I quite often like the episodes of Homeland which move at a measured pace, but ‘Imminent Risk’ tipped over into sluggish and unsatisfactory. I’m also far from convinced that this week’s Carrie storyline is the best decision the writers have ever made: she receives a call from Franny’s daycare to advise that a child protective service officer is there, asking questions about Franny’s wellbeing. When she gets there, she discovers that Franny has already been removed to a safe place, and is asked some uncomfortable questions about just how safe Franny is in her house. This leads to a court case at which the CPS officer argues that Franny should be kept in foster care for the time being.
Now, as I said last week, using Quinn as your babysitter, even in an emergency, is spectacularly misjudged, and when the CPS officer forensically lays out the case against Carrie as parent – Quinn, terrified nanny, sleeping in Franny’s room with a gun, evidence of paranoia – it’s clear that she has a point. (A point which, did the judge but know it, Carrie will reinforce later on by drunk-calling the President-elect asking her to intervene and get her daughter back.) But it’s not the best use to make use of Carrie as a character, not by a long way, and it’s a storyline which really doesn’t feel as if it’s getting us anywhere. The CPS officer, incidentally, is played beautifully – deadpan and understated, with the tiniest dash of irony – by Marin Hinkle, an actor I like a lot. (And by “like”, yes, I do mean “like”.)
It turns out, of course, that Dar Adal was the person who reported Carrie to CPS: I say “of course” because Dar Adal now seems to be essentially running a shadow administration. He’s determined to stop Saul from talking to his contact Javadi, now in New York, so he has Saul detained to be debriefed on his trip to the West Bank. Javadi, meantime, is captured and briefly tortured by members of the Iranian delegation, having been tipped off about his connection to Saul by someone in the CIA. Wonder who? But Javadi’s freed, and manages to meet with Saul, who agrees to take him to PEOTUS to tell her in person that Iran isn’t making nukes in North Korea.
And the Quinn/Astrid storyline is a waste of them both. Astrid has removed Quinn from the psychiatric hospital and taken him to a lakeside house as part of a deal with Dar – yes, him again – to keep him out of the pubic eye. Quinn escapes; Astrid catches him. Then Dar himself turns up and has an odd conversation with Quinn in which – or did I imagine it? – it’s heavily implied that there was, at one point, an exploitatively sexual element to their relationship. Then, just to make sure that Quinn, too, has turned against Carrie, Dar tells Quinn that his stroke was caused by Carrie ordering that he be brought out of his Berlin coma. A good week for President Adal; not so much for the rest of us.