I’m not going to lie to all of you — I have little to no clue what Dar Adal’s (F. Murray Abraham) presence in Haqqani’s motorcade has to do with anything that’s going on right now. The last we saw of Adal, he was pushing Quinn’s buttons about his so-called retirement, before getting choked out by the volatile young agent. One thing I know for certain is that Adal’s involvement with Haqqani has something to do with the high-level meetings which Lockhart mentioned were going on at the White House. Adal has always been a behind-the-scenes power player, but it looks like he’s making his biggest move yet right now.
Best Classic “Homeland” Twist:
Obviously, the biggest twist happened at the very end, as Carrie flipped sides and attempted to assassinate Haqqani with her own suicide mission. Luckily, Aasar Khan (Raza Jeffrey) was there to stop her (which, including Quinn’s decision not to blow the bomb, brought the total twist count to three in 10 minutes), but that only lead to more questions about Adal. What is the CIA’s black operations director doing so close to Haqqani? Why would a supposed friend of Saul’s be so tight with the terrorist now, but unable to help get his friend out of harm’s way over the last few weeks? Did he not want to? Did he orchestrate the kidnapping? If so, why? There are a lot of questions building for next week, when before it seemed to be down to one: Will Carrie be able to save Quinn and herself? Now that she’s reinvested, we’ll have to see what other secrets come out.
Crazy Carrie Level: 3/10
We were hovering down around zero leading up to the last minute of the episode — Carrie was so close to pulling off another perfectly level-headed hour of television (okay, it was only 40 minutes sans credits and “last time on ‘Homeland'”). But then she had to go and get feelings. Those always muck up her head. While the argument could be made that her sudden realization to seek vengeance, upon seeing Haqqani out in the open and so close to her, was the most rationale decision of her life —instinctual wrath is certainly not the wrong way to go here — doing so surrounding by hundreds of his supporters after shouting down Quinn’s much more survivable plan is pretty nuts. We like what you’re thinking Carrie. We’re glad you’re back on Team USA. Just try to not get yourself killed. Even Quinn had an escape route.
MVP (Most Valuable Performer): Rupert Friend
If I had not given last week’s award to Maury Sterling, for bringing some much-needed life to Max, Friend would’ve taken home the prize this week. I loved seeing Sterling’s nerd rant, putting Carrie in her place yet again for letting down Fara. It was a thing of beauty, but it won’t quite surpass Rupert Friend’s surprisingly quick and ruthless takedown of two armed soldiers in the space between two parked cars. I’m all for Quinn’s own angry rants — is anyone not yelling at Carrie this season? — but when push came to shove, he shoved first and spoke second.
“For once in your life you need to listen,” Quinn snarled at Carrie, his hand around her throat. She heard him, even if it didn’t fully sink in until later. Quinn’s switch from alcoholic retiree to vengeful warrior could have gone horribly awry had Friend not been so damn convincing with his convictions. He never oversold his lines, even when they became repetitious. His nervous ticks are well-incorporated into the trained physicality of an assassin, as well, making Quinn a more than suitable co-lead for a series in need of someone to step up. I wasn’t sure it would work at the beginning of Season 4. Consider me sold now.
Quote of the Night:
“I’d really like to see Frannie.” – Carrie, after her father died
Though certainly not the most pressing issue on my mind, I was curious to see how the “Homeland” writers would handle the death of actor James Rebhorn, who played Carrie’s father. Now, after seeing how well it was incorporated into tonight’s episode, I’ll be on the alert to see if this development was already written into the script before Rebhorn’s passing in March this year. He will be truly missed on multiple accounts, but it would be hard to imagine a more relevant or respectful way to break the news.
By now, I’d all but forgotten about little Frannie, sitting back at home with Carrie’s sister. Her decision to stay didn’t seem influenced by her previous desire to avoid parenthood, and those fears didn’t reemerge tonight after Carrie asked to see her daughter for the first time since flying abroad (even though I almost went into post-traumatic stress after seeing those bright red locks on Frannie’s head). For an episode with such an envelope-opening twist to end it, I was glad writers Chip Johannessen and Alexander Cary took the time to bring Carrie’s emotional development full circle. She began Season 4 running away from her problems. As we near its end, she seems ready to embrace them — if she gets the chance.