Season 4 of “Homeland” started strong: Carrie is back in Islamabad in charge of the CIA operations there and is working with Saul again (who was just kidnapped in episode 5).
The Benghazi-like crowd murder scene was visceral and strong. Quinn was on point.
The writers seem to be abandoning the story line of Carrie as a mom, getting the point across that she’s just not a natural mother. This was kind of disappointing to see on one level – the writers seem to be reinforcing negative stereotypes about bipolar disorder with this narrative choice – but on another level, it was an elegant choice, circumventing a lot of narrative messes. She simply gets to leave baby Franny with her sister while she goes undercover, fighting terrorism overseas.
(Sadly, the fabulous actor who played Carrie’s bipolar father, James Rebhorn, passed away before they filmed Season 4, so he obviously isn’t in the show anymore.)
Ayaan is the new character who’s in play, and Carrie seduces him to try to maximize him as an intelligence asset, which feels creepy. It also feels like a move that could result with Ayaan ending up hating her, and by extension, Americans.
Quinn is back in full PTSD mode, resentful that he’s got to cover for Carrie again, but resigned to it.
Episode 5 seems to involve Carrie making some reactively bad choices, but what else is new?