Homeland Season 4 Review “Redux”

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On the latest episode of “Homeland,” the next phase of Tasneem’s plot to discredit Carrie- and by extension, the Embassy- went under way in “Redux.” As loyal viewers know, there are few things more unbalanced than a Carrie off her meds- until now, when we saw what happened when Carrie’s meds were compromised, after Boyd switched them out with God knows what. Whatever it was, it had Carrie all but bouncing off the walls, running around yelling at people, getting into fights with security guards and thinking she was shooting people with an imaginary firearm.

Ultimately, Carrie was captured by some ISI agents and first taken to a makeshift prison- which looked to be the same place Saul was taken at one point- and then to a mansion which proved to belong to Aasar Khan (Raza Jaffrey), though Carrie saw it as someone quite different, in her drugged-out haze: none other than the late Brody (Damian Lewis), in a decidedly unexpected cameo that also served as the goodbye we never really got last season, hallucination or not.

Obviously, Carrie is a full-blown mess at this point, but I have to wonder what the ISI’s endgame is, given some of the stuff they’ve done already. The thing is, we see that their plan was already set into motion well before the meeting that took place early on in this episode. But in light of what happened at that meeting, in which Lockhart declared, with the President’s full support, that some two billion dollars funding for Pakistan would be pulled if Saul wasn’t returned, you’ve got to wonder what they plan to do with Carrie now.

Haqqani did mention to Saul that a plan was already in place to trade Saul for some political prisoners, but was that true? After all, as the saying goes, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. I feel like the threat of losing that much funding would trump any leverage Haqqani thought he might have had. While it is true that he might have been able to move freely throughout Pakistan with Saul at his side, as a “human shield”- and Haqqani did just that, even going so far as to ride through the center of town before visiting his family- does that really mean that the government proper would be willing to potentially sacrifice their funding for one man?

In the end, it seems as if it all comes down to who flinches first: us or them. Unfortunately, the ISI is the wild card in the scenario, as who knows what they’ll be up to next. They’ve clearly shown that they’re not above using underhanded and shady methods to achieve what they want; the question is, just how far will they go? Capturing Saul was bold and bad enough, but now they have Carrie to boot. What’s next?

This was a tough episode all around for our heroines, between Carrie’s capture, and the Ambassador’s being blindsided by Lockhart to the point of almost quitting altogether. Even Fara shouldered her weight of the blame for Aayan’s death, when Carrie tried to accept it all. Only Tasneem fared well, showing herself to be the Pakistani equivalent of Carrie when it comes to doing the hard things that must be done to achieve a goal- even if it means breaking the rules left and right.

I’d say that even Carrie wouldn’t go as far as she’s gone- except that she kind of has- and was prepared to go even further, as we saw last episode when she tried to order the strike on Haqqani, Saul be damned. (To be fair, she wasn’t wrong in that Saul would have likely sacrificed himself rather than cause all the trouble his capture has resulted in.) The fact is, sometimes you have to do questionable things to achieve the desired results. But, of course, the whole point of “Homeland” is to determine how far is too far- on either side.

One of the best scenes in the episode was the one in which Haqqani allowed Saul to speak freely at the dinner table and they debated the ramifications of 9/11, Osama Bin Laden and our respective religious beliefs. (It actually kind of reminded me of a recent, similar debate on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”) I loved it when Saul called out Islam for all the things people had done over the years in its name, and Haqqani came right back with the fact that Christianity had done the essentially the same thing over the years. Shot back Saul: “I’m a Jew.” Ha! Well played, “Homeland.”

All in all, this was a great episode, as per usual as of late. “Homeland” continues its mission to redeem itself for some of the more dubious transgressions of last season, and IMHO, it’s more than succeeding. I think this may be the most riveting season the show has had since the superlative second season, in which the show really came into its own after a great initial debut. It might have lost its way here and there, but it’s more than made up for it since.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Homeland”? Do you agree that the show is back on track? Or did the reappearance of Brody only make you long for what once was? What do you think Tasneem will do next? Or Haqqani, for that matter? Will the US make good on their threat, or will they back down? Or will Pakistan flinch first? What are ISI up to with Carrie? Make your prediction below and see you next week!