Carrie, Mondays and Thursdays
Homeland Season 2 Episode 4 recap
What was it like, do you think? When she was going to shock therapy every three days, undoubtedly driven by her father or her sister, then escorted home to…what? Nap on the couch? A little TV with the nieces? Was she back to normal the next day?
I can’t picture Carrie then, because I believe we’re just beginning to get pictures of the “real” Carrie now. I don’t know what kind of medications (if any) are keeping her even keel, but I look at her and I think this is probably how she got to be great. This Carrie is cautious, because she’s just barely back in the fold (a moment which I thought was a touch underplayed) and watching her every move, but also completely in her element. When Carrie turns around after Brody calls her name outside Langley, for example, she says “Oh, hi” a little too quickly and with a bit too little surprise. You could call it bad acting, or Danes playing Carrie having a little bit of a slip. But her smile afterwards tells me it was a calculated slip, to tell Brody she did see him, wasn’t going to talk to him. Planting the seeds of his uneasiness. I love her.
In fact, Carrie was a lot of things last night, but uncomfortable didn’t seem to be one of them. Officious dick David Quinn should have annoyed her – maybe was trying his best, even – but how can an annoying coworker possibly dampen the headiness of getting too close? Every moment of them together – from her defensive “Who are you f*cking” to bantering about Greek food, of all damn things – she was back, so why, how, could she complain? She couldn’t. She didn’t. She swung Virgil right back into service and he was happy to be there. It’s not spoken, but you get the idea he’d do anything for Carrie. Of course he would.
In a way, all these characters want to be Carrie. They want the conviction and the focus that she has. Look at David Estes. I love how he rolls his eyes at having to let Saul in, like he knows his whole carefree weekend is gone. I also love, nonsarcastically, what David wears at home. My dad is like that, still. Starts every day with a collared shirt and pressed trousers. David Estes would love to be this sure about things – sure about what to tell the VP (nice moment to remind us this week that he’s a dick) and straightforward about having Carrie back. His “I feel like a heel” is just so…David Estes.
And Carrie being herself, showing all the others how it’s done, gets us into the bar and then, when anyone else would rest, thinking they’d done a good job, up into Brody’s room where without much provocation at all, he admits to his dark side. Because he underestimates her? Because he trusts her? Or because, on some level, he really wants Carrie to understand him?
I have heard Carrie and Brody referred to as a “Doomed Love Affair” and I get what the attraction is. They are cut from the same cloth, similar as they are in their pursuits of what’s right even when everyone around them thinks they’re insane? They don’t feel to me like an even match though. While Carrie’s failings are right out there in public – as Quinn says, if some guy made me get my brain zapped, I’d flay him – Brody’s are hidden. In fact, the only people who know exactly how incompetent he is really? We, the audience. I can’t wait for everyone else to find out, now that the show has thrown itself on its ear by having Brody captured, hood and all, at the end of episode four!
And so I can’t really say much about Dana, who’s moving on from romance with a bad boy to one who might really be injured, because what can you say? No matter how sweetly a romance starts, up in the Washington Monument with their two faces floating beautifully over the district, well, it can’t end well, right? When one’s father so cruelly betrays the other, oh, and a little terrorism thrown in for good measure? Then what’s going to happen? Are we going to start caring about Dana only to see her in danger? She looks so disillusioned, but her face is so innocent – she can still be hurt, you know?
It’s interesting how many people can still be hurt. Jessica doesn’t think she can, but she doesn’t know what’s coming for her. Ditto Mike, who doesn’t even realize how much he’s covering up for. And then there’s Lauder. F*cking Lauder. If this were a different, terrible, Scooby-Doo type of show, we’d have Brody going “And YOU, Lauder. You’re always messing up my plans”, Moustache twirl, evil cackle. But jokes aside, why do you think he’s the one who can recognize that Brody’s so different? Is it because he has the least invested in him being well and fine? Or that he knows what it’s like to be so changed? Can he recognize the signs? It’s not that interesting to watch Mike and Lauder be five steps behind everyone else, including Dana, but I have to believe the Tom stuff will come into play somehow?
So. Carrie loved Brody, maybe was the only one who really understood him, but she’s about to be a major player in his demise. As they kick their search for Nazir into higher gear (“That’s racial profiling.” “It’s actual profiling.”), does she have a whole new set of skills hse can bring out, high on the fact that she was right? Or, given that we’re only a third of the way through the season, is there still plenty of opportunity for Carrie to fall?