A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
This is a solid episode that is a blatant demonstration of writing a story that goes parallel, switching back and forth between two emotionally distraught characters. It’s a really good character study of two individuals who feel absolutely isolated and abandoned. The original outline of the script was from the great, late Henry Bromell, who won a posthumous Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for Season 2’s watershed hour Q & A. The script was finished by his son William, who does a decent job with the episode. The entirety of the hour switches back and forth between Brody (in his first season three appearance) and Carrie. It largely works, but there’s something ostensibly missing. The first two hours were a solid, quiet study and I don’t tune in to Homeland for explosions and car chases. But there is something to be said for that charm and spark of the show being somewhat missing in the third season’s early outing. Perhaps we’ve gotten so used to the propulsive pace of the series it feels odd for it to slow down so much. There’s something in its quiet nature that is indicative of quality, but at the same time there’s a bit of hollowness. Homeland is slightly losing its sight on the story, but as long as it doesn’t lose its sight on its characters, we’ll still be in good hands.
Brody, blood with gun wounds, is slowly being taken into a unfinished Caracas skyscraper known as the Tower of David. It’s a beautifully filmed sequence as Brody makes his way through the gritty Venezuelan slums. He’s being cared for by a man by the name of El Niño and his daughter Esme. Aiding them is a pedophile by the name of Dr. Graham, who dulls Brody’s pain by consistently plugging him with heroin (that really isn’t going to end well) while I’m looking at the screen and wondering why he isn’t using any other sedative that is, well, less addictive. He does manage to keep the heroin at bay impressively, wondering why El Niño (don’t ever call yourself that, just FYI) is taking care of him. “You know Carrie Mathison. So do I.” What a network, Carrie. Impressive.
Carrie herself is perhaps calmer than we’ve seen her since she was tending to her vegetable garden at the beginning of Season 2. She asks her psychiatrist to inform Saul that’s she’s in a much better state. But in a sudden moment of panic she bashes her into the mirror. Her nurse takes pity on her and agrees not to report it. While Carrie’s shedding blood at the mirror, Brody’s situation takes a far more tragic turn. Brody, desperately and understandably wanting to stabilize far away from the Tower of David. El Niño naturally refuses but with Esme’s help, he manages to find refuge at a mosque. And here is where this episode truly shines. Homeland has always gone out of its way to stress that not all Muslims are terrorists, which shouldn’t be a debate in the first place but unfortunately is. The imam gives Brody refuge but immediately calls the police. “We’re all not like you,” the imam thunders. Suddenly El Niño’s men thunder into the mosque, killing all of the police officers, the imam, and his wife. He’s thrown into a cell in the Tower of David, where he injects himself with heroin . In her own ward, Carrie is offered a chance to be released but she rightfully assumes it’s for information against the CIA and she refuses. The closing shots off the episode pit Carrie and Brody in similar fetal positions, encased within walls they have little power to overcome.
Title: Tower of David
Written By: Henry Bromell & William Bromell
Directed By: Clark Johnson
Image Courtesy: The Huffington Post