Image credit: Kent Smith/Showtime
CIA BFFs Just kidding. This shot makes it look like Saul and Lockhart are having fun during the elite D.C. getaway, but Saul's miscalculation -- his belief that he'll be made CIA director -- lands him in the crosshairs of Lockhart and his team. Saul has two more weeks at the top of the agency, which means two more weeks for him to put everything together. First order of business: Make sure Carrie does her job.
While Javadi takes his scenic route driving into the U.S., Dana and Leo take their own scenic route on their joyride. Obviously this means Dana and Leo are just as evil as Javadi. Okay, maybe not, but this storyline is so boring at this point, there's not much else connecting her to the rest of the show at all.
That's despite Jessica showing up at Carrie's place, and setting her on a mission to hunt Dana down. The show even has Carrie tell us why Dana's important when she tries to enlist the help of FBI Agent Hall (welcome back, Billy Smith!), which again underlines just how far removed Dana feels by now. To have Carrie involved and justify it with a monologue about how important Dana is to Brody? Yikes.
Dana's so removed, in fact, that even she and Leo have no idea what their next move will be as they drive. Dana counts their money and asks Leo, but Leo has nothing to say except, "We gotta enjoy what we got, 'cause it's never gonna get better than this. Here and now, you and me." Seriously, Leo? Did you just almost rip off a High School Musical lyric? Actually, if you broke into song, I would have an easier time staying awake watching these scenes.
Anyway, it's safe to say using Dana as an emotional center for the Brodys has sadly backfired. Like I said before, it was a fascinating choice, but by now, it's too poorly executed to constitute any more screen time.
At least it seems like the writers get that, because the joyride plot ends when Dana accidentally discovers her boyfriend's deep, dark secret that he was involved in his brother's death -- as the one who initiated the suicide pact -- and confronts him about it. "I told you over and over again: The one thing I can't have in my life is lies, and you lied to me!" she exclaims. Leo looks stricken, but a police car pulls up, and Dana leaves him.
So say it with me: Yay! The Very Dumb Idea plot's all over! (I think!) Dana returns home as Jess and Chris (Chris Brody! You're alive!) watch her slump down the hallway to her room and say, "I'm okay. Really." But then she sits down on her bed, does her best impression of Carrie's cryface, and is definitely not okay. Really.
I hope that's the last we see of Leo. As for Dana, well, I think Alan Sepinwall made a great point in his review: Morgan Saylor has always been one of the show's major blind spots. By blind spot, he means the writing team loved her performance in the first season so much because it grounded Brody and gave him a meaningful father-daughter relationship, and now insists on using Dana as frequently as possible, without realizing that Dana worked because Brody was there and vice versa. And after this episode, if we do get another Dana plot that's not at all connected to Brody, it'll mean that the writers still have no clue that she's that major blind spot. Let go, Homeland. Just let her go for now.
And then there's Saul, who also falls into blind spot territory. In his case, though, he has one of his own.
NEXT: "Bon appetit."