A lot of this season of Homeland has relied on plot twists that only "work" because information is kept secret from the audience. Season 1, however, succeeded because while we didn't know if Brody was a traitor, neither did Carrie -- we were just as in the dark as she was.
This season finds us, the audience, constantly not knowing what the other characters know. Sure, that's a valid story decision. But the way it is implemented means things we should be seeing are purposefully kept from us in order to keep from spoiling the surprise.
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Case in point: Carrie has taken a lot of pregnancy tests over the last few weeks, and perhaps months, and we're just now learning it.
Yes, Carrie is pregnant. More soap opera drama for Homeland. Yay? Probably not.
Earlier in the season, we wondered why Carrie was off her meds. Perhaps it was to truly sell her the lie that the CIA needed to lock her up in an insane asylum.
But no, it's because she's pregnant. We find out when Carrie takes yet another pregnancy test, finds out she's "still positive" (the name of tonight's episode) and drops it into a drawer with a ton of other pregnancy tests.
Her taking the test comes out of nowhere, especially since we've never seen Carrie, not all season long, display a single symptom of being pregnant. (Leave a comment if I'm wrong on this, readers.)
The twist is soapy, I'll give it that. But it also seems to come out of nowhere, and it's not the kind of "out of nowhere" moment that Homeland should be proud of.
Javadi and Saul
I've already written a lot about a single moment in the episode more than I probably should, so let's get into the rest of it.
The other lie we the audience were sold on was the idea that Saul and Carrie wanted Carrie to be a double agent for the CIA: to infiltrate the Iranian government and fool Javadi.
Nope. That too was a lie foisted on us. Instead, the idea was turn Javadi into a double agent. To use what the CIA knew about him embezzling money from his own government to get him to work with the Americans.
All Carrie actually wanted was to help arrange a meeting between Javadi and Saul.
Before that meeting can happen, however, Javadi escapes his Iranian handlers and makes it to a house where his ex-wife and grandson are staying. He kills a woman that answers the door and then stabs his ex-wife to death with a broken bottle before Quinn and Carrie arrive.
"Now I'm ready to see Saul," Javadi says, with blood dripping down his shirt.
Saul orders Carrie and Quinn to abandon the child since they can't be seen there. And when Javadi is brought before Saul, Saul punches him in the face and towers over him in an incredibly well-shot scene.
Saul "The Bear" Berenson is ready for his conversation with Javadi as the episode ends.
Other Odds and Ends
Aside from the randomness of discovering Carrie's pregnant, we also get a scene of Saul confronting Mira over her dinner date with another man in last week's episode. Other than that confrontation, and the fact that Saul just accepts it, that scene still has no consequences.
Senator Lockhart, less than two weeks out from confirmation hearings for him to become the next head of the CIA, is already making waves and making sure people like Dar Adal know that Carrie and Saul are basically done at the CIA after he's taken over. Of course, little does the soon-to-be director of the CIA realize that Dar Adal and Saul are working together.
And then there's Dana, who decides to change her name to Lazaro -- Jessica's maiden name. She also decides to go live with a woman named Angela. And Jessica, after some prodding from Dana, becomes okay with this. I am too ... if this means we never have to witness another boring Dana subplot again.
airs Sundays at 9pm on Showtime. (Image courtesy of Showtime)