Your Own Brand Of Crazy
Homeland Season 2 Episode 8 recap
I know we have our heroes that we love on this show, but I really would love to talk about Roya for a second. Now, whether you agree with her politics or not, this is a woman who really cannot be flapped, can she? No matter what’s going on, what version of a crazy, cracked-out Brody she’s going to get (and I worried seriously for both her and for his spinal cord when he played out their whole meeting by the fountain with his shoulders around his neck), she is calm and utterly focused on her task – though you’d think she’d get tired of saying “it will be soon”, no?
How did she get such nerves of steel? Like, what is the specific training in Abu Nazir’s camp that not only includes journalistic training (I sincerely hope she’s supposed to be an on-air reporter because I choked when I saw her in a TV Truck) but also allows her never to flinch? Or is that a personal trait that is the reason she was chosen for the mission?
I ask, of course, because this episode is all about showing us how much of a poker-face Brody doesn’t have and never did. It’s underscored, of course, by the same story going on with Dana but I can’t help wondering what Nazir thought was going to happen if Brody cracked, or why he didn’t get more dealing-with-stressors traning. It is naïve and condescending to presume they didn’t think that it would be a problem. Of course they did. My only recourse is that perhaps they need Brody to be this unglued so Nazir himself can be the savior, and recommit Brody to him? Will we see the return of a genuinely prayerful Brody?
The Dana story isn’t bothering me as much as it’s bugging some of you, but it does seem like a reaction to the broad appeal of the show, like “oh, everyone’s watching? Let’s give ‘em something”. I like that Dana is a moral person who’s confounded by her family, but I knew that already, she’s shown me time after time that she has a personal code, and that is, of course, due to her parents. Since she spent almost as much time with Mike as she did with Brody, one has to assume they have similar outlooks. It makes sense that she went to her “other dad”, only to be disappointed at how impotent he turned out to be. I know the Dana type – she wanted him to say that everything going on for her was wrong but that he’d help her, could fix it for her. She would have loved to hear that there were grown-ups unlike her morally relative parents and a zombie brother. (The writers only give him non-sequiturs. Love them.) As for her mother, just when I think I’m down with Morena Baccarin, she says things like “It’s tearing her up inside” without even slurring her enunciation a little so it doesn’t sound quite so priggish. Jessica is a conundrum and I like her a lot, but only at times.
So I’ve always said that Dana reminds me of Carrie, and if she develops an aversion to secrets after this, like I suspect she will, the resemblance will be even stronger. Carrie is, after all, completely focused on transparency. The way she uses sex is nothing less than fascinating. Remember in the pilot, when she came on to Saul as a way to get out of trouble? Carrie enjoys sex, or appears to, but she uses it to get to a place of vulnerability and honesty in those she’s manipulating. Do you think for a minute that the Carrie Mathison we know and love is upset or worried about the fact that everyone back at head office can hear her having sex? She’s got them trained – Saul, at least – to be focused on her POV, that by whatever means necessary, she’s pulling the boat that is Brody back around. You know how they say it’s not a lie if you believe it? With Carrie so firmly believing that her …affection…for Brody is in tandem with, not at odds with, her job (which, by the way, doesn’t seem to be all that much in jeopardy, no matter how much Estes yells), then I guess it’s entirely possible that there could be no shame or scorn about being “compromised” with your mark.
Carrie has said she was in love with Brody, but I’m not sure that’s the same way she feels now. It’s just a gut, but nothing kills lust like pity. She said she dreamed of them being together, but come on, did that dream involve quite literally picking him up off the floor? At what point does Carrie’s ambition tap her selflessness on the shoulder and point out “I’m out”?