Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly contributor
Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for episode 4 of Homeland
After a two-week hiatus, Homeland returns with a literal bang of an episode which has set the stage for what looks to be a very relevant and engaging season.
Sekou (J. Mallory McCree) is released from prison due to Carrie’s deal with Agent Colin. He is welcomed home by his friends and family. Carrie (Claire Danes) receives a message from President-Elect Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) during Sekou’s party. Apparently, a story broke about her ignoring reports about Iran’s parallel nuclear program. Dar (F. Murray Abraham) is, of course, the source of this leak. Keane angrily criticizes Dar for trying to undermine her agenda and platform. When Carrie arrives to meet with Keane, she is asked for advice to find a way to remove Dar from the picture or leverage him. Carrie explains to Keane that this would go against the contracts she signed when she left the CIA years ago. Keane tells Carrie that her blowing the whistle would allow real reform to take place, reform that Carrie has wanted for years. We’ll see what Carrie decides to do in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, Carrie can’t seem to catch a break as Sekou, soon after Carrie left the party, uploaded another video exposing the identity of the FBI informant. On top of that, when picking up her daughter from school, Dar creepily is already waiting for Carrie. Dar tells Carrie that he knows she’s meeting with the President-Elect and influencing her decisions. He warns her that she has no idea what she’s dealing with. Carrie responds by telling Dar to stand down and that he’s the one who’s vulnerable. Carrie then goes to Sekou and pleads with him to take down the video. Sekou makes his case but Carrie stops him and tells him that she understands his anger over the way America has invaded parts of the world. She tells him that she understands and respects both sides of the argument but he still has to take the video down. Carrie reveals to Sekou that she did something illegal to get him out. When Sekou asks why she would do such a thing, she responds by giving the best line thus far this season: “Because this whole country went super crazy after 9/11, and no one knows that better than I do.”
Meanwhile, on the over side of the world, Saul meets in secret with Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub). Remember him? He was the guy who Saul blackmailed way back in season 3 and murdered his ex-daughter and brutally stabbed his ex-wife in the jugular. Well, he’s back. Saul explains the current situation to Javadi. He then asks for Javadi to use his resources to investigate Nafisi, which Javadi reluctantly agrees to. But, before Saul leaves, Nafisi tells him: “Don’t thank me yet. The news might not be so good.” Saul returns to his sister’s place to find the Israeli ambassador waiting for him. He tells Saul that there have been reports of a senior Iranian official crossing the border of the West Bank and Saul around the same time Saul was in the area. Wanting answers he detains Saul.
Quinn (Rupert Friend) is still keeping watch for the unknown man across the street. He breaks into the man’s home and finds it to be a perfect place to stage surveillance. When the man leaves the house at night, Quinn steals Carrie’s car and follows him to a shipping house called Medina Medley. Quinn snaps a bunch of pictures and returns home to tell Carrie, but she thinks he’s making it up. Sekou returns to work at Medina Medley (not good!), and tells his friends that taking down the video was the right thing to do. He drives off in his truck and begins to hear a beeping from the back of the truck. Boom! The truck explodes in the middle of the city creating a large smoke cloud.
An episode like this has happened in every season thus far. The show misdirects us into believing this season is about something else, in this case, Sekou, before pulling the rug out from under us and revealing the true plotline for the season. It’s always been an effective story technique for this show and one that has proven itself yet again in this week’s season changing episode.