Hurry up and wait, indeed. After last week’s breathless race of an episode, The Yoga Play slows the pace down quite a bit. We get some interpersonal intrigue, quite a few stakeouts, and a whole lot of waiting: more stalking than shooting, you might say.
Duck hunting plays a role in this episode. Despite the fact that I kept thinking about this, hunting as a narrative metaphor works here. Like espionage, hunting involves watching your prey, doing lots of hiding and waiting, and sudden ambush.
Among the hunters and the hunted in The Yoga Play, we have:
Javadi: the hunted, but also the hunter. Javadi’s now on American soil, and blending in quite nicely. He speaks in an American accent at the border, swaps out one car for another with impressive speed, even enjoys a burger as he stakes out a suburban home. The CIA wants this guy, and he knows it; but he’s busy with prey of his own.
Jessica Brody, hunter. Worried about her runaway daughter, she turns to Carrie Mathison (really?!) for help. Carrie, who’s never met a terrible idea she didn’t love, is on it.
“We’re running Virgil’s yoga play,” Carrie barks into her secret cellphone, and the harebrained scheme is on. The yoga play involves using Virgil, a vehicle, and a yoga studio (with a Carrie Mathison lookalike?) to buy Carrie an hour off the grid. It’s not much of a plan; Quinn’s intervention is the only thing that makes it work.
Peter Quinn, perhaps more guardian than hunter. Quinn, now apparently working exclusively for Saul, is on Carrie Mathison watch around the clock. He’s not just concerned for her; Quinn is now very impressed with Carrie.
What you put yourself through? It was fucking incredible. – Quinn
Carrie, definitely the hunted. We all need to get with the Quinn program and worry about Carrie Mathison, guys. It’s not just that she wakes up one morning and decides to flush all her meds. It’s not just that she’s drinking again, and stashing a secret cellphone where the rest of us store the bleach, and running out the clock on every single covert operation. It’s that she seems to need to live this way. It’s possible Carrie believes she’ll only succeed if she puts herself as far out on the slender limb of acceptable risk as she can.
This isn’t right! This is not what we agreed. – Carrie to her captors
Dana Brody and Leo, hunted. The kids don’t seem about worried about either time or money at first. “I come from a money-free zone,” Leo says breezily. They toss around ideas on how to make money (on TV as in life, “flipping burgers” is the of-course-I-can-do-THAT job of choice for privileged white kids), while Dana decides that fast-food work will liberate them from their pasts.
We don’t have to BE who we are! – Dana
The moment she says that, I know the kid will be home by sundown. I don’t know how I know, exactly – but then Leo’s all, “It’ll never get better than this,” and yup, I’m sure.
Senator Lockhart: the hunted who thinks he’s the hunter. The steely-eyed legislator who interrogated Carrie in front of Congress gives way, this week, to Elmer Fudd. In The Yoga Play, Lockhart is clearly this year’s VP Walden: a bombastic rich guy who loves weapons but is a lousy shot.
Ever hunt a goose before? – Lockhart
Just spies and traitors. – Saul
Saul: a little sore, but by any measure still the hunter. Saul faces some rough weather this week, professionally and personally. He’s blindsided by the President’s plan to replace him with Lockhart, sure — but “down” has never really led to “out” with Saul. I sense he still has plenty of cards to play. I wish I could say the same of his life at home: that man is ignoring Mira right out of his life, and it’s clearly not the first time he’s done this.
Work is not just what Saul knows; it’s what he loves. When Quinn tells him that he’s lost contact with Carrie – “We lost her, she’s on her own” – Saul responds with a little verbal shrug, delighted to be back in the game.
She’s always on her own. – Saul
Still, Saul knows Carrie better than anyone. He knows she loves a tightrope walk, the higher the better; he also knows she likes it best when there’s no safety net. She’ll be fine, if only because she seems so comfortable not being fine.
- Mike is MIA again, just when Jessica could use some help. I know this woman loves Dana, but would it kill her to let the kid know? Give her a curfew, ground her, maybe touch her once in a while?
- No lines for Chris Brody this week. No hugs, either. These Brodys can be so very cold.
- Dana seems quite fixated on the honesty of her loved ones. If you know teenagers, you know that now is not the time to challenge the girl on her fib about “just going to Trader Joe’s.”
- Leo, we hardly knew ye! Off you go, now, into Dana’s Big Book of Teen Boyfriends. Say hi to Zander and Finn Walden for us.
- I’m really excited that I know what a duck blind is, you guys. Just don’t ask me to go sit in one of those things for three hours with a member of Congress. There is not enough ammo in the world.