After two good episodes, I felt that this one crossed the line separating “measured and contemplative” from “a little dull”. Saul is in Abu Dhabi trying to extract a confession from Farhad to the effect that he’s been negotiating with North Korea to revive Iran’s nuclear programme. Farhad denies everything, claiming that he was buying Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Saul doesn’t buy it, quite, but reports to Dar that there is no evidence, yet, confirming that Iran has breached the deal. Dar, however, reports to President-elect Keane that Saul has conclusive evidence of Iran’s malfeasance; and Carrie, in turn, tells PEOTUS that Saul would never be so definite about something like that, while Dar listens in. So Carrie knows what Dar’s up to, kind of; Dar knows what Carrie’s up to; and poor old Saul doesn’t know what anyone’s up to. Also of interest: Saul’s visit to his sister in the West Bank (the show at least ventilates the issues); that cigarette packet dropped by Farhad, the significance of which completely escaped me, although for now I think it’s supposed to; and Saul getting picked up at the end by someone we don’t know (?). This continues to be the best storyline by some distance.
Meantime, the plot involving Carrie’s advocacy work hasn’t yet quite caught fire: this week the plea deal for Sekou is off because she ignored a court order not to speak to the AD’s informant. Sekou – who previously didn’t want to plead – is furious, as is the somewhat sanctimonious Red, the project’s attorney, who I for one would expect to be a little more interested in the news that his client is being set up. Fortunately, Carrie has a contact, as Carrie always does, who is able to uncover proof of collusion and entrapment on the part of FBI agent Conlin, with which she confronts him. Carrie’s half-smile as she walks away is just a little reminiscent of this episode, but it’s not yet clear to me that this is going anywhere satisfying.
And Quinn’s storyline continues to be elusive: on the one hand, although coming on to Carrie is Not Cool, it offers signs of life; and there is definite pleasure to be had in watching him busting the head of Tommy, the punk who mugged him in the opening episode, which I for one was expecting him to do the first time they met. On the other hand, the purpose of his assault on Tommy is to get his hands on a gun, because he thinks that there are unspecified bad people watching Carrie’s apartment. The season’s weakest episode so far, I’d say.