Homeland RECAP: Mirror, Mirror (S4:E7)

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After Homeland, Redux, I am beginning to wonder if super-spy Dennis “Duck” Boyd has been screwing with my meds. What was real and what wasn’t? I seem to recall seeing a monkey, but maybe it was a cameo by one of the chimps randomly typing the script. It may have been the trippiest trip since that episode of Ab Fab where they’re in Morocco and Patsy recalls her sex change.

We open with some white powder being cut up and placed in pills. Mmmmm, white powder. Cocaine? Heroin? The booty of some borderland warlord? Nope. Just God-knows-what being placed in capsules by a pharmacist. Tasmeen, the Dark Lady of the ISI, has Dennis—that master of intrigue—sneak into Carrie’s apartment and swap them for her lithium.

Then Director Lockhart arrives at the Den of Spies known as the American Embassy. It’s a tense moment when he checks in with Redmond and Quinn to find out who overruled Carrie. Quinn admits it was him—not because Carrie lost it—but because SAUL.

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Lockhart says, “Thank Christ,” which means he thinks not ordering a drone strike on his predecessor creates less of a clusterfuck than killing him would have. Lockhart lectures all his CIA crew about what a dysfunctional mess the Pakistan bureau is—the wedding bombing, Sandy’s murder and now this! Who the hell is in charge, anyway? They should totally fire that guy. Also Lockhart mentions that the kidnapping is a secret that must not be leaked. Right, because it’s not like Haquanni could just put out a video or something.

 

Where’s Carrie? She was miffed apparently because nobody listened to her. She’s with Max and Fara watching dronevision.

Is Saul still alive? Yup. Saul is sitting next to Haquanni in a car. Just two hirsute men of a certain age hanging out. Haquanni explains his plans because villains on television always explain their plans.  Saul is going to be Haquanni’s personal human shield. Now Haquanni can finally get that drone free vacation, see the wife and kids without worrying about everybody getting blown up.

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Lockhart and the Ambassadrix meet with some Pakistanis (including Bunny). Both Dev from Smash and Tasmeen are there. The Ambassadrix and Lockhart are playing good cop/bad cop, which comes as a shock to the Ambassatrix. Lockhart tells the Pakistanis that if they don’t get Saul back, the US is pulling all its foreign aid. Margaret goes back her office and starts writing a letter of resignation. Duck interrupts her because he’s always lurking and tells her he’d hate for them to leave because Pakistan is growing on him, which is totally going to be Pakistan’s new tourist slogan. Okay, so maybe Margaret wouldn’t realize her husband’s new hobby is high treason, but wouldn’t she suspect something? Doesn’t seem like it. She talks about Saul’s kidnapping because “top secret” doesn’t mean you can’t tell your spouse, even if he is a lying sack of shit who regularly embarrasses you.

After the meeting, Carrie confronts Dev from Smash and accuses the ISI of having something to do with the kidnapping—which given the involvement of Ghazi, a known ISI associate—sounds pretty reasonable. Dev acts like this is the first time he’s heard about Ghazi’s being there. He doesn’t exactly disbelieve Carrie, but he does ask her if she always talks so fast.

Is he asking because she is talking fast or does he know she’s Crazy Carrie? And why wouldn’t he know that? Wouldn’t they have had a complete dossier on Carrie when she arrived? Even if he’s not overly impressed with her manners, he agrees to meet her at the airport to look at the security tapes from when Saul got snatched.

But first Carrie goes back to her apartment to take her meds. Man, I was really hoping Carrie would notice something was amiss, but that Dennis is just too good at this. Poor Carrie. This could get really embarrassing.

