This week on Homeland, everybody needs a few days off, no one wants to say why, and we’re all running out of time. Which brings up something I notice even at my boring job: the more aware we become of time draining away from us, the more liberties we try to take with it. Why do you make us do this, Carrie Mathison?!
For once, Carrie’s not alone in pushing it. Everybody pushes: Saul, Fara, Creepy Lawyer Guy, even Mira. The only people who doesn’t try to force their (or anyone else’s) hands this week are the long-suffering Quinn, and Brody.
Saul wants to go away with his wife. He has meetings, and there’s this thing he has to do in Venezuela, but then for sure he wants a romantic vacation. But first! Gotta go sell the Chief of Staff on his pie-in-the-sky plan for Iranian “regime change” (he’s still acting director for nine days, dammit!), then call in his most precious offshore asset for one last operation.
Mira needs the logistics of Saul’s meetings and upcoming field trips — when? For how long? — because she has to dump her boyfriend. She schedules that errand like it’s a haircut, and in a way it is.
Fara doesn’t even ask for time off: she just gets as far as the parking lot and finds she can’t make herself get out of the car. After two days out, the bureau finally comes looking for her at home, where she’s taken over caring for her ailing but still mentally sharp Dad.
If you work at the bank, why are we not rich? – Papa Sherazi
Creepy Lawyer Guy Bennett — the one guy in this equation who probably is rich, and has more resources than responsibilities in any case — wants information, and a little time to figure out his CYA play.
He needs to know what part of the firm is under investigation, and what he can do to protect himself. – Stalking Horse Franklin
It seems Dar Adal knows Bennett from some past darknet business; the former tells the latter that his firm is under investigation. It falls to Franklin (our intermediary between the dirty money and the white shoes) to reach out to Carrie for some background information. He likes to have these conversations in churches, which means either that he has no taste for the outdoors or he doesn’t know how much nuns love to eavesdrop.
Carrie, of course, needs all the time you have. She’s officially in her second trimester now, and not at all excited to be there:
I haven’t been painting a nursery. Let’s put it that way. – Carrie
What she needs from her requested “personal time,” we gather, is to deal with “a father situation.” I’m trying not to hope we see Hot Ginger from the supermarket again, because the math tells me the father is Brody. Whoever it is, he’ll have to wait: Carrie has an investigation to impede. There’s so much going on, you see. She has to find a way to mess up as many plans as she can before the baby comes.
Because the other thing Carrie needs — still! — is to prove that Nicholas Brody is not the 12-12 bomber. She can only do this by finding and capturing The Real Bomber, a mythical creature holed up in room 220 of some motel in Lynchburg. Never mind that the rest of the CIA needs the operation to continue.
Which brings us to Quinn. Quinn’s needs are simple: he needs to know what the operation demands of him and he needs it to be successful, so he can quit the CIA and spend his life making fruitcakes in a monastery somewhere. Most of all, he needs Carrie Mathison to stay the hell out of trouble. For once. Just for one week, one stinking day, for the love of God!
Listen to the man, Carrie. … Carrie, I will take the shot! – Quinn
What else can he do? And what can he say to Carrie, when he’s binding up the wound that he gave her and she yells, “something’s going on, none of this makes sense”? Remind her of what happens to people who routinely ignore direct orders? Agree that it’s strange that Saul isn’t there?
Because it is strange. Stranger still: Saul is meeting the wrecked Nick Brody, in that godforsaken Tower of David. And he’s got plans for him.
This week’s Closing Thoughts:
You people have NO IDEA how hard it was to find a key photo of Quinn that didn’t depict him all square-jawed and intense, staring into the middle distance with his shirt unbuttoned. Clean it up, Homeland! The man’s your sniper, not your pool boy.
There’s trouble in Carrie-and-Saul land. Carrie’s got questions for her boss about Javadi (“Why would he tell us two different stories?”), and he’s in no particular hurry to answer them. This pisses Carrie off.
You seem entirely indifferent to catching the actual bomber. – Carrie to Saul
Saul’s still high on his own certainty: so pleased with his Javadi plan that he seems not to need to check on the guy he turned. “I know the man,” he assures the Chief of Staff. “He knows the game.” Spoken more like an executive than a spy, Saul! Where’s that famous caution?
Mira sure hasn’t got it. Mira’s boyfriend claims he loves her, but what he’s really after is whatever he can find on the computer she shares with her husband. Yikes.
“Bennett’s clean. He works through a cut out.” Thanks to this episode, I now know that an espionage cut out is “a mutually trusted intermediary, method or channel of communication, facilitating the exchange of information between agents.” Thank you, Wikipedia and Homeland!
Do we miss Dana? A lot of you will be all, Hell no, every week I can get away from that kid is a blessed thing, but I do kind of wonder how the New Dana
Brody Lazaro is faring with Angela. I also wonder if anyone’s bothered to notice that Mike the Marine is again missing (doubtless digging up more dirt, on Angela this time).
Great use of the title poem. It’s not William Carlos Williams’s coolest (that would be “This Is Just To Say,” the loveliest confession anyone ever made). Still, it’s excellent in this context: implying that Carrie herself is The Red Wheelbarrow, the one element that ties this picture together.
The poem is also a cryptic text message. When Carrie sees it on her Secret Spy Phone — “So much depends on …”, she dutifully types in the next line: “A red wheel barrow.” We don’t know who’s sent her the text; we don’t know why. I find the not-knowing pretty cool.