Homeland Recap: The Kid's Not Alright

Homeland Season 4

On this week’s Homeland, Carrie’s controversial plan to track down and murder Public Enemy No. 1 Haissam Haqqani via her sex pawn Aayan gets fast-tracked, while Saul’s fate following last week’s abduction is revealed. Let’s review the finer points of the riveting, “From A to B and Back Again,” shall we?

THEY’RE THE NEW COACH AND TAMI TAYLOR | The episode opens with Aayan and Carrie enjoying a laid-back morning in bed like some old married couple. They’re AM shmoopiness includes innocent giggling, knowing glances, shoulder smooches and… presents! Carrie gifts her young lover with a fresh passport, a big wad of cash and — as she has been promising him — clear passage to London. “We leave tonight,” Carrie informs the poor, clueless terrorist mule. “Every day here is just another chance to get caught. Or something to go wrong.” Translation: Carrie’s got a scheme up her sleeve! This much is confirmed when Carrie shows up at the embassy later that day and promptly asks Quinn to help her assemble “a small team” for a secret mission. But Quinn, still steaming from his recent Aayan-related row with his covert crush, is having none of her or her hush-hush operation. (The moment she informs him that her boy toy is involved, he zings, “So I guess clothing is optional?” Quinn FTW!) In no mood for an unrequited lovers quarrel, Carrie reluctantly turns to ex station chief Redmond for help.

THE PLOT THICKENS | Aayan returns to his dorm to retrieve some personal effects ahead of his great escape and has a run-in with his (stalker alert!) ex-girlfriend. In the span of mere minutes, the blabbermouth confesses to her that he’s a) fleeing to London, b) shagging Carrie and c) kinda-sorta loves Carrie, too. With the awkwardness quickly escalating, Aayan makes a hasty exit… only to quickly discover that he is being followed. (This kid cannot catch a freakin’ break!) He manages to lose the tail, but, when Carrie hears of this, she fears the damage is done. They need to push their departure back until things “cool off,” Carrie reasons. Aayan floats a tantalizing Plan B: He could ask his terrorist uncle Haqqani for help crossing the border, a suggestion that triggers a mini-orgasm in Carrie. Seconds later, their quiet little love nest is invaded by a small army of thugs. Aayan manages to escape, but Carrie is captured. And then comes the twist: Carrie orchestrated the violent break-in. That was the scheme she had up her sleeve! Now she sits back, watches (via the tracking device she had planted in his passport) and waits as Aayan leads them right to Haqqani.

WHACK A MOLE | Disgraced academic-turned-traitor Paul Young Dennis follows Carrie’s glorified housekeeper Fara back to the now-abandoned safehouse to uncover some dirt for his ISI blackmailer Nasneem. He finds some discarded family photos of Aayan as well as proof that he’s “traveling,” and he relays this info to Nasneem. She quickly connects some dots and jumps into action. This worries me greatly.

THE L-WORD | Aayan phones Carrie while on the run to let her know that he had some time to think and he loves her. She responds (somewhat reluctantly considering all of her colleagues are eavesdropping) in kind. Ugh, this is not going to end well — for anyone. The following morning, Carrie and her fellow Scoobies look on via satellite as Aayan literally leads them right to Haqqani. If it all seems to neat and tidy, it’s probably because it’s all too neat and tidy. Just as Carrie orders the kill shot — which, she is told, would also take out Aayan — a mysterious figure emerges from Haqqani’s caravan. It’s Saul! If they kill Haqqani, they kill Saul too. Wait — it gets worse. Haqqani crushes his nephew’s heart by informing him that Carrie is actually with the CIA, and he’s been her little chess piece this whole time. And then he (ugh) shoots him in the head. Carrie gasps (if anyone’s gonna kill Aayan it’s gonna be her), Quinn utters an expletive and poor Aayan slumps to the ground. (Damn you, Paul Young Dennis and your meddling!) A distraught Carrie then utters three chilling words: “Take the shot.” Yep,  she wants Haqqani dead so badly she’s willing to sacrifice Saul’s life to do it. Quinn attempts to intervene, reminding her that “It’s Saul.” But it’s all just white noise. “Take the shot God dammit — wipe that f—er out,” she roars. (That sound you hear is me adding another candle to my Claire Danes shrine.) Quinn ultimately knocks some sense into her, and she storms off, angry and defeated. To recap: Aayan’s dead, Saul’s officially a hostage, Haqqani remains at-large and Carrie’s back to square one.

SCENE WORTH REPLAYING | Carrie tearing into Fara for putting Aayan’s well-being ahead of “the collective f—ing effort to make our country safe.” Staggeringly well-written and featuring a knockout performance by Danes, the sequence illuminated the complicated central theme of the season: The War on Terror’s “innocent” victims. The best part — neither character was wrong.

What did you think of the episode? And the performances? And the twists? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. L says:

    Good episode… hope that traitorous guy gets killed soon.

  2. Tired of NOnsense says:

    I was floored with the kid from Life of Pi getting the bullet to the brain. Great special effects for that too, btw. I was getting disgusted with the pimping out of the kid, but dayyyyumm. Whole new level and yes, I expected Saul was going to show up, but at thefts minute. Crazy good.

