If Damian Lewis and Claire Danes needed any proof that their Emmy Awards are safe next year, last night’s episode, modestly titled “Q&A,” was probably it. The episode was essentially a brilliantly drawn-out scene in a CIA safe house during which Carrie and Peter did their best to break Brody (both literally and metaphorically), interspersed with moments of Jessica wandering around town toting chicken soup in Tupperware and wondering where her husband is.
Oh, and also a certain Finn/Dana joyride with a very unhappy ending. Fans of DaFinn, who apparently were legion after last week’s romantic evening à deux at the top of the Washington Monument, might be slightly less enamored of the young VP’s son after he callously drove away when he hit a pedestrian at high speed. That’s what happens when you ditch your Secret Service unit, Finn. You also lose the two people who would ultimately be the most useful when serious shizz goes down. Will the nascent romance between these two troubled teenagers survive? Given Homeland‘s treatment of people in love, it’s fair to say probably not.
The episode opened with Brody in captivity once again, his ankles shackled to the floor in a dark and presumably freezing cell in a CIA safe house. David Estes arrives, furious at Carrie for going rogue yet again, and the team estimate they have about 24 hours before Abu Nazir and his cronies figure out that Brody’s missing. Peter and Estes want to send Carrie home, but Saul’s adamant that she can help. “She’s forgotten more about Nazir and Brody than we’ll ever know.” Psych!
Peter starts the lengthy process of getting Brody to crack, and given that this is a man who spent eight years in captivity, we sense it won’t be easy. First, he asks Brody a series of simple questions about Carrie, Issa, Tom Walker, and Elizabeth Gaines, seemingly enjoying all the lies Brody effortlessly spins back. Then he puts a super-sturdy CIA laptop on the desk and tells Brody, “I’ve got something I’d like you to watch.” Brody sits and observes his own suicide tape, unblinking, face totally blank.
Jess is trying to cheer up Dana and Chris about the fact that their dad’s moved out with the prospect of pizza night, but the only thing that makes Dana smile (actually smile, people, for the first time in the history of Homeland) is when she tells Finn she’s broken up with Xander and the baby Walden (still in his Paul Ryan-baggy school uniform) asks her out for movie night. Apparently Once Upon a Time in America is playing in Dupont Circle, which is ridiculous because there’s no cinema in Dupont Circle and it would totally be playing at either AFI or E Street. But Dana doesn’t seem to care; she grins like crazy, and it’s actually very sweet. Also I love how Walden and his wife’s version of makeup sex is drinking martinis and listening to My Fair Lady.
Estes tells Brody’s chief of staff, some poor Hill schmuck named Greg, that Brody’s helping the CIA out on matters of national security, and he should calm down Jessica as much as possible. Brody, meanwhile, is shivering and sleep-deprived in his cell, staring at his own black-and-white face. Peter goes in for more, accusing Brody of coming home from captivity intent on killing Walden. But even in the face of epic proof of his guilt Brody is a smooth liar, saying he never wore a bomb vest, he never intended to kill anyone, and they have no real dirt at all on him—which is pretty ballsy for a congressman whose jihadist video is in the hands of the CIA. PQ is slightly irked by this and yells a lot before stabbing Brody in the hand with a knife. It’s pretty gross, and Brody screams, and a team of CIA medics rush in, sedate him, and drag Peter away. “It’s my turn,” says Carrie, deadpan.
Is Peter crazy? A mad, Dexter-like hand stabber who’s somehow also achieved a high rank in the CIA? No—he was merely playing Very Very Bad Cop so Carrie could rush in and be the nice guy. Which she does, telling Brody that she really loved him and giving him water to drink. She also shuts down all the cameras but leaves the mikes on, so Saul and Peter can listen to her tell Brody that the lies he tells will eventually undo him. Aren’t you tired of it all? she seems to say. All the lies, and the scheming and the mistreatment of his family must weigh on him heavily. And Brody, exhausted, sedated, and silently crying, seems to agree. “He systematically pulled you apart, Brody, piece by piece, until there was nothing left but pain,” says Carrie, also telling him that Abu Nazir is as much of a monster as Walden, targeting women and children instead of soldiers.
And just like that, Brody breaks, telling Carrie that he doesn’t know what Abu Nazir is planning, but he does have a plan, and Roya is at the middle of it. He even admits that there was a vest, and a tailor in Gettysburg gave it to him. And now he’s a double agent, since the CIA can either put him in jail and make him face the death sentence, or he can work with them and they can magically make all the charges (and his congressional career, natch) disappear. “You quit politics, move to the town of your choice,” says Carrie. Given that she just told him she wanted him to leave his wife and family and be with her, it’s a pretty generous offer.
Saul brings Brody a phone and tells him to call Jessica, which he does, reassuring her that he’s okay and coming home. Then he falls to the floor and sleeps, curled up in the fetal position. Finn picks up Dana for their date, and she seems gloomy, not remotely cheered up by the Beemer he’s driving or the Neon Trees playing on the stereo. “Let’s have some fun,” she says, which is Finn’s cue to ditch the agents trailing them, drive through the alleyways of Charlotte—sorry, “Washington”—at high speed, and then freak out when he hits a woman and sends her flying through the air. Dana wants to stop and help but Finn is terrified of the repercussions and persuades her to let him drive away when they see someone else arrive on the scene. The women he hit is whimpering but still alive.
Carrie drives Brody home, and the redheaded one seems to have not really lost a whole lot of weight off his sturdy shoulders. “Abu Nazir will find out I’m working with you,” he tells her. “When he does he’ll go after my whole family, That’s how he operates.” Carrie tells him she can help protect him, but he doesn’t look reassured. Nevertheless, he’s now in league with the CIA, and, irony of ironies, his cover is a fake affair with Carrie. Virgil, who’s been silently following them, parks outside Brody’s house, presumably for the long haul.
What did you think of last night’s episode of Homeland? Let us know in the comments.