Saul: "I am very happy to hear your voice, I hope my tone conveys that. Also, I can't actually say anything about anything, because we are spies on a telephone."
Carrie: "Whatever it is, I'm willing to listen. To you specifically."
Saul: "I hate myself for even asking..."
Carrie: "Can it wait until tomorrow?"
Saul: "No, your ex-boyfriend David Estes is sitting outside your house right now, creepily enough."
Carrie: "Allow me to illustrate where I'm at right now. This is anecdotal, okay, but it's also a metaphor, so pay attention. Tonight is Thursday. I cook dinner for the family on Thursdays. I'm making vegetable lasagna, with vegetables I picked this morning from the garden."
Succinct. He's now seen every flavor of Carrie that there is, even this latest one. He stays quiet, and she sighs.
Carrie: "Don't make me talk to him, Saul. He ripped out my personhood on a level that goes way beneath job performance, or mental health, or even gender inequity, okay? He made me doubt myself ontologically, and the whole world became a conspiracy to make me feel crazy, and it turned me absolutely crazy, and he was the most active mover in getting that done. Not to mention the fact that my whole life has become about not thinking about this stuff, because if I think about this stuff, I have to think about that stuff, and I'm never more than two steps away from remembering how 9/11 was my fault."
He Sauls her, quietly and softly, saying no more than necessary, but he already knows he's got her. The panic in her voice, in her sabacthani, is heartwrenching:
"God! Why are you doing this to me?"
Carrie Mathison gets off on the spy stuff, yes, that's what the eponymous Smile is about. But what I've always thought was more central, and harder to unpack, is the particular way in which her messianic mania expresses herself. It's a manta that's easy to fall into, and hard to back out of, and it goes like this, round and round:
If I'm as gifted as I think I am, and I am, then I can save the world. And if I don't save the world, then I'm not as gifted as I think I am. But I am as gifted as I think I am.
It's inflated and manic, but it's also true to a certain extent. Of everybody, the ones who don't recognize it most of all. So you have an entire complex here getting shoved down -- with surgical precision -- that is equal parts caged anger and deeply mournful disillusion. Remember in Neverending Story when the Rockbiter guy is like, "They look like big, good, strong hands. Don't they? I always thought that's what they were. My little friends... I couldn't hold on to them. The Nothing pulled them right out of my hands." Or Catcher In The Rye, a book fewer people have actually read than a straw poll would have you believe: