Showtime‘s Homeland From A to B and Back Again TV Show Review. Homeland: Season 4, Episode 6: From A to B and Back Again predominately showed a person being “forced” to spy on his own government but, like his ISI handler said, Quaid-I-Azam University Political Science Teacher Denis Boyd (Mark Moses) was a natural at it. It was impressive to see a layman in the lion’s den of spy-dom swim those waters unbeknownst to people trained in clandestine service Trade Craft. In From A to B and Back Again, Boyd seemed to have resigned himself to his new role in life, even being proud of what he had discovered in such a short amount of time that ISI had been completely unaware of until that point.
Where was this aptitude when Boyd previously decided to leave the country after his initial ISI approach?
It was because of Boyd that: a.) Former CIA Director Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) was used as leverage and b.) Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar) knew that his nephew Aayan Ibrahim (Suraj Sharma) was CIA Pakistan Station Chief Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes)’s secret puppet. When everyone finds out what Boyd has done, I imagine he receives a life sentence (if not the death penalty) and his ambassador wife resigns.
There were two “love” moments in From A to B and Back Again, one subtle, and the other predictable via circumstances. There was obvious something between Aayan and Kiran (Shavani Seth) but it was only when Aayan was seen as leaving that it became clear to the viewer that Aayan and Kiran were more than friends. Through their uncomfortable conversation, it also became clear Aayan was in love with Carrie. This sentiment was solidified during a later widely-listened to phone conversation that featured Carrie saying what she had to say to keep her puppeteer’s strings taunt. It was a throw back moment to when Carrie and United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper Nicholas Brody could be heard in the throws of coitus over an open CIA coms line, a room full of people its audience.
Aayan Ibrahim being killed was always a risk. Carrie knew that when she recruited him. Through his killing, the viewer saw for the first time that Carrie was not fully acting when she said she had feelings for Aayan, though she used the strongest word possibly to describe those feelings (a ploy). Her shock and dismay immediately turned to anger and a overriding need for revenge. She became blinded by it. Carrie’s unpredictablility made the moments immediately following Aayan’s death far better than they would have been if any other character had been in charge of that of operation.
Seeing Haissam Haqqani use Saul as a drone shield was wonderful theater, theater in a war theater as it were. Haqqani gambled big with Saul (but he knew Carrie was in charge of the drone operation to kill him and that Saul was her mentor) and won big, a virtual ‘Rockefeller Salute’ to the people in the Predator drone control room and to the United States of America. If I was Haqqani, I would keep Saul Berenson near me at all times. Obviously the United States is going to try and plan a rescue operation for Saul, Haqqani will know this, so he will probably use his shield (hence divulging his current location) sparingly. The last thing Haqqani wants to contend with is a United States Navy SEAL team.
Whether planned (I hope so) or happening by unplanned circumstance, Showtime is quietly developing ISI officer Tasleem Qureshi (Nimrat Kaur) as Carrie Matheson’s mirror on the series. Seeing another character with Carrie’s drive and cleverness but working for another organization (with its own agenda) would and is good for the show. It’s broadening the show and deepening its reservoir of characters and potential storylines. Now Showtime’s writers need to build and explore the characters that work with Qureshi, like they have done with Carrie.
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