There are two universally acknowledged truths we can glean from tonight’s episode of Homeland. First, no good can come of Carrie Mathison listening to jazz (damn you, WETA). Second, no one should ever give Abu Nazir their Skype handle.
It does make you wonder, though—what are Abu Nazir’s social networking screennames? @WaldenSux? @Issa4Eva? Also, why does the Skype app never work that well on anyone else’s phone? But we digress. Here is the state of Homeland as we know it: Carrie is bananas-crazy-bonkers in a way that defies classification by the American Psychiatric Association, Galvez is invincible, Abu Nazir wants to go all Dalek and exterminate infidels, and Brody is kind of a badass.
Yes, this was an epic 47 minutes of television, and yes, it felt kind of like it was four hours long (but in a good way). From the minute Saul walked into Walt’s Waffles, things didn’t look good for anyone. Dar Adal, a man who has to move every two weeks because he has so many enemies all over the world, thinks Saul is “too sensitive,” and it’s a miracle he’s lasted this long as a spook what with all his namby-pamby ideas about not killing people sometimes. And Dar Adal misses the good old days of the Cold War, because back then the Soviets didn’t shoot us and we didn’t shoot them; not like this bunch, who’ll blow you up soon as look at you (and your beach houses and your organic foods, and your 401(k)s too, according to Abu Nazir).
In other words, Dar Adal is a Judi Dench fan. Meanwhile, Jessica and Mike are exchanging hot and heavy eye contact in the penthouse, and she’s telling him how not guilty she feels about all the sex they had. They start smooching, and it’s pretty awkward when they’re interrupted by Brody, who seems to figure out immediately EXACTLY what’s going on. Luckily, Jessica counters his accusatory eyebrow action by bringing up Carrie, who miraculously calls at exactly that moment.
Carrie and Brody seem to still be in lurve, and they talk about how nice it is to hear each other’s voices, and then she tells him he has to resign from Congress and tell the Vice President that he can’t be his running mate anymore. Brody is miraculously cool with all this, and he smiles, and there’s no one else in the room with him so the smile might actually be (shocker) genuine. Carrie hangs up, turns the radio to a jazz station, looks thrilled, and then SMASH. The camera goes black for a good few seconds, which can’t be good. Like I’ve said so many times before, jazz brings nothing but heartache to this show.
Estes is yukking it up at Langley and congratulating himself on how brilliantly he did personally thwarting a terrorist attack on the United States (in between playing with his kids and not ever admitting to having dinner with Roya at Cafe Milano). He says he’s going to drink martinis, and everyone laughs in that horrible obsequious way people do when they know their boss is a douchebag but they also really want a raise. Saul asks Estes why the hell Peter Quinn, a black ops agent, is on his case (literally, not metaphorically), and Estes screams that this “case” is not Saul’s in any way. Saul suggests that Estes might want to eliminate Brody because Brody knows about the illegal drone operation that killed Issa that Walden and Estes both continue to insist didn’t happen, and Estes tells him to go dig a hole, but in a much ruder way. The pleasantries are only interrupted when Peter runs up to tell them Carrie’s smashed-up car has been found with no sign of the blonde bipolar badass anywhere.
Brody’s playing cards with Chris, and the writers seem to have remembered that Chris is actually a family member because he gets lines and an emotional arc and everything. Also, Finn Walden wants to come and visit Dana, which Jess isn’t cool with, but Brody thinks they should ask Dana what she wants. Then Brody gets a call, and it’s Abu Nazir on Skype showing Brody that he has a gun to Carrie’s head. Let’s put aside the preposterous notion that Abu Nazir Skypes people instead of using Facetime, and focus on the more preposterous notion that the world’s most wanted terrorist was able to locate Carrie’s car, crash into it without harming himself or others, drag her to an empty warehouse in Chantilly, and then call a congressman and have him actually pick up. Um. Okay.
Brody freaks out and we finally get proof that he really does love Carrie, instead of just being relieved to be able to actually have a conversation with someone who’s as PTSD-afflicted as he is. Nazir wants Brody to break into Walden’s office, locate the box containing information about his pacemaker (which Nazir knows is there because he read it in the New York Times), and then text the serial number to him, which will allow Nazir to kill Walden remotely. To which we say, is this actually possible? And if it is, why the HELL DIDN’T YOU FOCUS ON THIS PLAN IN THE FIRST PLACE INSTEAD OF ALL THAT CRAP IN GETTYSBURG?
Brody is left shouting “Nazir!” over and over again in a way that isn’t remotely suspicious. Carrie, gagged and cuffed to a pole, cries. Brody yells at Chris and crushes any chance that kid might have of possessing a healthy psyche, ever. And then Brody’s ability to lie kicks in and he calls “Carrington” and tells him he’s popping over to the Naval Observatory for a spot of tea, Israeli ambassador be damned.
