‘Homeland’ Season 8 Episode 4 Recap: The Dream Comes Crashing Down

For Homeland fans hoping for a worthy finale in this eighth season, the first three episodes had to be encouraging. The final installment began in February with CIA operatives concerned Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) had given up assets to Russian intelligence.

Even after Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) brought Carrie back to Afghanistan to assist in peace talks, those suspicions stayed alive at the Kabul CIA station. However, with Saul advancing the U.S. mission, Carrie’s invaluable help granted her a temporary pass on that front.

But subsequent meetings with Yevgeny (Costa Ronin) led Carrie herself to doubt what she’d said when in captivity. (Her memory left her sometime after going off her medication.) Meanwhile, Saul’s handshake deal with the Taliban looked anything but rock-solid.

In episode four (titled “Chalk One Up”), President Warner (Beau Bridges) comes to Afghanistan to announce the deal and meet an unsung hero of the accord (Carrie). But as in all things Homeland, it doesn’t go smoothly at all.

Carrie insists on paying her debt to Samira

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, “Chalk One Up” | Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME.

Whatever Carrie did or didn’t say in Russian prisons, she’s still acting like a dedicated agent in the field in Afghanistan. An occasion came up when Samira, who helped deliver the dirt of Afghani Vice President G’ulom (and thus close the peace deal), nearly gets kidnapped by her dead husband’s brother.

Though Carrie is traveling in a decoy motorcade, she orders the driver to head straight to Samira’s house to lend a hand after getting a distress call. Once there, viewers get vintage Carrie Mathison. With gun drawn, she ambushes the group trying to take Samira away. Soon enough, she’s in Carrie’s custody.

However, over at the presidential palace, Saul gets a distress signal of his own from a military commander. Though he and various dignitaries (including G’ulom) had just watched Warner and the Afghani president announce the peace deal, there’s a serious problem.

Checking in on the ‘2 presidents’ aboard the chopper

Beau Bridges as President Warner and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, “Chalk One Up” | Warrick Page/SHOWTIME.

If you’re a fan of Homeland, you know something bad is coming when you hear certain strains of music on the soundtrack. And viewers heard it when Warner told Carrie he was flying to a combat post to announce the peace deal. “JSOC signed off on it?” she asked. (Indeed, they had.)

After she’s rescued Samira, Carrie and her traveling companions get recalled to the CIA station. As Saul has learned by then, the helicopter carrying Warner and the Afghan president has gone missing. (“Two presidents,” Saul says with horror.)

At that point, everyone is on pins and needles as they try to locate the aircraft. When they do get a visual, it’s the worst possible one: a chopper down. But it gets worse when the trailing chopper engages with fighters on the ground.

Before the credits roll, everyone watches as a rocket-propelled grenade down the chopper in a ball of smoke. And the video transmission went with it, offering the perfect opportunity for Episode Four to fade to black. Whoever believed peace in Afghanistan was possible didn’t see this coming.

Also see: ‘Homeland’ Season 8 Episode 3 Recap: Let the Back-Stabbing Begin