A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Abu Nazir is back. “Nicholas,” he says in his quiet, clearing voice. It’s utterly terrifying and a perfect cliffhanger. His appearance as a clean shaven shocker from Brody’s past, present, and future (how neat) changes the status quo entirely. Why is he here? What exactly is his plan? Who exactly is he targeting? But the biggest question unveiled by the episode is how on Earth did he manage to get to America in the first place? If they don’t explain it, I will be a bit disappointed. This episode also reverts back to Carrie using her sexuality to keep Brody from walking away from the CIA deal, a supremely uncomfortable moment made even more so when everyone back at the CIA room is hearing it. This is another tense, superb hour that sets the stage for something massive to go down.
This season has largely been a study of Nicholas Brody as a character and in that regard it has been supremely fantastic. The episode’s title is in literal reference to the helicopter that whisks Brody away to his biggest nightmare, but it means so much more than that. It’s about the characters trying to fly away from the circumstances that have put them in a bind, constricting them to their circumstances which admittedly are pretty terrible, if not by their own choosing.
Dana is constricted by absolute guilt. Her circumstances are bound by something she can’t break through. She simply wants to tell the truth and pay the price for their recklessness that killed a woman. She goes to the house of the woman whose mother had died to try and atone for what she had done. But the daughter Inez isn’t having any of it. She got a decent amount of money from the Waldens to keep her mouth quiet. Dana is puzzled, but Inez clears it for her. If she goes to the police, she loses the money and security. She may get justice, but the chances are slim and her mother isn’t coming back. Morgan Saylor plays the moment beautifully, breaking apart in Jessica’s arms. She feels like a murderer and there is no flying away from that guilt, no matter what she does.
Brody is completely broken apart at this point, everything and everyone just pulling him in more directions than he can even keep track of. The framing of the director’s camera here is perfect: a menacing Carrie looming over a shrunk Brody huddling in the dark off a hallway, so small and pitiful. She coaxes him into meeting Roya, where Brody expresses his frustration at being left in the dark over and over and over again. “I’m through,” he announces, walking off. Carrie herself is boxed in by this operation that she needs to validate in many ways her entire existence. She resorts to what she always does, using her sexuality to reel Brody back in. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done,” she coaxes, “you will be a hero.” Even Carrie knows that’s wrong. Life isn’t an Etch-a-Sketch that you can use to build a new foundation from scratch. Even if Brody brings down Abu Nazir in the end, which seems doubtful to be honest, he will still be the man who had worn a vest. Nothing will change that. There is a moment of hilarity in this darkness, however. Everyone back at surveillance can hear them having sex and Carrie the next day seems to give ****s about it. Quinn interestingly enough believes that Carrie’s emotions are clouding her judgment, but Saul grounds his support for his protégée and Quinn backs off. Brody goes back to Roya, claiming he’s under a lot of pressure and he’s still in. Carrie is terrified when Roya’s contact is there and insists on capturing the conspirators but Quinn insists on having the surveillance team’s operation continue. A helicopter descends from the darkened sky and Brody is whisked away. He’s flying at last, just now how or where he would want to.
Title: I’ll Fly Away
Story by: Howard Gordon & Chip Johannessen
Teleplay by: Chip Johannessen
Directed By: Michael Cuesta
Image Courtesy: Life Is Caps @ LiveJournal