Homeland Recap: What Could Go Wrong?

This week’s Homeland was the most focused of the season, having only one major plot thread – and nobody’s straying spouse, wayward daughter, or other extraneous crap. Just the mission – getting Brody into Iran.

We open at CIA headquarters, where Carrie and Quinn have both arrived at work. Carrie is being cold to Quinn. Given that he shot her, maybe this time she has a right to be a little testy. Quinn asks about her shoulder. He apologizes and tries to explain, “It was a direct order. I didn’t want someone else to take the shot.” He tells her he looked at her medical chart and knows she’s 15 weeks pregnant. He’s concerned that carrying the littlest Brody will mean she can’t be objective about the mission. Since Carrie is convinced she is the only one in the universe who can save Brody, she does not react well to this. She tells him that Brody isn’t the father; it’s none of his business, and to stay the fuck out of her way. While she does not call him a stalker, it may have crossed her mind.

They go into a situation room where others are already stationed, monitoring Brody and his team visually with drones and with radio contact.

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Dar’s location for the duration is the White House where he’s hanging with Chief of Staff, Mike Higgins. Higgins is a bit nervous the whole operation could blow up in their faces and cause an international incident. Dar’s job seems to be to keep Higgins calm and prevent him from going to the President. He assures Higgins it will be bloodless and smooth. Brody just has to walk across the border and ask for asylum. No problem!

Brody and the special ops team are only a couple of miles from Iran. They have two vehicles. AZ, the team leader is checking to make sure Brody has his story straight. Clearly he doesn’t know that lying is Brody’s superpower.

While Carrie and Quinn are watching the operation unfold, Saul is still in his office chewing Blackjack gum, which is his lucky gum, we guess. It’s show time, and everybody’s on edge.

Sunset in Iraq. Brody goes off to wash his feet and pray. There’s a shot of him prostrate in silhouette, reminiscent of the day he was praying by the lake, and Quinn decided not to assassinate him.

Praying might not be the worst idea because things are already starting to go wrong. The CIA loses the visual. The border road, which was quiet an hour ago, is now packed with gasoline trucks and corrupt officials getting free gas. Another route needs to be found. They’re working on alternatives when policemen approach their vehicles. Brody is in a car with the head ops guy, AZ. The other guys are standing around the other vehicle. The cops don’t buy their car trouble story and AZ says, “Good night” which is a signal for the team to start shooting. Brody winds up with dead policeman bits splattered all over his face.

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He runs out of the car in a panic. AZ runs after him. It’s one of those turning points. AZ admits he too gets scared before a mission, and Brody has to get his shit together. It works, but if history teaches us anything, we have learned that anyone who bonds with Brody is bound to be hurt or killed before the end of the episode.

Over at the White House, Higgins is none too pleased with the latest development – the death of three Iraqi police officers. Dar points out they were Kurds, not to split hairs. And you can’t have a new world order without breaking a few eggs.

Senator Lockhart and General Somebody show up outside of the situation room. Lockhart explains they are there to advise and observe. The general will be advising and he’ll be observing. He’s been briefed about “everything” including Brody’s involvement. Lockhart makes it clear to Saul he is not there to interfere. He is not being a total dick for a change! Once inside the room he asks Carrie about her shoulder. She looks at him like she’s trying to figure out the angle. Then he commends her for getting Brody to take on the assignment, telling her she must be “one hell of a salesperson.” She replies, “Here at the agency, we call that recruiting.” Snap.

AZ and Brody are separated from the rest of the team, heading toward the alternative location, and AZ is telling Brody that he used to ride bulls in the rodeo, and if you’ve seen any battle movie ever you know this kind of personal detail can only lead to one thing, and BOOM, Brody and friend hit an IED.

Back in the situation room, they can’t reach AZ or Brody on the radio. Higgins gets on screen and tells Saul he has an idea. Why not use a drone to blow up the car? They can tell the Iraqis they found Brody and took him out. “It’s a smart play if they’re already dead.” Carrie starts yelling. Saul gets parental and tells her to button it. He tells Higgins he is not going to order a strike on his own men, and then the miracle happens – someone rolls out of the car, goes back in and gets the other one out. Both are alive. Brody has saved AZ who has an injured leg. He calls into headquarters and confidently gives the ops team instructions. He can stem the blood until help arrives. This is something we’ve never seen before: Brody in hero mode, and seemingly on our side.

The rest of the ops team shows up, but so do a bunch of Iraqi soldiers and there’s a firefight. The team is being told to just hold them back, not take the Iraqis out. They need to get AZ help and they won’t be able to quietly sneak Brody into Iran. It’s time to abort the mission and retreat. Saul gives command over to the General.

Lockhart tells Saul, “You had some bad luck. I’m sorry.” Saul just stares at him, feeling even worse because if Lockhart feels sorry for him, that probably is as low as you can go.

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Carrie tells him, “At least we have Javadi in play. That’s not nothing.” But clearly for Saul it is nothing. He leaves the room looking completely defeated.

Then Brody decides he’s too close to quit. He wants ops to cover him as he runs for the border. Carrie tries to talk some sense into him, reminding him he’ll be going in alone, not sanctioned, with no extraction plan.

He tells her he has faith – in her. She’ll rescue him. She yells at him that that is a fantasy. But nobody has to wait for those previews to know she’s going to wind up in Tehran. There’s more gunfire, and Brody runs forward as his team withdraws – well most of them. Remember the medic guy charged by Saul with seeing that Brody lived through his withdrawal? He tells Brody he’ll give him cover to get across. Only he doesn’t get a chance to because suddenly a bunch of lights go on and they are completely surrounded by Iranian soldiers. Brody identifies himself and says he’s seeking asylum. He claims his young friend is an Al-Qaeda operative who helped get him across.

Carrie goes to give Saul the news that Brody made it. Saul looks like he just won the lottery. Then Carrie goes to talk to Fara who is sitting alone in some dark office because by now it could be three in the morning but she’s still there because she has no life whatsoever, and after that home visit from the scary dude she’s probably terrified to ever leave. Carrie is acting nice to Fara, which is weird, because no one is ever nice to Fara. She’s telling her how essential she was to the success of the mission, but there’s another part of it: a “brother agent” is now in Iran and they need her help to get him out. Could they maybe use her uncle’s home in Tehran as a de-facto safe-house? Fara tells Carrie she’s not going to endanger her family, and Carrie would never agree to it if it were her family. Carrie says she might, which may be true but that’s because Carrie is crazy, which apparently nobody ever explained to poor Fara, who is now looking like she’s thinking about it.

Brody and his unfortunate comrade are in a cell. Javadi enters and asks Brody, “Are you ready to go with me to Iran?” Brody looks over at his cellmate and asks, “What about him?” Javadi immediately shoots the redshirt in the head, making Brody very angry. Looks like he and Brody are off to a great start.

Two more episodes to go. Previews show Carrie in Iran. Will Quinn be there protecting her because she is his destiny? Will Brody decide to defect for real? Who will Javadi kill next? And is anyone going to notice Carrie’s baby bump?

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: Homeland

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  • we have learned that anyone who bonds with Brody is bound to be hurt or killed before the end of the episode. Or within the next 30 seconds, whichever comes first.