When Carrie's counterpart in Islamabad delivers urgent intelligence on a high-value target she must make a critical decision on the season 4 premiere.
Carrie is a station chief now. They get a link to #4 on their list of most wanted and Sandy Bachman, the Islamabad station chief, claims his source is certain. There is no time to double check the intel like they have in the past, but Sandy's source has always been good before. Carrie knows there will be collateral damage, but there's no reason to believe it will be excessive. No drones for this one, it's an airstrike.
Her team gets her a cake. Happy Birthday to the Drone Queen.
Carrie video calls her sister who chides her for not getting to them sooner. Frannie is with her sister at home. It's been a week since they talked.
When Carrie goes to sleep,they show the "collateral damage." There are kids crying and buried in rubble as people scramble to free them.
Saul is working for a private security company. They're briefing the military on what they can provide. He tells the truth, which isn't what his partner wants to hear. He thinks he has an obligation to tell the military that the drawdown is wrong. He remembers when girls couldn't go to school and men with whips were enforcing Sharia law. He doesn't want it to go back to that.
Haissam Haqqani was killed, as well as 40 of his family members. There was a wedding going on at the time.
Quinn is meeting with the US Ambassador while they wait for Sandy. He claims it's pure PR bullshit. He doesn't believe there was a wedding. Martha wants to know that someone high up in the Pakistani government signed off on this. Sandy says everyone in Pakistan wants them dead, too, and it was Haqqani who put his family at risk by going to an event like that.
The kid from the rubble is waking up. He's a teenager. His mother and sister were killed in the strike. He stumbles outside to the makeshift beds where the dead are covered and finds them both.
Concurrently, Carrie is using a drone to get a view of the dead and spots him, but his family's side. He's just a kid from the village, but you know it won't be that way for long. They can use drones to try to ID the casualties. Carrie gets a call from Quinn. They have protesters outside the embassy. Quinn thinks this one feels different, the time frame, the way they went in and no eyes on the ground. Carrie doesn't catch the nuances in Quinn's speech as they talk.
Saul is home with is wife. He promised to give New York three years, but it's not working out with Aaron. Mira wants her turn. They agreed.
The teenager watches a video from the wedding he too on his iphone. It's smashed, but works. He sees his little sister and mother, who turns the camera on his jokingly. Then the explosion. He's a student of medicine at a college in Pakistan.
The man who flew the mission confronts Carrie at the bar. He feels sick to his stomach about what he did. She tries to see the big picture, the mission. He doesn't like to take orders that result in killing innocents and he calls them monsters.
Aayan is arguing with his friends, one who wants to upload the wedding video to YouTube or something similar. Aayan has no interest in politics.
Carrie is awakened by Director Lockhart. The video was uploaded. Nobody is bulletproof. Lockhart wants Carrie and Sandy to find a way to spin it and isn't interested in the truth: the target was right but the wedding was an unknown. He wants her down to Islamabad.
Saul is watching the video from home, concern on his face. He calls Carrie, but she does't pick up.
Aayan is angry. His roommate says nobody will know it's him to which Aayan replies, "I'm in the video! Any idiot can connect the dots."
Sandy is heading out of the embassy. Martha wants a meeting asap. Someone texts him, asks if it's urgent. He replies very. The other will see him in 90 minutes. He walks through some crappy hallway, bends down and unlocks something then is walking the streets of Istanbul.
Carrie lands in Pakistan. Quinn greets her and gives her the lay of the land. Sandy is a lone wolf, leaving the embassy at odd hours. Quinn is surprised that Carrie seems to have no conscience when things go wrong. He also picks up that Carrie isn't in Istanbul because being in Kabul means you can't bring dependents. She wanted to bring him.
Sandy Bachman is on the local news. Walking the streets of Istanbul seems like a very bad idea.
Bachman reaches a building and tries to open a door, but the lock has been jammed. He tries calling someone, asking about the locks. No reply. Someone behind him opens their door. Quinn calls. Sandy has been blown. They need to bring him in now. They'll be there in 5 minutes.
Sandy sees a crowd of men outside, pointing in at him. He runs. It's hard to look casual when you're running for your life. Walking down the middle of the street, he discovers he's trapped from all sides by angry men. He pulls out his gun as Quinn and Carrie arrive. He gets in the car and they take off but a truck blocks them. There a hundred people with clubs beating on the car. They break the glass, dragging Sandy from the car. Quinn shoots one man, then two, but that doesn't stop anyone. Sandy is screaming Quinn's name, begging for help. Carrie struggles to get out of the car to help, but Quinn knows there's nothing they can do. He shoots their way free and Sandy is left to be beaten to death.
When they get back to the embassy, Quinn needs a minute but Carrie wants to get their stories straight. What story? She thinks it was within their power to do more for Sandy. Carrie is covered in blood. Damn that girl is strong. She never breaks, even when it's tenuous looking in the mirror at herself.