October 22nd, 2012
12:28 PM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the October 21 episode of "Homeland."]
I rewound the final four minutes of last night's episode no less than 17 times.
This edition of "Homeland," entitled "New Car Smell," opened when Saul appeared at Estes' house and personally delivered the news: A suicide bomber nearly blew up the vice president.
Oh, and that suicide bomber was VP Walden's "golden boy," Congressman Nicholas Brody. And Brody completely incriminated himself by admitting it all on tape.
Saul convinced Estes that the best course of action was to change nothing. If they wanted to thwart an attack on America, Brody was to go about his business despite the fact that he nearly blew up the veep. Saul decided that a small team would secretly surveil Brody (Yay! Virgil's back!) and that no one else in the CIA would know.
Estes showed his human side in this scene by a) being a real Dad (guess he's allowed to see his kids again, as his young "Star Wars"-loving son was spending the week with him), and b) admitting - without too much animosity - that Carrie called it all along. (Of course, Carrie was the reason Estes lost his family. Or at least his affair with her didn't exactly help - but that's so season one.)
Estes did make it clear, however, that he was sending a guy in to run the surveillance operation.
"Well, well, well. Carrie Mathison was right about the red-headed menace," Virgil said to Carrie as he and Max headed into the new Brodywatch command center.
Carrie immediately locked horns with "the guy running things," CIA analyst Peter Quinn, who proverbially punched Carrie in the mouth by making a reference to her being "crazy" within 20 seconds of meeting her. He pouted a bit over the presence of Virgil and Max but Carrie punched back by telling him that they watched Brody for 300 hours.
The game plan was simple: Run a team on Brody 24/7, follow him everywhere. Good thing Jessica kicked Brody out of the house and his hotel was totally fine with the CIA tapping into their security cameras.
Peter suggested that the best way to spook Brody was to "go for his Achilles heel" - Carrie. They figured Brody would cross Carrie's path at CIA headquarters, freak out and run to his handlers for fear that her theory about him was back in play.
At the Brody house, Dana began to realize that she and Zander were growing apart and that she was falling for Finn Walden, son of the veep. While Zander wanted to get stoned, Finn was winning her over with witticisms about Thomas Jefferson. In short, Dana was maturing and fitting in with a more sophisticated crowd.
Meanwhile, Brody was tailed and photographed by Virgil as he visited a D.C. car wash to rid his vehicle of all traces of the Gettysburg tailor.
At CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Carrie walked past Brody, on cue, and the two engaged in a sort of Bizarro World version of awkward water-cooler chitchat. Carrie told Brody that she got the mental help she needed and congratulated him on becoming a Congressman. When Brody asked what she was doing for the CIA, she told him she was adhering to boundaries and couldn't say. Mission accomplished: Brody looked like he saw a ghost.
Later at the Rayburn House Office Building, Brody told Roya that if Carrie was working with the CIA, it had to be because of him.
Back at the Brodywatch command center, Saul reported that Brody made contact with approximately 43 people a day, and that the team was to focus on the contacts most likely to be Al Qaeda operatives. Carrie got a sincere apology from Estes - and we got another glimpse of his softer side.
Later, the ice thawed a bit between Carrie and Peter as the two settled in to watch Brody at the hotel. But just as they/we watched Brody reach for his cell phone and presumably dial his Nazir contact - Carrie's phone rang! (Did anyone else have a flashback to the phone call scene from the beginning of the first "Scream" movie? Just me? OK. Movin' on… )
Brody told Carrie that he wanted to "bury the hatchet - for real" and meet for a drink. (Another observation: Of all the desperate measures Brody took to eliminate the skeletons from his closet, it didn't occur to him to delete Carrie's number from his phone?)
When Carrie arrived at the hotel bar, a drink was waiting for her. After Brody established that it was "not a booty call," Carrie dropped hints about how she was getting close to capturing Abu Nazir. She used the opportunity to not-so-subtly remind Brody that Nazir "stole" eight years of his life. Brody tried to change the subject by apologizing to Carrie about the way her CIA ousting went down and then quickly wrapped up the conversation and hightailed it up to his room - but not before telling the bartender to bill the drinks to Room 416.
When Brody was far out of earshot, Peter and Saul begged Carrie to come back, but she insisted she needed to stop Brody because if she didn't, he would send a signal to Nazir.
And now for the scene I rewound 17 times:
Carrie showed up at room 416 all smiles. She even flirted a bit to get past the threshold but quickly insisted that the CIA was on to him - for real this time.
As Brody grew pale, he blurted out something about being friends.
"Do I wanna be friends with a demented ex-soldier who hates America?" Carrie replied. Who decided strapping on a bomb was the answer to what ailed him despite his daughter, his son. People who loved him in real life, none of the mindf- world of Abu Nazir. "Who in the end didn't have the stones to go through with it but had no problem sending me to the nuthouse?"
Brody's expression went from ghostly to angry as he lunged at Carrie.
"Get the f- away from her," Saul said from the control center. (Can we get another "Mandy Patinkin, holla" sh0utout?)
When Carrie made it clear to Brody that she knew he was contemplating killing her then and there, Brody proclaimed that he essentially had everyone fooled and was "good at this."
Cue crumbling world.
"You're special," said Carrie.
"I liked you, Carrie," said Brody.
"I loved you," Carrie replied.
Then with a loud boom, the door to room 416 was broken down. Agents ordered Brody to get on the floor, freeze, and put his hands behind his back.
"If only the circumstances had been wildly different," Carrie said to Brody. "You're a disgrace to your nation, Sergeant Nicholas Brody. You're a traitor and a terrorist. And now it's time you pay for that."
A shackled Brody was led out with a black bag over his head.
And that, my friends, is how TV magic is made. Holla!
What did you think of last night's episode? What do you think will happen next? Let's discuss in the comments below.
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