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Homeland “Shalwar Kameez” Review (4×03)

12 Oct

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“Whatever you decide, I’m truly sorry for what happened to you, and I wish you luck.”

In the type of environment Carrie and Quinn and Saul and the rest live in, the concept of choice becomes muddled, and your own agency oftentimes becomes secondary to what’s happening around you. Moving forward, Aayan must decide whether or not to tell his story in exchange for a ticket out of Pakistan, but either way, he’s still doing something that’s the result of him simply being thrown into a situation unwillingly. He wanted no part of this, he’s afraid, and ironically, the fact that he’s an aspiring doctor is used to trick him, to get him into a room with Carrie, to get him to hear an offer that would allow him to live out those aspirations elsewhere.

At the end of it all, Aayan is being buffeted around by multiple conflicting groups, and whatever choice he seems to have is not really a choice; it’s a survival tactic. We also find out that there’s a man with an earpiece who coordinated the Sandy murder, and this brings up that idea of choice yet again, the idea that Carrie and Quinn really couldn’t have done anything, the idea that the situation dictated the actions rather than vice versa. Quinn, according to the woman questioning him at the beginning, could’ve “had a choice to make in that car”, but we know that there was nothing stopping Sandy from being beaten to death.

The woman also says that Quinn chose Carrie, that he has romantic feelings for her. I’m hesitant about this storyline, even if it might make sense that two broken individuals would find their way toward each other, because this just seems like an avenue for melodrama, something we certainly don’t need right now; I’ll have an open mind, though. “You’re the hardest person in the world to say no to, Carrie.”  Some of these characters should watch the first few seasons, and then you’d find some people who would gladly say no.

Anyway, with the idea of choice comes the idea of simplicity. What’s the simplest choice? The easiest? What if you don’t have much of a choice; is that the easiest route? We see that theme pop up multiple times in this episode: Martha Boyd’s “Two sensible women cutting through the BS? I wish it was that simple.” Carrie’s admittance that she’s the one to blame–the simplest choice here for others is to level frustrations at a scapegoat–but also her emphasis that “blame’s beside the point”, that this is all much more complicated than assigning “You messed up!” roles to people. Carrie’s reply to John Redmond stating that she got the station chief job by “asking nicely”, with the knowledge that it’s more complicated than that.

And so, we come back down to the certain driving forces behind conflict: “time and money”, which is how Quinn’s categorized by Dar Adal. Quinn just can’t escape this world, can’t escape Carrie, can’t escape even though just one snap is all it takes. He’s controlled himself for twelve years, as he says. He has no college degree and no marketable skills. He just doesn’t have the simple qualities you’d expect from a CIA agent, but he seems “sophisticated”. That sophistication is crumbling a bit, though, and it becomes clear that a war of attrition is being waged on the people themselves, from their own side. Sometimes, the simplest choice is to just sit back and be strung along, but that means true choice left the building hours ago.

GRADE: B-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The hotel manager’s a pretty nice person. I don’t believe we know her name, though; perhaps that’s intentional? Perhaps it emphasizes Quinn’s depersonalizing of the relationship?

-Fara and Max are back. I think we really need some more Virgil here.

– “Now it looks like I’ve reached out for help. It’s not the message I want to send.” “Well, now that I’m here, do you need my help?” “…Yes.” Oh, Carrie. You will always need Saul.

-By the way, the short scene at the table between the two is sweet. Like I’ve said before, Patinkin and Danes are great together.

-There’s tension in Carrie’s group now, especially concerning ideas of rank and power. Carrie may be comfortable here, but many others sure don’t.

-Martha Boyd and Saul were engaged.

Photo credit: Showtime, Homeland

 

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3 Responses to “Homeland “Shalwar Kameez” Review (4×03)”

  1. JustMeMike October 14, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Not really enthused about this season.

    Carrie – she seems to be a real ass-kicker of a boss. The way she orders here guards/drivers around seems like there should be some blowback eventually. When she’s on business -s he’s got that ‘take no prisoners’ mentality. But on a personal level, she still seems intent on keeping things bottled up. And she’s still drinking.

    Quinn has replaced Carrie as the show’s basket case. That is until his boots are on the ground in Islamabad.

    Saul – again maddeningly underused. Since his mini-rant in Episode One of this season, he’s been almost MIA.

    I’m also not thrilled about the story line which seems to be the recruitment of Aayan which should lead to his ultimate demise. I also thought the when Carrie strong-armed Director Lockhart that there would be some consequences.

    Like a friendly fire attempt on Carrie. Surely Lockhart can’t be comfortable with Carrie playing the treason card against him. I see that Saul will be on the ground in Pakistan too, which is good for the show. Carrie’s heavy handedness almost trumps her smarts in having a ‘second station’ that is off the grid (which is a good idea).

    But doesn’t it strike you as odd, that two of Carrie’s people or said another way CIA personnel could a) drop off the grid, b) show up in Pakistan, and c) not report to the Ambassador, or to the official station for appearance’s sake.

    Realistically, I think Carrie is facing a two-sided threat. From witin – Lockhart and the guy, Played by Michael O’Keefe, that didn’t get the Chief of Station job – and of course thatguy with the ear pod that directed the attack which killed Sandy. He’s likely a Pakistani Intelligence agent, working ofr the equivalent of Pakistan’s CIA.

    • polarbears16 October 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Agreed. The Saul-Carrie relationship interests me much more than the Quinn-Carrie relationship, and the relocation is shifting focus away from Saul. I think we’ve already seen all these types of storylines play out, just in different form with Brody and Issa and Nazir, and none of the new people can elevate average material like Damian Lewis can.

  2. sarah9461 October 16, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    I don’t know how Carrie can still say, with a straight face, “I can protect you.” Everyone she says that to gets killed. Buyer beware.
    I love Quinn, and I hate to see him go down that road. He definitely feels he has no way out but to keep being involved in whatever Carrie is dragging him into next. These CIA-types are so cut off from the real world, real relationships and family and addicted to the adrenaline rush that goes along with their jobs, they can’t function in any other environment, no matter how much they want to leave it.
    I do hope we see more of Saul – what happened to that storyline of Mira’s “lover” planting bugs in their home? Were they discovered? Who is he working for?

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