5   +   9   =  

Episode 308‘A Red Wheelbarrow’

How do you like your eggs in the morning? Saul likes his while in bed with Mira. After lengthy problems, it seems that finally their marriage is on the right track; spending their mornings reminiscing about the past and planning what they’d like to do in the future.

Their fairytale morning is cut short however, as Saul has been summoned to the White House for a meeting with Chief of Staff Mike Higgins to explain his operation with Javadi. Unsurprisingly, Higgins is as nonplussed as the slimy Lockhart about Saul’s decision to not arrest Javadi. However, the revelation of Saul’s next phase in the mission pressures him to listen. The details of the plan remain unknown to us, but we know that Saul will be leaving the next morning and that Carrie mustn’t know; Adal is certainly impressed by his plan, but what could it be?

Meanwhile, Carrie and Quinn are continuing to trawl through a list of suspects of those who could be the Langley bomber. With no leads, they turn to Adal to set up a meeting with Bennett, in the hope that it will force him to come in and admit all he knows. But Bennett won’t fall for it, telling Adal they can investigate him if they want, he has nothing to hide.

Bennett clearly isn’t being honest though as no sooner as the meeting with Adal is over, Carrie is being called to a meeting with Bennett’s associate Paul Franklin. Carrie acts confused, pretending to not be aware of any investigation against Bennett. Franklin demands she gets the details ASAP and Saul informs her to give it to him the next day.

After last week’s episode focused mainly on the men of Homeland, this week it was the turn of the women. Having reconciled with Saul, Mira breaks things off with her lover Alan. He’s understandably upset, but it seems there may be ulterior motives… When Mira returns home later, Alan is in her house and attaching something to Saul’s computer. Is he another villain, or a disgraced lover out for revenge.

Also this week, we finally got to know more about Fara. Having not shown up for work, we find her at home, taking care of her ill father. He believes Fara works at the bank and will be fired for taking the day off. The revelation that his daughter works for the CIA created an interesting tension between the two, Fara’s father being worried that his daughters profession may put their family back in Tehran in danger. Nazanin Boniadi’s performance was subtly poignant and very effective, emphasizing Fara’s guilt and her determination to succeed.

Then there’s Carrie, who has to deal with the realisation of her pregnancy. She wants to keep the baby and make things right with the father, who we believe to be Brody. The handling of this storyline has so far been admirably low-key, Danes perfectly capturing Carrie’s worry and guilt of how she has handled the situation thus far. Her doctor informs Carrie to take it easy at work, which may be difficult as they’re about to perform a major operation.

Once again, the final 10 minutes of this episode was thrilling TV. Franklin never planned to get the bomber out of the country, killing him instead and disposing of his body in a bath of acid; one of the writers clearly watches a lot of Breaking Bad. Carrie’s panic and defeat when trying to stop Franklin and thus clear the name of her child’s father was heartbreaking to watch; she wants to know where Saul is and so do we.

His car has just pulled in to a compound below a tall block of unfinished flats that looks oddly familiar. Having handed over a bag of money to El Nino, Saul is taken to a dark room where lies Brody, a shell of the man he once was. It was an exquisitely executed scene; ending with Brody and Saul looking staring at each other with Brody wondering, like the rest of us, just what could happen next!

★★★★

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