In this week's episode of "Homeland," we see Brody on smack, then we see Brody is back, and at last we see him onboard with a plan that's wack! But he says yes in the hopes that he might again come back (and reconcile with his family and reunite with Carrie, but I couldn't figure out a way to say this that rhymes with "ack" so I'm just putting it all in parentheses.)
We also see Saul turn the tables on Senator Lockhart, and Lockhart stands down in a not-entirely-credible display of defeat.
But let's go in order.
We open on Carrie in the hospital, recuperating after Quinn shot her. Remember from last week's recap? Anyway, the baby is fine! She's now 13 weeks pregnant, so she's out of the woods for the most important phase of development. That means it's OK to get shot and OK to smoke cigarettes (yeah, we see her doing that later.)
Then we're back with Brody, in that old maneuver where they show how Carrie and Brody are both going through a hell (or rehabilitation) of some sort. Remember the end of Episode 3 when they kept hitting us over the head with these parallels?
But yes, Damian Lewis is back on the payroll and breathing as heavily through his nose as ever. Big ups to the folks at TV Guide for having a video medley at-the-ready of him breathing heavily.
This time Brody is trying to kick a nasty heroin addiction he picked up while in Venezuela, so a little deep breathing is understandable. A team of dark-haired dudes (DHDs) are trying to help him recover, and they're reporting to Saul and Dar Adal, who are speculating on whether or not Brody will be "ready" in time. The DHDs don't think he will be. They decide to put him on a super dangerous drug that helps a person kick heroin more quickly, but gives you terrifying hallucinations. Brody craps himself, sees Tom Walker (his POW buddy that he killed — right on, Chris Chalk, for getting another paycheck from Showtime!), he breaks a chair and digs it into his arm, and basically serves as a great reminder not to get into intravenous drugs.
Senator Lockhart visits Carrie, trying to find out why Saul was in Venezuela. We can watch her expression turn into one of "Whoa! My boyfriend's back and there's gonna be trouble."
Carrie calls Saul and lets him know that Lockhart is onto him, but it's unclear exactly how much the senator knows or how he found out. Saul orders his house and office swept for bugs. Of course it's Mira's lover, right? Yup. So Mira was having an affair with an Israeli intelligence officer. And he and Lockhart are in cahoots!
Brody finally comes out the other end of his withdrawal and Saul starts to present the big plan to him.
"I'm offering you a chance to be a Marine again," Saul offers, "the man you were before they broke you."
But Brody says he'd rather die. The DHDs take Brody out on a boat and throw him over to see if he's telling the truth. Sure enough, he doesn't try to swim to the surface.
OK, guess he really would rather die. Time for Plan B!
Saul calls in the big guns. He brings Carrie in, obviously. That only works a little though. So Carrie and the DHDs take him to get a glimpse of Dana from afar in her new life. She's living in a motel room and cleans them for a living. The Ghost of Christmas Present can be an evil one!
Brody goes nuts when he sees his daughter. They won't let him communicate with her though. He calls Carrie a bitch.
But before that, we learn exactly what the big plan is.
He confides in Carrie that he wants Brody to take down the head of Iran's revolutionary party, who happens to be Javadi's boss. Saul calls the guy "one of the single greatest impediments to peace." I'll bet the "Homeland" writers were at least a little bit bummed with Iran's announcement this weekend that the country would be curbing its nuclear program.
Anyway, the plan is for Brody to seek political asylum as "the Langley bomber," get close to the guy and then take him out. (Thus the "One Last Time" of the episode's title!) Once they take him out, Javadi is the next in line for the job, and he now works for the U.S. anyway! Saul "Blackmail" Berenson does it again!
Saul wraps it up with an idealistic smile through his muppet beard as a sweep of inspirational instrumental music swells. He says the plan is "something to break the logjam; something besides another war; something that'll change the facts on the ground just enough so two countries that haven't been able to communicate for over 30 years — except through terrorist actions and threats — can sit down and talk."
So are we to think that the nuclear talks that Senator Kerry was involved in this weekend had a Brody and a Berenson behind them?
We should probably mention that before Saul unveils the plan, he and Carrie have it out with a whole lot of accusatory language. She's pissed that he let her get shot, then he's like, "Let's not play the 'you're a scoundrel' game because I know you helped Brody escape to Canada."
Saul confronts Lockhart about his ties with Mira's backdoor man. Lockhart knows he's busted so he gives Saul a frank, "What do you want?"
Saul waves it in front of Lockhart that a few strategically placed phone calls could mean a big scandal for the senator. He then asks Lockhart to postpone his confirmation. Saul "Blackmail" Berenson does it again!
"You could destroy me with this," says Lockhart, defeatedly. "You could guarantee your own tenure as director. Why are you letting me off the hook?"
Saul says it's because he knows it would destroy Mira and damage the agency. He just wants more time to do the big plan with Brody.
After seeing Dana from afar Brody agrees to go along with the "One Last Time" plan. After a half-hearted training montage that is so lazy that a "sixteen days later" chyron is required, we see that the former junkie is in fighting shape, thanks to some help from the DHDs.
During a backgammon sesh, one of the DHDs asks Brody if there's something between he and Carrie. Brody insists there isn't. Day-umm!
The next thing we know, Brody is being briefed on the mission and it looks like the DHDs are in on it too! They're special opps!
After the briefing, Carrie is outside smoking(!) and she and Brody share one of their classic awkwardly flirty moments. He asks her to take him to see his daughter again. She reluctantly agrees.
They go to see Dana, and Morgan Saylor provides another Emmy-worthy moment. She tells both her dad and Carrie that she never wants to see either of them again.
She's all, "What do you want from me? What do you want me to say?"
She hands him a piece of paper and pen and tells him, "Just write it down and I will say it to you as long as you promise that I will never have to see you again."
It's pretty intense.
Then on the drive back to the base, Brody tells Carrie, "I will come back from Tehran, and not just for her."
And that's about as sweet as he gets with her.
A few hours later, and he's off to assassinate the top brass in Iran.