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Homeland “Iron in the Fire” Review (4×04)

19 Oct

Episode 404

“What I need is your help, not your goddamn foot on the brake.”

We’ve seen time and time again that Carrie Mathison throws herself into her work, that she’ll oftentimes do anything it takes to come out on top and to complete her mission. She’s faced the consequences of her stubbornness before, but she’s also been able to get results, and this season places her in a position in which the main opposition she would face–Washington–is an ocean away. This is all, simply put, her element, and the question being asked is: How far will she go? Whether that question still interests the audience is left up to us.

I’ll admit that I’m not too enthused about what will undoubtedly be more Quinn-Carrie drama, framed within the context of Quinn’s attraction and Carrie’s decision at the end of the episode to sleep with Aayan. However, it’s always more interesting to see Carrie doing her job than it is to see Carrie dealing with her personal life, so I’m happy that the writers have at least set up a fairly compelling spy story here. The psychological thriller of season one it is not, but there are several well-directed and exciting scenes throughout this episode.

Of course, the main focus of the episode is Carrie and her unrelenting nature, her willingness to take on Farhad Ghazi alone or her seduction of Aayan. However, with the former, she springs up without hesitation, while with the latter, we can see moments of hesitation written on her face, moments in which she stops and asks herself if she’s going too far; this is all, as expected, wonderfully played by Claire Danes.

In the end, though, she goes through with her plan, and the rest of the season will certainly be dealing with the consequences of her actions. In her conversation with Saul, she laments the lack of accountability that would result from telling Langley about the conspiracy, but the thing is, she’s the one who will have to be dealing with accountability for the next eight episodes. In fact, this is something that was brought up in the first episode of the season, and Carrie digging deeper and deeper into this conspiracy is going to rustle up the hornets’ nest. She tells Quinn that he has “to let [himself] off the hook”, but as this all becomes more complicated, will she be able to let herself off the hook?

Accountability may not be in the job description, but it’s hard to avoid it.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Hey, it’s Duck Phillips! Martha Boyd’s husband, Professor Dennis Boyd, is introduced here, and it seems like he’s caught in something that he can’t get out of. His and her relationship also has a few ties to Saul and Mira’s relationship.

-Once again, not enough Saul. Patinkin is fantastic in his scenes here, but considering we’re already a fourth of the way through the season, I hope we get more from him.

-There is a secret tunnel, apparently.

-Quinn compares the job to a drug, and there’s a subtle tie in with the idea of Haqqani being alive. Carrie says that they “stop tracking terrorists when [they] think they’re dead”, but Haqqani isn’t dead. Thus, the cycle continues, and to be honest, could Carrie ever really stop doing what she does?

– “Who’s speaking: Saul Berenson, private citizen? Saul Berenson, former director of the CIA? Or is it Carrie Mathison?” That’s a nice scene there, and it emphasizes the ideas of muddled intentions and conflicting ideals and the past/present becoming entwined.

Photo credit: Showtime, Homeland

 

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2 Responses to “Homeland “Iron in the Fire” Review (4×04)”

  1. JustMeMike October 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Wow – Duck Phillips is back. That was a surprise. I’m not so interested in him as I am intrigued by the female operative in whose hand, Boyd now resides.

    Carrie is still throwing her weight around and not caring enough about her crew. Farah delivers Aayan to Carries apartment, all Carrie can say is – see you tomorrow?

    Happily the Michael O’Keefe character is creeping into the story with greater impact.. As is Saul Berenson.

    I was of the opinion that the seduction of Aayan came a bit too early in the going. That first night, within minutes of his arrival? Seemed too quick for me.

    Didn’t they take the roundabout way of getting Saul back into play. He had four scenes this week so I’m not complaining. But they used a stock character – the older opposition colleague who would get Saul a talk with a current ISI operative – and then that conversation amounted to not all that much.

  2. sarah9461 October 21, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    I always think Carrie overestimates her desirability. She just seems creepy to me, especially coming on to a young boy like Aayan.

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