Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has never been one to draw inside the lines. It’s both her strongest attribute and her Kryptonite. When Carrie sets her mind on a target, there’s nothing that will stand in her way, even if whatever she has to do is highly dangerous and completely illegal. Because Carrie’s intentions are always for the greater good, she considers herself above the law. While working as a CIA agent, her tendency to buck the system and go rogue made her seem heroic. But now that’s she working within the legal system, blatantly ignoring the rules royally screws up Sekou’s (J. Mallory McCree) case. Carrie no longer appears heroic, just naive and stupid.
To her credit, Carrie is acting nobly. She truly believed that if she could just talk to Saad, even though the judge explicitly ordered her not to, that she could get the information needed for her and Reda (Patrick Sabongui) to clear Sekou’s name. Especially after learning that Saad, who’s real name is Tyrone Banks J.r, is an FBI informant.
Carrie is able to get Saad to come clean, but her risk in reaching out is not only short- sighted, it ultimately proves to be a total waste of time. The information obtained can’t be used in court, and it results in Sekou’s plea deal, one for which Reda was insisting he take, get stripped from the table. Going to trial is now imminent, and if convicted, Sekou is looking at 20 years in prison, not seven as the former plea deal stated.
Carrie can’t live with herself knowing the boy she promised to defend is paying for her mistake. Hellbent on righting her wrong, Carrie calls in a favour to Agent Thoms (James Mount), and asks him retrieve a few recorded phone calls. While this sounds simple, it’s far from legal, and Thoms would definitely lose his job if caught. He’s not even supposed to admit such calls are being recorded. But Carrie impresses to him that if he doesn’t help her out, an innocent boy will be taken advantage of by the system.
As persuasive as ever, Carrie shortly comes into possession of a phone conversation in which Agent Conlin (Dominic Fumusa) insists to the authorities that they continue chasing after Sekou, even after all the evidence they’ve found keeps turning up nothing. While Carrie also can’t use this evidence in court, she can use it to bribe Conlin. Either all charges are dropped, or she’ll anonymously drop this career-ending tape by the D.A.’s office.
So, Carrie is successfully able to eke herself out of a hole with this power move, and it turns out to be the rare case in which when looked at in retrospect, everything happened for the best. However, the same can’t be said for Saul (Mandy Patinkin), whose expedition to Abu Dhabi isn’t producing the results he set after.
Sent by President-elect Madame Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) on Carrie’s suggestion, Saul meets with suspect Farhad Nafisi (Bernard White) because the CIA thinks Iran is violating the terms of their nuclear weapons agreement. But after a lengthy interrogation, he can’t conclusively decide whether or not Farhad has a secret parallel WMD deal with North Korea. Saul tells the disappointing news to Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), whom then tells the President-elect the exact opposite.
Adal says Saul has no doubt of Iran’s guilt, and suggests Madame Keane take action right away. He does this knowing that she will refer to Carrie’s advice before making a move. Dar has somehow been able to pin a bug on Carrie, and he overhears the entire conversation Keane then has with her. Carrie knows right away something is up. Adal’s report doesn’t even sound like Saul, and she suggests Keane take a look at the actual report herself.
It isn’t totally clear what Adal’s endgame is, but it’s in his benefit to sway Keane into once again trusting the CIA. And in order to achieve that, he needs Carrie gone from her post as the President-elect’s advisor. It appears Adal wants to create a situation in which Carrie’s counsel
turns out to have catastrophic results. And he’s okay involving the U.S. in a nuclear arms war if it means the CIA gets their autonomous power back.
And finally, there’s Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), who’s still living in Carrie’s basement and is a pill away from being certifiably insane. Carrie should not be leaving him alone. Especially now that he’s got a gun, and for apparently no reason, thinks the man living across the street is a spy that needs to be killed. We can only hope Carrie is able to stop Quinn before he murders whom seems to be nothing more than an innocent neighbour.
Episode three frustratingly ends with a blackout cliffhanger, and the suspense as to what happens in the next five minutes of Homeland looms large. The Showtime series has been taking its time building up these parallel storylines in Season 6, and it’s safe to say that all of them will not only eventually intersect, but all simultaneously implode.