Carrie handles her client. Saul's trip takes a turn. Quinn investigates.
The result is a powerful and disconcerting allegory of the United States in the post-9/11 era—Terrorism: A Love Story. Carrie’s theory about Brody begins with a legitimate, if incautious, desire to prevent the next attack, but soon sends her into a psychological tailspin. As both CIA analyst and romantic partner, she’s drawn ever closer to her target. Similarly, the U.S. government began the so-called War on Terror with the legitimate desire to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks. In the years since, though, the prospect of “terrorism” seems increasingly to be used as a justification for any application of power, at home or abroad. Like Carrie, Washington hawks have fallen in love with terrorism, even while crazed by the fear of it—it is, after all, the raison d’être of the CIA, the NSA, the Defense Department, and the Department of Homeland Security. Like Carrie, the apparatus of “Homeland Security” requires “terrorism” in order to function, and thus fails to judge adequately any question of means versus ends. It is now difficult to determine where the War on Terror (armed conflict, drones, NSA surveillance, heightened vigilance) ends and the reasons behind terrorist attacks (armed conflict, drones, NSA surveillance, heightened vigilance) begin. –Matt Brennan