Rest in Peace
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Tonight’s Homeland was largely about Haqqani’s attack on the embassy, a direct follow-up to the cliffhanger from two weeks ago. Within the first few moments, tragedy had already struck as we find Redmond lying dead in his seat, shrapnel having pierced his upper torso, neck, and face. Rest in peace, Redmond. This being Homeland, the episode wasn’t content with having just one tragedy within an episode. Thirty-six members of the American embassy team were murdered in Haqqani’s attack, including Fara. Tonight was Nazanin Boniadi’s swan song to Homeland and Fara Sherazi. Fara, ever since her introduction in Season 3, has been one of the strongest columns holding Homeland up on solid ground, a representation of those who are as hell bent on fighting extremism within the Muslim faith as those outside. She’s been fastidious in her efforts to prove that she’s just as opposed to extremism as anyone else and it’s a larger statement as to how Muslims are blanketed with a singular vision that casts them as being much darker and more sinister than they actually are. Nazanin’s performance has been a large part of why the character had worked as much as she has and it will truly be a loss to see her leave the show. I suspect that timing has to do with her acceptance of the lead role in the Ben-Hur remake, but nevertheless that little team that Carrie had assembled has been irrevocably broken and can never be whole again. Rest in peace, Fara.
The Haqqani plan in its final revelations (I’m sure there’s something more to it, but as of yet this is how it stands) is remarkably simple in its execution. There’s no grand hostage situation that is reminiscent of the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran, thankfully. I’d like to think that’s beyond the scope of reasonable doubt here and that’s considering a Pakistani Taliban leader stormed an American embassy through tunnels in this episode. Instead, he came for something that was far more valuable and intellectually sophisticated – a list of all the CIA informants Sandy Bachmann never made a list of because he was too wary of leaks in Washington. Sandy, you idiot. Lockhart is given that list before the terrorists storm the room, shooting at random and taking the rest of them hostage. The hostages are dragged before the vault room in which Lockhart remains. No one agrees to give Haqqani the list until he puts a knife to Fara’s throat. The door opens, Haqqani gets the list, and ruthlessly shoves a knife into Fara’s side. The man who spit at Fara for her alleged role in killing Muslims just killed one himself. Hypocrisy and self-delusion never seem to disappear, do they?
Quinn and his lone sideman open fire just at that moment, even putting a bullet through Haqqani. Quinn in is entirety going forward is a huge question mark for this series. His cool, calm self has completely broken apart at this point, in understandable circumstances certainly. His berating of Saul was so severe that Carrie – CARRIE – had to step in and reign him in. It’s a tragic reversal of cycles. Quinn throughout this season has apparently been trying to prevent Carrie from becoming her own worst enemy, a.k.a. Quinn in his early days. Carrie has, due to more than anything the shocks from the past couple of weeks, has largely come around to a more rational frame of mind than perhaps we’ve seen in her since before Estes fired her from her job (things were so much simpler back then, and that’s saying something). She’s finally begun to realize that the icy drone queen routine hasn’t made her nearly as immune to emotion as she believed it had. Quinn, meanwhile, is allowing Haqqani’s embassy attack to become embedded in his mind. The final frames of the episode see him becoming the same mercenary he had fought so hard to be rid of.
His disappearance is proving to be rather problematic. The President has decided to cut diplomatic ties with Islamabad over the embassy attack and that leaves Quinn out there without any sort of immunity whatsoever. Carrie gets permission from Lockhart to go grab him, noting that if it wasn’t for him, a whole lot more innocent victims would be lying on the floor. She has a point, even though it has to be pointed out that five days is a tough timeframe to really get anything done at all, let alone find a rogue man of the CIA who used to be a professional assassin. But Carrie being Carrie will do her very best, with the acute understanding of just how difficult this entire endeavor will be. As judging by the previews, this entire escapade will only escalate further and further by this act and one can sense “tragedy” written in big, red block letters being written over this entire endeavor as I speak.
13 Hours in Islamabad is a fantastic episode, one of the most gripping this series has ever produced, even thought it clocked in at only forty-five minutes. What truly separates Homeland from a ton of other series that have thriller elements within them is their complete understanding of the smaller, more intimate moments in life. There are small touches throughout this episode in quiet and loud moments that truly elevate this installment above so much else. Max’s unrequited love for Fara has always been understated, but incredibly powerful. The moment where he jumps at her, trying to sacrifice himself just so she could breathe was an immensely powerful point in Max’s life, underscoring the relationship between the two without dramatizing it too much. The incoming coup between Aasar and Tasneem was sharply played, its full ramifications coming at the very least partially next week. Martha obliges Dennis’s request to have a belt (she gives him his own), her face full of fury when she discovers that he’s still alive something to behold. When Carrie quietly calls Fara’s father to inform him of his daughter’s fate, my heart just broke and tears streamed down my face. Saul’s shower was a haunting and beautiful scene and when he embraces her before going back, he wishes her the best of luck and courage in her mission to salvage something out of this entire mess. She’s going to need quite a bit of both.
Title: 13 Hours in Islamabad
Written By: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon
Directed By: Dan Attias
Image Courtesy: Hitfix