Spoiler alert: this blog is published after Homeland airs in the US. Only read on if you’ve watched series six episode seven, which airs in the UK on Sundays.
Homeland has always been about long-term relationships – cherishing and maintaining them under intense stress. The father-daughter thing Saul and Carrie have going on is the beating heart of the show. We always thought this was somewhat mirrored by Dar Adal’s mentoring relationship with Peter Quinn. Sure, he could be a hard ass but he cared about his assets. The revelation of Dar as a sexual predator preying on the young – including Quinn – was the most shocking of the night and the hardest to forgive. It’s a good job Dar Adal doesn’t care about your forgiveness.
“You grew up in a hard school, no time for self-pity”
Quinn wakes in a delightful lakeside paradise to learn that his extraction from psychiatric custody was part of a deal made by Dar Adal. Dar visits him at the lake house and speaks to him alone. After recapping their tortured history, Dar tells him it was Carrie who woke him from his coma in Berlin, in the hope of getting info on the attack on the Hauptbahnhof station. She is the reason he is in this state. “You think she’s been taking care of you all these months out of love? Sounds a lot more like guilt.” Dar is probably right, even if it’s an emotion he’s never personally experienced.
“I don’t know who these people are, but they are serious and they are connected”
After Dar informs children’s services on her, Carrie winds up in family court. It’s a battering encounter. Her decision to leave Franny alone with Quinn, Franny finding her asleep in her room holding a gun and her history of bipolar disorder are all brought before the judge. He agrees that the circumstances meet those required to declare Franny at imminent risk. She will remain in foster care while Carrie undergoes psychiatric evaluation.
Carrie returns home devastated to an empty house and falls off the wagon hard, polishing off a bottle of champagne in the fridge. She calls the President-elect to see if she can pull a few strings for her. It goes down as well as oafish drunken pleas to the leader of the free world generally do. The stability Carrie worked so hard to attain is in tatters.
“I’ll remember what you’ve done for me today”
As Javadi arrives with a delegation of Iranian finance ministers, Saul’s boy Nate Joseph hands him tickets for a hockey game. It’s the kind of hospitality a man could get used to. His day swiftly takes a turn for the worse, though, when he is picked up by Iranian intelligence and interrogated. After losing a couple of fingernails he is saved by Amir Bastami, a man who served under him in Iraq. Amir is grateful for a goat Javadi kidnapped to feed his men. On such random acts of kindness can lives depend.
“Any way you look at it, the optics aren’t good”
Saul starts this week being grilled by counterintelligence deputy Rachel Cross. Her director is catching heat from Mossad about Saul’s trip to the West Bank. His phone is confiscated and he is grounded like a wayward teen. Luckily, his old buddy Dar Adal flies in to his rescue. He’s a regular white knight, this guy.
Of course, it’s all part of a stalling tactic to keep Saul from meeting with Javadi. When they do finally come face-to-face, it becomes clear that Dar Adal was behind tipping off Iranian intelligence about his whereabouts – that and so much else besides.
Javadi shows Saul a photo of a tortured and we assume deceased Farhad Nafisi. He’s been working for Mossad for eight years. There’s no parallel program assembling nukes in North Korea. In exchange for proof of this, he wants asylum, round-the-clock protection and access to his frozen $45m. It just so happens Saul can get him a sitdown with a woman who could make that happen – the President-elect. To celebrate this terrific news, he shoots his saviour Amir dead. That’s Javadi for you – he literally gets your goat.
Notes and observations
“We’re all pretty when we’re young.” I’ve seen Scarface; I’d say the jury is out on that one.
General McClendon calls Elizabeth the C-word as he and Dar watch her on TV. You knew Robert Knepper would be back – and that he would be up to no good.
Saul watches the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center, which may not be possible quite soon.
With Elizabeth now speaking freely about her son, we learn that they disagreed strongly about US military intervention abroad.
It is obviously of concern that Carrie’s troubles will trigger a manic episode, but seasoned Homeland viewers know that’s when she does her best work.
They better not have brought Astrid back just to be a babysitter to Quinn. She is better than that.
How much more wicked can Dar Adal get? Do you believe Javadi is telling the truth about the parallel nuclear program? Can drunk, manic Carrie save the day? Please let me know below.