Warning: Spoiler Alert:
Covering Professional Sports for the last nineteen-years, one realizes that a great coach doesn’t always become a great manager and great players find their talents sometimes, fall short attempting at leading. Carrie Mathison’s proved she’s an intelligent, resourceful and successful CIA Agent, but she gets too tasked-focused to act effectively, leading and coordinating others, as we witnessed on the fifth episode of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland.” While progressing on her recruitment of Aayan Ibrahim, she allowed two incidents to take place, one that could end in the loss, of her old friend and former boss.
The concern of a player or operative’s to get their job done; no worries or concerns with others as they only control their own mission. As the CIA Station Chief in Islamabad, you’ve got to be a great manager, or whom to delegate things to, otherwise you’ll constantly be playing catch-up, a less than ideal situation for a Spy Agency. Twin forces guide the United States Embassy, starting with Ambassador Martha Boyd, incompetence and corruption, both factors combining for a chaotic situation. There’s little trust and too many personal agendas and Mathison’s blind to most of them.
Carrie ended the previous episode seducing, the medical student she’s attempting to recruit, nephew of Haissam Haqqani, the ISI leader and the sole survivor of an Agency air-raid on a family wedding taking place in a farmhouse. This episode picks up the morning after, as Ibrahim still can’t quite believe he really had sex with Carrie, while she sleeps, he picks up the sheets to look at her body. However, he’s also ashamed, as the actions violated his religious beliefs. Mathison tells him they don’t have to be intimate again.
She goes out to get breakfast and meets Saul Berenson in his car, before he heads back to the states. The now private citizen’s set to meet his successor, CIA Director Andrew Lockhart, to inform him of what Carrie’s discovered, the attack on the former Station Chief Sandy Bachman got set up by ISI and that Haqqani’s alive, not a victim of the airstrike as all believed. The pair discuss, Carrie’s tough task of recruiting Aayan Ibrahim in three days, although by the facial expression of Berenson’s it seems he’s figured she’ll do “whatever it takes.”
Peter Quinn and Fara’s assignment’s trying to find the Cleric that accompanied Haqqani, when he met with his nephew Aayan, they rent the shop across the street from the meeting spot. The decision worked as the Cleric soon appeared and Quinn got pictures of him sent back to the embassy. Quinn and Fara discuss Carrie for a bit and we can tell by Peter’s talk of manipulation that he’s aware that Mathison’s had sex with the college student to make him more trusting of her. Since Peter carries a torch for Carrie, (which she’s unaware of) he’s not fond of the tactic.
The young woman that threatened to expose the Ambassador’s husband Dennis Boyd of collaborating with the enemy, whose named Nasneem’s a pretty big player for ISI, we discover during a morning meeting with Aasar Khan and other ISI members. Khan, who met with Benson in the previous episode to discuss the ISI, tells Nasneem that Saul’s taking a flight back to Washington and the woman says she could care less about him. We find out later, that’s not the case.
Boyd, who told his wife Martha in the previous episode he decided to move back home, told the Ambassador he changed his mind, but she shows no pleasure in his news. She knows he’s up to something, though she’s clueless that he and Bachman traded top-secret information, in exchange for getting locations on ISI members that got killed or arrested by the Agency. She asks him why he’s staying and when he stands there silently, she shakes her head and storms off.
Saul’s in the airport to catch his flight, when he spots Farad Ghazi, the man the ISI hired to manipulate and manage the supposedly spontaneous riot and subsequent pummeling to death of Sandy Bachman. Berenson calls Carrie’s cellphone and like everyone else that day gets his call directed to voice-mail, he tells her what’s going on and tells her to call him immediately. Ever the spy, although unarmed and lacking backup, Saul follows Ghazi to the gate for a flight to South Africa. He calls Quinn this time and tells him to make the Agency bureau in South Africa to keep on the lookout and that unless Saul calls back to assume he caught the flight.
Quinn’s being looked for at Embassy by Martha Boyd, as she just got a call from a local hotel that Dennis’ causing a scene in their bar, but Carrie’s assistant John Redmond, volunteers to get her husband, saying he used to be the guy who got belligerent in bars.
Back at the safe-house, Mathison starts interviewing Ibrahim under her guise as a reporter. She starts asking him about his uncle Haissam Haqqani, and his relationship with his uncle. Haqqani’s the brother of his father and they were a tight-knit family during his childhood, until the Uncle moved to the mountains to avoid drone detection. He used to make Aayan laugh as a child by slurping his tea and he told his nephew, he fought in more battles than the amount of hairs on Ibrahim’s head.
