Quinn: “Is there no fucking line?”
Now I know why this particular line was kept in the title sequence. It’s because there is no line. We knew this all along, but the answer rings out crystal clear throughout this entire episode.
Opening scene is Carrie dropping off Franny at school LIKE NO BIG DEAL after the night she had. She asks poor Franny not to tell anyone anything about what happened, because mommy will be in big trouble (Cynthia: WHICH ANY REMEDIAL PARENT KNOWS IS NOT OKAY). Franny runs to her teacher and won’t even tell Carrie bye, while the teacher gives Carrie a knowing glance.
Next, Carrie calls Saul. OF COURSE Saul allows Carrie into his secret ops hideaway, and OF COURSE Saul allows Carrie to interrogate Dante. Dante rips into Carrie pretty good. (For all the parallel here with S2E5 Q&A, Cynthia pointed out a very important difference. Dante is not vulnerable like Brody was, so Carrie “can’t do fuck all” with Dante.)
Dante: “At least now it makes sense. I open my house to you, next thing I know the SWAT team’s breaking down my door.”
Carrie: “That wasn’t me.”
Carrie: “You think I’d put my daughter through that?”
Dante: “Absolutely. I don’t think you give a damn about anyone.”
Dante: “Do they know? Do they know?”
Dante: “What a lunatic I’m sitting across from.”
Even Dante thinks there’s no fucking line Carrie won’t cross. Dante softens slightly, but he still won’t break for Carrie, and asks for a lawyer. (A lawyer? Yeah, I definitely scoffed at that one, cause since when does a fucking lawyer matter in situations like these? Didn’t help Brody!)
Meanwhile, Maggie is blowing up Carrie’s phone, and Saul tells Carrie to go home. Carrie pops a pill and finally slinks back home right after Franny falls asleep. Maggie won’t even let Carrie go upstairs to tell her goodnight.
Franny wouldn’t stop crying at school. They couldn’t reach Carrie, so Maggie picked her up. Maggie finally pulled the truth out of Franny.
Maggie: “So she told me about last night at your friend’s place. Men breaking down the door, pulling her out of bed, you screaming as your friend was dragged from the house? And then in the morning, you took her to school. You took her to school and you left her there.”
Just sit on that for a moment – how heartless it is to do such a thing. (Amy Hargreaves delivered those lines superbly.)
Bottom line: Maggie is also a doctor and a mandated reporter. That means because of her profession, she is legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the authorities. Thus, Maggie gives Carrie an ultimatum: check herself into hospital now or Maggie starts legal proceedings for custody of Franny. Carrie tries to make a run for Franny upstairs, but Maggie stops her.
Maggie: “Come with me right now. I will drive you. Franny will come see you every day. You’ll get well. You’ll keep your child.”
Maggie: “Carrie. How is it possible you are even hesitating?”
Carrie goes on about the country being attacked and “lies, amplifiers, fucking twitter.”
Carrie: “I’m working with Saul. He needs me.”
Maggie: “Franny needs you more.”
In the end, Carrie makes a choice (just like Quinn made his choice in S4E1 The Drone Queen and saved Carrie instead of Sandy Bachman), and it isn’t Franny. She walks out of the house and enters her car, where she screams to herself. If Carrie is willing to abandon Franny (I could even say AGAIN at this point, because Carrie did abandon Franny when she took the Islamabad CIA station chief position.), then there’s definitely no fucking line she won’t cross. But Carrie’s not done crossing lines just yet…
Carrie rushes back to Saul with a new plan to break Dante. They provide Dante with a fake lawyer who requests that Dante sign a motion to release. After the lawyer leaves, Dante notices what looks like black ink on his fingers. He starts to feel ill and collapses on the floor, calling for help. Carrie attempts to go help him, but Saul makes her wait for a moment (almost like when Tasneem makes Handsome Khan wait 10 minutes before calling for reinforcements for Carrie and Saul during S4E10 13 Hours in Islamabad).
Carrie runs to help Dante and finally gets what she wanted out of him.
Dante: (gasping) “It’s poison. Poison. Poison. It’s the pen. The lawyer. The lawyer.”
Dante: “Like McClendon. Russians.”
Carrie: “How do you now?”
Dante: “Simone. Simone told me.”
Dante is given an antidote, but something goes wrong, terribly wrong. Maybe it’s because Saul made Carrie wait? Maybe it’s because Dante wouldn’t take the pills Carrie offered, and who would after just being poisoned? In any case, Dante’s heart stops, and he’s rushed to the hospital. Again, no fucking line…
All the while, Keane dispatches Wellington to put pressure on the Russians through the Russian Ambassador, who twists the message slightly and passes it on to Yevgeny: Simone cannot testify. Saul races to Simone with his arrest warrant, but it’s too late. Simone is gone, spirited away safely into the arms of Yevgeny… her lover.
The episode ends with Saul breaking the bad news to Carrie, while Carrie is in the hospital with Dante.
Saul: “They got to her. The Russians did. Now Dante’s all we got.”
It’s Carrie’s turn to break the bad news to Saul about Dante.
Saul: “Tell me he’s gonna make it.”
Carrie watches Dante’s nearly lifeless body being worked on by the medical staff. The look on her face (to me) seems like one of déjà vu…cause she’s been here before, with Quinn.
So, Carrie crossed yet another line, but there may be no payoff in the end. And if Carrie whispers to Dante how he should follow her voice to the surface, because she’s waiting for him…I swear to fucking…