Homeland recap: Loose Cannons

Brody goes rogue; Carrie's left to handle him on her own as Saul and the CIA grow nervous
Ep. 11 | Aired Dec 8, 2013

NOTHING YOU CAN DO, QUINN Or Saul, for that matter. Halfway around the world, Brody's actions have prompted Carrie to go rogue as well, and there's little the CIA can do except sit and watch and send some goons after them.


So the CIA and Brody are in place: All that's left now is for Javadi to play his hand. And he does, when Akbari calls for a meeting.

But before he enters, we catch a visibly nervous Javadi approaching Akbari's office and secretary and seating himself outside, constantly checking his watch. It's a fascinating glimpse into Javadi's role -- so far we've only seen him smooth and collected, toying with Saul and Carrie with his mind games. (That is, except for the time he committed a double murder.)

Anyway, the IRGC leader has seen Brody's tapes and wants to gauge Javadi's take on the matter. "Do you believe him? That he's just looking for asylum." When Javadi tries to step around the question by saying that they're still working on talking to Brody more, Akbari interrupts to say that Javadi seemed to have gone "soft" on Brody. "My feeling was he's a guest here," Javadi calmly replies. "An important guest potentially with huge propaganda value."

It's a rehearsed line from the CIA, of course, but Akbari appears to buy it as he listens to Javadi's argument. Still, he says, "We need to be sure we can trust him before we let the world see him." And Javadi complies before making one last suggestion, that Akbari himself meet Brody to determine his trustworthiness. "It's worth considering, sir, a matter of this importance," Javadi says before he leaves. Akbari looks thoughtful at this, and thus the next phase of Brody's mission begins.

Carrie, now armed with the phone Fara's uncle delivered, calls Saul at CIA HQ. They've both got good news. Saul reports that Bernard got Mossad to say yes about helping them, and Carrie reports that Fara's uncle can be trusted. Brody's been in three days of interrogations so far (a little of his hair has grown back, by the way -- RIP Bald Brody), and Carrie thinks things are moving along. A more pressing issue, however, is the fact that her pregnancy's showing much more than before as she spots herself in the mirror, so Carrie tells Saul she has to go. "It's a big day tomorrow." Saul briefly looks confused, but it's Carrie, so he leaves her be.

At least she wasn't lying. Carrie's big day begins with a meeting with two Iranian nationals sent to help her, and she's talking them through what the mission needs -- while holding back crucial details, like Brody's identity. "This is not how we work, everything wait and see," one of the men says. But Carrie tells them it's to take out the head of the IRGC, and that bit of intel quiets them immediately. The other man produces the cyanide injection Brody will presumably receive and use to kill Akbari. The two promise to create a diversion using a motorcycle bomb to thin Akbari's line of guards.

When Carrie returns to her hotel, two other men take her away from the lobby and down an alley to Javadi. As Javadi waves away the pair of guards, Carrie launches into her protests about having them pick her up from the lobby. But Javadi quickly silences her, telling her that the mission's in motion: Akbari rarely leaves his office, but has called for a convoy the next day, and considering how Akbari responded to Javadi's suggestion about Brody the day before, Javadi's quite certain they'll be meeting. Carrie, satisfied, passes the cyanide injection to him. "Can you get it to Brody?" she asks. "I'll find a way," Javadi says.

Back at CIA HQ, Saul readies the team. "Listen up, we have movement in Tehran," he tells the room. In what feels like a high-stakes version of Ocean's Eleven, Saul goes over the plan and the obstacles, including the guards and the diversion. Brody will meet Akbari, the motorcycle bomb will attract the guards, leading to enough confusion for Brody to inject cyanide into Akbari and make his way through a door in the rear of the compound and finally get picked up by two agents. "I'm aware it's a lot of moving parts," he concludes.

Quinn, hearing all this, is more concerned about a missing piece in the rundown: Carrie. He asks where she fits into it, and wonders why she isn't being extracted before the mission begins. "She doesn't see it that way," Saul says, showing just how much pull his protege has over his calls. Carrie goes where she wants to go, Carrie stays when she wants to stay, and Carrie leaves when she wants to leave. What pregnancy?

NEXT: "My Nicholas."

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