Haunted by a fellow inmate in much worse shape than she is, Carrie is at the breaking point. Her discharge hearing goes swimmingly, but Dar Adal sinks that too. At wit's end and losing her grip, she sends Saul a message that she gives up and can't keep fighting the situation like this. Next morning, she's free on a 24-hour furlough -- but that creepy lawyer from last week, Paul Franklin, is waiting in her house and insistent that she meet with Martin Donovan to discuss his client in the morning, or else she's going right back inside.
After a long day of learning that everything is gone -- bank accounts and passport frozen, car missing, TSA no-fly list, the whole deal -- and a nice coded warning from the compromised Virgil -- she shows up back at that hot ginger rando's house for a sleepover. She wakes up the next day -- robs the guy while he's sleeping, because Carrie Mathison rules -- and is ... immediately picked up by the scary lawyers. Like the second she hits concrete they appear out of nowhere like it's the Matrix.
Meanwhile, Dana is so fucking stupid. She helps Leo escape from the mental facility and they run around saying poetry to gravestones and poetry to airstrips and it's so, so awkward and awful. I guess you guys have a point, because she was pretty tough to take this week. Also, Leo manslaughtered (or maybe murdered) his little brother and he was in the hospital purely as a deal with the DA. So he might not even be the respectable kind of crazy where you get treatment and manage yourself; he might be the kind of crazy that shoots Dana in the head.
On the upside the lovely Mike Faber is still around, and super down for listening to Jessica's constant bitching.
Fara tracks the money embezzled from Iran to a football arena in -- oddly enough -- Caracas, because it turns out Majid Javadi is a huge soccer fan and only launders money through soccer fields and loves to travel under the name of a soccer player and take his corrupt Wall Street banker buddies to soccer games. Fara is of the opinion that Iran should know about this and then shoot him to death, but Saul's main thing is that he wants to interrogate the guy, meaning we're going to end up keeping him safe probably.
On the Carrie end, it is very intense. Martin Donovan admits over breakfast that he is a lawyer for an unnamed person that is totally Majid Javadi, who wants to put her on retainer as a consultant to explain the whole Tin Man operation, and how those guys got made, and how come Quinn is so fucking amazing, and all those kind of hot questions everybody's asking. After a rousing speech about the CIA discrediting Carrie in order to distract from their larger mishaps and oversights, Martin reminds her that she'll most likely be dead in six months anyway, because she's still always going to be a loose end... So Carrie! Agrees! To turn! They give her a fat wad of cash and leave her at a mall, to be a traitor and buy new traitor clothes for herself.
But then double twist! After five hours of spycraft and countermeasures, she finally makes it -- on foot, because this bitch is for real -- to Saul's house where, after some mutual wariness and general stress because of how much they stress each other out, she goes, "It worked." Turns out they had a contingency plan in case she was ever approached as an asset, which she managed to pull off even though she was reduced to running in circles and robbing random hotties and having breakfast with Martin Donovan. Saul is so proud of her for being such a good spy -- even after he and Dar Adal ruined each and every aspect of her entire life and smeared her in public -- that they hug and cry and rock back and forth on a veranda. It is sweet and it is awesome, and it's exactly the act break that happens every year on this episode.
Next Week: Hopefully Leo goes from bad to way worse and Dana can finally have an interesting storyline; maybe we'll check in with Brody and his hilarious heroin addiction, although frankly I'd rather see what Quinn is up to if I had to pick; and I guess Carrie -- while being all jealous of Saul's new protégée, I bet -- gets to be a double agent for Majid Javadi. A job that I'm hoping goes all season and eventually results in a field trip to Caracas, if you know what I mean. Or at least World Cup tickets.
Carrie testified that she was briefly fired for her unauthorized surveillance of the Brody home, and then reinstated for an off-book taskforce to expose Abu Nazir's American network: As the Agency's point person on Nazir, she tracked his whereabouts and tried to anticipate his moves. In the end, she was outsmarted, and that was 12/12.
Meanwhile, Saul emoted in front of Dar Adal that he wished nothing more than to publicly support her, but agreed that Lockhart's anti-CIA agenda was the key to the ugliness.
Dar Adal: "He'll go right after her. What if she can't handle it?"
Saul: "She can."
Dar Adal: "What if she can't? Just saying, her history of insubordination and mental illness might be more useful to us than a good performance in front of the select committee..."
"I won't do that," Saul barked. "I won't throw Carrie under the bus."
Carrie testified that she was on track with Brody's loyalties all along -- true even when she didn't know it -- but the Committee produced the Attorney General's secret memo offering Nick "immunity," for being a double agent. She perjured herself for the first time then, saying she knew nothing about that deal, which meant the next question had to be, "At what point did the Agency know Brody was a bad guy?" Which is when Carrie's lawyer stepped in and said further testimony in this direction would compromise the ongoing manhunt for Brody... And Carrie spoke up to say Nick Brody didn't even do it.
Her lawyer wasn't thrilled about that, but agreed that the suicide vest thing from Season One -- the actual reason for Nick's 12/12 confession tape, for a bombing that never happened thanks to Dana -- is the main thing nobody can ever mention. Everything else is up for debate, including any number of scapegoats, to protect the Agency.
When Carrie called Saul, freaked out about the memo getting leaked, that was their first conversation we've seen since 12/12: He reassured her that he'd find the leak, and told her to stay strong. "Don't tell me to calm down," she spat. "I feel like I walked into a propeller." And he said, "Well, you got out alive." He asked if she was okay otherwise, and she snorted in his ear. Who knows what they really meant.
When he told Dar Adal about the leaked memo, it distracted him from downing Carrie more, and they talked about how Operation Tin Man was just the thing to take the heat off her and the hearings. Saul constructed for Dar Adal a narrative in which Dar was the suspect, taking down Carrie from the inside once again; Dar had the advantage of knowing this wasn't true, as did Saul.