“You’re the only family I have.”
The thing about Carrie Mathison is that for all her intelligence, for all her abilities to manipulate and extract the truth and expose who she wants to expose, she oftentimes gets in over her head emotionally. We saw it with Brody, and we’re now definitely seeing it with Aayan as well; she’s excellent when it comes to drawing him in, but at the same time, she may not realize that she’s drawing herself in, too.
In fact, she’s already in so far that her other duties are falling by the wayside, and the cleric that Fara and Quinn are following ends up eluding their grasp because she’s too busy with Aayan. To make matters worse, Saul is in the trunk of the cleric’s car, and what this situation implies is that because Carrie is too invested emotionally, she’s distracted from one of the few people she actually connects with and cares about and has a mutual respect for. She’s the kind of person who can’t keep her emotions and her job separate, which is interesting considering she came to Islamabad to do exactly that.
Now, we see Fara getting deeper and deeper into this mess as well, and this exemplifies the way the environment these characters live in can corrupt and consume. She has a conversation with Quinn about exploiting weaknesses, about “becoming a professional liar in order to be good at this job”, and we get the sense that while Quinn is trying to save Carrie from a certain world, he’s also simultaneously pushing Fara into it. This is simply a world of espionage, and it’s difficult to break free.
Yet, Fara’s also stronger than she appears, and the same could be said for Aayan or even Dennis Boyd. Because this is a world of espionage, everyone’s spying in one way or another, and seemingly innocent faces are diving straight into the fray. With Aayan, the image of him sneaking a peek at Carrie under the sheets encapsulates the idea of him being some sort of spy; at this moment, he sees her in her most vulnerable, physical state, and later on, he turns the tables a bit–seeing her in a vulnerable emotional state–and pokes and prods about her past with Brody. Yes, she’s manipulating him there, but there’s certainly more to this dynamic then Carrie sees at the moment. The hug at the end is touching, icky, and foreboding all at once.
“Is there no line?” Quinn accusingly spits at Carrie as she stands in front of him after the failed grab. At a certain point, it becomes difficult to tell.
-I’m not sure how much I like the Saul storyline; it strains credibility a bit here, but hey, if this is what’s needed to bring him back into the thick of things, then so be it.
-Dennis Boyd spends much of the episode in a drunken, rundown state, but he ends the episode breaking into Carrie’s apartment and taking pictures of her medicine. Yet another person who has more going on than he seems at first.
Photo credits: Homeland, Showtime