It's clear at this point in Homeland that the writers are purposely keeping something big from the viewers, and considering the supposed victory the CIA is granted at the end of 'Two Hats,' the consequences for Carrie (Claire Danes), Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Brody (Damian Lewis) will likely be devastating.
There is a moment early on in the episode where Homeland slips comfortably back into the old mode where everyone basically questions the veracity of the most untrustworthy person they all know, yet are forced to deal with. After nearly 12 hours in the hands of Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), Brody manages to learn just what the plot against America is, and when it's supposed to happen. Carrie backs him because it's Brody, and partially because she's on a roll right now and can't believe her hot streak will come to an end – though if her winning ways are going to end, there'd be no more glorious failure than trusting Brody at the exact moment he can be trusted the least. One thing is likely true: something in that 12-hour window will likely prove to be the undoing of what many in the CIA have worked for this season.
Of course, the larger issue of just how Nazir made it into the United States, and what kind of break in the chain of national security would allow that to happen is only briefly touched upon – which is troublesome. The way Nazir's entry into the country is glossed over makes it seem increasingly likely that someone in D.C. is playing a kind of long con to ensure an as-yet unknown agenda. If that's the case, and Nazir is a means to an end, then the common thread of this season that everyone is a pawn in someone else's game comes to life in a much larger and far more threatening fashion. On the other hand, if what's really going on is some surprise twist that serves to undermine the storyline that's been set up thus far, then that could prove problematic.
At this point, however, it's like Saul says while the group is watching Roya Hamad's (Zuleikha Robinson) camera crew, "Until we know for sure, everyone's a terrorist." What Saul may be overlooking is just how conveniently narrow his (and everyone else's) view of a terrorist is. It stands to reason that if Brody can not only get away with his double life for this long, but also thrive in it, there are plenty other people who may stand to profit from doing something similar – but likely for entirely different purposes. So distrust officially spreads to anyone at this point from Estes (David Harewood) to Vice President Walden (Jamey Sheridan) to Quinn (Rupert Friend) and his handler Dar Adul (F. Murray Abraham).
In a way, the twist that Quinn isn't who he says he is had been lying around since the character's introduction – which saw him plopped into the operation with almost no backstory or reasoning from Estes. The fact that he answers to some legendary figure that Saul recognizes with a serious sense of apprehension deepens the character's presence somewhat beyond the quippy analyst he was first thought to be. No doubt the game plan Quinn and Adul have lined up ties into Estes and (possibly) Walden's role in the whole Nazir problem.
If anything, this new wrinkle to the operation hints at the consequences the group will face in the final three episodes. With the plot involving Roya up in smoke, what's the real agenda for Nazir, and what part will Quinn play in seeing it come to an end, or to its fruition?
Various other items:
- Quinn: "Where've you been? You look wasted." Saul: "I'm just old."
- Carrie's manipulation of the Brody clan by calling Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) in to whisk them away to a safe house felt like a shrewd, but chilling move by the character, which was motivated by purely selfish reasons. Still, at least they get some huevos rancheros out of the deal.
- What're the chances the girl Brody borrows the cell phone from just watches a lot of C-SPAN?
- Roya seems like too undefined a character to be done at this point.
Homeland continues next Sunday with 'Broken Hearts' @10pm on Showtime. Check out a preview of the episode below: