May 19, 2018
Homeland RECAP: Nothing Says Good Morning Like Pastry (S4:E8)
Carrie wakes up in the well appointed home of Dev from Smash. Looks like someone tucked her in. She’s fully dressed. Her shoes are left neatly beside the bed—which does not appear to have been shared. There’s a guard outside on a patio. She’s not steady on her feet or sure about what happened. She makes it outside to the lovely dining area off the lush lawn. There are all the signifiers of a romance novel, but it’s clear she hasn’t been “interfered with.”
Dev is in his uniform, looking strong and masculine. He asks how she is and explains she was in “quite a state,” nodding toward the straitjacket left on the floor. We get it; he’s a tight-lipped military type not easily given to emotion. No doubt a tragic backstory we’ll get to eventually, but geez, does this guy ever have any affect?
Carrie claims not to remember anything. He tells her she thought he was someone else, someone she was “fond of.” Does he have some kind of disorder that causes him to obsessively understate emotions? Or did he just spend too much of his youth at British boarding schools—which might explain the accent? Carrie stumbles. He carries her back to bed, where he does not join her or turn back into a dead ginger.
Later, when she finally manages to get herself over to the bathroom and is about to swallow her morning meds, she has a moment of clarity and realizes they were tampered with.
Over at the Den of Spies, a.k.a. the Embassy Compound, Lockhart and Margaret are not overly concerned about Carrie’s absence. They are about to meet the Pakistani delegation. Lockhart agrees to play nice. That should work.
Dev arrives, and Tasmeen confronts him, asking why he “intervened” with Carrie. It’s clear from this conversation—as it’s been from EVERY CONVERSATION THEY’VE EVER HAD—that he is not in on whatever it is she’s doing. She informs him of Carrie’s history of mental illness and that if he hadn’t stepped in, Carrie would be back on a plane to the United States.
Are they siblings? Is he her boss? Is she his boss? Has any of this been explained?
In the meeting room, everyone is watching a large monitor. Saul appears on screen, shackled and screaming, “Don’t do anything they ask.” Next Haquanni comes out to read a list of all the major bad guys he wants released in exchange for Saul.
These are the most evil of evil-doers who have ever done evil, so no more Mr. Nice-Lockhart. The director turns to sarcasm, and in order to avoid escalating to the apocalypse, Margaret suggests they consult with their governments and reconvene same time the next day.
On his way back to the cell, Saul manages to fight with his guards and somehow grabs a nail. What can Saul do with a nail? Anything he wants.
Dev arrives home. He’s not having a good morning with the ladies. Carrie’s figured out her meds were tampered with and thinks he’s in on it.
“You have this all wrong. I saved you.”
But why should Carrie believe him when he keeps saying the same things she’d tell a potential asset? He offers to drive her back to the Embassy, but she walks out. Someone needs to clue Dev in. If he wants to win Carrie’s trust, he should try vodka.
At the Embassy, she tells Quinn about the medications and how she wound up at “Colonel Khan’s” house.
Quinn replies, “Colonel Khan, the head of ISI counter-terrorism?”
That was awkward and about four episodes too late, but finally we have a job description! Now if only someone would explain what Tasmeen does.
Carrie knows someone had to get into her apartment to switch the pills. She tells Lockhart, who blabs to the Ambassatrix. Dennis arrives at Margaret’s office with pastries just as Lockhart is leaving. How long does it take her to tell him this top secret information? As quick as you can say “halfway to a donut.”
What is Saul doing with his nail? He’s using it to get out of his handcuffs. Then he lures a lone guard into his cell with a fake suicide attempt. It takes him about ten seconds to kill the guard dead and take his phone because Saul is awesome. And that’s not all! He actually knows Carrie’s phone number by heart and calls to tell her he escaped. Over in the Operations Room, they get a GPS signal, and quicker than you can say “drone,” they have eyes on his location and are able to send Saul toward a village where they have an asset. But Saul’s not going any place ‘til he can talk to Carrie and make her promise that if the escape plan doesn’t work, she has to drop a bomb and take him out. She makes the promise, even though we know she got overruled last time and Lockhart won’t let Saul die.
The next morning, the Pakistani delegation is back. The US plan is to delay, delay, delay. Tasmeen and Dennis meet at the refreshment table because don’t you hover outside of important meetings at your spouse’s workplace to grab a cuppa joe? Nothing suspicious about that at all! Dennis is panicked because they know there’s a breach… This spy stuff is hard! Tasmeen has another little job for him. Dev notices them talking, but what does he know? That stone countenance won’t tell us.
When the meeting starts, the Ambassatrix speaks very, very slowly to stall for time. If the delegation knows Saul is MIA they aren’t admitting it. Carrie notices the Pakistanis don’t seem worried. She scribbles a note to Lockhart and then leaves the room abruptly having concluded “they” know exactly where Saul is. How do they know? She has brilliantly deduced that they are watching the drone watching Saul.
Uh sure. I guess. But wouldn’t the CIA already have figured out the Pakistanis were watching the drones and leaking to the Taliban? How does this just occur to her like twelve hours later? Lockhart also leaves, and both of them go to the Operations Room where they are in time to watch a van with the Special Forces extraction team meet up and exchange gunfire with some Taliban. More Taliban fighters are arriving in town as Saul is trying to make it to the meeting point. When he sees all the trucks on the street and that fighters are searching everywhere, he’s ready to eat the gun conveniently given to him by a local asset, but Carrie convinces him she’ll get him to the rendezvous (while knowing there won’t be one). Saul puts down the gun because NO ONE CAN SAY NO TO CARRIE MATHESON. She leads him right back to his captors.
Remember how convincingly fake-mad Carrie was at Saul last season for getting her put in the crazy house? That is nothing compared to how real-angry Saul is at Carrie.
Lockhart goes back to the conference room.“Tell Haquanni we’ll meet his demands,” says the now totally owned director. We are FUCKED.
Later Peter and Carrie debrief—which is not a euphemism, though I wish it was because this is pretty bleak. “There are only wrong choices,” Carrie laments. “Nothing good can happen in this fucked-up world we’ve made for ourselves.” Well, thank you, Noam Chomsky, for contributing to this week’s script.
When Carrie is about to go to sleep—alone—she gets a call. She meets Dev on a deserted street in the rain. He needs her to believe he didn’t poison her. She finally admits she remembers a little of how he treated her that night and knows he’s not lying. He tells her it was Dennis that switched the pills. That’s all he’s got for her, but at least it’s a start… the start of beautiful friendship.
So, is Homeland back from the brink? That was certainly better than last week’s trippy trip, and Tasmeen’s “trap” has actually led Carrie LITERALLY into the arms of Colonel Khan—someone in Pakistani intelligence with whom she can work. But did anyone actually believe Saul would either kill himself OR successfully escape with four more episodes to go?