SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains storyline and character spoilers.
You have to hand it to Saul for his sheer commitment to seeing out his plan to bring peace to the Middle East. He’s willing to make any sacrifice to get it done… well, he’s willing to make everyone else sacrifice, anyway.
Brody, Carrie, Brody’s family, Quinn, Dar Adal, even the weaselly Senator Lockhart have all been called upon (or blackmailed) by Saul to make sacrifices in the name of Saul’s grand scheme. But in this week's "Homeland" episode, “One Last Time,” Saul reveals there’s one person he won’t bother: his wife Mira, who, arguably, is the person who has betrayed Saul the most.
More on Brody (or rather, Brodys) in a sec. Before delving into what new and extraordinary measures Saul has asked Brody and those around him to take, it’s important to point out that when Saul learns Mira’s extramarital fling is the source providing details about Saul’s secret plans to his enemy Lockhart, Saul has ammunition to destroy Lockhart publicly and end his bid to become the new CIA director.
[Related: Get Caught Up With Our 'Homeland' Recaps]
Saul doesn’t take it, though, because it would be bad publicity for the agency... and, as he tells Dar, Quinn, and his other ops, it would publicly humiliate his wife. The wife who has been carrying on a relationship with another man — Alan Bernard, the guy she dumped last week, who then planted a bug in Saul’s home — behind his back.
Her privacy and reputation are too precious to breach. But Carrie’s sanity, Quinn’s basic decency and will to continue working, and Brody’s very survival are all up for grabs as Saul single-mindedly pursues this big idea of his.
Brody was in a sorry state when Saul traveled to Caracas to retrieve him last week, and when he brings him back to Virginia, Brody has only spiraled further. He’s been detoxing cold turkey, as Saul and Dar reveal they need him to kick his drug addiction without medicinal assistance. That’s the only way he’ll be strong enough to pretend to be the Langley bomber and seek political asylum in Iran.
There, he’ll get close to Javadi’s boss, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (“the single biggest impediment to peace,” as Saul calls him) and kill him. Then Javadi — Saul’s puppet — ascends to the position and, Saul insists to a skeptical Carrie, there will at least be a chance of avoiding further wars and achieving some semblance of a more nonviolent world.
But this only works if Brody can be detoxed, rehabbed, and retrained to carry out Saul’s proposal, if Brody agrees to try the plan as a longshot chance at redemption, and, as is further necessary, if Carrie agrees to help convince Brody to go along with Saul's plan.
Brody can and does, only after Carrie uses a trip to visit Dana — yes, she’s baaack — to convince her lover that he truly does have a chance to rewrite his place in history (and in his family’s history, more importantly to him) if he will agree to what is potentially a suicide mission. At episode’s end, Brody and a support team are off to change the world.
* Carrie’s recovering from Quinn’s shot to her shoulder last week, and while in the hospital, a doctor confirms she is now 13 weeks pregnant, and that the baby is OK. She has not yet shared this nugget of info with anyone: not Saul, not Quinn, and not Brody, the daddy.
* Saul has bought himself some time by blackmailing Lockhart into postponing his confirmation hearings to become the new CIA director. But is securing an extension to try his plan to have Brody assassinate Javadi’s boss Saul’s only agenda? Or is Saul also desperate to keep the CIA director job for himself? After all, what’s the point of making all this effort to get his world-changing plot in place, only to hand leadership of the agency to someone else? Especially Lockhart, who is all too capable of messing up a good thing just to spite Saul.
* C’mon, Dana haters: You had to feel a twinge of sympathy for her in this one, right? For all her whining and indecision in episodes past, we find her living by herself at an out-of-the-way cheap motel and earning her keep there by cleaning the rooms. It’s a lonely existence for a teenage girl who’s already suffered a lot of drama courtesy of her daddy, and his pop-in visit was just another hit to her already fragile attempt to take a mulligan on her life.
* Just three episodes remain in Season 3, including next week’s “Good Night,” in which Quinn finds out Carrie’s secret and the traumatized Fara returns to work.
In the meantime, we have questions: Even if Brody is able to pull off this political assassination, what is the likelihood he’ll make it out of the country alive? Will it be enough to convince his fellow citizens he wasn’t the Langley bomber and return him to hero status?
How committed to Brody’s post-assassination safety is Saul, anyway? Will Carrie continue her pregnancy, and will Brody get a chance to know his newest child, or even know of its existence? And will there come a point when Saul will regret all he’s asked of other people to see his plan come to fruition?
"Homeland" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.