'Homeland' recap: The walls close in on Dar in 'Sock Puppets'

For The Baltimore Sun
"Homeland" recap: The walls are closing in on Dar.

We open "Homeland" this week in a therapist's office, as Carrie goes through with court-mandated counseling in her effort to get Frannie back.

Carrie details her intense relationship with Brody, and how her relationship with Quinn, while not a physical one, is similarly intense. She tells the therapist of Quinn's ordeal in Berlin and the role that she played in it, and that she feels a responsibility to look after him. "I brought him in to our home because I can't go through that again. I can't lose another one," she says, drawing the parallels between Quinn and Brody. The therapist admonishes Carrie that as her child, Frannie doesn't need much from her, but that she does need to come first sometimes.

In Washington, meanwhile, President-elect Keane calls Dar in for a meeting. She tells him about Javadi's defection — which he coyly pretends to be surprised about — and expresses her willingness to formulate a plan for dealing with Iran that fits Dar's scheme.

Dar tries to overreach and urges Keane to scuttle any potential cabinet choices that might fit with her earlier pro-Iran leanings, but Keane suggests planning to sanction Iran first. It's not the huge victory that Dar was searching for, and he doesn't completely have Keane in his pocket yet, but she's certainly leaning that way. "Nothing's off the table," Keane says.

In New York, Carrie returns home and Max fills her in on some sleuthing he's been up to. He's traced Conlin's last call to Carrie to the mystery office building in Virginia, and tells Carrie that he's applied for a job to try to infiltrate whatever organization is operating there. Carrie expresses her concern — she doesn't want to be a part of anything that might keep her from getting Frannie back — but she doesn't stop Max.

Dar meets up with Javadi, who is eager for Dar to follow through on his end of their bargain. Javadi tells Dar that his own agency and Saul are angry with him, and he'd like to be on his way. Dar tells Javadi that the Israelis might want to question him as well and — right on cue — two Mossad agents enter the room to take Javadi into custody.

"Unfortunately, I couldn't convince anyone that they were wrong," Dar says, quickly turning on the man who unlocked his newfound power and influence.

As the Mossad agents close in on Javadi, he surreptitiously calls Carrie, allowing her to listen in on his impending capture. Carrie relays the call to Saul, who has his young CIA comrade Nate quickly attempt to trace it. Nate isn't able to get the information in time, and Javadi is taken. "It's too late. We're too late," Carrie says, defeated.

At the cabin, two police officers appear on the scene to investigate reports of gunshots on the property the night before. Quinn sees the officers approaching as he sits with Astrid's body, propped up on a couch. The officers enter the home to investigate and find Astrid, but Quinn evades them, making his getaway in Astrid's vehicle. He makes a pit stop, and after creating a diversion, robs a gun shop, taking enough weapons and ammunition to arm a small country.

With Nate's help, Carrie and Saul are able to get to the scene of Javadi's capture. They find his phone, which contains the evidence that Iran is not, in fact, breaking the nuclear deal. Saul and Carrie take the phone to Keane, whose head is spinning. "So now I'm supposed to believe this?" she asks.

Saul tells her that not only was Mossad conspiring to get her to change her tune on Iran, but someone in the CIA was highly aware of the conspiracy, and was even in the room when Javadi was turned over to Mossad. Saul is reluctant to name names, but Carrie has no loyalty to her former organization, and speaks the truth. "Dar Adal," she says.

At Rob's urging, Carrie drops the other shoe as well and details the surveillance operation that she was the target of, and the fact that the mystery man was spotted tinkering with Sekou's van the night before the bombing. She also tells Keane of Dar paying her a visit at Frannie's school, and how he ordered her to stand down. "How do we shut him down?" Keane asks, ominously.

Max's undercover operation gets underway, and he visits Brett O'Keefe's office in Virginia. After some intense scrutiny about a gap in his resume, which he chalks up to "M and M" (smoking meth and masturbating), Max finds himself hired. "Hook him up. He'll be joining us," O'Keefe says.