    Why does Paul Young always play a scumbag?

    • Marilyn says:

      Great comment. We all knew poor hapless Aayan was doomed from the beginning, but when Uncle Haqqani did the deed himself, I actually let out a shriek that started the neighbor’s dogs barking.

      And yes, we also were talking about Paul Young and the duplicitous characters he plays. I can’t imagine him playing a good guy role. Wouldn’t ring true.

  3. DanielleZ says:

    What an episode. Wow! Too bad about Aayan but I expected it. “Paul Young” is up to no good again. Damn him indeed.

    • DanielleZ says:

      Mark Moses is the actor who was Paul Young. He wasn’t too much of a jerk as Duck Phillips in Mad Men if I’m remembering correctly.

      • spartan says:

        Actually he was a total jerk on MM, too! Was an on-an-off drunk, connived against Don, wooed Peggy for his own evil purposes, and let his dog out to wander the streets of NYC alone just because he couldn’t be bothered to take care of it.

        • Marilyn says:

          The scene in MM when Duck turned his dog loose is the one I will always remember that cinched his complete detachment from anything close to decency. And I always wonder too, when these actors play such scurrilous characters, are they actually nice in “real life”?

        • DanielleZ says:

          Yes, I thought more about Duck Phillips after I sent the comment. I stand corrected! I think Mark Moses also played sinister characters in The Killing and Person
          of Interest. He must be the go to guy for these types.

  4. Tran says:

    Who’s going to save Saul Berenson? Let’s hope he survives for the rest of the season now the series is heading towards the other half of Season Four.

  5. Myboys says:

    That. Was. Awesome. Claire Danes is THE best. I felt as though she slapped me through the screen when she ripped Fara a new one. Homeland is back!

  6. Et al says:

    What a great episode. This show has bounced back nicely.

  7. L says:

    From the scenes at the end it looks like they are going back into the bi-polar craziness… i wish they wouldnt… thats the weakest part of the series.

  8. Lore says:

    Someone please, just give the emmy to Claire already..

    • Tricia says:

      I agree, her acting is so incredible that I literally go through a love/hate relationship with Carrie in one single hour!!!

      • spartan says:

        Danes is fantastic, but I do have a hard time, every week, swallowing the notion of someone so mentally unstable in such a powerful position.

  9. Tricia says:

    Saul would’ve wanted Carrie to take the shot!!!

  10. CK says:

    I’m surprised that #StopCarrie2014 is not trending on twitter yet. That being said, I am loving the depths to which the writers and Claire Danes are taking Carrie. Frankly, it’s genius. I feel like I watch in amazement and horror at the things that Carrie is willing to do, and while I want to write her off as just crazy, there is this brilliance in her plans and machinations that would be lost without the writing and Claire’s brilliant performance.

  11. WW says:

    You always take the shot- I was so upset that Quinn gave an order in that situation when Carrie was the boss and every guy in the room ignored her. Quinn’s puppy love crush crap is ruining this situation.
    The Carrie and Fara scene reminded me of the classic A Few Good Men of you can’t handle the truth (that has been parody so much people use it as a comedic device but was and still is brilliant acting by Jack Nicholson). She let it be known you do anything to get the job done-

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

    God job Homeland

  12. LT says:

    Last year REVENGE made a major comeback…this year, that crown goes to HOMELAND! Incredible season so far!

  13. Charissa29 says:

    Good episode! Homeland works best when Claire Danes is put in front of the camera and let loose! She is just mesmerizing, and even if the scene is weak, she isn’t.

  14. Jett says:

    Great episode. I hope we get more Carrie and Quinn in the coming episodes, huge fan of these two. I hope the show gives us what some fans have been wanting this season, they both shag. Cmon they have to. The sexual tension is so damn high with these two, it has to blow… dont let me down Homeland.

  15. Lauren says:

    Are they trying to make Carrie wildly unlikeable and nonredeemable this season? First the situation with her baby, then the grossness of seducing youngAayan, and then her wanting to kill Saul? WTF?

  16. John Moshier says:

    this show just keeps getting better and better carrie is certifiable nuts perfect for the job shell do anything to win

  17. The show is called Homeland for a reason. Stop terrorism on domestic soil, aka homeland. Get the action out of the Middle East and back onto U.S. turf. Yes, I know Haqqani will ultimately target US but that threat is too vague and distant to ratchet up tension in the Homeland

  18. scass says:

    Carrie was right, by the morality of her profession, to be prepared to sacrifice Saul. He is, after all, the EX-director of the CIA. No-one wants to see the last of the Great Patinkin, but these are cold-blooded people. But for the sake of the story, I guess he had to live…

    Has a show ever come back to top form so sure-footedly after being astray for two whole series? People have been slavishly lapping up cuddly anti-heroes who are Hell’s Angels, serial killers, politicians and mafiosi for years now, but this has raised the bar on morally compromised characters to a new level.

  19. james says:

    Kind of wish the bipolar arc of the show would end already.

  20. Sabrina says:

    This was a great episode and definitely the best of the season so far. The twists were really good and I hope that the rest of the season is as good as this episode.

  21. James says:

    *”THEIR AM shmoopiness”
    **”if it all seems TOO neat and tidy”