Did You Miss Me?
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
There are certain things you see, hear, smell, et cetera, that just electrify you. There’s a sense of an incredible chemistry that just crackles with anticipation and that’s whenever Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are on screen together. That must be annoying for their spouses to hear, but for us as viewers it’s an absolute treat. Ultimately Brody’s character became a problem for Homeland, but it’s quite easy to see why the show was so reluctant to leave Brody (and or Showtime, but that’s another story). When Carrie meets Brody at that bar in the hotel, there’s nothing else in the world that even comes close to mattering in that moment. It’s sublime. The ending to that lovely conversation is an absolute shocker sweeping the rug out from underneath the entire narrative once again. Homeland is burning through plot fairly quickly and while that may be cause for concern long-term, I can’t say it isn’t thrilling right now.
The episode begins with Saul showing Brody’s confession tape to Estes and both come to an agreement to spy on Brody for the short term. Estes insistently places analyst Peter Quinn in charge of the operation. Cameras are set up, Brody’s phones are tapped, and Virgil and Max (squeal) are tasked with following him around. Estes naturally is shaken by the reveal, putting the entirety of the show into perspective. Carrie naturally doesn’t react well to an individual she has never meant being put in charge of an operation that centers around the case that she fought tooth and nail for and lost everything because of. These two aren’t getting along anytime soon.
On the Brody front, Jessica is rightfully demanding answers from him in regards to his absence the previous evening. In all reality, he can hardly say “Umm, honey, there was this tailor who was making me a suicide vest that I almost used to blow up a bunch of people including the Vice President. And he ran away and I had to kill him when you called me.” He could say that, of course, but that would involve him explaining that he’s a terrorist and that’s unlikely to go anywhere positive. From Jessica’s perspective, she’s been through quite a bit of hell and this position of a socialite is something that she is not going to let slip from her hands. And that involves Brody acting the part and living it to the dot. He won’t say anything and consequently is banished to the Ashford Hotel.
Carrie “runs into” Brody at Quinn’s suggestion, hinting that she’s back to working with the CIA. Brody is terrified and immediately contacts Roya, who isn’t so sure she’s back to be on Brody’s case. “Keep up the relationship,” is her punitive advice. And keep it he does. He invites her to the Ashton Hotel’s bar to quote on quote “bury the hatchet”. He should have said vest or something, but I digress. Carrie comes into the bar and immediately sparks fly. If there’s any questions of why Brody survived the previous season, it’s not just Lewis’s talent but it’s the sheer amount of chemistry between the two. You don’t even need alcohol to make the sparks fly here. Carrie casually mentions Abu Nazir before Brody amicably leaves. Saul and Quinn are perfectly happy with Carrie’s bait but she naturally isn’t. “He made me,” she whispers urgently . She runs to Brody’s room and the framing of the shot when he opens the door is absolute perfection. A darkened Carrie emerging from a golden-lit hallway into a room that is in many ways even darker. It doesn’t take too long for the truth to come spilling out in a wonderfully tense, twisted fashion. “You still got your twisted theories about me, huh?” Brody sneers. “They’re not theories anymore,” she responds quietly, a cold, eerie smile playing on her lips. Brody threateningly moves towards her. “Don’t you hurt her,” Saul breathes and he calls in the team. With a thundering roar, the door is thrown open. Brody is captured by the CIA. “I liked you,” he snarls at Carrie. “I loved you!” she roared back. “You are a terrorist, and it’s time you pay for that.” A black bag is put over Brody’s head and he’s hauled out of the room. The camera then isolates Carrie in the middle of the room, watching her face completely crumble. It’s an incredible moment of writing, direction, and acting to perfection. Then you breathe loudly as you realize you’ve been tense for the entire sequence.
Homeland’s sixteenth episode concludes with another shocker, which is becoming a tired statement already. I’m not sure how they’ll top this, but if there’s anything to go by so far, Homeland is not afraid of propelling foreword at full speed. The episode is still continuing with the Lauder/Mike/Brody/Walker thing for some reason. As much faith I have in the team behind the show, I have a hard time believing that this story is achieving much beyond keeping Lauder and Mike relevant to the story at large. I didn’t discuss it at large, but Dana and Finn have a sweet subplot of their date to the Washington Monument. That shot of their reflections staring out into the dark sky with the Monument piercing the heavens is absolutely gorgeous. Nevertheless, this was a solid and thrilling episode and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Title: New Car Smell
Written By: Meredith Stiehm
Directed By: David Semel
Image Courtesy: The Huffington Post