Image credit: Kent Smith/Showtime
CARRIE, GET YOUR GUN Carrie is at the top of her game this episode, but it's too bad the hour's not about her -- it's about Saul and Javadi. And the conflict between the two men escalates all the way to the final minute, with a punch to the face. Despite what Saul believes, this op was never going to be easy.
By the time we see Saul bury his face in his hands after hearing they've lost Carrie, it's clear the confidence we've seen him build since the premiere has mostly shattered, thanks to an ill-advised geese-hunting trip and a chance encounter with Mira's lover.
A cautious Mira approaches Saul in their kitchen and tells him the truth about Alan Bernard, the man she was having dinner with the night before. "I didn't do anything wrong, Saul. When I met him, you and I had separated," she says. "And then your world collapsed, and I came running. But I left something behind." Saul takes the passive-aggressive route, asking Mira if she's in love with him, like a father coaxing an answer out of a guilty child while trying to bury his anger. "We had fun. He makes me laugh, how's that?" she replies, defending herself. "The day's better with him in it."
"That's all I needed to hear," Saul says, ending the tensest, yet most polite argument the couple has had on the show. Saul is obviously furious, but he's refusing to let it boil over. He casually remarks to Mira that he won't be confirmed CIA director. Mira sees through his feeble attempt to make her feel worse, and though she sympathizes with him, she tells him off. "For God's sake, Saul, stop this detached routine," she pleads. "Get angry at something." Oh, Saul's angry, but he's resigned. When Mira tells him he still has power at the agency, Saul shrugs and says, voice trembling, "Not anymore."
Just like Carrie, Saul effectively switches on CIA mode by the time he reaches the safehouse, demanding the Venezuela bank files as he strides past Fara and Max. When Fara brings the files, he silently gestures to where he'd like them placed, and then launches into a lengthy explanation of why he's insisting on seeing Javadi first.
It turns out Saul and Javadi had collaborated in the late '70s, when Saul needed to move assets out of Tehran and asked Javadi for his help. Javadi betrayed Saul, helping the new Iranian regime capture Saul's contacts and thus earning himself a ticket into the new regime's ranks. Saul helped Javadi's wife and child escape from Javadi four months later as revenge, but never saw Javadi again. "I watched a man I thought I knew become an animal in front of my eyes," he tells Fara, who responds, "This isn't going to be easy, is it?" Saul shakes his head. "Turning an intelligence officer against his own country, well, that's the most delicate and uncertain work there is," he admits.
But before we get to the second act, we interrupt this fascinating, nail-biting mission to bring you an update on Dana Brody. Great! (Dana thankfully has a relatively short appearance without any sign of Leo, so this won't take long.) Dana convinces her mother to take her to the courthouse and apply to change her name -- to Dana Lazaro (Lazarow? Lazero? I don't have subtitles in my screeners, unfortunately), as in Jess's maiden name. Here's all it takes for Dana to have a new identity: $41.14 in processing fees, a signature on the application, three to six weeks of waiting, and a whopping load of emotional baggage. Well, good for Dana -- this is a logical step for her character to take. As she signs the application, hair pulled back and with a small voice as she answers questions, Dana looks and sounds more innocent and young than she has since early season 1. It's like a breath of fresh air to see her so... unburdened again.
Of course, I spoke too soon. She breaks Jess's heart when a friend stops by to pick her up, because she's ready to move out. "I told you, mom, I can't be Dana Brody anymore," Dana says. "It's not just about my name... There's no point in talking about this because there's nothing to talk about. Mom, I can't live this life anymore, I just can't." Hearing this, Jess accepts her daughter's decision, cries, and steps aside to let Chris (!) hug his sister goodbye. Jess and Dana say a final goodbye in front of the tree that once had a yellow ribbon tied around it and served as the backdrop to their family photo. Those were simpler times, and though Dana says goodbye now, those nude selfies she took in the premiere are definitely going to resurface. Calling it now. Sigh.
NEXT: "The past is the past. I'm more interested in what happens next."