Mar 15, 2021
Homeland Recap: Who's Your Daddy?
Remember that interview room where we left Carrie in our Homeland recap last week? She’s still there, hooked up to some kind of lie detector.
But we just get a quick peek, and then it’s over to Fara and Quinn in a CIA safe-house. How do we know it’s a CIA safe house? Because Max, the hipster-CIA dude who now seems to be a regular, walks in. He’s late and says the taxi got lost, causing Quinn to say, “You took a fucking taxi to a CIA safe-house?” And Max is all, “Fuck no, but I had to do something to make you tell the audience this is a CIA safe-house.” Then Max looks at Fara and does a double-take like Quinn and Saul did when they first saw her. Maybe he’s never seen a woman in a headscarf before?
They’re talking to Saul over the internets, because that’s perfectly secure. They were tracking Carrie with a drone, but they lost her when the guys who took her, parked in a convenience store lot and disappeared. Fara asks if they could go to the car is and get fingerprints. But Saul says he won’t do anything that could compromise Carrie. Quinn says “Right” in a perfect sarcastic deadpan because he’s turned into an adorable wise-ass who kills. Why is Saul still having coffee at his kitchen counter when everyone else is at the location? Give Saul a break, he had a rough night – first he found out he wasn’t getting the big promotion, then he insulted the guy who was getting the job, and after that he came home to find his wife having dinner with a French guy.
Speaking of Mira, she comes into the kitchen. This could get awkward. Saul closes his laptop and tries to head out, but Mira wants to talk. Doesn’t she understand that Saul is a busy man? She tells him she didn’t do the French guy last night, but admits they have a past in Mumbai – when they were separated. Saul wants to know if Mira is in love with him. She reluctantly admits, “The day is better with him in it.” Saul says, “That’s all I needed to hear,” and heads for the door, but then drops the bombshell about not getting the job.
Mira is exasperated with Saul’s refusal to express emotions. Remember that kids – Saul is all wound up. He could blow at any time. He is the gun on Chekov’s mantelpiece.
During the lie detector test, lever Carrie gets Javadi to send his guys away. Alone at last. He tells her he knows she’s been lying. Check. She tells him about the $45 million he’s stolen from his own government. Checkmate. His facade doesn’t crumble, but the cracks show. We may not see Carrie break out in a smile, but we know she’s got her groove back.
Well played, Saul and Carrie, well-played.
Carrie tells Javadi he needs to meet with Saul, but Javadi doesn’t want his men to become suspicious so they’ll have to work something out to fool them. She’ll get him a file on how his team got hit. He’ll meet her somewhere to get the file – without his men. He doesn’t think his men will buy this, but Carrie is being tough. They set the place. Javadi gives Carrie a message for Saul, “Saul should have instructed you to treat me with more respect than that.”
Now it’s time for our next information dump. Saul shows Fara a bunch of photographs because that’s just what you’d do in the middle of a big operation, after you’ve lost track of your agent. You take out the old-timey printed pictures and start telling stories about them.
There’s one of a young Saul and a young Javadi with their wives. They were all friends. Javadi was in the Shah’s intelligence service. Saul shows photos of four different assets in Iran. The revolution was coming and Saul was going to get those four people out. Javadi was going to help him, but he betrayed them. “His ticket into the new regime’s security services,” he tells Fara, adding, “I watched a man I thought I knew become an animal.”
Hey Saul, maybe he was always an animal? The Shah was not a good guy. His secret police were feared and despised. That’s why there was an uprising. And by the way, didn’t your agency kind of miss that one, too?
Fara asks if this operation is Saul’s revenge for his dead assets.
“No, that was when I helped his wife and son get out and to the US.”
So now it sort of makes sense why Saul was so confident his scheme would work. Carrie’s connection to Saul made her irresistible to Javadi.
Carrie gets dumped somewhere by Javadi’s guys. She makes it home and calls in. She’s told to get some rest. She goes into the bathroom, and tears open a pregnancy test because we really needed one more thing in this episode. It’s positive! Surprise! Only to us. It turns out she has a drawer full of positive pregnancy tests.
So who’s the daddy? Could it be Brody? Could it be the ginger? Or maybe some random stranger we don’t know about, or maybe someone we know but don’t know she slept with because the show doesn’t tell us things?
Don’t they routinely screen women of childbearing age before they give them massive doses of psychotropic drugs? Maybe we’re supposed to think that Carrie used her secret agent super powers to keep them from finding out? Or maybe she’s only recently knocked up and she’s used all those tests in a few days?
Whatever is going on, let’s not stop to think about it now. Let’s not think about all the alcohol she was consuming, or medications; let’s not imagine that this devil-spawn was conceived in the seconds before the bomb went off at Langley. Dear God, now that the show is actually getting some place, let’s not lose the plot.
