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.
So much has happened in the rest of the episode -- Saul, Dana, Quinn, Javadi, Chris Brody showing up for two seconds -- but what's Carrie's part in all this? Though her motive in the episode is to find Dana, she barely plays a role in finally getting the rebellious teen home. Instead, this episode feels like an excuse to have Carrie chase an impossible task and skirt the line again, endangering her mission and her life -- until the final minutes, that is.
But before we get to the break-in at Carrie's place, we see her agreeing to help Jessica find Dana. She tries to argue that Dana's "a bright girl" who will see through Leo, but Jess persists. Carrie, in fact, had just flushed her meds down the toilet again, and taking on the task to help Jess find Dana is definitely risky. Carrie likes risky, though, so she goes through with it.
To get surveillance off her back, Carrie pulls the titular "Yoga Play," which involves her calling
Chandler Bing Virgil's brother Max (welcome back, Maury Sterling!) and pretending to attend a yoga lesson together. As Carrie suspects, a man follows her all the way to her faux yoga lesson, but Quinn attempts to stop the play. "What the hell are you doing?" he asks. Though Carrie insists on going, she softens under Quinn's gaze and tells him that "it meant a lot" when he visited her in the mental institution. "What you put yourself through was f--king incredible," Quinn says. (Quinn = Carrie's No. 1 fan? This... this could be interesting.)
With Dana as the show's ploy to get Carrie out of the house (Hey, maybe Jess is behind all this! Kidding), Carrie tracks down FBI Agent Hall with the help of Virgil and Max, and confronts him as he's getting his morning coffee. "Why aren't you in the nuthouse where you belong?" Hall aggressively asks Carrie, who then tells him not to be a dick. Nice one, Carrie (though you did just cut the guy off from his much-needed caffeine).
The next exchange is even juicier: Hall insists the joyride is just a "Romeo and Juliet"-type rebellion, which prompts Carrie to reply, "You do know how Romeo and Juliet ends, don't you? Not well." Come on, Carrie. First off, Dana and Leo are nowhere near the caliber of Romeo and Juliet in terms of romance, and the fact that Claire Danes delivers the line made the situation unintentionally funny for yours truly, an unabashed Romeo + Juliet fan. Where's Leonardo DiCaprio when you need him?
Anyway, Carrie's rendezvous with Hall goes overtime. The quick-thinking Quinn double parks to stall the agent, and Carrie comes into the studio in time to pretend she just had an intense yoga session.
Even so, Saul gets word from Quinn about Carrie's indiscretion. "I know I wasn't made, Saul, I wasn't," Carrie tells him, but Saul just sighs. And after all that, Carrie returns home, but things go awry when the surveillance team surrounding her disappears. Quinn grows anxious, fearing he's too far away to catch any warning signs, but Carrie tells him, "I'm not sure I like being watched over by you, Quinn."
Turns out Quinn's right -- even though he's at a "safe distance" from the house, he can't do anything when Javadi's men somehow break into Carrie's home and drag her out of bed. They humiliate Carrie, forcing her to take off all her clothes as they scan her for devices, then throw a hood over her head and lead her away. Though Saul tells Quinn to stay put, Quinn enters Carrie's home to find Carrie gone and her secret cell phone destroyed. "We lost her... She's on her own, Saul," he says. "She's always been on her own," Saul replies. Is that remorse, Saul, for leaving her in the mental institution? Or is it pride?
And Carrie, on her own, is taken to a brightly lit room in the mansion we saw earlier, where Javadi awaits. As her hood's taken off and she adjusts to her setting, Javadi looks her up and down, and then smiles. "Carrie Mathison," he says, relishing the introduction. "You're in good shape. Must be all that yoga."
Disoriented and shocked, Carrie can only, like the speechless Saul did earlier, stare back at her foe.
All in all, Carrie has, through an unnecessary plotline with Dana, ended up in front of the man who's supposed to be this season's Big Bad. Yet, we have no idea what the next step in Saul's plan is, and whether Carrie can pull it off, now that she's been unwillingly dragged to the meeting with little preparation. This, again, felt more like a transition episode, and much of the forward momentum was packed into the final scene. The rest of the hour was spent putting each character in place on the playing field, with Saul set up in his conflict with Lockhart, Quinn continuing to disobey his orders, and Javadi slipping his way into the U.S. Good thing this episode comes with the conclusion of the Dana and Leo storyline. (And please, let it be the conclusion.)
So where does that leave us? Carrie will likely have an intense discussion with Javadi, though he currently has the upper hand. What specifically does he want, other than information? As for Dana, think we'll see more or less of her going forward? At the very least, are you happy that Chris Brody got two seconds of screentime? (I'm constantly on Chris Brody watch for no reason.) What's next for Quinn? What's Dar Adal up to? Share your thoughts in the comments below.