I tell you, on a show as plot twist-heavy as Homeland, it can be surprisingly difficult to tell which way is up. You get spun around, turned upside down, and shaken up to the point where you can't even tell who is going triple undercover and who has legitimately turned to the dark side. Case in point? Dar freakin' Adal. His jaw-droppingly shocking appearance at Haissam Haqqani's side in the final few seconds of last Sunday's episode of Homeland set the minds of fans the world over alight with theories about Dar Adal.
I've considered myself a fairly able Homeland theorist/predictor all season, but I'm honestly flummoxed by the latest reveal. I've flip-flopped all over creation — at first, I was sure his motives were traitorous. A couple of days later, I was convinced that he was being a BAMF undercover super-spy. But then I flipped back over to distrusting after I heard his sinister voiceover in the season finale's teaser. "Not every choice we make is blessed with moral clarity" — not exactly a ringing endorsement of his innocence, but then again, no one loves a red herring more than Homeland. Check out the teaser below.
I mean, for crying out loud, is Adal working for Haqqani or the CIA? Let's review the facts.
He's a Very Able Spy
Adal reminded us back in Episode 3 that he was the one who trained the ever-badass Quinn — so I'm sure he's got some serious espionage tricks up his sleeve. That could work either way, though. I'm sure Haqqani would be quite difficult to fool, and so would the rest of the gang... under normal circumstances, that is. Saul's been largely out of the picture, Carrie's had her plate full, and Lockhart recently showed himself to be a little too vulnerably gullible for his own good. Could Adal have pulled a fast one on them?
Aasar Khan Might Be in on It
After all, he was the one who pointed out to Carrie that Adal was sitting by Haqqani's side. Was Adal's presence all part of the ISI/Taliban's joint plan? Then again, Khan has shown himself to be a sometime-ally of the CIA, and Carrie in particular. Could Adal and Khan both be undercover? It might actually explain a lot, especially re: Khan's perpetually unclear motives.
This Plan Has Been Simmering for a Long Time
Adal had quite the presence in Season 3, but after a brief but memorable appearance at Quinn's side ("Let me in, dear; I brought donuts"), he pretty much disappeared right off the face of the earth — this must be why we haven't seen him all season!
He Was Pretty Darn Insistent that Quinn Return To Pakistan
He tracked Quinn down at a crappy motel, bearing donuts and love-life advice, and did his best to force him back to Pakistan. Why? Was this a significant move? Does it mean that Quinn factors into his master plan somehow (also, does this mean we'll be getting more Quinn badassery in the finale)?
It's all up for grabs. Anything could happen — after all, as Rupert Friend said in a recent interview with USA Today, "Tonally, it's the most surprising finale I've seen of a series," which I think means it could be anyone's game at this point.
Image: Kent Smith/Showtime