'Homeland' recap: A shooting to protect a covert op

'Homeland' recap: A shooting to protect a covert op
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn and F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal in "Homeland." (Kent Smith / Showtime)

“A Red Wheelbarrow,” the latest installment of Showtime’s “Homeland,” refers to a cryptic text message sent by case officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) as she closes in on the CIA headquarters bomber.

Was Carrie texting CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), meaning they're working together on a secret op? Or is Saul working his own scheme and Carrie's out of the loop?

So much intrigue in Episode 308 as the CIA turns up the heat on attorney Leland Bennett (Martin Donovan) for abetting Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub), Iran’s deputy intelligence chief and the Langley bombing mastermind.

Unbeknownst to Bennett, Javadi covertly helps the CIA now after being blackmailed by Saul.

"Cooperate with us. Come clean," CIA black ops expert Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) says to Bennett, urging him to minimize the damage from a "bruising investigation."

"Come after me if you want," Bennett replies nonchalantly. "I've got nothing to hide."

So not true!

Bennett orders associate Paul Franklin (Jason Butler Harner) to pump Carrie for info about what the CIA discovered. Posing as a turncoat spy, she tells Franklin the CIA linked the bomber to Bennett’s law firm. And investigators know the terrorist is still in America.

"They have a line on our friend," Franklin reports to Bennett.

"Just get him out," Bennett demands. Out of the U.S., that is.

Franklin has other plans, however, as Carrie and her surveillance team soon realize. Carrie wants the bomber captured alive so she can clear the name of her infamous lover, Nick Brody (Damian Lewis). But Franklin intends to kill the bomber at his motel.

“He’s got a weapon,” exclaims Carrie, as she moves to intercept Franklin. But Adal won’t let Carrie compromise the undercover operation. He orders sniper Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) to take her down.

"Carrie, I will take the shot," Peter warns. And that's what he does, hitting Carrie in the arm.

"Something's going on," Carrie frantically says while en route to the hospital. "None of this makes sense!"

Carrie will recover from the gunshot wound, no doubt, but was her unborn child harmed? Or was the fetus harmed earlier by Carrie’s binge drinking, Lithium use and high blood pressure?

"I've been really stressed at work," Carrie tells her ob-gyn (Cindy Cheung) in a classic understatement. Modify your risky behavior, the doctor warns, or else!

Where's Saul at this critical time? He's in Venezuela being led by gangster El Nino (Manny Perez) to Brody's hiding place. Brody, the world's most-wanted fugitive and father of Carrie's baby, is now a reeking, drug-addicted shadow of his former self.

Clearly, Saul's on a hot streak. Not only has he tracked down Brody and turned Javadi into the highest-ranking asset in CIA history, he just reconciled with Mira (Sarita Choudhury), his wife of 35 years.

That's why Mira abruptly ends her tryst with Alan Bernard (William Abadie), a handsome journalist – actually a spy – she met in India.

Good thing she's breaking up with this guy, because he breaks into her house and taps into a computer. Alan pulls out a gun when Mira comes home unexpectedly, but he manages to slip out undetected.

Finally, CIA analyst Fara Sherazi (Nazanin Boniadi) misses two days of work, thus alarming her Iranian father (Parviz Sayyad). Misled into believing his daughter is employed by an investment bank, papa learns the truth when a Department of Justice interrogator (Chance Kelly) pays a visit.

Because Fara works for the CIA, her father angrily points out, family members in Tehran are greatly endangered.

"I'm an American," declares Fara, proud of her service but deeply worried about the consequences.