We gave it a B+
Carrie has a confession to make: During her latest session with the court-ordered shrink, she admits that her relationship with Franny’s father was “unusually intense,” and that she had always feared Franny would be a reminder of him, of Brody. But it’s not just the fact that Franny looks very much like him; it’s also the fact that Carrie had a hand in Brody’s death. “I pushed him toward that,” she says cryptically before crying. “I really don’t like this.”
The therapist mercifully doesn’t push Carrie to talk more about Brody, switching instead to her background as ex-CIA. Carrie then talks more about Quinn and how the two of them also have a deep relationship. Much of what Carrie says is stuff we already know — that Quinn isn’t like Brody, yet matters just as much to her — but luckily, Claire Danes knows how to deliver exposition with intense emotion. This isn’t just Carrie letting things off her chest. This is Carrie reflecting on the pain of seeing Quinn hurt and the guilt she’s going through again for having a hand in ruining someone she loves. At this, the therapist offers some sage advice: He tells her that she’s going through what all parents go through. As difficult as it is to balance her needs with Franny’s, sometimes she has to put Franny’s needs first.
That parent-child dynamic will rear its head again later in the episode, but for now, Carrie feels satisfied with her session. At home, she tells Max she’s still stressed about the situation, but that she feels better after seeing the shrink smile at the progress they’ve made. “Fingers crossed,” she says drily.
Max, picking up on Carrie’s newfound calm, decides to divulge what he’s been working on: tracking exactly where Conlin was when he called Carrie. He’s found enough information to understand that it’s a mysterious entity working at some seemingly deserted compound. There’s not much information on who owns the facility, but they’re looking for new employees, people who are well versed in all things tech and security and social media. And without any other avenues in, Max has gone ahead and applied for a job.
Carrie bristles at this. “I just spent 90 minutes with a shrink reminding me how I put people in harm’s way without thinking twice,” she says, trying to discourage him from going forward with the application. Bad news, Carrie: Max reveals he’s already interviewed with them online and has been asked to go in that afternoon. He tries to comfort her before going on the move. “It’s not on you,” he says. “It’s on me.”
Besides, Carrie’s about to have a lot more to worry about. Elsewhere in the city, Dar and Keane are meeting again. This time, with Keane squarely on Dar’s side — as in, the side that believes Iran has cheated the nuclear deal — Dar’s a lot more willing to compromise. He apologizes for getting on the wrong foot with her, and Keane waves his groveling aside. She asks him for his plans for Iran, and Dar gleefully asks whether there was someone who provided the intel. She confirms it was Javadi, and Dar moves forward with his nefarious plan. He emphasizes that before they do anything with imposing sanctions on Iran, they must be careful with the “face we present to the world,” and therefore, they must have the right Secretary of State for the administration. Keane agrees to seeing a list of names to consider but explains that she wants to deal with the sanctions first. Dar is satisfied, and the two shake hands.
Of course, Dar still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. In a hotel suite with Javadi, he coolly watches as Javadi downs his breakfast and demands he get his $45 million ASAP before running off to retirement. Javadi explains that with his own people hating him, he doesn’t have many options on where to go, and while Dar says he’s sympathetic, he throws Javadi under the bus. He explains that though they had a deal to let Javadi go, the Mossad approached him with a request to have Javadi for themselves. “The Mossad made the case that the head of IRGC would have a lot to tell them, and unfortunately,” Dar sneers, “I couldn’t convince them they were wrong.”
Javadi doesn’t go down without a fight. He surreptitiously calls Carrie while stalling, letting her hear exactly what’s going on. She immediately loops Saul into the call, who realizes that Dar is playing Javadi. Saul races to have Nate track the call, but they’re too late. “I should never have trusted you!” Javadi shouts at Dar right before he’s subdued and stuffed into a laundry basket.
Carrie and Saul later arrive at the hotel Javadi had been staying in and manage to track down Javadi’s phone, which had been left behind in the laundry basket that carried him. With the phone, Carrie and Saul are able to go to Keane and present the video evidence Javadi had of Nafisi admitting to the truth: that Iran wasn’t cheating on any deal at all, and that it was all an elaborate charade to rile up intelligence. Saul informs Keane that it wasn’t just a play from Mossad, but also from someone within the CIA.
“And who was that?” Keane asks, shocked. Saul is unable to say Dar’s name, so Carrie says it instead. Completely thrown, Keane gets up, walks away, and then calls Dar an “obsequious little s—.” “What’s with you people, the intelligence community?” she cries. “I mean, who thinks like this?”
Sorry, Madam President-elect, but that’s not all. Rob steps in to say that there’s more to the story, and again, Carrie delivers the intel we’ve known for weeks: that the bombing happened the day after Dar went to see her and told her to stand down, that Sekou was framed and murdered, and that there was a man tasked with surveilling her who later tinkered with the very van Sekou drove. Keane looks rattled but steels herself in the end. “How do we shut him down?” she asks.
For now, it’ll take figuring out what their legal means are. Later that day, Keane meets with the solicitor general and Carrie. Saul is conspicuously absent, and when Carrie brings this up, Keane admits that their plan involves him. See, there’s not enough evidence to implicate Dar in the entire nasty situation, because all they have is a testimonial from a man on camera under torture, photos of an unnamed third party near some white vans, a dead FBI agent, and a few more murky details that won’t hold up in court. Instead, they need Carrie to present evidence that Dar covered up the breach in Berlin — a case that will allow them to prosecute Dar under the Espionage Act.
Carrie tries to back away. If they reveal the Russian mole in court, that’ll implicate Saul as well, as he was the one who slept with Allison last season and allowed for the breach to happen. And this year, Saul’s been instrumental in uncovering this conspiracy, Carrie argues. With that in mind, can’t they find a way to stop Dar without also stopping Saul? Keane assures Carrie there will be a pardon for Saul down the line, but Carrie’s not so sure, telling them she’ll have to talk it over with Saul first.
NEXT: Mad Max to the… rescue?