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.
Finally, we reach the op, which Saul thinks is foolproof, given how they've cornered Javadi and how Javadi has enough incentive to turn. Quinn and Carrie aren't so sure, but Saul's confidence pushes them to carry out his plan.
And, surprise, surprise... Quinn and Carrie were right. Javadi, who's supposed to meet Carrie off of Exit 1, drives past their predetermined spot and instead heads to a quiet residential neighborhood, parking on the same street he waited at while eating a sandwich and watching an innocent family last episode. Fara and Max scramble to figure out who he's there to see, but Javadi answers the question for them, getting out of the car and approaching the house he'd been gazing at before. It belongs to one Susan Roberts, Javadi's daughter-in-law. At this, Saul finally breaks his stoic shell, telling Carrie and Quinn that they must stop Javadi from going inside the house. "For Christ's sake, Carrie, hurry," he says, panicked.
Too late, Saul. Javadi shoots Susan in the head, steps across the threshold and quietly walks into the living room to see his grandson, a toddler who starts to cry when Javadi crouches to talk to him. In that moment, Fariba (Mary Apick), Javadi's ex-wife, appears, sees Susan dead on the floor, and tries to run. Javadi reaches her in a few strides, knocks her to the floor, breaks a bottle, and bends over her as she screams "You betrayed us!" He raises his arm, glaring, and stabs her until she's a bloody mess in the middle of the hallway.
(First thoughts: ...Wow. And at the same time, what?! That entire sequence, set in a well-to-do suburban home, was arguably the most violent death we've seen on Homeland. Javadi is clearly a villain out of his mind, but I think it was quite a lot to take in for one scene. Fariba's final line raises new questions, and the only thing that saves the scene from crossing the line into being ridiculous is Toub's performance. I know I'm giving him a lot of credit, but we barely know Javadi, and this, to me, feels out of character with the show, whose past villains were more strategic than impulsive like this. That said, Javadi appears to be a different breed of Big Bad with these actions, and that might turn out to be a good thing. It's still too early to tell.)
Quinn and Carrie arrive just as Javadi's finishing off Fariba, and Javadi calmly raises his bloody hands and tells them, "Now I'm ready to see Saul." Javadi has successfully carried out his short con and in the process, screwed up Saul's long one.
But before Javadi and Saul can meet, Quinn and Carrie must clean up the mess. Quinn is furious, his anger washing over him as he holds a gun to Javadi's chest and nearly (again) disobeys Saul's orders to simply follow procedure by getting Javadi out of there and pretending like they weren't there. Carrie, at the other end of the room, asks about Javadi's grandson but is told to leave him in the house with the bodies, inevitably traumatizing the child in the process.
Fara, Max, and Saul silently listen as Quinn and Carrie bring Javadi away from the scene. Saul takes off his glasses, closes his eyes, and lets the sound of Javadi's grandson crying wash over him.
NEXT: "This is just the f--king beginning."