Homeland RECAP: Homeland 2.0 - The Reboot (S4:E1-2)

homeland promo shot

Remember that surreal “3 months later” last ten minutes of the Season 3 finale after they hanged Brody? And how Carrie was going to be running our man in Iran from her new gig as station-chief in Istanbul?

For reasons we’ll maybe understand later, she isn’t in Istanbul or even Constantinople. Instead she is the “drone queen” of Kabul, and based on some intel from her counterpart in Pakistan, she authorizes a mission to get a baddie from her kill list—but the bomb also takes out forty civilians at a wedding.

The day after that fiasco, Peter Quinn is meeting with Martha, the Ambassatrix of Pakistan. She wants to know how this could have happened, and she wishes Peter could be her station-chief. Seriously, don’t we all? Later, Quinn Skype-chats with Carrie, who tells him she got the intel from Sandy, the Istanbul chief, and his intel was always good before. Carrie has shut down emotionally and dismisses the “collateral damage.” They should have known better than to invite a target to the wedding. It’s Quinn, the former black ops guy, who’s having “feelings.”

Meantime, a medical student named Aayan—whose mother and sister along with other family members got blowed-up—has a video on his phone of the wedding party going kaboom.

We get a glimpse of Saul in DC. He’s working for the private sector but that doesn’t stop him from pontificating on policy in a meeting with the joint chiefs. We know he just wants back in the game although Meera has become a true Manhattanite—obsessed with buying an apartment. Don’t do it, Saul! The CIA has nothing over the intrigue of the typical coop board.

After a night of drinking and pills, Carrie wakes up to a phone call from CIA Director Lockhardt, who tells her about Aayan’s video, which has gone viral. She’s got some ‘splaining to do and is going to have to go to Islamabad. Quinn picks her up at the airport. They discuss Sandy—the mystery man—and how he’s always doing secret stuff, which you’d think would be his job, but apparently it’s secret-secret stuff. Quinn calls him. He claims he’s “on the campus,” but he’s not. He’s gotten a message from his contact and has gone to an address, but no one is there. Quinn needs his location as he’s been “made.” His face was on Pakistani television, and he was identified as the guy who ordered the strike. Carrie and Quinn pick him up in the nick of time, just after he’s pulled a gun on the crowd coming after him, but then the mob pulls him from the car and neither Carrie nor Quinn can stop them. Carrie wants to keep fighting, but Quinn knows it’s too late and they race back to the embassy.

Carrie cleans the blood off her face and puts on lipstick as she prepares to meet the Ambassatrix.

So much for Part One—a dull, if serviceable premiere. But this is Homeland, so you know there has to be more—too much more.

Part Two begins two days later. A flag-draped coffin is unloaded from a plane at Andrews base. Carrie and Quinn step off and meet Lockhardt and Sandy’s widow. Then Carrie goes to her sister’s, which is where she dumped the littlest Brody. How does Carrie react to the presence of her lovechild? She  looks like she just ate something that tasted exactly like live cockroaches but she’s at a diplomatic luncheon and it would start a nuclear apocalypse for her to say anything.

homeland 4.1 dude by pool

Later that night, Quinn throws an empty liquor bottle into a swimming pool. The building manager, a plus-sized gal, chats with him about this not being a good idea, and they wind up having hot, sweaty sexytimes—not because Peter Quinn is drunk and she is taking advantage of him, but because Peter Quinn is not a sizist and I am sure he likes older women too, even if they haven’t been at the gym a lot lately and their yoga pants pill at the thighs and will you marry me, Peter Quinn?

Back in Pakistan, Aayan is afraid he will be blamed for the riots that have started since the video—which his roommate uploaded completely against his wishes. He gets waylaid by a reporter and makes some moderate statements… especially amazing given his family has been killed by American infidels and all.

Hours later in our nation’s capital, Peter Quinn wakes up and offers to buy breakfast for the woman with whom he has spent the night—because that’s the kind of stand up guy he is.

