“He will never get out. It makes him feel better to say he will, but then he goes back to doing what he does best.”
Once you’re in it, you’re never coming out, and so it goes with intelligence agencies, with cycles of violence, with foreign conflicts in general. Quinn’s story is one of a single individual attempting to enact justice wherever he feels like he must, but he also encapsulates the United States’s situation perfectly: he attempts to convince himself that he’s going to escape the game, but in the end, he keeps getting pulled back into conflicts perpetuated by our foreign policies. His own moral code chips away at him because he knows it’s inherently flawed, but when something huge happens–like Fara’s death–he awakens from his stupor and decides to go full on Jack Bauer. “There’s a Taliban flag waving over my head, and I can’t let that stand.”
After all, the only way he can deal with the ramifications of his actions is to, well, continue to engage in those actions. If he keeps his mind focused on enacting justice toward those who have wronged him, he can keep his mind away from the injustice of his own actions (in the earlier part of the season, we saw what happened when he was forced to contemplate his place in the world). Of course, this type of behavior once again brings him into conflict with Carrie Mathison, someone who realizes that they lost, someone who tells Quinn that she’s “sympathetic”, but asserts the fact that she “cannot lose anyone else”. She’s seen the ugly side of things more often than she would like, and she simply wants to find Quinn and get out; of course, knowing her, we know that probably would never happen.
So, the writers once again explore the differing viewpoints brought to the table by Carrie and Quinn; it’s all perhaps best summed up by Carrie’s “It’s a suicide mission” being followed by the German woman’s “Not according to him”. As I’ve mentioned before, this season seems intent on exploring consequences of earlier actions, and Quinn brings up this idea when he clashes with Carrie. “You brought me to this place!” he spits. “I was stupid enough to listen to you the first time. I’ve never been so convinced about myself as I am right now.” We’re now seeing Carrie’s actions at the beginning of the season coming back around to bite her, and what we’re witnessing is a perpetual domino effect playing out.
It all comes down to that final sequence, which is yet again another excellent tension-building set piece by the creative team. It’s thematically pertinent, as you have protests by students who are standing up for Aayan, who are clashing with Haqqani, who are also indirectly protesting the U.S. government because it was complicit in this (along with the Pakistanis). Everyone is involved in some way here, and Quinn is determined to set off a bomb to take out Haqqani. For all the times he and Carrie have been at odds, though, it is her who stops him from setting it off. It is her, then, who is determined to take out the man who killed Aayan. It is also her who is shocked at the face she sees in the car with Haqqani. It’s Dar Adal, and everything has changed.
-NO SAUL?! Unforgivable. Writers, I hope he has some kind of role in the finale.
-So, it looks like Washington’s attempting to find a replacement for Lockhart. Commenter JustMeMike predicted last week that he would turn out to be the traitor; I wonder if that will be the case in the finale. We’ll see.
-Krieg Nicht Lieb translates to roughly “War Not Love”. It’s not really good German, so there isn’t really a good translation.
-It seems like Max is acting as a moral compass of sorts this year. In the last episode, we got that poignant conversation between him and Carrie, and here, he goes, “We can support him!” Oh, Max. You’re great, and I think I would like you to operate a machine gun in some capacity next week.
– “For once in your life, you need to listen!” I feel like Quinn’s said a variation of that every season. Interesting how in earlier seasons, lots of people were complaining about Carrie being incompetent and rushing into things without thinking, but now, it’s shifting a bit toward Quinn. Of course, Carrie does let her emotions take ahold of her in that final scene, and I suspect that ties into her getting the news about her father’s death. It’s an apt time to bring back the personal lives of our characters, and Claire Danes is excellent here, as always.
– “There’s nothing you could’ve done.” Said by Maggie to her sister. It must really hurt Carrie to find herself pretty much helpless in certain areas, and that also probably ties into her wanting to take agency in those final moments.
-One more episode left in the season. I’m really excited to see how it plays out, and I’ll be covering the finale–“Long Time Coming”–next Sunday. Join me then. For now, any predictions?
Photo credit: Homeland, Showtime