“She didn’t lose it. We did that to her.” –Peter Quinn
So notes Quinn (Rupert Friend) in one of this episode’s most heartfelt remarks. At the end of the third season’s premiere (last week’s episode), Saul (Mandy Patinkin)—Carrie’s friend, confidante and personal ally—turned his back on her to protect the CIA. Without naming her directly, he noted to a Senate committee that one of his agents had an affair with Congressman Brody (Nicholas Brody) and had a history of mental illness– two things that stood in the CIA’s way of doing its job in protecting our country from terrorist threats. This episode, more than anything else, showcased the consequences of that situation.
It began with Carrie (Claire Danes) repeatedly knocking on Saul’s front door, seeking answers about why he threw her under the bus. He wasn’t home leaving his poor wife Mira (Sarita Choudhury) to confront the obviously heartbroken Carrie. When she didn’t get the answers she wanted, she inevitably ran off to a reporter to tell her side of the story. This brought her into conflict with Saul’s new right-hand man, Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect the CIA.
When he informs Saul that he’s going to stop her, we can see the resignation on Saul’s face. In last week’s episode, he had six enemy combatants targeted despite his hesitation. He even betrayed Carrie knowing it would nearly destroy her. Now, he’s willing to have her locked up in a psychiatric ward to protect the agency. At some point—and I sure hope it’s sooner rather than later— I suspect that he’ll stand up for his own beliefs and run the agency the way he wants to.
The highlight of the show for me was the introduction of Fara Sherazi (Nazanin Boniadi), a CIA specialist who has worked for the agency for a total of eight days. Because of the CIA’s diminishing resources, she was assigned to help trace terrorist-tied funds back to Iran. The character receives blunt instructions from Saul—who privately refers to her as “a kid in a head scarf”— to find a way to trace the money. His cantankerous attitude shows how much pressure he’s facing and how unforgiving he can be along the way.
After Quinn makes a veiled threat to one of the bankers who Saul and Fara have called in, the duo receive all of the paperwork they requested. When Fara asks why the bankers changed their minds and released the documents, Saul notes that the answer to that question is best left hidden.
The weakest portion of the episode surely involved the chronicles of Dana, who seems to go out with all of the wrong guys. Her last boyfriend accidentally killed someone and her new one is locked up in a psychiatric hospital. She seriously needs some dating tips. With Brody (Damian Lewis) out of the picture right now, the writers seem to be struggling with how to handle the family’s affairs and it shows.
Overall, this episode moved the story forward ending with a broken Carrie— after being forced to take her medication— sitting in a lonely living area, where she can barely communicate with others. When Saul walks in, she barely has enough energy to tell him off. It’s going to be difficult to repair their relationship but I assume that the writers have a plan to get her out of the psychiatric hospital and back into action sooner rather than later. I’m hoping they do.