Carrie asks Aayan, if he thought of his Uncle as a hero and he said he defeated the Soviets, when they invaded Afghanistan in 1980, which helped lead to dissolve the Soviet Union. He then said Haqqani would’ve found a way to defeat the USA as well. Mathison then says there are rumors his uncle’s alive and Aayan goes ballistic, telling her that’s ridiculous and insulting, ending the interview session.
There’s no question that John Redmond’s the only part of the Embassy’s management, that’s competent and aware what’s taking place, the former assistant to Bachman, got the promotion to Station Chief, only for it to get rescinded when Mathison blackmailed Lockhart. The one unknown’s Redmond’s motivation, his network’s large enough to be working his own agenda, is he also bitter and disillusioned enough to serve two masters?
Redmond goes to the bar sharing drinks with Dennis Boyd, whose clearly drank twelve too many. He starts talking about what a great guy Bachman was and Redmond questions his statement, though admitting he was fun to drink with. Because the alcohol’s loosened his tongue, Boyd’s about to confess to Redmond his exploits with Bachman and the trouble he’s now in, when a familiar face interrupts the conversation. It’s Nasneem, who knows Redmond well and she makes believe she recognizes but never has met Boyd. After some brief small talk she goes back to her friend and Boyd asks what’s her deal, Redmond replies she’s an operative for ISI and likely working in the bar. She accomplished her mission as Boyd, no longer wants to spill his guts and suggests they head back to the Embassy.
Carrie apologizes to Aayan, then tells him she’s got an infant daughter Frannie, whose father died on an assignment before her birth. She tells Ibrahim, that Frannie’s father, another reporter got killed on an assignment she sent him on and she can’t forgive herself. He asks if she’ll tell her daughter when she gets old enough and she replies how can she, while he counters with how can she not. She breaks down and he hugs her, once again Carrie’s pulling strings through the tears, realizing that her “letting him in,” will get him to reciprocate. The prayer bells ring and she excuses herself, but Ibrahim tells him he wants to be with her again.
Fara and Peter are still on stakeout when they see the Cleric on the move, they take off to tail him. Peter follows him in their car, while Fara follows on foot, they’re not sure where the cleric’s headed, but right now he’s their best chance to get information about Haissam Haqqani and why he wasn’t at the wedding despite Bachman’s information that authorized the airstrike.
Back to the airport and Saul’s still keeping watch on Farad Ghazi, whose flight’s boarding, the terrorist gets into the line to board, then leaves and heads to the men’s room. Saul stations himself outside the bathroom, but doesn’t call anybody to make them aware of the situation. He watches for a while as several men enter then leave, but Ghazi’s yet to appear. When two young guys walk out together and head separate ways, Berenson heads into the facility, looks around, sees Ghazi in front of him and the two young men that just left the bathroom, take him from behind and sedate him with a syringe, they wheel him out in a wheelchair. Ghazi calls Nasneem and lets her know they’ve captured Berenson.
Peter and Fara follow the Cleric to a car, that he gets in as a passenger. They follow him to a military-checkpoint, which they realize they can’t approach. Quinn tries calling Carrie, but once again her phone goes right to voicemail. He swears in his message and when Fara asks why he’s upset, Peter tells her that only Carrie can contact Redmond to get a drone following the cleric, according to the Agency, the pair aren’t in Islamabad. He then gives Fara a tracking device to put on the Cleric’s car which is at the checkpoint, he’d draw too much attention as an American.
Fara approaches the car, but the guards yell at her to head back to her vehicle and she loses her nerve. As she walks back to the car, the trunk of the car the Cleric ‘s inspected by the soldiers, who don’t mention that Saul Berenson’s bound and gagged in the trunk. Peter loses it as Fara returns to the car with the tracking device.
There’s a knock on the front door of the safe house, Mathison attempts to ignore it but finally answers it and meets Quinn across the street, who goes off on her for having her phone off all day and missing two important developments in their case, blowing an opportunity to have eyes on the Cleric. Carrie gets defensive and says she’s trying to recruit an asset and Quinn responds, from his perspective she’s having sex with a child, which she wonders why that fact bothers Peter. He says it shouldn’t and walks away. She heads back to the safe house and the Puppet Mistress has worked her magic as Aayan admits his uncle’s alive.
The Story Continues Next Sunday at 9:00 pm on Showtime.