I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm still reeling from Aayan's death last week and I'm having a really bad feeling about this time around too. Feelings aside and getting right into the thick of it, "Homeland" opens this week with a mystery drug getting packaged and given to Tasneem. Lockhart has arrived in Islamabad to handle the Saul situation. He meets with Quinn and Redmond almost immediately after he arrives. Redmond and Quinn brief him on Carrie's behavior during the Haqqani sighting; Redmond remains stoic throughout whereas Quinn, unsurprisingly, defends Carrie's outburst despite Lockhart's assumption (albeit, correct assessment...) that she's uncontrollable and unpredictable.
At Fara and Max's headquarters, Carrie is looking into what drugs Aayan got from that nurse a few episodes back in an attempt to find any clue that will lead them to Saul. Carrie feels guilty about Aayan's untimely death and it's blatantly obvious. In her researching, Carrie gets a call from Quinn, who has gone to her apartment to track her down on behalf of Lockhart. She tells him she'll meet with him soon and as he leaves Carrie's apartment, we see Dennis lurking in the dark. Yet again, he's broken into Carrie's apartment and this time it's to do a much more insidious task than snoop. He swaps out several of Carrie's pills for the mystery pills that were given to Tasneem. Talk about biological warfare...
Lockhart is thoroughly displeased with the "dysfunction" that has fallen on the Islamabad embassy and even more displeased with Carrie. Carrie arrives late to Lockhart's briefing to the embassy, not something that's helping her cause, but she somewhat redeems herself when she indicates that she has a lead on Haqqani. She also stresses that the rest of the station will be working 24/7 to find Saul. Lockhart seems slightly contented to hear this. The Pakistani delegation arrives and Carrie and Lockhart go together to chat.
Haqqani is on a casual car ride with the now unmasked, no longer drugged Saul. Saul is attempting to argue himself out of the situation he's in but Haqqani makes it abundantly clear that he's not planning on getting rid of Saul. Saul is the shield Haqqani needs to be able to go out in public unharmed, as he knows the CIA won't touch him as long as Saul is around.
The ambassador, Lockhart, Carrie, and other embassy officials meet with the Pakistani delegation -- a group that includes Tasneem and Aasar Khan. From the start, the ambassador lays out that the United States simply wants Saul back and wants to know how he got to be taken in the first place. She goes the good cop route whereas Lockhart takes the bad cop. Lockhart immediately presses the Pakistani minister and outwardly says that he knows they were all a part of the plan to take Saul. When he goes as far as to compare the minister and his team to Osama bin Laden, the minister gets angry and urges him to stop. Lockhart takes it a step further and tells the delegation that he will pull the federal aid given to Pakistan if they don't release Saul. The Pakistani delegation leaves in a huff after this sentiment and the ambassador is not happy with Lockhart, indicating that threats will not help in this situation and that Lockhart doesn't have the ability to pull the funding. In an amazing nonchalant move, Lockhart says that he does by saying he's already gotten the president's permission -- all while playing around on his phone. Sorry, Martha, but Lockhart's bad cop game is pretty ace and the man deserves his props.
Carrie follows the delegation as they leave, cornering Aasar Khan and berating him about Saul. She's in a manic state and is intent on proving that she knows the delegation cannot be trusted. She convinces Aasar Khan to let her see the security footage from the airport that would implicate Farhad Ghazi in the kidnapping of Saul. They agree to meet at the airport a half hour later.
Dennis heads into his wife's office at the embassy and finds her drafting a resignation letter. He attempts to reason with her, but she's infuriated by Lockhart's ability to undermine her foreign relationships. The ambassador hates that Lockhart is using the federal aid package as leverage and, as she vents, Dennis calmly talks her off the proverbial ledge and convinces her to not give up on her life's work. Dennis, you're such a slimeball and you're manipulating your own wife so you can finish the bullshit you started. Ugh.
Quinn and Carrie head to the airport to meet with Aasar Khan and Carrie's medication is clearly not working at all. She's talking insanely fast and her eyes are way shiftier than normal. Quinn expresses concern, which Carrie blows off as per usual, and they just continue to ignore Carrie's clear descent into full-fledged crazy mode. Can't wait til she hits bottom because shit is going to hit the fan. Anyway, upon arrival to the airport, Carrie and Quinn meet up with Aasar Khan to watch the footage from the evening of Saul's disappearance. They find out that the cameras on the terminal that Saul was in were down that night. HOW CONVENIENT. Carrie's definitely going mental but she's not irrational in thinking that Aasar Khan is hiding information and footage. I think she's right, it's just unfortunate that she comes across brash and out of control because it doesn't seem like a founded suspicion to anyone but her.