Saul and Virgil, the dream team, are investigating Carrie’s wrecked car. They find her phone and deduce that the last person she called was Brody, so they call him, and instead of telling them what’s going on, which would be the sensible option, he plays dumb. Then there’s a subplot where Finn comes to visit Dana on the roof, which is again surrounded by the kind of super-tall skyscrapers that exist nowhere in DC or its surrounding suburbs. “Every morning I wake up and for a few seconds, I’m free,” he tells her. “I can just look at the sky or listen to the birds.” (This is absolutely the kind of thing that teenagers say, by the way. If your teenager only alternately grunts or asks for money, you need to pay more attention to the Walden school of hardass parenting.) Finn is wracked with guilt, and he thinks things will be better if Dana gets back together with him, but she tells him whatever feelings she had died along with that poor woman they killed. Then they both stare at the sky.
Galvez! He’s alive! All this time we were thinking he was at death’s door, but apparently CIA agents possess magical healing powers, or they do when we’re supposed to be suspicious of them. He wants to “help,” because somehow at Walter Reed he found out what happened to Carrie, and instead of sending him back to the military hospital so he can recover from being supposedly murdered, they absolutely agree to let him assist. They’ve found Nazir on the security cameras, so they know he must be nearby. And he is, trying to give Carrie water, and delivering a fantastic speech about how his people will eventually exterminate Carrie’s.
This is some fantastic acting from Navid Negahban. “You love him, too,” he tells Carrie. “Perhaps we have that in common.” Of course she has to ruin it by calling him a terrorist, and then the two indugle in a pissing contest about whose atrocities against innocent children in the name of war are worse. “Generations after generations must suffer and die,” Nazir says. But unlike the weak Americans, who are only interested in their pension plans and their organic foods (which is really more about sustainable living than gruesome capitalism, but never mind), Nazir’s side will win, even if it takes centuries, because they carry God in their souls. “We will exterminate you,” he says, and it’s terrifying.
Brody gets driven into the Naval Observatory, and he just has time to pull on a tie. He tells all the security that he needs to go to the restroom and then runs upstairs, and either he’s been here before or Walden’s study is miraculously the first door he tries. Brody rifles around the books and whatnot until he finds t
he magic pacemaker box (note to important people—don’t even keep the information that can kill you in your study at home), but his poor eyes can’t quite make out the code. Luckily, Walden has a magnifying glass handy.
Brody calls Nazir, and the two have a Mexican standoff. Nazir won’t let Carrie go until Brody gives him the serial number, and Brody won’t do that until Nazir lets Carrie go. Given that Brody is a congressman in the House of Representatives, we know this “negotiating” could go on for years (fiscal cliff, blah blah blah). But Brody plays his trump card, swearing on Issa’s “immortal soul” that he will text Nazir the number. Nazir lets Carrie go and she runs away, and Brody does what he promised. And it’s all working out quite well for him because he hates Walden anyway.
Speaking of the devil wearing Armani, he busts into his office at exactly that time, and doesn’t seem at all angry that Brody’s in there, assuming he’s figuratively measuring curtains for when he’s VP. About that, says Brody. He tells Walden that he can’t be on his team any more, because of his “family.” Meanwhile, a shady guy somewhere in an office that looks very like the CIA HQ taps numbers into a computer. Walden has a chest pain, and Brody decides that it’s time to tell him how he really feels. “Actually, it’s not for my family. It’s for me. Because I want to feel clean again. And I pretty much disagree with everything you do.”
Walden looks aghast, but then realizes he’s having a heart attack. “Call a doctor!” he begs Brody, but Brody not only pushes the phone away but stands over him, staring into his eyes. “I’m killing you,” he says, in case Walden didn’t get it. And Walden goes gray and dies (we’re assuming). After a good long while (and a few scenes), Brody finally shouts for a doctor.
Carrie’s trying to flag down a car, and it isn’t really working. But eventually she manages to stop a truck and steal a cell phone, and calls Saul to tell him she’s in Chantilly (awesome), and Nazir is there. Galvez figures out she must be in Dalton’s Mill (convenient, we ask?). Peter and Estes exchange looks, Estes picks up the phone, and Saul is apprehended a few minutes later by two CIA goons as he’s trying to go get Nazir. “Call Deputy Director Estes. He’ll straighten this out,” Saul tells the goons. “He’s fully aware,” they reply. Carrie, meanwhile, decides that the best course of action is for her to go back into the empty warehouse in darkness clutching an iron bar, because Abu Nazir and his guns will be powerless against it. She opens a door, and there’s darkness again.
1) I have to ask this contractually, but is Galvez the mole? Or is that just what we’re supposed to think?
2) Why is Saul being taken into custody, apparently?
3) Is Carrie actually insane? Dumb question, since we know she is, but seriously?
5) It’s that easy to kill someone with a pacemaker?
What did you think of tonight’s episode of Homeland? Let us know in the comments.