'Homeland' recap: Action ramps up in 'The Return'

Everyone is on edge as we begin "Homeland" this week. Feelings are raw, and our two strong lead characters, Carrie and President-elect Keane, are tired of being given the runaround.In New York, Carrie sits at a police station, where she was told...

'Homeland' recap: Action ramps up in 'The Return'

Everyone is on edge as we begin "Homeland" this week. Feelings are raw, and our two strong lead characters, Carrie and President-elect Keane, are tired of being given the runaround.In New York, Carrie sits at a police station, where she was told...

27 February 2017 Monday 14:02
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'Homeland' recap: Action ramps up in 'The Return'

Everyone is on edge as we begin "Homeland" this week. Feelings are raw, and our two strong lead characters, Carrie and President-elect Keane, are tired of being given the runaround.

In New York, Carrie sits at a police station, where she was told that Quinn was being held. After waiting for hours, she finds out that he isn't there and is instead under a psychiatric hold at a mental health facility.

Keane, meanwhile, grows antsy as she watches the current president address the nation from near the site of the terror attack, while she is still being sequestered at an undisclosed location.

After being told that she won't be able to see Quinn for three days, Carrie tracks down Agent Conlin and confronts him with the photos from Quinn's phone. She posits a theory that Sekou wasn't working with the perpetrators of the attack, and asks Conlin to help her find Quinn to get his insight into the man he followed.

"You put that kid on the street. Deal with it," Conlin says, unwilling to engage in a manhunt with Carrie.

"Yeah, I am living with it. But you live with this: Somebody that is not Sekou made that bomb and is still out there," Carrie fires back.

This week's episode of "Homeland" picks up where we left off — with the attack in New York. 

As the president-elect is ushered to a secure location, Carrie, Frannie and Quinn watch the aftermath on television. As they watch, Reda calls Carrie to inform her that Sekou was driving the van that exploded. 

This week's episode of "Homeland" picks up where we left off — with the attack in New York. 

As the president-elect is ushered to a secure location, Carrie, Frannie and Quinn watch the aftermath on television. As they watch, Reda calls Carrie to inform her that Sekou was driving the van that exploded. 

Saul arrives at the CIA station in New York, looking for information on Tovah Rivlin of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, whom Dar met with in the season's first episode. Saul has asked for a surveillance file on Tovah to see whom she was meeting with in the days leading up to Saul's meeting with her in Abu Dhabi.

Saul gets stonewalled by the commanding officer, but enlists the help of a young agent named Nate. Nate tells Saul that Tovah has been "off the leash," meaning there is a no-surveillance order on her. Someone doesn't want Saul to find out what Tovah has been up to. In addition to Nate's help, Saul calls on an old friend in Israeli intelligence and asks him to provide the surveillance information on Tovah that his agency cannot.

"Moonlight" and "La La Land" both walked away with multiple awards. Video credit: A.M.P.A.S. 2017 (Feb. 27, 2017)

"Moonlight" and "La La Land" both walked away with multiple awards. Video credit: A.M.P.A.S. 2017 (Feb. 27, 2017)

Former "Wire" star Andre Royo on the red carpet at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California.

Former "Wire" star Andre Royo on the red carpet at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California.

Conlin calls in his informant, Sekou's friend, and interrogates him about the identity of the man in Quinn's photos. Conlin is convinced that the man was working with Sekou, but the informant says he's never seen him before. Conlin presses, and asks the informant to hazard a guess as to what the man's connections might be. "It looks like government, man. It looks like you," he says.

Conlin pays Carrie a visit at home later, and tells her that his investigation of the man in Quinn's photos has led him to a shell corporation in Virginia. He intends to chase the lead himself, and to thank Carrie for the information, he arranges a visit with Quinn for her the next day.

"I appreciate the good faith," Carrie says.

"Nothing good about any of this," Conlin replies.

Carrie's visit to Quinn proves fruitless, as he is too paranoid to trust her and ends up biting her. He rambles on about how Carrie took him down and how no one can be trusted, before being led away.

Conlin arrives at the shell corporation's address and sees the mystery man's vehicle parked outside. He socially engineers his way inside the building, and makes small talk with a man who is part of a larger group of job applicants, all waiting for a tour of the building. Conlin learns that the company is in the private sector, but is some sort of data-gathering operation. He joins the group, pretending to be an applicant, but sneaks off on his own to explore the building.

Conlin enters an office, clearly built to house hundreds of employees, but is found out before he can get any real information. He asks the tour guide for some answers, but she refuses to reveal the intent of the company's operations — even after he shows his badge. As he's escorted out, Conlin notes that the mystery vehicle was moved while he was inside. He calls Carrie and asks her to come to his house for a meeting.

In New York, Saul's contact comes through with photos of Tovah's meeting with Dar, which leaves Saul with trembling hands. "This leaves us in a bad situation," Saul's contact says, and notes, "a split in your famous partnership with Dar Adal." "There's no split," Saul insists.

But it certainly seems that there is. Ideologically, Saul seems more aligned with Keane, who wants to push for a de-emphasis of the almost militaristic operations the CIA has been undertaking in recent years. On the flip side, Dar and the current president are far more hawkish. Is it any wonder, then, that the president-elect is being detained and not allowed to communicate with her staff, and that Saul is being kept in the dark as to what his own agency is up to?

In that vein, we see Rob Emmons, Keane's chief of staff, being detained as he attempts to enter the grounds of Keane's safe house. Rob is finally allowed entry, but once inside, Keane is nowhere to be found, having enlisted a housekeeper to surreptitiously take her away from the house in her truck.

As they steal away, Keane engages the woman in conversation and learns that she didn't vote for her. When asked why, the woman says that she doesn't trust Keane, "because you backed away from the war." She says that her son gave his life in fighting the war, as Keane's did, and that Keane shouldn't leave the job unfinished.

Their drive and discussion is interrupted by the sound of helicopters circling above the vehicle, so Keane calls the Secret Service agent charged with protecting her, and informs him that the woman will be driving her all the way to New York and that she'll see him there, ignoring his protests about her safety.

Carrie arrives at Conlin's and rings the doorbell. He doesn't answer, so she heads around to the back door, which is wide open. She enters the house, and sees blood on the floor. She climbs to the second floor and finds Conlin dead, with a gunshot wound to the head and his gun in his hand. She is not alone in the house. The mystery man in Quinn's photos is there also.

Carrie avoids detection, and grabs Conlin's weapon. After a tense moment in which she puts eyes on the man, she runs from the home, and is able to drive away without being followed. She drives directly to Frannie's school, where she hugs her daughter. "Mommy? Too tight," Frannie says.

Keane arrives safely in New York and addresses the media. With regard to the current president's position that the CIA should be more hawkish, and that certain Patriot Act provisions should remain in place, Keane sticks to her position. "We don't need a police state in this country to fight terrorism," she says.

At Carrie's home, she enlists Max to sleep over to provide extra security, and he says that he'll install a security system for her the next morning. Until then, Carrie stays in Frannie's room as she sleeps, holding a gun.

In the psychiatric ward, two men enter Quinn's room and inject him with a tranquilizer. They take him out of the hospital and slide him in to the back of a black van, where Astrid, Quinn's former lover and a German intelligence officer, is waiting for him.

"Hello, Peter," she says.

Final Thoughts

This was a wild hour of television, and the first really good episode of "Homeland" this season. Just as all of the plot threads from the first several episodes were tied together, new ones unraveled this week, and I'm not upset about that.

Action, intrigue, and the ideological differences between hawks and doves? Those are all in play, and those were the tent poles that made the first season of "Homeland" one of the best in the history of TV. Bravo!

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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