Homeland Season 2 Episode 11 recap

(Or:  The one where you could tell Claire Danes was pregnant)

I’m so tired.  Aren’t you?  I’m not the only one, either.  I mean, the episode was full of tired imagery.  Carrie had been up for two days.  Saul was almost lying on the interrogation table.  Quinn passed a hand over his face more than once.  Dana, well, it’s obvious Dana hasn’t had a restful night in some months.  

This episode, “In Memoriam”, where they lay Nazir to rest, I mean, damn.  Sure, this was the episode where some things come to a close, but they were almost eventualities instead of climaxes, you know?  

Carrie is tired.  It’s not just the obvious, that they took this opportunity to have Danes appear without mascara (and let’s hear it for the realism, we would have screeched if they’d done it the other way) but also that now, having caught the terrorist she’s been working toward for years, having put her life in danger and emerged unscathed (sort of), having earned the approval of her superiors,  although the word of David Estes means precious little to her anymore – with all this, Carrie is just beginning to wonder whether it’s worth it.

Check those rubbings of the wrists.  She wasn’t just in pain and she wasn’t just debating whether or not she had forgotten anything she learned in those moments.  I feel like, when Carrie was so certain that Nazir was still in the mill (unnecessary timewaster to track down the Galvez red herring notwithstanding),  she knew he was there, so she knew he would be caught.  And so she started to think about what her life would be like after he was, which was not a when, and not an if.

It’s not that great, really.  Once her job – being Brody’s translator – is finished, she’ll be released under one of David’s dictates, won’t have a job (certainly, from the way things look, won’t have a mentor), so what does she have to look forward to, exactly?

My answer was supposed to come at minute 50 of tonight’s show when Brody shows up at her door, but despite what Jessica says, that is a damaged man – and not in a way that can be salvaged.  Because we know the assassination attempt won’t be successful (and we know this because the show is being built on Damian Lewis’ chemistry with Danes), it’s conceivable that he and Carrie could stay together … but are we kidding?  Is this high school?  Without the Romeo and Juliet life-and-death stuff, can those two make a life together?  Figure out who’s cleaning and who’s making coffee?  Please.

It won’t be any better for either of them, which is something that will, ironically, give Dana Brody no pleasure.  I know the girl gets a bad rap these days, and I too wish she would look into trimming that hair and maybe, unlike her father, opening her mouth a bit.  But I cut her a lot of slack because she’s discovering that horrible thing that kids of divorce realize, if they’re older than 12 or so when it happens: it’s both their faults.

You really, really want to blame one of them, and Dana had all the reason in the world to blame her mother.  That was super convenient.  And then, when the pressures of being “Brody’s daughter” became too ridiculously big, well, then, it became his fault, when he lied and cheated and put them endlessly in danger.  Dana had every right to hate them both, and she tried her best, in irritating fashion this season.

But as Veronica Mars would say, “The hero is the one that stays”.   Dana now has the irritating responsibility of having to know – or forget – that her mother may have done things just as bad, but she’s not constantly tapping out of the family like Brody is.

And so what of Abu Nazir?  After finally learning how to say it and understand that it was the same guy regardless of beard, did you feel cheated out of the assassination, as I did?  Did you want to see him be truly powerful?  To exert control over Brody even when there should have been no reason?  (Sidebar: Brody’s loss of control when he heard about Nazir – equal parts grief and relief – was a nice understated moment in an otherwise kind of hamfisted plot.)

A friend of mine pointed out that he hopes there’s a “transfer of power”.  Right now there’s the semblance of a vacuum, but also the semblance of apathy.  With only one episode left, is the person who ultimately turns the tables – and I think we should lower our expectations, based on the twists this season – going to be the one who cares the most?  Isn’t that always Carrie?

There is Saul, of course.  Browbeaten Saul who knows a lot and made his Hail Mary pass when he told the lie detector what he knew.  If people are supposed to change, then Saul has plenty of room to move up from where he is.  What will he be able to do, though, in just one small episode?  The promo wants me to believe nothing.   But the promo also wants me to believe six soldiers are ceremoniously  tossing Brody’s body in the ocean, and…somehow I’m not buying that one.