Tracy Letts as Senator Lockhart, F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal and Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in Homeland (Season 3, Episode 7). - Photo: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: homeland_307_0508.R

Homeland has finally picked it up. Last night’s was an upbeat and knotty episode, though it does begin oddly with Peter Quinn being odd about showering.

This episode begins by addressing the security footage that could frame Peter Quinn for the brutal murders Javadi committed. In hopes she can get the local police to forget about Quinn, Carrie goes to see a lieutenant who owes her a favor. She goes to the home of this familial slaughter and has a very un-Carrie-like reaction to seeing the body of the murdered woman. Perhaps it was this woman’s hand over her belly, all mother-like, or Carrie’s own morning sickness, but Carrie pukes in a toilet and looks at herself in the mirror. (I swear an entire episode of Homeland is going to take place with just Carrie and bathroom mirrors.) Back from the toilet, Carrie’s mission to clear Quinn’s name fails. The lieutenant is afraid it will show up on Drudge Report or “goddamned Wikileaks.”

Meanwhile, Javadi is soooo pissed he has to go back to Iran. Fara, the new researcher, is also pissed, a bit confusingly. Very side-long glance when he walks by her out the door. Confirmation of mutual suspicion or collusion?

Saul has to rush off to meet with Senator Lockhart, but first he calls his wife Mira to let her know that he does care if she has an affair. But too late, she’s in a swanky hotel with swanky room service and a swanky man.

And Senator Lockhart’s pretty pissed too. He just learned of the plot twist with Carrie, and also like us, is all: oh ugh, bleh. So many good spitty insults from this guy. So, justifiably, he’s not happy that Saul’s grand plan is relying on switched allegiance from the enemy. He wants to fry Javadi in public for justice. Saul says if they keep him and send him into the inside of the Iranian government it could transform the whole Middle East. Lockhart is like, I’ll call the president. (Mom!) But, haha, they set him up with one those Star Trek phones only two people per office building know how to operate. And then Saul locks in a conference room, grinning away. Again, like last week’s punch, resorting to 12-year-old-kid tactics. So satisfying.

And whoa to this Javadi and Carrie bonding time. Just the two of them, off for a very tense joyride. Javadi is all sympathetic to the huge pains Carrie underwent to woo him—-and tries to put Saul in a bad light for it. And then onto Brody: Hasn’t Carrie always wondered if he was actually involved? So proof to absolve Brods. And Javadi works on this deep Carrie desire, giving her a lead she will surely investigate, probably next week.

And back to Quinn: Giving a false confession to the police about the Javadi murders has made him feel better. (Oh—-so that shower scene was a cleansing baptism, not just a gratuitous semi-nude scene.) Ugh, Quinn just hates the CIA now. All the violence. Is it justified? he wonders. Never mind about your wondering though, Quinn, because Carrie needs your help on a special secret project.

P.S. Saul did ask a secretary to help Senator Lockhart out of the conference room, so don’t worry your pretty little head.

P.P.S. Pooh Bear and friend stuffed animal, 34 minutes in, on a leather fancy chair in Senator Lockhart’s office. Explanations: Zero. Theories: 1,000.

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