Too late. We are doomed. Over at Casa Brody, where we go because keeping up with the Brodys must be important for some reason of which we are still unaware, Dana tells Jess she wants to change her name last name to Lazaro, Jess’ maiden name. We know that’s Jess’s maiden name because Jess says, “My maiden name.” Thank you show for at least making it something vaguely ethnic. Jess goes with Dana to the city clerk to get the paperwork done. It looks like a mother and daughter reconciliation. But will it last? (Hint: The answer is no.)
At CIA headquarters Dar is meeting with Lockhardt, who is now in full Cheney mode. He’s even got the sneer. He calls the agency a mess and blames poor decision making and awful leadership. He wants to bring back respect and fear of the agency’s “punch.” The good old days when they were engineering coups and collaborating with dictators. Guatemala, 1954. Congo, 1961. Chile 1973 – the first 9/11. The smell of napalm in the morning. Dar is ecstatic – he hasn’t been this hard since high school, but Lockhardt’s still not done! The director-to-be says, “No more Sergeant Brodys! Dar says “AMEN.” No more Carrie Mathisons. “God forbid,” Dar says. Boys, just rent a room!
Quinn arrives at Carrie’s. He has the doctored file and he’s acting as her driver and back up. He sees her where-in-the-world-is-Brady-supersized-wall-map. Carrie says, “It’s not what you think.” And Quinn tells her he thinks she’s a CIA agent, and trying to find Brody is her job. Show, are you trying to make me fall in love with Quinn? Mission accomplished.
Over at the safe house they’re tracking Javadi. He gets off the highway at the wrong exit. He’s not going to the meeting. He’s heading for a residential area. Uh oh. Remember that house he was parked out in front of last week? The one where he memorably got hamburger juice all over his clean shirt? Turns out his ex-wife lives there. Saul is freaking out. “Don’t let him go in that house!” Carrie and Quinn are on their way, but Javadi is already at the door. The woman who answers, his daughter-in-law, recognizes him as Farrida’s ex-husband. He wants to see his grandson. She doesn’t want to let him in. He shoots her in the head. He goes toward the gurgles of a barely crawling baby. He smiles and starts talking baby talk to the infant whose mother he just killed. In walks his ex-wife. He breaks a bottle and stabs her in the neck with it, and keeps stabbing her.
Quinn and Carrie arrive, giving Saul a play by play over their phones. Quinn tells Saul it looks like a bloodbath. Then we see how right he is. Quinn would like so very much to kill Javadi. Saul orders them to get out of there and leave the baby. Carrie puts the baby in the playpen.
In three seasons, we’ve never seen this level of gore. They may have blown up Langley last season, but we didn’t see body parts spewing everywhere. Crap, this has just turned from “Smiley’s People” into “Pulp Fiction.”
In case that was too upsetting for sensitive viewers, we’re now back at Casa Brody. Some friend (not a boy) who Jess has never met comes to pick up Dana and her stuff. Dana is moving out. Jess at first reacts to this like a parent, and says, “No, you’re not.” But then within a few minutes she’s hugging her daughter and giving her money without even asking any of the questions a real mom might ask like, “What’s the address?” “Are her parents there?” “Is it a crack-house?” Chris Brody stands there looking miserable. No wonder Brody took such a shine to Issa. Issa had a personality. At what point do we stop seeing Chris and forget he ever existed like Richie’s older brother on Happy Days?
Carrie and Quinn arrive at the safe-house with Javadi, who has blood on his shirt, which is “ironic” because in last week’s episode he spilled hamburger blood on his shirt while parked outside watching his grandson. This is the writers showing us how clever they are. They are not as clever as writers of other shows who know how to sustain and play with a visual motif over several seasons, but they are just clever enough to remind us that such shows recently existed, and to make us sad that they are now cancelled.
Quinn and Carrie park Javadi in their interview room, chaining him to a chair. Even though Quinn wasn’t in the room when Saul was showing off his photo collection, Quinn knows things, and says, “This is just the fucking beginning.” Carrie is sitting on a stoop outside the house. She’s looking kind of freaked. Quinn brings her a cup of coffee, and just sits with her because he is the awesomest.
Please let him be Carrie’s baby-daddy. It would just be one more thing the writers forgot to mention, and it would make at least as much sense as most of what we’ve seen so far.
Saul says, “It’s time,” and they go to interview Javadi.
Saul has Quinn take off the chains. Javadi stands up and looks at Saul. He smirks and says, “You don’t look like a man who’s just landed the biggest asset of his career.” Saul sucker punches Javadi in the nose. Javadi falls to the floor, and yeah Saul has wiped the smirk off Javadi’s face – FOR NOW, but it looks like these two are going to be doing some serious dancing for the rest of the season.