After enduring last week's Bobby Ewing/shower scene reset, 'Homeland' viewers were rewarded this week with Carrie (Claire Danes) at least having normal conversations and running around like the good old paranoid spy we fell in love with two whole series ago.
I say normal. I realise it's all relative, when it involves a CIA agent pretending to be a CIA agent working for Iranian security agents, being watched by both, calling in a heap of old favours, some of which may be real favours, some staged. And which all ends in her caught between a rock and a hard place, and "on her own" again.
Carrie got a bit more than she bargained for, playing off two forces against each other
In any event, however confusing some of this was, it was a damn sight more satisfying than the sight of petulant Dana and the generic teen boyfriend going all Bonnie and Clyde on us, her stealing the car, him breaking out of the clinic, before joining in a delinquent disappearing act. I have less than zero interest in the welfare of either of these two, however obliged Carrie might feel to care about the contrived back story of the boyfriend. Homicidal maniac or just another boring teenager? Either way, move along people.
And in another nod to the glory days of this series, we found Saul (Mandy Patinkin) clashing with his political peers, entrusting huge amounts to Carrie because of her initiative and then scratching his head in frustration when she only went and used her initiative. Just like old times.
Saul - having more trouble with forces within the Agency, than the ones he's dealing with outside
Meanwhile, wandering in and out of the shadows, spooky Quin (Rupert Friend), whom writers obviously like, but are still scratching their heads about, trying to work out what to do with him ever since he took the moral high ground over Estes and failed to shoot Brody in a previous series when things still made sense. Talking of which... Brody?... oh, never mind.