Claire Danes stars as Carrie Mathison on Showtime's "Homeland." In "Still Positive" she is in an awkward situation with a few very mean guys.
As much as I still want to refer to the second in command of Iran's intelligence directorate (and lead terrorist thus far on the third season of "Homeland") as Jah Booty, the other characters say his name so much and he's such a central character in this episode that I think it's time for me to grow up and refer to him in the way that every other (non-creative) Internet user is referring to him. His name is Javadi and at the opening of the episode, we see him sitting across from Carrie in her "Hey, there's no way I have anything hidden in here" track suit, sitting for a lie detector test and failing miserably.
Meanwhile, Quinn, Max and Fara are examining surveillance videos from the night that Javadi's creeps kidnapped Carrie. Saul has been in contact with the team, but he's also working out his own dilemma at home as Mira explains who her dinner guest was when he suddenly came home early from the hunting weekend — where he found out he wasn't going to get the nomination for director of the CIA. Man, what a rough night that was for poor 'ol Saul.
Mira says she met the guy in Mumbai, and Saul asks her if she loves him. She won't answer the question directly, but she says, "We have fun, he makes me laugh; the day is better with him in it."
Stuff is kind of sucking for Saul Berenson, but he seems to be taking it all in stride because he's got his little Javadi mission to distract him; but Mira isn't having any of it.
"Stop this detached routine," she yells. "Get angry!"
In a really pitiful way he says he doesn't have any claim on her. She argues that he does have a claim on her, but he says, "not anymore," and walks out the door.
So back to Carrie and Javadi. She's bombing the lie detector test (no pun intended) and Javadi asks if she wants to try again. She defiantly says, "No, we're done" and rips off her monitoring equipment. He's all, "yo, whatchoo doin' C-Dawg?" (he doesn't speak like a rapper, but I'm paraphrasing it as if he does because I really miss calling him Jah Booty and I need to make up for it somehow).
And then Carrie lets Javadi know that she knows about the money he's been skimming under the alias of Nasser Hajezzi, the dead soccer player that we learned about in episode 304.
She now has his attention. The two walk outside from the dim lie-detector room, where Carrie learns their location (remember from last week's recap, Javadi's goons put a bag over Carrie's head so she wouldn't know her whereabouts?)
Anyway, they're at a house on the grounds of a golf course. When Carrie looks at the golfers it's as if she's considering running out to ask them to help her or that she's thinking those golfers could be the last people she sees.
Carrie basically comes clean to Javadi about the whole plan. Because of the information she and Saul have against him, she knows (or hopes) that he wouldn't dare do anything to hurt her because he would definitely be taken down. It looks like he's going to have to work with her if she's going to have to work for him. Carrie tells Javadi that she's there to arrange a meeting between him and Saul.
"Saul Berenson, still after all of these years, putting people's lives on the line," says Javadi. It turns out the two have history.
Saul shows Fara a picture of a double date he and Javadi had in the late 1970s. They were friends! They were both young intelligence officers together before the revolution in Iran. Saul had recruited a bunch of Iranian assets that he was trying to get out of the country immediately after the revolution and good 'ol Javadi offered to help. But he double-crossed Saul and all of Saul's assets were executed. Because of this maneuver, Javadi was looked upon favorably by the new regime in Iran, but yeah, it kinda disrupted the framework of friendship between he and Saul. From double date to double-cross!
"I watched a man I thought I knew become an animal in front of my eyes," recounts Saul.
Dayum, this episode is all about the history of people totally raw-dealing Saul.
But Saul did at least get a little revenge on Javadi when he helped Javadi's wife and son escape to the U.S. a few months later.
Meanwhile, Carrie tells Javadi to meet her at a coffee shop so she can appear to give him intelligence, but it's really so she can take him to Saul, but if this plan is to work, she has to take a ride with Javadi's goons, another moment that she quite realistically worries could be her last. It's also the moment captured in the photo that we've attached to the top of this recap.
But the goons drop Carrie off in the middle of nowhere. She finally gets home and she takes a pregnancy test(!) that turns out to be positive(!!) and then we see her put the test in a drawer full(!!!) of other used pregnancy tests. Seriously, there are way too many pregnancy tests in there. That seems like the behavior of Crazy Carrie and not the awesome superhero Carrie of the last two episodes. I'm guessing the drawer full of pregnancy tests is where the episode title of "Still Positive" comes from. So there's that plot twist, which also comes with a nice bit of product placement for Clearblue.
Oh, and speaking of plot twists, Dana Brody wants to change her name! She's sick of being Dana Brody and she wants to change her last name to her mom's maiden name! Awww. It's so sweet. And she asks her mom to take her to the appointment at the courthouse. And then later she does the not-so-sweet gesture of moving out(!!!!) Li'l Dana is all grown up with a new name and wants to GTFO.
Senator Lockhart visits the CIA headquarters and Dar Adal and he share a moment. It's an annoying moment though. Lockhart says the agency is a mess and "change is in order, no matter how painful" blah blah blah. His confirmation hearing is in 12 days and he doesn't want any surprises on his first day.
Quinn takes Carrie to meet Javadi, but surveillance shows that he's heading to a place that is a few exits before the meet-up point. It turns out he's going to that house where he was parked outside and eating the sandwich that stained his shirt, in what seemed like a dumb detail. But it turns out that dumb detail was just to serve as an echo of him staining his shirt again. But this second stain is the blood of his wife (!!!!!!).
Javadi goes into the house and kills his daughter-in-law with a gunshot to the head. He hears his young grandson making a little noise, so he puts down his gun to greet the little guy. Then his wife comes out and Javadi stabs her repeatedly in the neck with a broken bottle and the clumsy 'ol terrorist gets a big red spot on his shirt. Joking aside, it's probably the most violent scene so far in this series, and the echo of the stain on the shirt is a weird one.
Carrie and Quinn arrive, but they're too late. They take Javadi into custody, but Carrie is freaked out by the little kid, whom they're leaving at the murder scene. Of course she's freaked out! She's taken 300 pregnancy tests that were all positive, so there's a slight chance that she might have a little one growing inside her body.
But Saul is like, "You guys have to just get out of there and get the murder weapon! You were never there! Leave the baby!" thus calling back the part where Lockhart said he didn't want any surprises on his first day. There will be a giant surprise of an asset committing a double-homicide to greet you on your first day at the new job, Senator!
So Quinn and Carrie bring Javadi to the interview room.
Javadi and Saul stare at one another, sizing each other up.
Javadi tells Saul he doesn't "look like a man who just landed the biggest asset of his career."
And Saul delivers an open-handed push to his face that makes up for all the wrongs he has suffered lately. Yeah, Saul!
Javadi holds his bleeding nose and crumples to the floor.
Now his shirt has even MORE blood on it! Tough day for everybody, eh?