‘Homeland’ recap: Carrie moves fast to win over young asset
To track down a Pakistani terrorist likely plotting an attack on Americans, the CIA’s Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) must quickly win over a young and frightened asset on “About a Boy,” Episode 405 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
Expelled college student Aayan Ibrahim (Suraj Sharma) is the gateway to his uncle, Taliban leader Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar). Carrie and her comrades initially thought they killed Haqqani in an airstrike. But he’s alive, 40 civilians are dead, and America’s relations with Pakistan are in flames.
Posing as a journalist, Carrie misleads Aayan into believing he’ll soon board a plane to London where he’ll receive asylum and admission to medical school. But after being seduced by Carrie to gain his trust, guilt-ridden Aayan wants to leave the safe house.
“You walk out that door, you’ll be grabbed up, disappeared,” Carrie warns. “Do you understand?”
Aayan reluctantly decides to stay put, knowing the viral video he recorded of the airstrike makes him a target of both the CIA and Pakistan’s ruthless Inter-Services Intelligence agency. His nascent bond with Carrie is nearly broken, however, when she suggests Haqqani didn’t die in the attack.
“It’s insulting,” Aayan says defensively. But after Carrie manipulates Aayan’s fragile emotions and lures him back into bed, he admits his uncle is alive yet “very, very sick.”
“I had to tell you,” Aayan confesses. “I don’t want to lie to you anymore.”
Meanwhile, ISI agent Tasneem Kureshi (Nimrat Kaur) continues to blackmail political science professor Dennis Boyd (Mark Moses) because he stole top secret documents from his wife, Martha (Laila Robins), the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.
Fearing he’ll be arrested on treason charges if he doesn’t comply with Tasneem’s demands, Dennis sneaks into Carrie’s apartment and snaps photos for ISI. He’s particularly interested in her infant daughter, Franny, and the meds Carrie takes for her bipolar disorder.
In other action, CIA black ops specialist Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and analyst Fara Sharazi (Nazanin Boniadi) stake out the location where Haqqani was seen with a Muslim cleric (Jamal Mukaddam). Fara is alarmed when Peter pulls out a sniper rifle.
“Carrie said I just have to sit in an office, like a journalist,” Fara nervously says.
“You’re in it now,” Peter tells her. “And guess what. You’re good at it.”
Fara’s nascent spy skills are put to the test when she spots the cleric shortly before he begins driving toward the mountains and lawless Taliban territory.
“I’m trying to be ballsy here,” Fara says to Peter as they mount a pursuit. “But I’m not into suicide!”
When the cleric stops at a roadblock, Fara attempts to attach a tracking device to his car but is turned away by soldiers. While this unfolds, Peter calls Carrie so she can order aerial surveillance.
“If we don’t get a drone on this cleric in the next five minutes, he’s in the wind,” Peter angrily says, leaving a message on Carrie’s voicemail.
Too bad Peter and Fara lose track of the cleric’s vehicle, for bound and gagged in the trunk is former CIA director Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin).
Saul was headed home to America. But when arriving at the airport in Islamabad he spots Farhad Ghazi (Tamer Burjaq), an ISI thug who orchestrated the murder of Carrie’s predecessor.
After alerting Peter about this development, Saul becomes suspicious when Farhad hurries into a restroom. Saul follows and comes face to face with Farhad — but it’s a trap. Saul is tranquilized, whisked out of the airport in a wheelchair and probably headed for Haqqani’s hideout.
In the CIA’s deadly struggle with the Taliban and ISI, America just suffered a devastating setback.
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