'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 4 Review: 'Chalk One Up' cranks up the thriller element with a sickening gut punch

It was too good to be true — the brokered peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban, the ceasefire that gave people a chance to breathe again and the promised peace and quiet


                            'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 4 Review: 'Chalk One Up' cranks up the thriller element with a sickening gut punch
(Sifeddine Elamine/Showtime)

Spoiler alert for 'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 4 'Chalk One Up'

The way the storyline unfolded in three episodes of 'Homeland' Season 8 was simply unbelievable. And all the while, there was this feeling of something just not adding up. That this would explode in this way the world didn't see coming.

'Chalk One Up' delivers a sickening gut punch after leading the audience to believe that everything was going to be alright. It was too good to be true — the brokered peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban, the ceasefire that gave people a chance to breathe again and the promised peace and quiet

Two plot lines run through and bang in the middle of it is Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). One involves the President of the United States and Afghanistan meeting the marines and giving them the good news of returning home while the other involves Samira Noori (Sitara Attaie), a vital cog in the peace settlement process. 

Noori, introduced as a former employee at the Anti-Corruption Probe, finds herself in trouble when her dead husband's brother forces her to come back to the village and, at this point, it is safe to assume she would be killed eventually rather than being bundled off.

She reaches out to Carrie for help who meets President Ralph Warner (Beau Bridges) before he flies from Bagram to the border. 

Cutting a long story short, the president meets Carrie to thank her for the services, especially for being loyal and resolute during her time in captivity in Moscow. Soon after, Carrie and Jenna Brag (Andrea Deck) are dispatched as part of the POTUS' decoy unit, when Noori calls for help. 

Carrie's field expertise comes to the fore as she pulls off a daring rescue in broad daylight. By this time, the president's chopper goes off radar and is shown to be down with Taliban soldiers swarming all over. A quick gunfire ensues before an RPG blows the second chopper out of the sky. 

Is the President dead? (Warrick Page/Showtime)

This raises serious questions: Is Tasneem Qureshi (Nimrat Kaur) behind the latest act of terrorism? Did Haissam Haaqani (Numan Acar) go back on his word? Or is this an inside job? More importantly, are both the Presidents dead?

'Chalk One Up' makes almost everyone involved in the peace settlement process a suspect and ends in a pretty bleak tone. 

For those who've religiously followed 'Homeland', these storylines don't really come as a surprise. However, what's certain is the shock element it introduces when the president's disappearance is revealed.

What seemed a victory just fast-tracked to horror making the episode one of the best so far in the season.  After three episodes that saw meticulously constructed plot lines, the fourth decides to crank up the pace and action a notch by putting Carrie and Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) in the thick of things.

After all this, it's time when we realize 'Homeland' is just getting started. Homeland' Season 8 airs on Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on Showtime.

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