The Smile

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 8 USERS: A-
Jackknife Juggernaut

"...I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around -- nobody big, I mean -- except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff -- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day."

It's not as simple, I'm saying, as Numb Carrie vs. this glorious, electric, feral beast we'll glimpse at the end of the episode: It's not a switch you turn on, it's not about the adrenaline of the escape or the power of being stronger and faster and smarter and better than everybody else. Those things are already present. The moving part of the mechanism is this: The guilt that goes along with being held to a higher duty by those gifts, and seeing yourself fail. Catastrophic becomes apocalyptic, when your purpose is to save the world.

Estes glad-hands her on the porch, and she just tells him to make it fast. She recognizes the woman in the dossier immediately, of course. Just as she'd said she would.

Carrie: "Yep. Fatima Ali, first wife of Abbas Ali, Hezbollah district commander. I recruited her at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. She had a weakness for American movies, she loved Julia Roberts."
Estes: "Why did you run her off-book?"
Carrie: "So she'd stay alive? Our networks were blown, it was right around the time we lost Garrett Hedges. I made the approach over a matter of months."
Estes: "How'd she work out?"
Carrie: "She didn't. I got transferred to Baghdad before anything went down. Last contact was March of 2005, right before I left Beirut. I wanted to farm her out to another case officer, but she only trusted me."

Estes: "Well, she's back. With information about an attack on America. But that's all I know. She won't talk to anybody else..."
Carrie: "Oh, for fuck's sake. Don't tell me you..."
Estes: "Three days in Beirut. That's it. Meet her, hear what she knows, write it up, come home to your vegetables and bluebooks. I know you're doing well, making progress..."
Carrie, verbatim: "After all the shit you dragged me through? The unceremonious humiliating way you ran me out of the Agency?"
Estes: "This isn't about your job. This is about being an American. Your kryptonite."

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