Recap: Are You Buying What Homeland's Selling?

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Homeland Recap Carrie Double Agent
At the time we shot the latest installment of TVLine’s Spoiler Alert!, I had yet to screen this week’s Homeland but had heard that Episode 4 would start to crystallize Carrie’s Season 3 arc.

And sure enough, it did. But: Who knew what, and when did they know it?

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The hour opened with psych patient Carrie heading into a hearing, where assorted medical professionals weighed in — favorably — on her progress. But as the judge broke away to perfunctorily deliberate his decision, he received an injunction from the DoJ, keeping Carrie committed indefinitely.

Soon enough, however, Carrie did get releases, after an anonymous entity compelled the court to spike the injunction. Carrie’s benefactor: Leland Bennett, the mysterious law firm partner whom Paul Franklin represents. Carrie consents to a morning meeting with Bennett, but then promptly plots an “escape.” only to realize that she has been rendered persona non grata, with her car gone and all of her assets frozen by the DoJ. Noting that Dar Adul’s goons are stalking her home, she finds temporary respite at her liquor store hook-up’s place, only to have her morning Walk of Shame intercepted by Franklin.

Carrie thus keeps her meeting with Bennett (Weeds‘ Martin Donovan), who covets her expertise in helping an important client (i.e. Javadi) understand how six “business associates” (the targets eliminated in Saul’s season-opening take-down) were identified and killed. When Carrie understandably balks, Bennett points out how the people she’s looking to protect are the same who hung her out to dry and will probably aim to eliminate her as a “loose cannon” threat. For her insight, Carrie will be “handsomely” paid.

That night, Carrie spends five hours surreptitiously making her way to Saul’s home, to make sure she wasn’t followed. Confronting her former colleague, she says… that Bennett took the bait and that she secured a face-to-face with Javadi. Meaning, it was her and Saul’s plan to use the opportunity of her public disgrace to draw the interest of the man who ordered the Langley Bombing.

Which, yes, is rather cool, and a nifty twist. But when exactly did this “double agent” plan gel?

At the time Saul testified to the Senate subcommittee/threw Carrie under the bus, the plan couldn’t have been in place. Carrie was watching the feed alone at home, and thus would have no cause to “act” betrayed.

Ostensibly, the plan could have been formed immediately thereafter, before Carrie verbally assaults Saul at the restaurant — making that whole encounter but a noisy charade. Yet…

When Saul visits Carrie at the psych ward at the close of Episode 2, her mumbled “F–k you” to him was very much in the spirit of “I never want to see you again, Judas” — not, say, “Drat this plan of ours that got me overmedicated into a pile of goo. But I’ll stay the course. Go, team!”

One might then hypothesize that Saul laid out his plan right then and there (though he may not have had the most lucid audience). Yet Carrie’s behavior in Episode 3 — banging her head against the mirror, manically “hoping” to get a visit from Saul — doesn’t track.

Thus, the most logical guess is that after Paul Franklin first visited Carrie, once Carrie sensed she was being “recruited,” she reached out to Saul and offered herself as an undercover agent of sorts. (Alas, a sticking point: If Saul wanted her free/recruited, why was he frustrated by the phone call that the DoJ injunction had been overridden? Or is Dar Adul not in on the scheme and that performance was for his sake?) UPDATE: Show boss Alex Gansa tells TVGuide.com that the plot was cooked up by Carrie and Saul soon after the bombing.

Fun fact: Javadi apparently has been funding his terror through a bank in Venezuela. Hmm, who else do we know in Venezuela right now…? :-O

Elsewhere, Dana unwittingly helped spring a psychopath from the nuthouse and is now in hiding with him. No cougar sighting yet, however.

What did you think of the big Homeland twist? Certainly an improvement on my “Carrie is only imagining Paul Franklin” theory — unless she’s curled up in the dark corner of her room imagining all of this.


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