As Max begins work, Keane calls Carrie in for a meeting with her choice for solicitor general. The solicitor outlines the scope of the conspiracy that Carrie and Saul uncovered, as well as Dar's possible involvement in the bombing. He says, however, that there is not enough evidence to proceed with any prosecution of Dar. "So, what's the plan?" Carrie asks. "In a word: you," the solicitor says.

The solicitor brings up Dar's covering for the Russian mole in Berlin last season, and says that falsifying evidence in an intelligence report, which Dar did in that case, is prosecutable. Carrie insists on Saul's involvement in any discussion of a plan, pointing out that it was Saul's work, and Saul's asset, that put them in the position to uncover this conspiracy. "That's the only reason any of us is here, it's the only reason we're not just being steamrolled by Dar," she says.

The solicitor continues pressing, and tells Carrie that her testimony against Dar is the only route. Carrie continues to insist on Saul's involvement, but Keane makes clear that Saul won't be involved. "There will be a pardon for him, down the line," she says. As Berlin fell under Saul's command, he would be subject to prosecution there as well.

Carrie meets with Saul in Central Park to deliver the unpleasant news. "Everything I've done, my entire career, will be wiped out," Saul says. "All anyone will remember is that." Saul bemoans what this will mean for the CIA, especially given the fact that Keane wants to do away with the agency. "Maybe you shouldn't have been [expletive] a Russian mole," Carrie says. "Well, coming from someone who was [expletive] a guy wearing a suicide vest, that means a lot," Saul fires back.

Their tense exchange is interrupted by a call from child services informing Carrie that she will have a supervised visit with Frannie the next day. Carrie stands and looks back at Saul, as she physically, and metaphorically, leaves him behind.

Keane calls Dar in for a meeting, but tells Rob beforehand that she doesn't intend to tip her hand. Perhaps overcompensating, she teases Dar with the possibility that she might name him director of the CIA. Whatever Dar had in mind for the meeting, we're not sure, but we see him slip an envelope into his jacket before commenting on a portrait of Keane's son. "I can't help but think he'd be proud of you right now," he says. Keane almost breaks down as Dar sips a coffee, studying her. What a snake.

While Dar and Keane engage, Max gets down to work at O'Keefe's office and discovers that the major focus of their operation is to create an army of online "sock puppets," a series of fake social media accounts dedicated to stirring up trouble and manufacture outrage online.

An agitated Dar leaves the meeting with Keane, and as he rides in the back of his chauffeured vehicle, we see him open the mystery envelope. Inside are a list of names that he had planned to present to Keane to consider for cabinet positions, which, for some reason, he did not turn over.

Dar returns home and pours himself a drink. As he reaches for his first sip, a voice interrupts him. "Enjoy," the voice says, and the camera pulls back, revealing Quinn. "You're not at the lake," Dar says, surprised. "No," Quinn says. He rants about the man whom he says Dar sent to kill him, and shows Dar his wounds. "I would never hurt you, Peter, you know that," Dar says, preparing to bargain for his life, as Quinn pulls a gun on him.

"I raised you, Peter," he continues, as Quinn grows more agitated. "You are my child, more than that. I would never hurt you, never. I love you, that's the god's honest truth. If you don't believe that, just pull the trigger." Quinn pistol-whips Dar, before rushing out of his house.

After Quinn leaves, Dar calls the mystery gunman, and berates him for going after Quinn. "I told you to leave him alone. You answer to me," he says. Quinn sits outside as Dar makes the call, listening in, and tracing the gunman's location. "I can't believe you called me on an open line," the man says, hanging up, but not before Quinn pinpoints the location. Quinn drives off, with his arsenal, in search of the man who tried to kill him.

Final Thoughts

The walls are closing in on Dar, but in true "Homeland" fashion, there will be some collateral damage as well, in the form of Saul. This was another great outing, and I find myself looking forward to the next twists and turns in a way I haven't with "Homeland" for several years.

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