'Homeland' Premiere: 7 Times Carrie Was an Awful Mom (Including One Really, Really Bad One)

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland (Season 4, Episode 2). - Photo: David Bloomer/SHOWTIME
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland (Season 4, Episode 2). - Photo: David Bloomer/SHOWTIME

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Sunday's Homeland season premiere.

When we found out Carrie was pregnant last season on Homeland, we felt a bit nauseous… and it wasn't morning sickness. We know Carrie by now: She's a self-centered, emotionally unstable woman who's never had a healthy relationship and is diabolically dedicated to her job of chasing terrorists around the globe. Not exactly an ideal candidate for motherhood.

Related: Don't Cry, Carrie: 'Homeland' Is Back (And It's Good Again)

And yet we may have underestimated just what a bad mom Carrie is, based on her interactions with baby Franny in the second hour of last night's season premiere. She made Betty Draper look like Clair Huxtable. She made Livia Soprano look like June Cleaver. She made… you get the point.

There was one incident that bordered on criminal child abuse — we’ll get to that — but Carrie's poor parenting extends outside the bathtub, too.

1. Carrie arrives home from her overseas assignment and heads to her sister Maggie's house to see Franny. But as she approaches the front door, she hesitates and then tries to make a run for it.

Maggie catches her, though. Carrie: "It's so late, I didn't want to disturb anyone!" Yeah, right. Then she offers to stay in a hotel (??) before uncomfortably taking her own baby in her arms.

2. The next morning, she tries to run out the door, but Maggie hands her Franny and a bottle. It doesn't go great.

Not only is she completely disinterested in her own baby, but she can barely hold her up correctly — and she's holding the bottle wrong! She should be holding Franny's bottle at more of an angle so the baby doesn't get gas from air bubbles.

But who has time to learn stuff like that when there are wedding parties to bomb in Pakistan?

Related: 'Homeland' Season 4 Intel: Carrie Leaves Brody (and Baby) Behind

3. Carrie watches the nanny give Franny a diaper change, but does she want to try it herself?

And the nanny's not all that great herself: Franny's little legs were dangerously dangling off that diaper caddy. But Carrie didn't notice. She bolted after a few minutes to bail Quinn out of jail. Good luck, Franny!

4. After a stern talking-to from Maggie, Carrie (reluctantly, petulantly) agrees to take care of her own baby the following day. That day begins with Carrie feeding Franny and changing her diaper (on the kitchen counter! Gross!) and then taking her on an afternoon drive to her dead dad's old house — you know, to reminisce.

The car seat is all wrong, though: Franny shouldn't be in the front seat of a car with airbags. (Although Carrie did at least turn the car seat so Franny is facing backwards, so there's that.)

Photos: Check Out More Pics From 'Homeland' Season 4

5. During the aforementioned scene outside Brody's house, Carrie drops this bit of maternal tenderness on poor Franny:

Yeah, we'd be crying, too, kid.

6. And now, the bathtub scene. At first, Carrie is lovingly giving her baby daughter a bath. But then darkness sets in, and Carrie's special brand of crazy comes to the surface, and she chillingly contemplates drowning her own child (!), even holding down her little legs (!!) in preparation.

Carrie snaps out of it, thank goodness. But man, that's some pretty dark sh-- right there. Somebody get this woman away from her kid! And all kids!

7. Following the Bathtub Incident, Carrie blackmails CIA director Lockhart into sending her to Pakistan as a station chief — meaning she has to leave Franny behind again. Maggie is upset ("There's not even a diagnosis for what's wrong with you"), but Carrie says what we're all thinking:

Finally, Carrie says a final goodbye to Franny. And it's about as heartwarming as everything that preceded it.

Then she makes a beeline for the door and doesn't look back.

One more time: Good luck, Franny!

Watch the second hour of the Homeland season premiere right here:

Homeland airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.