited for the first time in eight years. Later, as Saul is chained to the ground in the same room as Haqqani, while he and his wife are having passionate sex. One can only imagine how much Saul is beginning to miss Mira, and regretting getting involved in Carrie’s world of endless espionage despite having been given a clean break.

Towards the end of the episode, Saul and Haqqani drive to Afghanistan where Haqqani plans on taking it back from the US.

THEORIES AND QUESTIONS

  • Was Quinn really at that hospital, dressed in a security outfit or was that part of her delusion? I’m going to assume it was her delusion because Max and Fara have not been working with Quinn lately, and I just can’t imagine him getting in costume nor anyone thinking a white security guard at a Pakistani hospital would be normal.
  • Why hasn’t Quinn questioned her state of mind in relation to her bipolar disorder and medication yet? He seemed about as surprised as if it were Lockhart losing his shit. At the very least he should assume she decided to go off her meds, yet again.
  • Will Carrie be held captive or released to make a mess of things on her own? What do you think is the wiser choice for the ISI? She may do more harm as a nutcase working for the CIA than not around at all.
  • If Carrie or the CIA gets the chance again, will they shoot down Haqqani despite Saul?
  • Do you expect Saul to have a trick up his sleeve or is he really just taking it easy and hoping for the best from the outside?
  • What is the medicine that Haqqani needs and will the knowledge be as useful to the CIA as knowing about Carrie’s has been to the ISI?
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One Comment

  1. Posted November 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    HISIG’s name is Aasar Khan and he is played by Raza Jaffrey.

    Once upon a time, Jaffrey played Dev opposite Katherine McPhee’s Karen Cartwright on the NBC series Smash.

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