‘Homeland’: 'It's the lies that undo us'
October 29th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

‘Homeland’: 'It's the lies that undo us'

[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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Filed under: television • TV recaps

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. johnwu

    Gripping plot - just can't wait to see the next episode...

    November 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. icon pack

    I consider, that you are not right. Let's discuss. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brody

    thats the danger of lust...grrrrrrrrr

    October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. Girlfriend

    brody turns me on...with his cia stuff.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dannyboy

    After watching this episode again, it could be possible that Brody has been working with the CIA all along to flush out Nasir and a high ranking mole. After he is dropped home he finally tells Jessica the truth " I work for the CIA " wonder if he meant he always did from the start. Donnie Brasco style.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. mikey

    I love all these comments about how realistic the show is . . .Realistic? How long would it have taken them to figure out Brody was in the meeting where Abu Nazir was warned about his impending asassination? Then check his cell records and he is as good as fried. There would be no plea for this type of security breach and not bringing a case of congressional treason to light immediately would be the worst government cover-up in history. There is NO WAY Brody would get a plea deal after this. Ever. Unrealistic. THis show is good fiction, but not at all realistic – that said I love the show.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toronto Homeland Fan

      I agree... every episode my husband tells me to stop yelling, "That would never happen!" at the TV... There is no way he would've been able to go into that secret ops room with his cell phone! Also... not a peep about Tom Walker's death? We know he is dead, but they never mention an investigation by the CIA?? He was a person of interest! I agree with you completely, it is great fiction... not so realistic! One last pet peeve: how did this guy get elected? I know he is a war hero, but expecting us to believe that he could rise to a potential VP candidate is a tad unrealistic considering he just got into office and has ZERO experience... just saying.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. see everyone

    in 15 min..

    October 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. iBod

    I am just in love with this show! I cannot say for sure the direction they will go. But after Brody was caught, I cannot see how he can evade the CIA once they have him under his constant surveillance. I really think his promising to help catch Abu Nazir is the truth; and I think that the whole emotional, psychological themes regarding his telling the truth after he told continuous lies - I think it was real, and I think the whole point of this show is to convey a realistic approach. Though, if that is the case, there is also the very real likelihood of him dying in the process. I don't want to speculate; but just thinking about how great this storyline is just gets me so pumped! I have never ever watched a show so great! Props to all the writers and all the actors involved with making "Homeland" what it is.

    October 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. homelandfan

    drinks around 3?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Max

    This was one of the most intense episodes in the series so far! I couldn’t believe it when Quinn stabbed Brody in the hand, but then it made sense that it was part of the traditional good cop/bad cop routine. I just caught up with this episode last night since I had it recorded on my Hopper. The huge amount of hard drive space helps me keep up with shows when I work extra hours at DISH. I’m wondering if that ploy actually worked on Brody, or if he was saying anything to get out of that interrogation.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Darling Man

    I look up to this young actor and you should too–

    October 30, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. 55555

    everyone in town, all the businesses everyone was informed to change all their information last night.
    well you know pig.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Songbyrd66

    This show is my new favorite. The acting is superb and I love the story line. Part fiction, part reality. Showtime got this one right!

    October 30, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. PushUpAMust

    Does she dust the furniture? I'm just trying to figure out what she does all day–

    October 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Toronto Homeland fan

    I am relieved to see Carrie redeem herself in this episode. I was so disappointed that she blew the plan to follow Brady so soon after finding out the truth... it was devastating last week. I wanted to sit back and ride that out longer- but that is what is great about this show. It keeps twisting in ways you don't expect. Kudos to the writers- they took a chance and made Carrie look bad last week, only this week to redeem herself with a stellar interrogation!

    October 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Does she

    wash clothes?

    baaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooo

    October 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Pip

    sure he does...haawaaaaaaaaho

    October 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  18. David Anthony

    Definitely the second best show on TV right now, behind Breaking Bad. Sherlock and Doctor Who follow.

    This was easily the best Homeland episode ever. The writing and acting was outstanding. Claire Danes especially was just, as ever, completely extraordinary and I look forward to her receiving her emmy next year too. Cranston still pips it over Lewis for me though. Next episode will inevitably be not as good as this, because it would be pretty much impossible to match it, but I still very much look forward to it.

    October 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  19. homeland

    Does she clean her house?

    October 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  20. honeybutt

    see u in cort

    October 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Rivendell

    The best show on television. Period.

    October 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Smoked It All, Eugene

    This show is phenomenal. The acting, the writing, the twists, everything. It's unpredictable and just so... real. Something dramas lack a lot of the time is realism. And while a sleeper cell terrorist may be a bit of a stretch (or may not [I'm talking to you US Government]). The way everything is handled seems pretty legit. Anyone who has not yet checked this award winning show out yet is sorely missing out. Thank you writers, actors, and all those involved for giving us, the viewers, something we can really sink our teeth into!

    October 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |

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