What The Hell Is Going On? Virgil!
Homeland Season 2 Episode 6 recap
Do you not wish you had a Virgil you could yell for when the going got kind of rough? Like what a liberating thing, to be able to literally be in two places at once, to be on both the planning and the execution side? I have missed Virgil and, as Lainey and I discussed last night, he remains pretty sexy. It’s not just that Carrie yells at him and he just makes sh-t work, it’s the competence and determination and the long strides, you know?
I wonder if those have a shelf life, though. If you only get a set number of long strides before you’re kind of called out for only feigning confidence? I know this is the fear of so many creative types – that they’ll get called out for only faking knowing what they’re doing; I have to believe this is true for military types and CIA as well, no? In fact, Saul bears the mark of a man who has been called out for not knowing what he’s supposed to – or not pretending hard enough, at least? You and I understand that he’s the smartest man in the place, but he’s been chastised for not behaving like his balls are the biggest. Had he done so, might he be David Estes now?
This is kind of comparable to Uncle Mike, or whatever we’re calling him this week. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but dude just comes off as playing far above his weight class. He and Jessica trying to figure out what Brody is up to, and what part the CIA plays, are so earnest and so concerned, but so clearly have no idea what they’re up against that they’re basically like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I want to pat them on the head and tell them that literally nobody would notice, at this point, if they wanted to restart their affair, which might give them both comfort in these trying times. I’m sure I underestimate Mike and that he will notice that being on the right track is what got his hand slapped by no less than the CIA but I’m not holding my breath. He’s just not that stealth; he could barely tell a convincing lie to Chris, and I’m pretty sure Chris still thinks he’s going to marry the Tooth Fairy when he grows up.
Dana, on the other hand…oh, man, Dana, I’m sorry you are learning the lessons you are about what happens when you have a weak man in an uncomfortable situation. I don’t actually believe that Dana is any more equipped to deal with a horrifying situation like a hit and run than Finn is, but by virtue of going to the hospital to find things out (putting aside the implausibility of wandering into the ICU, the scene itself was alternately appropriately nauseating and unintentionally heavy-handed – how’s that for equivocation?), she has made it her problem; just like that, she has become Finn’s problem. I’m not sure I buy what the show is trying to sell me – that Dana is a “good person” because she hasn’t grown up with privilege, while Finn has, but the result is going to be the same either way. This is Dana’s loss of innocence, the seeds of what might not have been cynicism now firmly planted. If she’s lucky, though, she might get her father in trouble… but she doesn’t need the suicide of the VP’s son on her head, and I’m afraid that’s what she’s going to get. Also, in one of my more dickish comments, I’m not sure I want to see the “anguished acting” that’s going to come from him regardless.
Is Brody dumb? Do we buy that he is? He survived 8 years in captivity. There have to be some smarts there. For that matter, there have to be considerable smarts and savvy, I would think, in order to ascend to the level he was at before he left. Tactical, espionage, operations smarts. There must be.
But Brody should know better than a lot of things, and he doesn’t. He should know better than to leave his gun barely locked up in the garage. Maybe that was fine last season, but now, with suspicion on his back all the time (oh, and a murder on his hands – FYI, Dana, this is what it looks like when human life doesn’t trouble you that much anymore) you’d think he’d be a little more careful.
You’d think he would think ahead to know that Roya might think she was being set up. Strictly speaking I guess this is CIA territory and not Brody’s, but he’s the one who knows her (and her beautiful, beautiful hair). I can understand why he provides the CIA with the minimum information necessary to keep him out of handcuffs, but you’d think he might think ahead to where the fact that she and her contacts WIPE OUT seven (although next week’s promo said six) intelligence agents might come back on him? I could be wrong, but I’m starting to think Brody is Dumb, and Carrie is Smart. And that’s bad news.
With no disrespect to the continuing gifts of Claire Danes, I am never worried that Carrie might be out of her depth anymore. I assume she will be in the right, and can make the correct moves eventually, if not at first. Like when Brody mocked her hand on his chest, and she quickly downshifted into “I’m reasonable, and you’re not”. It’s such skill. I wonder if this is a problem, though, since I’m not actually worried about Carrie these days. Haven’t been in a while. Even Carrie crumpled against Brody’s chest crying feels like, if not calculated exactly, something where she’s already figured out exactly how much vulnerability she can get away with. I’m not sure Brody is skilled enough to turn the tables, particularly on Carrie. He hasn’t shown me he is, not recently, at least.
But this is her first major setback since being back. She is going to falter. Her self-confidence is still fragile – not least because her schoolyard-rival-come-lately may or may not be perishing on the floor of the tailor’s shop. Maybe we can get Carrie, completely upended, so our worlds can keep turning as we worry and hope for her, alternately, to cry and to stop crying.