By helping to rescue the daughter of fugitive Nick Brody (Damian Lewis), Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) jeopardizes a high-stakes undercover operation in “The Yoga Play,” Episode 305 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
In the episode, Carrie is under tight surveillance as she draws out the man behind the bombing of CIA headquarters: Iranian intelligence official Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub).
Posing as a business traveler, Javadi enters the U.S. at a remote border crossing in Vermont. Carrie, posing as a disgraced CIA officer, supposedly has classified information for sale.
The elaborate ruse is put at risk, however, after Carrie is approached by Brody’s desperate wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin). Her troubled daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) is on the lam with dangerous boyfriend Leo (Sam Underwood) but law enforcement won’t act.
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“I’m begging you please! Help me find her,” Jessica pleads, hoping Carrie can persuade the FBI to step in.
Reluctantly agreeing to assist, Carrie eludes an Iranian surveillance team by going to a yoga studio then slipping out the back. Now Carrie has less than an hour to track down FBI Special Agent Hall (Billy Smith) and pressure him into looking for Dana and Leo.
Dubbing the teen runaways Romeo and Juliet, Hall initially resists involvement.
“You do know how ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ends, don’t you?” Carrie asks. “Not well.”
Carrie’s “yoga play” succeeds when the FBI launches a search and Dana catches the news report on TV. To her chagrin, she learns that Leo lied about his brother’s death. He actually died in a suicide pact -- and Leo brought the gun.
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“The one thing I can’t have in my life is lies,” Dana screams at Leo. “And you lied to me!”
So Dana reunites with her family, but did Carrie’s actions tip off the Iranians?
“Realize how much work you wasted?” asks CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), who’s furious with Carrie for possibly blowing her cover. That possibility seems a probability when the Iranians call off surveillance.
Assigned to watch over Carrie is CIA operative Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend). Worried that something is wrong, Peter disobeys Saul’s order and enters Carrie’s home. But he’s too late. Iranian agents have brutally kidnapped Carrie and soon she’ll face interrogation or worse.
“We lost her. She’s on her own, Saul,” Peter laments.
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“She’s always been on her own,” Saul replies calmly.
As for Saul, his hopes of becoming permanent CIA director are raised when he’s invited by White House Chief of Staff Mike Higgins (William Sadler) for a weekend of duck hunting.
Also attending the A-List outing is Sen. Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts), who’s spearheading a hostile inquiry into the CIA disaster.
“It’s good to meet in less adversarial circumstances, isn’t it?” Lockhart says to a courteous yet wary Saul.
Lockhart tells Saul the CIA should rely more heavily on electronic surveillance and drone strikes in combating terrorism. But Saul favors the gold standard of international espionage: human assets on the ground.
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Then the senator drops a bombshell. Tomorrow, the president will nominate him, not Saul, as CIA director, pending congressional approval.
“So this really isn’t about tempering your views. It’s about changing them,” Lockhart says haughtily. “If, that is, you have a job in my CIA.”
Saul kills his chance of working under Lockhart when he questions how a senator who made his career bashing the spy agency can suddenly win over the hearts and minds of those in harm’s way. That’s an impossible task, Saul suggests, meaning Lockhart is nothing more than a political appointee.
But Saul’s career isn’t over just yet. He heads the CIA for two more weeks -- and there’s much work to be done.