It’s anyone’s guess exactly which plotline this episode’s title, “Iron in the Fire,” was meant in reference to—so packed was this hour of Homeland with double-crossing, nail-biting, jaw-dropping, and occasionally faith-in-humanity-ruining intrigue. (That last descriptor reserved especially for the final scene, over which a certain recapper may or may not still be barfing.) The bones of a big, bad conspiracy began to truly emerge this week, as Fara stepped up her game, Quinn stepped back into action, and Carrie stepped in the same steaming pile of shenanigans that we all must have known was coming, yet somehow still managed to be a big, gross surprise.
We begin with Carrie, trying to track down the identity of the Pakistani agent who coordinated Sandy Bachman’s murder, who you might also recognize as the same rude intruder who kicked down Aayan’s door and squished his face in the middle of the night. This bad dude is unfindable in the CIA’s database, but John Redmond, who pops into Carrie’s office and catches her looking at the photo, identifies him: He’s Farad Ghazi, a freelance dirty-work-doer for the ISI. (Note: Ghazi isn’t listed in the Homeland credits as of this writing, so if I’m spelling his name wrong, apologies.)
At the same time, Aayan returns to Kiran’s home to get his bag of contraband medicines, only to find that her aggro father has smashed them all, and reported him to his medical school for stealing, to boot. Aayan is apparently the only person who didn’t anticipate this—did he see the dad’s forearms? They were like sides of beef! That guy had “angry medicine smasher” written all over him!—but he’s horrified and devastated, and the plot thickens: what were those drugs, and who were they for?
Whatever their purpose, they were important enough that Aayan does the inevitable: He goes to Carrie for help. He wants her to get him out of Pakistan, but first, he wants cash: 80,000 rupees.
Carrie gives it to him along with a renewed promise that her “newspaper” will get him asylum in England—a vow which earns serious side-eye from Quinn—and then sends Fara and Max to follow the money. Fara seems anxious to prove that she can be as gutsy and effective as Carrie in the field, and she tails Aayan diligently: first to the teaching hospital where he exchanges the cash for more drugs, and then to another part of town, where she’s forced into the risky business of following him on foot.
NEXT: Boyds will be Boyds!