‘Homeland’ Recap: Is Carrie Screwed? (Season 3, Episode 5)

HomelandCopyright: 2013 Showtime

Where we left off: Dana ran off with Leo, her more-than-slightly-off-kilter boyfriend, and made us even more annoyed with her, Saul was boring in CIA world and did a horrible job explaining why we should care about the missing money, and it was revealed that Carrie is a double agent (yup, things finally started getting interesting).

“The Yoga Play”
In this episode, Dana finally gets a clue about life, Saul is basically hoisted out of the CIA, and after almost blowing her double agent cover, Carrie is kidnapped. Unfortunately, while the mini-recap makes it seem as if super exciting things happened, it was a pretty basic and blasé episode overall.

Coming into this episode, there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered. Most importantly, how far back does the double agent plotline go? Right away Saul loops Quinn into the mission and tells him that it goes as far back as the senate hearing where Carrie was interrogated and Saul threw her under the bus… so, pretty far back. While it would be easy to explain the whole mission by just saying that Carrie is a great actress and put herself through hell for over a month for the CIA (you know, the department that hates her), it makes the first four episodes seem like a complete wash. Did we really just watch four episodes that don’t mean much to the future plot because it was all a rouse to get Carrie to the real plot? It’s just a little annoying that Carrie pretended to be a pariah for a good portion of the season, and slightly unrealistic that she went to such depths to achieve the goal.

For the majority of the episode, Carrie enacts a decoy mission called “The Yoga Play” that she uses to get away from her surveillance so that she can help Jessica find Dana. She calls Max (Virgil’s brother) and confirms that they’re meeting up for “yoga.” Then she goes to the yoga studio, exits through the back, and Max and Virgil pick her up and take her to talk with the FBI agent that is in charge of watching over Dana. The problem: why is over half of the episode focused on Carrie helping the Brody family? It just doesn’t make logical sense. Why would she risk her cover as a double agent just to make sure that Dana is safe? For all the talk about Carrie being a great spy, moves like this one make you wonder how good she actually is. It seems like her spy technique is 90 percent rashness and 10 percent whatever they teach you at the CIA.

But because Homeland is not entirely fantastical, there are repercussions to Carrie potentially blowing her cover. At the end of the episode, Carrie is kidnapped by two men who take her to meet with Majid Javadi (the man who the whole double agent act was for). However, the plan was for Javadi to come out of the woodwork to speak with Carrie, not for Javadi to realize that he was in a trap. The last line of the episode is Javadi saying to Carrie: “You’re in good shape. Must be all that yoga.” Was Carrie’s cover blown during her “yoga plan” to help find Dana? Because if it was, she is royally screwed.

As for Saul and Dana, Saul is told during a hunting trip that he’s not going to officially became the director of the CIA (the senator that interrogated Carrie is getting the nomination), and Dana finally realizes what a creep Leo is (he killed his brother) and ends their “romantic” getaway. (Dana’s storyline is one step away from being the most annoying thing ever.)

Highlight of the episode: The awesome Romeo and Juliet reference: “You know how Romeo and Juliet ends, don’t you?” – Carrie (a.k.a Claire Danes, who played Juliet in the 1996 adaptation of the play).

The second highlight: Chris was in the episode for an entire five seconds.

Upset of the episode: Still no Brody.