October 29th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the October 28 episode of "Homeland."]
Last night’s episode, entitled “Q & A” opened with a shackled Brody in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. Estes figured he, Quinn, Saul and Carrie had approximately 24 hours before Abu Nazir noticed his absence. They feared Nazir might either ramp up efforts on an attack on America or pick a new target.
Brody tried to play the “I’m a Congressman/you can’t kidnap me” card but Quinn shut him down by saying, “Actually we can. Thanks to you and your colleagues in Congress we have fairly broad powers to detain and interrogate.”
Brody learned he was facing a death sentence and demanded “a f-ing lawyer,” but soon realized he was far, far “off the grid.”
Quinn was able to establish that Brody was subjected to “profound and constant torture” while in captivity. He was beaten, forced into isolation and subjected to electric shock. (With all the parallels between Carrie and Brody’s lives, I wonder if there’s a connection between the fact that Carrie and Brody both endured electric shock, albeit under wildly different circumstances. Or maybe the circumstances weren’t so different.)
As Saul aptly put it, Quinn was “setting the table with Brody’s lies.” Saul and Carrie watched as Brody lied to Quinn about whether he knew who Issa was, if he knew how Issa died, whether he wore a bomb, if he’d ever met Abu Nazir, the fact that he converted to Islam, if he knew why Tom Walker killed Elizabeth Gaines, and whether he’d conspired to assassinate Vice President Walden. Quinn then played Brody’s suicide tape to prove he meant business.
Meanwhile, Finn invited Dana to a screening of Serge Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America” in Dupont Circle.
“He was a great Italian filmmaker who specializes in widescreen agony,” said Finn in a moment of foreshadowing. (The kid has great taste in cinema, too.)
Estes was able to keep Brody’s handlers at bay by telling them that he was working with the CIA on a matter of national security and that they were to tell anyone who questioned Brody’s absence that he had the flu.
Brody mulled over his suicide tape, and eventually admitted to Quinn that Issa was Nazir’s son who he taught English to and loved like a son. Issa was killed in a drone strike ordered by the Vice President, who Brody called a war criminal. On December 17, Brody conspired to get himself into the State Department panic room with VP Walden. Brody insisted he wasn’t wearing a vest.
“No bomb went off,” said Brody. “I killed no one. You’ve got nothing on me.”
It would be an understatement to say that Quinn went ballistic when Brody insisted he did not know when the next attack on America would occur. Quinn whipped out a switchblade and jammed it into Brody’s hand as he screamed, “You will talk to me, Brody, goddammit” before being whisked out of the interrogation room.
A mysterious pair of medical professionals came in and immediately cleaned and dressed the stab wound and gave Brody a shot.
When a concerned Jessica dropped by Brody’s hotel to find his room untouched, the previous day’s newspaper sat unopened on the desk. That paper was the real-life July 9, 2012 issue of USA Today, which, interestingly enough, featured an article about President Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney entitled “In the Presidential Campaign There are Two Americas.”
Did the showrunners suggest that Barack Obama is president in the fictional “Homeland”-land?
And seeing as the unnamed POTUS on “Homeland” was described by VP Walden as “riding out” his second term, does that mean Obama won a second term? Obviously there’s a bit of the “Law & Order” school of intermingling real and fake headlines, and Walden is absolutely nothing like Vice President Joe Biden, but it was interesting to see this real-world tie-in.
Back in the underground Brody interrogation room, Carrie told Brody that he broke her heart and made her question her own sanity. She said that because of him she had herself committed, lost her job, lost her place in the world, lost everything.
When Brody told Carrie that he only told Estes the truth about Carrie having harassed his family, she asked if he happened to also mention that he nearly blew Estes into a million pieces.
While watching the interrogation with Saul, Quinn admitted that the stabbing was just “theater” because “every good cop needs a bad cop.”
Carrie transformed into the so-called good cop when she gently poured water into Brody’s mouth, removed his handcuffs and shut off the cameras so they could be alone – she left the audio on, though.
“It’s the lies that undo us. It’s the lies we think we need to survive,” Carrie told Brody, saying he was “drowning in lies.”
When Brody insisted that Walden lied about the drone strike that killed Issa, Carrie told Brody that Abu Nazir was the real monster.
“I know that you think he was kind to you,” said Carrie, “that he saved you, but the truth is he systematically pulled you apart, Brody, piece by piece until there was nothing left but pain. And then he relieved the pain. And he put you back together again as someone else.”
Carrie suggested that it would be a relief for Brody if he stopped lying and that he was a good man because he decided not to detonate the suicide vest. She said hearing Dana’s voice made him realize that ruining his daughter’s life wouldn’t bring Issa back.
According to Carrie, the Brody that knew the difference between warfare and terrorism was the Brody she fell in love with at the cabin. They cried and held hands. Brody admitted that there was a plan to attack America but that he didn’t know the details. He said Roya might know the plan. Brody also told the truth about how he got the suicide vest and named all of his (now deceased) contacts in Nazir’s network.
In a moment of great relief/release, Brody put his head down and truly rested for the first time since returning to the States. Saul urged him to call Jessica and reassure her he’d be home soon. When he got up to walk, a weakened Brody collapsed on the concrete floor, curled up and slept.
Later, Carrie gave Brody his options: a very public trial followed by a massive prison sentence that would bring dishonor and shame to the Brody family, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States of America itself; or Brody could help the CIA figure out Nazir’s plan. Brody picked the second option.
Dana and Finn, meanwhile, decided to “have some fun” on their date and outrun the Secret Service. They hit a pedestrian while speeding down a D.C. alleyway. So much for widescreen violence on the big screen – they got to see it on the windshield of Finn’s BMW.
“If anyone finds out about this my life is over,” Finn screeched at Dana, insisting they couldn’t dial 9-1-1 because the call would be traced back to him.
“My dad is the Vice President of the United States,” he continued. Stay classy, Finn! The victim, meanwhile, was clearly severely injured.
Carrie drove Brody home, instructing him to go about his business as usual. She said that their cover would be an affair so that Roya wouldn’t become suspicious. Brody took Carrie’s hand in his own stab-ravaged hand before going into the house.
What did you think about last night’s episode? What’s next for the Carrie/Brody dynamic? What do you think will happen to Finn?
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