Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Martin Donovan as Leland Bennett in Homeland (Season 3, Episode 4). - Photo:  Kent Smith/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  homeland_304_0831.R
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Martin Donovan as Leland Bennett in Homeland (Season 3, Episode 4). - Photo: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: homeland_304_0831.R

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“I look like a ghost,” says Carrie, frantically pinching her cheeks. Her lawyer has arrived to help her plea to leave the psych ward. Her attorney’s confident it will be a cake walk, as all things with Carrie are. Her doctors and therapists give her excellent reviews including a mention that she’s “she’s demonstrated a real talent at ceramics,” a frankly unbelievable fact about her. Despite glowing testimony, Carrie’s denied freedom because she’s been designated as a security risk.

Devastation, but not for too long! Carrie’s pouting away when the kind nurse arrives to tell her that an emergency order has just come in to release her. It’s the slick-haired lawyer, not Saul, unfortunately. He begs her to meet with his boss. He says that the emergency release only holds for one day, but they could make it permanent, leveraging her freedom for her cooperation.

Carrie doesn’t want to give into the shady meeting, and tries to make a run for it. She notices that she’s being followed; her credit cards have been canceled. She goes to a dude she’s slept with and asks to crash there. (Who knew that her one-night stands would yield excellent secret hideouts?) But as she leaves one-night-stand-man, the slick-haired lawyer pulls up in a SUV and she very sadly gets in the car, looking defeated. Not too much of a range for her this season.

If Carrie’s free from her psych ward, is Dana also letting loose?, you may think. Oh, you follow those Homeland character parallels so keenly. Dana sneaks her cutie BF Leo out of the rehab facility and the two share a joint while speeding down the road. They trade in her mother’s Subaru for another car. It’s not all drugs, sex, and stolen cars, though Dana reads him a little Samuel Taylor Coleridge while they sit in a graveyard. Remember, Dana’s no dummy, so she tells him: “They’re gonna catch us anyway.”

Also distanced from the rush of D.C., Carrie shows up to a fancy Potomac home bearing a massive fruit platter. It turns out that a man with a shady prepster name (Leland Bennett, the name of someone that totally probably murdered his roommate at boarding school), is working with Iranian terrorists. Carrie tries to refuse to help. He says that the CIA is attempting to make her a scapegoat, and because she’s such a liability, they’ll probably kill her: “In six months or year if you haven’t killed yourself by then, they’ll do it for you. You’re naive to think they wont. You’ll slip in the shower, they’ll force-feed you lithium till your heart stops, hang you on a door knob and call it suicide.” She sits down. Fruit has been consumed.

And are things also falling out of favor for Dana? Why, yes, they are. It turns out that Leo, who was ostensibly mourning the suicide of his brother, actually likely murdered him. Wild twist!

But the real crazy turn at the end of this episode has to do with Saul. After the Potomac manse meeting, Carrie shows up at his home on the verge of collapse, assuring him that no one followed her. It turns out that the slick-haired lawyer and Leland Bennett were pawns in Saul and Carrie’s chess game. They will lead her to his “client,” a known terrorist operative. Saul’s so proud of her and he’s suddenly back to being his lovable Dad-Protecting-America character. But despite his encouraging hug, we hear something new from Carrie: “It’s too hard, I can’t keep going.”

So many tears, Homeland, so little relief. Thank goodness for some twists, though. This season seemed to be digging itself into a ditch. But I’m still not sure whether it’s the fun kind that turns out to be a cool hiding place—-or just a big hole.