Fara and Max have yet to reach the nurse that gave the drugs for Haqqani to Aayan so they set their sights on Kiran. They need to find out what the medicine was and what disease Haqqani is grappling with.
Haqqani drives through the streets of Islamabad as a pseudo-free man, getting celebrated by everyone. He is milking this Saul shield bullshit for all that he can. His fanfare and almost-parade does not enthuse the embassy. Haqqani heads to his compound, Saul in tow, and greets his family for the first time in ages. The homecoming would actually be sweet if Haqqani wasn't a terrorist but, OH RIGHT, HE'S A TERRORIST.
Back at the embassy, the entire station is trying to work on how they are going to rescue Saul. Carrie suggests an absurd rescue mission and everyone is looking at her like she's got nine heads because her mania is out in full force. She retreats to her room to regain control and the camera work in this scene fantastically depicts her dizziness, confusion, and complete inability to handle what's happening in her brain. Whatever those pills from Tasneem were supposed to do (or not do, perhaps they were placebos?) to Carrie, they're clearly working.
At Haqqani's compound, a huge welcome feast is happening and Saul is sitting at his right hand, as if he was Haqqani's old friend. The two discuss the Pakistani-American relationship and it's not just a conversation on a television show. The scene touches on radical Islam, 9/11, and cultural confusion; it feels more like a commentary on the world's current events than plot development. It's a great reminder as to why I watch this show.
Carrie wakes up from a nap, still disoriented, with a call from Max. Fara and Max have tracked down the nurse. Carrie takes her pills again, but she's still nowhere near normal when she leaves her apartment. Every sound, person, color, and movement is intensified in her world at present. This is clearly not going to end well. She leaves for the hospital and finds Kiran almost immediately after entering. Breakdown mode has commenced and the following happens in a blur: Carrie verbally assaults Kiran, physically assaults a nurse who she believes is Quinn, vomits in the street, shoots two civilians, and gets arrested by Pakistani police. WHAT THE ACTUAL F**K IS GOING ON. Carrie has flown the coop and the aforementioned shit has hit the fan.
The ambassador confronts Lockhart about the confrontation with the delegation that morning. After spending half the day trying to reconcile with the foreign minister, the ambassador has gotten word that he might have "positive news" and he will deliver it in person the following morning at 7am. Lockhart insists that he be there for the meeting and the ambassador insists that if he comes, they're playing it her way. Looks like the good cop, bad cop roles are reversing and Martha's putting her foot down. Homegirl does not take getting walked over lightly.
Haqqani is dead-set on keeping Saul prisoner and continues to milk it. He's locked Saul up and told him his plan to use Saul in a trade with the United States. Saul tries to insist that the United States won't go for it, but Haqqani has done his research and assures him that they will have to.
In my worst nightmare, a.k.a. the jail cell Carrie's being held in, there's bugs, wetness, dirt, and fear. Several men come in to the cell after an unknown amount of hours, take Carrie, and put her into a car. They drive her to an undisclosed location, which ends up being a pretty swanky house and leave her there -- with no intimation as to what she's going to find there. She runs and hides as soon as the men who drove her to this house leave. A man comes to find her and she instantly attacks before she stops and realizes that man she's attacking is BRODY. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. BRODY IS ALIVE? WHAT IS HAPPENING? WHAT IS REAL? IS THIS REAL? OH MY GOD (<-- That's a liveblog account of my reaction to this scene). After several minutes of Carrie trying to figure out if this is real, she decides it is and clutches Brody as she cries tears of happiness mixed with confusion. But then, because this is "Homeland" and they like to beat our emotions like they're monkey meat, IT'S NOT FREAKING BRODY. It's actually Aasar Khan that she's clutching and crying with, but Carrie is all unstable and shit so she just thinks it's Brody. BRODY, WHY ARE YOU JUST A CRAZY CARRIE PIPE DREAM AND NOT ACTUALLY REAL? I'm so angry with this scene for a multitude of reasons. They took the whole "Is Brody real or not?" thing too far and let it run for too many minutes. I legitimately thought he was alive for a moment and thought everything I ever believed in was a lie. Luckily, the latter part of that sentence held firm WHEN I FOUND OUT IT WASN'T ACTUALLY BRODY. STOP LYING TO ME, "HOMELAND," I HAVE A FRAGILE HEART AND I CANNOT TAKE IT.
Okay, I'm calm now. That said, Brody is NOT back from the dead, Aasar Khan is a terrible human being (as is Tasneem), and Saul is still in Haqqani's grasp. OH, and Carrie is still batshit crazy. Great. I'm so glad nothing has gotten better since last week. Also, not to be totally annoying, but that bad feeling I had when this started? IT WAS CLEARLY ACCURATE. *Enormous sigh*
Keep up with "Homeland" recaps here every week. "Homeland" airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.