The tension levels ratcheted back up to 11 in this week’s episode. And if Damian Lewis doesn’t get another Emmy at next Fall’s awards, there is no justice in the world.
Brody is finally truly cracking under the pressure of living multiple lives and lying to nearly every single person he knows (with the important exception of Carrie, of course). While a bereft Dana seeks refuge at Mike’s house (which is in an incredibly dodgy looking neighborhood—the military seriously needs to pay better wages), Jessica is screaming at Brody that he’s let their daughter wander off, asking him to explain why he didn’t let her come clean at the police station about the hit-and-run. He vaguely says the CIA is the obstacle and when she pushes further, he breaks down.
Disgusted, Jessica leaves to go to Mike’s and see Dana, and Carrie, who’s been listening in from the surveillance van, enters the hosue to find Brody curled into a fetal ball saying he doesn’t care and won’t show up for the meeting he has right then with Roya about the precipitous big terrorist event. She manages to cajole him into going, telling him to think of his family, even though he assures her that “everything is falling apart.”
With Roya, Brody is incredibly tense and jumpy and ends up finally ranting that he’s sick of the pressure and he can’t do this anymore. He takes off and the CIA panics, Quinn sending Carrie to round their boy up. She instead takes him off to a motel. Oh Carrie.
Over at Mike’s, he and Dana have a chat about doing the right thing even when it’s difficult and makes you unhappy (like Mike staying away from Jessica and the kids once Brody returned home) and entreats Dana to call her mother. She does, and she and Jessica have a rather nice moment where Jessica responds with sympathy and understanding rather than her usual anger that Dana ran off. It’s so interesting to see the way they’ve totally flipped the script on how Dana feels about her parents this season, as Brody’s lies and caginess have totally driven a wedge in their relationship while also managing to bring Dana and Jessica closer. She haltingly tells her mother what happened at the police station, that Carrie was there and she’s the one who put a stop to the confession. Jessica is shocked and hurt, and Dana tells her she didn’t mean to hurt her. It’s sad, but also lovely to see their growth together.
At the motel, Carrie tries to prop up an exhausted and relieved to be done lying Brody. When he laments that he’s ”more alone now than when he was in that hole in Iraq” (and how sad is that?), she paints a pretty picture of how she hoped their future would have gone. That he would’ve been redeemed through his work helping the CIA and he’d come out of it a hero and all the previous sins would not have mattered. (I have to admit, when the CIA got him on board so early, I had similar hopes, with the most rose-colored of shippery goggles on.) Brody tells her, in a rather sweet moment, that she’s crazier than they even say she is…and then they start making out. Which leads to a rather rigorous round of very loud sex up against the wall. And just as we’re starting to feel like a total voyeur, the camera pans back to reveal a listening device on the window.
Quinn, Saul, and the rest of the CIA geeks are listening to their tryst, and it’s uncomfortably loud and long. Saul and Quinn argue about what’s really happening if Carrie’s turning things around or just enjoying another roll in the hay. But Saul points out that Carrie knew that location was a place Saul was monitoring, so this must be part of the mission. And you know, as much as I enjoy the chemistry of Carrie and Brody and would actually be quite pleased if they somehow managed a nice walk into the sunset, I really also enjoy Carrie being good at her job. When she takes these kinds of crazy, wildly unprofessional risks, it’s impossible not to fear she really has let her craziness eradicate all her good sense and self-preservation instincts…and yet…I love that just when you think definitively that she’s just letting her emotions lead her into bad decisions, there are these little details like the fact that she purposely brought Brody to a safehouse that make it plausible that she really is just executing her mission and will simply go to any lengths to, er, get her man.
Regardless of motive, the sexytimes work and the next morning a contrite Brody calls Roya to plead for a second chance. When Carrie gets back to headquarters, things are, as you’d expect, awkward. She may have known that was a safehouse, but it doesn’t seem like she expected anyone to be listening, but she mostly shrugs off the knowledge that all “Quinn’s pervs” are smirking at her. She’s more concerned with the look Saul is giving her. She rants that he’s worrying she’s lost perspective again, and insists that she’s not crazy and not in love with Brody anymore. He lets it go, despite clearly doubting it.
Meanwhile, Dana and Mike have a little bonding time and she asks him to take her to see someone. It’s the woman they ran over’s daughter again, who is less than pleased to see Dana. She figures out immediately that she was involved in the hit-and-run and while Dana awkwardly apologizes, she yells at her to stop coming around, because it will make things worse, implying that she was paid off to keep quiet. A distraught Dana runs out and when she gets home, she tells her mother that she’s a murderer and that the family was paid off, and Jessica admits she’s not surprised, what with the campaign. Her quiet acceptance is a great foil to Dana’s disillusionment and distress. It’s been a bit unclear what Homeland really had to gain with this fairly exploitative, melodramatic storyline, but perhaps it was merely setup for Dana’s loss of innocence. It’ll be interesting to see if this is truly over or will have longer reaching consequences, and undeniably Morgan Saylor has done some wonderful work with this plotline.
Roya meets Brody in a parking lot, and hustles him off to a deserted road, as Carrie, Virgil and Max follow along trying to surveille him. But there are no lights and they can’t quite make out what’s happening. When they barely make out a third figure meeting them, Carrie makes Virgil do a slow drive by, and they see the mystery man who led the strike in Gettysburg. Frantic, and growing more panicked by the minute, Carrie jumps out of the van and doubles back on foot to get a better look, but they hustle Brody off into the woods towards a clearing (as Saul muses why they’re going there) and then helicopter blades sound in the distance. Carrie flips out that they’re taking Brody away, and oof, her face. It’d be bad enough to lose your only lead, but regardless of the circumstances, or whether or not she ethically should have feelings for this guy, it’s still wrenching to watch her heart break as Brody gets hustled into a helicopter while she can do absolutely nothing but watch.
In a dark parking lot, Roya and Mystery Man hold Brody’s arms as they wait for a car to pull up. A shadowy figure steps out and across the tarmac to Brody and it’s…. a clean-shaven Abu Nazir! DUN DUN DUN!! Shit just got real, folks.
Tara Gelsomino is a reader, writer, pop culture junkie, and Internet addict. You can tweet her at @taragel.