The pieces are finally — finally! — coming together. For much of this season, Dar Adal’s villainy was only touched on, not understood, and after tonight, it’s clear where he stands: as Saul’s duplicitous enemy, willing to go to any lengths to make sure the U.S. heads for war. He’s the trigger roaming free across Homeland — and the only one capable of removing him from this dark, deadly picture is Quinn.
Quinn, who’s now trapped in Dar’s game. Waking up with a start in a house he doesn’t recognize, he crashes around his room before being restrained by Astrid, who tries to tell him that “everything’s going to be fine now” because she’s there, he’s there, and the sedative will eventually wear off. “Don’t let me forget,” Quinn says. And then he’s gone again.
Until dawn, that is. Astrid hurriedly tracks down Quinn on the side of a road, trying to hitchhike his way back to New York. He comes close: A driver stops by, but Astrid manages to convince him that Quinn’s her unstable husband. Astrid insists on Quinn staying where he is; after all, Dar told her Quinn is a national security risk after the so-called hostage situation, and she believes keeping Quinn away from the action means keeping him safe. She has no idea she’s a pawn in Dar’s darker game.
Carrie, meanwhile, is also grappling with a false sense of security. Max has installed cameras around her home, and there’s no sign the man who’d been watching her from across the street is still there, but she’s nervous all the same. Max wonders if it’s better for her to call the police, but Carrie’s paranoid now: She’s seen Conlin murdered for following a lead she gave him, and if the FBI can’t come close to figuring all this out, how will the NYPD?
To make things worse, Carrie gets a call from Franny’s school telling her Child Services has come to talk to Franny and needs to meet with Carrie. Carrie arrives right away but isn’t allowed to see Franny. Instead, she’s taken to meet Christine, the woman investigating the case, who deems Franny “at imminent risk for further harm,” especially after staying in the home where she was kept locked in a bathroom with her nanny. For the time being, Christine says, Franny has been taken to a state-registered youth home and will not be returning to the brownstone with Carrie.
Carrie is understandably shell shocked. How is it possible for someone to simply snatch her daughter away from her, and at such a dangerous time in their lives? Christine says she understands and asks Carrie to come to her office to discuss their next moves. While there, Carrie tries to compartmentalize her emotions. “I am a good mother,” she says, before diving in to tell her story. She says she knew the nanny was only 10 minutes away and left Franny with Quinn because “Franny adores Quinn.” Sure, Quinn has psychological issues, but he had been fine living in her basement because there were strict rules, and, as a highly trained soldier, he was only trying to protect Franny from the crowd of journalists and protesters outside who threw rocks through her window.
“Do you think that Franny felt safe?” Christine counters, adding that in her interview with Franny, Franny said she thought she was going to die when Quinn turned against the people outside. On the verge of tears, Carrie can barely get her words out while begging to see her daughter. Christine doesn’t offer any comfort; instead, she coolly informs Carrie that her case will be presented to a judge the next day, and Carrie should get a lawyer.
Luckily, Carrie works with one. Meeting at a diner, Reda tells Carrie that Franny has been moved to a private foster home and will only be sleeping over for a night. Reda tries to calm Carrie, saying it’s all up to the judge, but he has no idea how worried Carrie is — which is why, at the court the next day, he’s shocked to learn from Christine that Carrie had a gun with her while asleep on Franny’s floor the night after the incident. Christine’s case is too strong: She presents Carrie as a mother who’s trying hard to do the best she can, but one who has too many issues. Not only did she bring the mentally disturbed Quinn into her home, but she also thinks she can protect her daughter by staying in her room with a loaded gun. Carrie tries to explain that she did what she felt was reasonable from her training. (Christine nearly rolls her eyes at Carrie’s mention of her work with the CIA.) When Carrie convincingly explains why she had been wary of calling the police, Christine decides to play her dirtiest card: She tells the judge Carrie suffers from bipolar disorder.
Even Reda is stunned. He defends Carrie, saying that the illness — which Carrie has had under control for a year — has nothing to do with her ability to mother her child. But Christine is clearly out to get Carrie, recommending that Carrie, a mother who fell asleep in her daughter’s bedroom with a loaded gun, is at “imminent risk” of causing Franny further harm and therefore must be separated from her daughter for the time being. The judge accepts this, sending Carrie to psychiatric evaluation, telling Christine to dig deeper into the state of the home, and determining that Franny must stay in foster care. At this, Carrie cries, seeing no way out.
At home, she can’t bear to sit still and wait for everything to sort itself out. Looking inside her fridge, she spots an unopened bottle of white wine, and after taking a deep breath, she decides to pop it open and drink for the first time after months of sobriety. Oh, Carrie…
Next thing she knows, she’s drunk and clutching Franny’s favorite toy while sobbing on the floor. Before she wipes her tears away, she decides to call Keane — yup, the very president-elect — and though Keane is sympathetic to Carrie’s troubles, she chides Carrie for thinking she could help. “It’s unethical,” Keane says of Carrie’s request for her to give someone a call to override the judge’s ruling. “I’m surprised you would even ask me.” Distraught and drunk, Carrie goes too far. “I just thought you of all people would understand,” she sobs. “You lost a child!” And at that, Keane wonders if she’s been drinking. Carrie lies and apologizes, but it’s too late.
There’s nothing Carrie can do, because it’s not Christine and Child Services that won, but Dar Adal. In the final scene, Christine calls Dar to report that while she hates to take a child away from her mother, this was the right thing to do. She thanks him for supplying “helpful information” and says that Franny will be in foster care for the foreseeable future. Pleased, Dar smiles at the news. After all, this isn’t his only win in this episode.
NEXT: Nothing But the Truth