Saul is looking for Carrie, and decides to ask Düring for help: his chances are reduced, though, when he links the latter’s grandfather’s support for Nazism with the Foundation’s contributions to Muslim charities: does Düring want to be on the wrong side of history again, eh? And how does he feel about Carrie meeting with Hezbollah? Düring stonewalls, claiming not to know where Carrie is, although that’s not true. “I didn’t like him much”, he will later tell Carrie, as she’s throwing her daughter onto a private jet to get her out of Berlin.
Carrie and Jonas then head to a safe house – again, presumably, provided by Düring – in order that she can try to work out who wants her dead. But for those of us who’ve known Carrie for longer than Jonas has, her new Conspiracy Wall sets alarm bells ringing: sure enough, she tells Jonas that she’s been not been taking her lithium for three days, because she always does her best work when she’s off her meds. This apparently includes rumpy-pumpy: after shagging Jonas under the Wall she also tells him that sex is better sans medication, but since she keeps her bra on throughout I’ll take that under advisement.
Anyway, I’m not sure I’m overjoyed about this development. As the episode was co-written by Meredith Stiehm, whose sister has bipolar disorder, I have no reason to think that it’s necessarily unrealistic or insensitive. But I’m a little uncomfortable with it being rolled out once per season as if it’s – as hinted at in the episode title – Carrie’s secret problem-solving superpower? (Apart from anything else, the point of Carrie’s character is, or used to be, that she’s an amazingly good operative on lithium.) And it gets worse: Jonas, reviewing her numerous sins, concludes that there must be zillions of people who want her dead, tells her “I don’t know how you live with yourself”, and after an argument stalks off, leaving her on her own. Well, she’s already snorted some caffeine to keep herself going, and when she chases that with some vodka it’s no surprise that she starts to hallucinate. Not Brody this time, though; this season’s star of ‘The Sixth Sense – Carrie Special Edition’ is Aayan, the hapless student she seduced, and got killed, last time round.
It doesn’t help that while all of this nonsense is going on, the rest of the episode more or less grinds to a halt. Saul rescinds his decision to send Allison home, instead defenestrating the US Ambassador. He then snuggles up in bed with Allison, and I can’t be bothered working out whether this is in keeping with the interactions we’ve seen between the two of them so far. And there’s a bit of back and forward between Laura and one of the hackers – now known as Numan – but the two of them are outmanouevred by the other hacker, who offers the remaining documents to Russia. And when Jonas returns to Carrie, to be told that the outcome of her remarkable brainstorming session is that the person who wants her dead is “all of them!”, he’s sufficiently unimpressed to insist that she downs some lithium stat.
Fortunately we still have Quinn to elevate things: he sniffs around Astrid a little, makes her a half-hearted offer of sexytime, then gets down to the serious business of flushing Carrie out. He kidnaps Jonas’s son, deducing that Jonas’s ex-wife will call him in a state of panic, thus giving away his whereabouts; and where Jonas is, Carrie will be. Jonas is all, “derp?”. But Carrie, of course, thinks the same way as Quinn, so she knows exactly what’s going on: she grabs the nearest rifle, leaves the house, and waits for whoever is trying to find her. She then, from a distance, shoots Quinn – it’s been a couple of seasons coming, but payback at last – but he’s wearing a bulletproof vest, so he’s able to grab her, give her a Jack Bauer-esque chokehold, then sedate her. Which, at least, presumably confirms that Quinn doesn’t actually want to kill Carrie. An otherwise so-so episode with a memorable conclusion: like last week, then, but not as good.