Homeland RECAP: The Passion of Peter Quinn (S4:E3)
Carrie is boots on the ground in Pakistan—returning to the spot where Sandy Bachman got pulled from the car and torn to pieces like Elizabeth Taylor’s cousin in Suddenly Last Summer.
Her new team—who used to be Sandy’s team—are not especially nice to her, maybe because they’ve seen the film going around showing the incident. The consensus is that Quinn left Sandy to die in order to protect Carrie.
Carrie has a flashback just in case we were getting popcorn out of the microwave last week, or fell asleep, or passed out drunk.
Speaking of drunk, Peter Quinn still is most of the time. He’s having the spy-version of the job exit interview. Dar is watching privately from his secret lair. Dar’s relationship with Quinn is even more stalkerish than Quinn’s relationship with Carrie. There’s a shrink/interrogator trying to figure out whether Quinn is a danger to himself or others—because if he’s crazy then they can’t let him leave the CIA. Didn’t Carrie spend Season One trying to hide her craziness from the CIA so they wouldn’t kick her out?
The grand inquisitor questions him about Sandy’s death. Did he choose Carrie over Sandy? Is it because he lurves Carrie? But Quinn isn’t talking. “Fuck this,” says he.
Carrie arrives at her new home—the US embassy compound in Pakistan—aka the den of spies. No one shows up for the staff meeting she set up. She finds her second-in-command, John, and asks if he got her “cable” because apparently the embassy doesn’t have the interwebs yet. John reluctantly gathers the troops. When she starts to question her men (and none of them are ladies) about Harris’ allegations, John stands up unsteadily and says in his best Foster Brooks, “Young lady, le’s have a chat.”
She ignores him, thus gaining a tiny bit of respect from her guys because John is a pathetic loser-drunk whom no one takes seriously. Also he is pissed because Lockhart said he could be station-chief and it’s not fair. But the lost boys need Wendy to prove herself by getting them off of “lockdown,” which Martha, the ambassatrix, has imposed.
Back in the homeland, Peter is by the pool with the woman who has no name because she is a trope. He tells her he’s quitting his job. She is accepting because she’s a conceit and not an actual person.
Carrie gets a text with the word “Landed” and leaves the embassy, which she isn’t supposed to do but she’s a rebel. She manages some fancy evasion of the Pakistani intelligence people who follow her. She meets Fara and Max at a hotel. Fara greets her with a British accent. Is this the actor breaking character and talking like her real self? Nope, but maybe it’s the show trying to be meta. Fara is going to be doing some spywork that requires her to talk British. And what the hell happened to her hijab? And wasn’t she kind of disgusted with the CIA when last we saw her? Apparently all that has changed.
Fara is there to help recruit Aayan. That’s Aayan, the poor medical student whose mother and sister got blown up real good due to last week’s bombing blunder. Carrie wants him as an asset, and Fara is going to make the first contact, presenting herself to him as a British journalist who wants his story. Only, as Carrie makes clear, she expects Fara to “seduce” him—not necessarily literally, but to make “physical contact”—touch his shoulder or something.
Wasn’t Fara a banking/finance expert? How did she land this gig exactly?
Seems like Carrie didn’t have a lot of options. This is her shadow team, and Langley is in the dark.
Over in Virginia, Dar stops by Quinn’s and brings doughnuts and a bodyguard, but only the doughnuts come in with him. Dar reminds Quinn of all he’s “invested” in turning him into a killing machine and threatens him with “retraining.” He repeats the same stuff the shrink said about Quinn’s ginormous crush on Carrie. This causes Quinn to attack Dar, but then he backs off. Dar feels all victorious because Dar is now the Dr. Phil of the CIA, and by getting Quinn to express his anger he has just cured him. Or maybe Dar was just all goosebumpy because he’s been waiting for years for Quinn to actually touch him.
Dar then leaves, and the Trope emerges from the bedroom wearing only a blanket. She’s been there the whole time and heard everything. This is just like that time last season when the creepy-guy came to threaten Fara and her father was home. They might want to check on who else is in the apartment before they say all the top secret stuff.
Saul has arrived at the embassy, and Carrie seems surprised to see him even though last week she told him how much she needed his help. Turns out he and Martha used to be very friendly—nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and so much for Mira. Saul figures out that Carrie has a secret team because that’s what he’d do. He agrees to help Carrie by asking Martha to drop the lockdown. He also agrees to clear out the next day because kids have to stand on their own two feet. Carrie later has a bonding moment with her new step-mom-figure when they both go out for a cigarette break at the same time.
Aayan wants nothing to do with Fara and suspects she may not be who she says she is. So Carrie confronts Aayan herself, pretending to be a desperately ill woman in a restaurant bathroom, and then revealing herself to be Fara’s boss who will do anything to get his “story.” When that doesn’t work, she throws in promises to get him out of Pakistan—to medical school in England or the US. Locked in the tiny space, she gets him close and manages to get her card into his pocket. They aren’t going to leave this kid alone ‘til they get him killed, are they?
Quinn breaks up with the Trope (probably for her own good). But based on what she overheard, she knows he’s CIA and mixed up with the man what got killed in Pakistan. “Whoever Carrie is, she’s a lucky girl,” she tells him before walking out of his life forever. Also she left a chicken roasting in the oven because helping him get back on track was her sole purpose. Could she have been a plant working for Dar all along?
Quinn goes back to the footage of the incident, which seems to have been filmed from many different angles because in the crazy world of Homeland everything is taped at all times. He notices something that apparently none of the thousands of analysts have spotted before. The whole thing was a setup! There was a man with an earpiece coordinating the entire attack. Quinn didn’t screw up. There was no way they could have saved Sandy.
He calls Carrie to tell her this momentous news.
“Please don’t tell me you pocket dialed me,” she says. Has he done that before? A lot? There’s really so much we don’t know about their relationship—like how much of it exists entirely in Quinn’s mind.
Carrie figures earpiece-man must be Pakistani intelligence. But why kill Sandy? He would have been recalled home after the mess up. She tells Quinn she needs him.
He tells her he’s out.
She says, “Please.”
“Shit, Carrie. You are the hardest person in the world to say no to.”
“God, I fucking love you, Quinn. You know that don’t you?” Carrie has that self-satisfied grin she gets when she’s just gotten over on somebody.
“Yeah,” he says. And you know he knows she doesn’t mean it the way he wants her to, but he’s hoping that she does, only she doesn’t know it yet.
Oh, Quinn, don’t you remember last week how ruthless Carrie was? Don’t you remember how she just wanted to make sure she was “bulletproof?” How dismissive she was of the civilians killed? Weren’t you just a wee bit disillusioned? Just a little appalled at how eager she was return to the carnage? Isn’t that why you wanted out?
Quinn’s got it bad. Maybe we thought the romance stuff would die with Brody and we’d be left with a serious spy show, but it doesn’t look that way. The pair-bonding and potential bondage has multiplied. There’s Saul and Martha, Quinn and Carrie, and who knows whether it’ll be Fara and Aayan or Fara and Max or Max and Aayan. With a little script doctoring, Homeland could take place in a high school.