Carrie and Quinn have a heart to heart in the car. Carrie insists she made the right call, but admits she feels bad about sending whatever-his-name-was to his death and is grateful she doesn’t have to feel guilty about Saul as well. At the airport, she reacts to the sound of a spoon hitting the side of a teacup. When critical moments of the tape are missing due to a “software error,” she accuses Dev of hiding evidence and pounces on some poor security guard’s briefcase, which turns out to contain his lunch. Later, when she meets with Lockhart, she tells him her plan is to find Saul and send a helicopter rescue THAT day, which everyone else thinks is crazy, but later Lockhart—not being a complete dick—looks into it. It is crazy.

Saul and Haquanni’s excellent adventure continues. They arrive at Haquanni’s home, where one of his son’s throws a shoe at Saul. This makes Haquanni angry, but it’s a son, not a nephew, so he doesn’t shoot him in the head, just slaps him and makes him apologize. Then they have a lovely dinner, and afterwards, Haquanni gets to fuck his wife while Saul is chained in a corner. Is there really no other place he could put him? Is this because Haquanni is “foreign” and doesn’t have the same concept of privacy? Or are he and the missus just trying to spice things up? Saul looks like he wishes Carrie had taken the shot.

Like you wouldn't wanna watch this guy getting freaky with his wife.

Like you wouldn’t wanna watch this guy getting freaky with his wife.

Carrie meantime is feeling a bit strange and takes more of her tainted medication. She goes to the hospital to confront Karin and ask if she knows what kind of medication Aayan was bringing his uncle. The pills have affected her ability to speak in an indoor voice and use words other than “fuck.” Then things get really weird…

Everything happens so fast, we don’t know what to dismiss as fantasy and what might have actually happened. A security guard confronts Carrie. But Carrie thinks it’s Peter Quinn and talks to him like he’s Quinn. Then she beats the crap out of him. On the street, she is being followed by a car. She takes out a gun and shoots at the men who are getting out of the car. Does she even carry a gun?

HOMELAND RECAP: Mirror, Mirror (S4:E7)

And then there’s that screaming monkey. Police take her to a jail, where the fly what was buzzing around Walter White’s meth lab seems to have migrated to a Pakistani prison. From there, she is bundled up in an old timey straightjacket and carted off to a well appointed private home that could just as easily be in the English countryside. She tries to escape, but there are big dogs outside ready to tear out her throat. And then, Jesus Christ on a stick, she sees Brody.

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Brody is hugging her and telling her nobody has died! And I’m thinking, SHOW, THIS HAD BETTER BE A HALLUCINATION because if it’s not a hallucination than you are the worst. But thank Christ, as Lockhart might say, it is NOT real. She is in the arms of Dev from Smash, a character who, per IMDB, is named Aaser Khan, but no one has used that name so he will always be known in these recaps as Dev.

It makes sense that Dev knows something is rotten at the ISI, and that Carrie may be the key to getting Saul back and finding the leak in his own organization. It would be an interesting turn of events if he was at least sort of a good guy—a sane, secular patriot just trying to do the best he can for Pakistan and an unlikely ally. It might be fun to watch Carrie and Dev learn to trust each other and work together, but did we have to have all this overblown nonsense to get there? And why does it have to play out like a gothic romance? She is the vulnerable (white) woman whose heart is closed off after a tragedy. He is the dark and mysterious stranger. He abducts her (even if it was for her own good) and has her brought to his castle where she must learn to trust again.

Or maybe it’s just meant to be a mirror image of Carrie and Aayan.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if they just had a professional relationship? Like maybe the kind with a little sexual tension but no actual sex?

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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  • When did the Ambassatrix’s husband turn into a totally reliable spook, and when did Quinn turn into a total incompetent? Wasn’t Quinn’s paranoia a plot point last season? Why is he so clueless this season?Yeah, Brody, whew. I like Paranoid Carrie. They should do a whole POV episode. PS Sometimes a monkey is just a monkey.

    • I’m with you. I thought for sure when he was clumsily asking Peter about Carrie’s mental health, Peter was at least getting a vibe. Of all the implausibilities, Dennis’ free access and nobody notices anything he does is the most implausible.