Homeland Season 2 Episode 9 recap

Look at Carrie.  Did you see that beautiful face, that calm in the face of Brody maybe (obviously not) dead?  That was the face of a woman devastated but determined,  broken-hearted but resilient.

This episode gave us the immensely satisfying experience of finally realizing that those f*ckers you thought were slimy were, indeed, wearing two hats.  Quinn isn’t working for the CIA in quite the way we thought, which justifies a lot of resentful hatred of him – and Brody keeps secrets poorly, as we already knew he would.

There’s a lot of discussion, when you’re working in TV, over whether or not you are making the audience smarter than your characters, or vice versa.  The best shows, of course, have them neck and neck.  But for the same reason “It was all a dream” feels like a cheat; characters who do something wildly out of character based on what you’ve seen better be worth the mistrust that you’ve established in your audience.

Based on this, I have to believe that Brody was doing his best to go along and get along when he was kidnapped by Nasir – not that they were trying to get us to see how very two-faced he’s been all along.  I don’t buy it.  I can’t.  Brody doesn’t have that level of cool, that level of ease.  They’ve gone too far down the road of the man whose neck is going to be forever damaged from tension to ever come back and pretend to us like he’s a criminal mastermind.  I don’t believe it, and he can’t even fool an angsty sixteen year old girl so why would we expect him to fool us?

Speaking of the girl, her mother, the lover, and the idiot brother (“Big screens, too!”),  I mean…sure.  I don’t care, do I?  Jess, Dana, and Mike all know Brody is a liar in different ways.  All of them need to separate themselves from him in different ways, and though the coming-back-together of Jess and Mike was supposed to be that,  I thought it was actually more when she defied the CIA orders and asked him what the hell he was up to.  She’s not afraid of him or his world or the politics of it, because what does she have to lose anymore?  After all, her daughter’s innocence is long gone…

So Quinn is working to take Brody out of the picture, and what worries me about this is what Saul will figure out in a second, too; that means Carrie’s next.  She is too wrapped up in him to ever believe he was supposed to be disposed of in this way, even if he otherwise would have bought it at Roya Hamad’s side.  Incidentally, did her crew really not think ahead to do that switch in a car wash or something?  I know about the theory of doing shady things in broad daylight, but that daylight was really very broad.  So anyway, now Roya’s plan is thwarted, Brody and Quinn don’t trust one another, and Saul has yet another reason to distrust David Estes.

Maybe I’m too focused on this, but it’s been weeks since we discussed Carrie’s career status, and I don’t know what to say about that, except I don’t want to see what happens if her job is in jeopardy again.  Not after this, after what happened to her.  I would worry, I would be crushed.  I don’t totally worry about Brody because Damian + Claire = f*cked-up chemistry, but I do worry about Carrie’s emotional stability.  Because geniuses are fragile.

Doubt me?  Think that term is hyperbole?  My favourite moment in the episode came early.  After hearing Brody’s story, Saul says who could know what Brody’s like?  Saul says Brody could tell a lie easily.  They all look to Carrie, to see whether or not she’s going to side with the man she loves.  But Carrie – and this is what I love about Mathison – she has already moved on.  She’s not in Brody’s brain, she’s in Nazir’s – and it’s far more interesting.  She lays out the reasons why an attack on a government assembly would be so very symbolic, so very Nazir.  She points out what his patterns are and how he works.  How long has she known Brody,  six months?  Eighteen, at the very longest?  She’s been stalking Nazir for twelve.  That is intimacy with another person, whether you want it to be or not.  When you have Carrie’s brain, that’s a given.

I would like to see her out in the field again, though.  Watch her speak to her contacts, put new ones in place.  Watch her develop a relationship between the people she trusts and the ones she wants to believe she trusts.  Because Carrie has friends, you know?  Inexplicably, against the odds.  She doesn’t seem the type who’d be easy to have a beer with and I’m not convinced she can relate to other humans in a casual way, but she’s earned Virgil’s devotion,  so she must have something in her that resembles being a person other people can count on.

Also.  I would like to praise the costume person who looked at Virgil and went “Oh, easy.  Slim-fit sweaters, no problem.  He’s gonna be a heartthrob”.   Love him so much it gets distracting in episodes like this.  Am I alone?

No previews for next week?  What , do I have to imagine with my head or something?