Image credit: Kent Smith/Showtime
AN OFFER SHE CAN'T REFUSE Carrie makes a deal that forces her to compromise her ideals, but it's all a part of a plan, a plan Saul believes is working. Even so, this is Homeland, and I've got a sinking feeling it's not going to go smoothly from here.
Carrie 2.0 Fara has been making strides in her investigation of the money trail since we last saw her at the CIA. And while that's great for her, she's also stuck with a staggering amount of exposition-heavy dialogue this episode, explaining to Saul where she believes the $45 million siphoned off in the last five years have gone: a soccer club, where a man who uses a legendary goalkeeper's name as an alias oversees the transactions. And though she thinks that her newfound intel has led them "exactly nowhere," Saul disagrees, theorizing that Javadi is the one who's on the receiving end of the money. Fara, once again, saves the day by proving him right -- she digs up photos of Javadi with one of the corrupt bankers. Still, instead of wanting Fara to release the information to the authorities, Saul wants Javadi brought in for interrogation.
"I need him in a room," Saul says. "I want to rip him down to the studs." Fara looks worried at the order, but wisely keeps quiet.
Meanwhile, Carrie receives an emergency order from Maryland that allows her to be out for 24 hours. And, unsurprisingly, the source of her freedom is Paul Franklin, the associate who visited her in the facility last week. He tells her that in exchange for permanent release from psychiatric detention (which he can arrange), Carrie has to meet with one of the partners of the firm. "My job is to get you to the meeting," he tells Carrie, who, after a beat, accepts.
But as soon as Franklin leaves, Carrie begins to go on the run, grabbing her passport and meds, and leaving on foot. At the same time, Dar Adal confronts Saul about Carrie's surprise release ordered by a Maryland court, of all places. "The agency's still weak, Saul," he explains, calling Carrie a "contagion." "It could die of a common cold." Saul orders him to find Carrie and to "get her off the street," so the agency freezes Carrie's accounts and cancels her credit cards. Carrie, cornered, turns to Virgil (Welcome back, David Marciano!), who refuses to help her. But don't blame Virgil -- the guy's being watched by other agents listening in on the phone call. At the end, he manages to tell her, "Say hi to your mom for me," which stumps Carrie, until she realizes it's a coded warning to stay away.
So she does. And with nowhere to turn, Carrie finds her one night stand from earlier this season, the nameless man she met at the store who has no idea who she is, yet is charmed by her and generous enough to let her crash for a night. In the morning, she grabs some of his cash and tries to set off again, but Franklin catches up to her. At that point, Carrie knows that running won't do her any good, so she climbs in and is taken to her meeting with Leland Bennett (Martin Donovan) at a private estate reserved for clients of her caliber.
There, Bennett offers her an escape route from the CIA, seemingly manipulating her by outlining what will happen as the agency "controversializes" her name. "That's what they're doing to you," he explains. "They're turning you into a story." So, Bennett says, she can save herself by partnering with his client, a man who would like to "pick your brain from time to time," especially because he recently lost six business associates. Six associates, as in the ones from the premiere? Could it be... Javadi?
Either way, Carrie definitely doesn't want to turn against the CIA and willingly spill secrets to an enemy, so she starts to stride away from Bennett. But Bennett calls her back, telling her that his client wants to help her survive being targeted by the CIA. After all, as the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? And plus, they'll make sure she's kept out of the hospital and "compensated handsomely," as long as she meets with the client. Carrie, thinking it over, negotiates a deal: She'll meet with the client face to face and provide information on how targets are identified and handled, in exchange for the protection. Without any other options, she accepts the offer.
"Maybe you two can find common ground, put the world right, save us all," Bennett says. "Yeah, f--k you," she replies.
NEXT: "It worked, Saul."