Carrrie meets with Lockhardt, who is watching Aayan’s interview. Lockhardt totally blames Carrie for the “fuck up” and tells her she is recalled, but on the positive side she’ll get to spend more time with her daughter. And then in tonight’s fun fact, he asks why the hell she wants to go to Pakistan. “It’s not even a country, it’s an acronym.” It’s true. You can look it up!

homeland 4.1 interview

Quinn continues to treat the building manager like she’s a human being, which cracks up the assholes at a nearby table, so he teaches one of them some manners. Carrie gets him out of jail by “playing the PTSD card.”  Carrie tells Quinn she’s going to find Jed Harris—an agent formerly in Pakistan who knows something about Sandy’s mysterious dark asset. Harris is now filing papers in some basement. Quinn wonders why Carrie is so obsessed with being back in the field. What’s so great about being in charge of the kill list?

Are you getting the feeling there’s some big reveal coming as to Carrie’s motives? Prepare to be hit on the head with an anvil.

She tracks down Harris, who refuses to talk with her. Then she gets stuck for a few hours with Baby Franny. First she takes the little ginger for a drive over to the old Casa Brody, where she stops and reminisces.

homeland 4.1 baby in car

She tells the Brodyette that Brody would have been an even worse parent than she is. But this does not seem to be a factual statement as she is the worst.Is there any payoff to this scene beyond giving Carrie a chance to tell us how much she misses Brody? There is no surprise appearance by Morena Baccarin. We will never have the closure of Jess and Carrie working out all that tension in what starts out as a girlfight but ends up as girl-love.

She takes Franny home and starts to give her a bath. Claire Danes is such a good actor we get that Carrie is thinking of drowning the precious Brody-spawn. And for just a second, we might even think—well, who hasn’t been there? Not really, because I don’t think that many of us have been there, exactly. But you might be able to sympathize with the idea that Carrie isn’t in complete control of her mind. But that’s not enough for Homeland. Nope.

They have to show Carrie actually dunking Brodylita under the water for realz. She pulls the baby back up, but it’s a moment that can’t be unseen. Can we ever forgive Carrie? Sure, her job is killing people on a list, but they are bad people—except for the collateral damage caused by faulty intel, which is totally not her fault. But drowning your own baby? Even Dexter was a good dad. Even Walter White loved his kids.

homeland 4.1 baby mom crying

At least we now understand why she is so desperate to be sent somewhere that Franny can’t go. She knows her impulses are dangerous, so Carrie-logic dictates that the best course of action is distance. Unfortunately, it’s a reminder that we’ve seen a lot of crazy behavior from her, and there’s no way the risk-averse Lockhardt would have kept her on.

Carrie continues to stalk Harris, who finally admits he told Lockhardt that Sandy was trading information for intelligence. At Sandy’s funeral, she confronts the director and blackmails him to get her job back. She also sees Saul and tells him she’ll be needing his private sector help to clean things up. Quinn does not seem ready to go back just yet. Maybe he’ll try to work things out with his new friend. At least she’s not a bipolar nutjob still in love with a dead man.

Aayan gets beaten up by what looks like police who tell him, “No more interviews. No more videos.” I’m sure it could have been worse. But they’ll probably spend more time torturing him over the next few weeks.

The episode ends with Carrie on a plane, heading back to the field, no baby on board.

How will the show continue now that the viewers all hate Carrie?

For more Marion Stein, visit her website at marionstein.net!

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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  • FatGuyFromQueens

    Well at least Carrie doesn’t have a Dingo because she’d be tempted to bathe the baby and the dingo and then….

    • Hilarity would ensue? Well, Claire Danes is like the Meryl Streep of television.

      • FatGuyFromQueens

        She ate the baby?

  • One of those baby actors playing the mini-Brody looked like it had Down Syndrome. Plot point? Also, I don’t get the thing with Carrie being totally emotionally shut down in episode one. But suddenly she has her old gut instincts back later. Is there a scene missing?

    • Given the psych drugs and booze, fetal alcohol syndrome wouldn’t be unlikely.