Carrie is desperately trying to persuade Conlin that there might be something to Quinn’s theory that Sekou wasn’t responsible for the bomb, and eventually Conlin agrees to investigate further, in particular by tracing the car photographed by Quinn to a suspiciously opaque private company.
As soon, though, as Conlin says that he’s going to the company’s office – unaccompanied – the clock is ticking down on his life; it’s the rough equivalent of visiting the vampire’s castle in the middle of the night. To start with, though, I thought he might just get away with it, sinister though the company is: he arrives at the building when there’s a recruitment exercise ongoing – something to do with handling sensitive data – and although his pretence that he’s an applicant doesn’t get him very far, at that point he’s just escorted from the building, a dead man walking.
Meantime Saul reaches out to a SVR contact, who is able to confirm his suspicions that Mossad agent Tovah Rivlin is up to no good; specifically, Saul’s contact is able to tell him that Rivlin is no longer under surveillance, and show him photos of the meeting between Rivlin and Dar Adal from the first episode. All of which presumably edges Saul closer to the conclusion that Dar is working against the interests of the President-elect, and all of a sudden I’m wondering whether both Saul and Dar will survive the season. As well as that, PEOTUS Keane is still being held in lockdown – again, Dar’s instructions – with no access to her Chief of Staff. Eventually she demands to leave the building, returning to New York where she maintains her position in respect of terrorism: i.e. let’s not overreact, which is precisely the opposite of what the sitting President (our old friend Alan Dale) is saying. I like this storyline, although I feel bound to say that it’s a bit of a waste of Hill Harper’s talents and screen presence to put him in a role which – until now – has essentially depended on him not being on screen.
And while I’m voicing reservations: after last week’s Quinn-heavy episode, this week he’s back in a psychiatric hospital shouting at Carrie. As Quinn’s death looked almost inevitable last season, and the writers nonetheless took a decision to spare him, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that better use could have been made of Quinn – and of Rupert Friend – this season.
Up until this point it’s an episode which is long on intrigue and short on action, although I was enjoying it. In classic Homeland fashion, though, it all kicks off in the last few minutes: Conlin asks Carrie to meet him at his house, and when she gets there she of course finds him dead, having been shot by the same man who planted the bomb in Sekou’s van. Who then tries to kill Carrie as well. And Quinn is abducted from the hospital, for an as yet unrevealed purpose, by someone I was surprised and delighted to see. All in all, I thought this was confortably above-average.