The hands-down best thing about this show is that you never know what new zig it will take just when you expected it to zag. We left off at the towering moment last week of Brody nabbed and coming face to face with Nazir on American soil. But the show doesn’t pick up exactly where it left off, and the A-plotline this week involved neither Brody nor Carrie primarily. It’s a testament to the deep bench of talent on the show that scenes with third-tier players like Virgil and Max offer just as much excitement and entertainment as the ones carried by our heavy hitters.
We start ostensibly the morning after the previous episode’s events, with our CIA team weighing their options. Brody’s gone, they haven’t heard from him, and they’re unsure what move to make next, finally deciding they need to round up Roya Hammad. Meanwhile, Brody and Nazir are parting in an empty outdoor lot and it’s sweet sorrow indeed, seemingly. They embrace, Nazir compliments Brody’s strength and emphasizes his trust in him, they agree to pray for each other. Nazir drives off and Brody jogs to the nearest main street, and calls Carrie, telling her nothing but entreating her to get his family to a safe house right now and that he’ll call her back in an hour. She agrees, then calls off the Roya grab.
Carrie sends Mike to round up the Brodys and get them to a secure locale. Dana protests, ranting this is all her father’s fault, and Mike shuts her tantrum down immediately, taking the firmest stance with Dana anyone has in a while, and reminding everyone that he was a marine and does have a backbone under all that easygoing charm. It must have felt damn good for Diego Klattenhoff to play that scene.
Then suddenly we’re following Virgil and Max as they infiltrate a very bare apartment and take some snaps of a rifle case and a picture of a smiling dark-haired woman holding a baby. It’s unclear whose apartment it is until they rendezvous with Saul, and it’s revealed that Saul and Carrie have had them surreptitiously trailing Peter Quinn all along! It was Quinn’s apartment, and that rifle case and the lack of a paper trail on Quinn makes Saul suspect that he’s not just a mere analyst. I loved how sly this reveal was. The show hasn’t given much explanation on Quinn, but since it wasn’t addressed for so long, this twist comes as a real surprise, and yet a logical one.
When Carrie picks up Brody, he tells her he feared he was dead, and, visibly moved, she agrees and gently says how good it is to see him. As a Carrie fan, it’s hard to watch sometimes how they are emotionally on such different pages. Homegirl really needs a copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” I’m afraid.
Back in the interrogation room, he tells the team a story of far more strife than that warm parting would indicate transpired. But his story is punctuated by memories of the tense conversation with Nazir…seemingly bearing out his testimony. He leaves out the fact that he and Nazir prayed together, however. But he tells them Nazir plans to use Roya Hammad to infiltrate a planned homecoming of 300 soldiers and their families the next day, where a terrorist event will take place.
The team confers once more as to whether he’s telling the truth, and Carrie pushes hard for believing Brody. They decide to take the chance and Estes and Brody will go to the VP. He questions whether they believe him, and then specifically if Carrie does, “because that’s all I care about right now.” He says it with a good deal of sentiment and sexual tension simmers a bit, while Saul and Quinn look on.
David and Brody’s discussion with the VP goes off without a hitch and he agrees to give her access to give the CIA time to suss out her plans. Brody calls Roya, who tells him he should be sure to come stand by her and her cameraman. Listening in, Saul realizes it’s a bomb and that she just told Brody how to stay out of the blast radius. As they all assume watch positions, Virgil slips Saul a note with an address and he leaves to check it out.
At the fancy safehouse apartment, Jess and Mike have a moment, while the kids do homework. Jess very stridently insists he sleep in the guestroom rather on the living room couch. She’s clearly planning on a midnight booty call.
Meahwhile, Saul meets with the woman in the photo from Quinn’s apartment, who’s a city cop. He pretends to be an IRS agent, asking about the boy’s father, John. She totally stonewalls him, and it’s disappointing to see someone get the better of Saul, but as he leaves, he calls Virgil at headquarters and says to be sure he’s watching Quinn because he’s about to get a call from his baby mama. Crafty Saul!
When the phone rings, Quinn asks what her visitor looked like, then gets upset and hightails it out of the office. Virgil calls Max who is already following Quinn, as the guy takes one bus, then another. It’s not his destination that’s important though. He’s talking to an older man on the bus and Max takes a few handy shots with his camera.
While Brody sits at home eating cereal, Jess does indeed slip into that guestroom and take her clothes off. Honestly, Morena Baccarin’s chest has gotten more screen time than Chris at this point. It’s a sexy, hungry coupling and….hey, good for those two. That’s about all the interest I can muster in Jess/Mike.
Saul returns to headquarters to relieve Quinn, and neither man tips a hand to the other. But when Quinn leaves, Virgil slips Saul the shots that Max took of the guy on the bus. Saul recognizes him as Dar Adal, which suitably impresses Virgil. Apparently the guy is a legend as a special ops leader…which makes them wonder even more about who Quinn is and why he’s working this case. As Virgil delightfully says, “If he’s an analyst, I’m in the hair club for men!” Hee.
The next morning, Jess does the walk of shame back to her own room and shortly after the family has a strained conversation with Brody, with the exception of Dana, who won’t talk to her dad. But at headquarters, the big event is ON. While Carrie, Virgil, and Max watch Roya meet up with her crew at a burger joint and call play-by-play on location for the task force at headquarters, Estes gives Quinn a discreet nod and he gets up and leaves. Saul gets up too and questions where he’s going. Estes tersely says Quinn’s wearing “two hats” today. Saul approaches Estes and quietly asks who’s really running this op. David or Dar Adal? And who is Quinn really? Estes will only say “He’s here to kill terrorists, Saul. Like all of us.”
At the burger joint, another van, with tinted windows and matching the description Brody gave of Nazir’s getaway vehicle, pulls in. The swarthy munitions guy we’ve seen hanging around Roya in the past two episodes climbs out and her people start switching camera batteries between the vans. They’re heavy and must weigh at least 200 pounds Carrie attests. That’s one big bomb. The CIA moves in, a shootout ensues and the tinted windowed van ends up flipping itself over. “We’ve got em!” Carrie cries triumphantly, then runs in to view face and confirm it’s Nazir.
Meanwhile, a black limo pulls up to Brody’s house and the camera swings to reveal Quinn’s behind the wheel. He reaches into his glove compartment and pulls out a gun with a silencer on it. OH NOES BRODY! Our congressman runs out of the house, toward the car and climbs in. Back to Carrie, she’s waiting for them to turn over the guy they pulled from the van, and when she sees his face, she sinks. It’s not Nazir. She calls it in to the task headquarters. At Brody’s Quinn starts to turn, and Nick recognizes him asking what he’s doing there. He raises his gun slightly, then Estes calls off the hit urgently, saying they haven’t caught Nazir after all. He tells Brody, who’s waiting for an answer, that he’s there to watch his back. He reveals they got all the terrorists except Nazir, and that he’s going to be Brody’s new best friend.
So what do you think? Can you believe Estes is going to have Brody executed, regardless of the supposed immunity deal, if and when they catch Nazir? What will Saul have to say about that? Hell, what if Carrie finds out? Three episodes left!
Tara Gelsomino is a reader, writer, pop culture junkie, and Internet addict. You can tweet her at @taragel.