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WashingTelevision: Homeland Recap, Season Three, Episode Nine, “One Last Time”

Our lovers finally saw each other again, only it wasn’t exactly “Romeo and Juliet.”

One week we'll have an episode of this show where Claire Danes isn't wearing a hospital gown. Photo by Kent Smith for Showtime.

Not once, not twice, but three times this week I wrote in my notes (in all-caps, for extra emphasis), “SHUT UP CARRIE. YOU SUCK.” As criticism goes, it isn’t exactly Pauline Kael, but I like to think it gets the point across: Carrie is just godawful this season. Here’s a woman who’s essentially unemployable, and whose mental illness and refusal to take her meds is combined with an unbelievably aggravating grandiosity in everything she says and does. For some miraculous reason nobody will ever understand, Saul appears to be keeping her in the CIA’s employ, although her wages are presumably coming from the same shady place El Niño’s gazillion dollar reward did. And as gratitude, she thwarts him at every turn, attempts to destroy missions that have been months in the making, and then tells the one person rooting for her that everything’s all thanks to her anyway, and that he should just shut up and have a little faith. “I really am at a f*cking loss with you, Carrie,” said Saul, and really, who doesn’t know just how he feels?

Does anyone understand what’s going on anymore? Why was Brody in the Tower of David? Last week I assumed Saul had stashed him there until such time as he could bring him back, but according to this interview that’s not true. So El Niño was keeping Brody in order to collect the reward, even though he told Brody it was because they both knew Carrie Mathison? Where would El Niño get Carrie’s name from if that wasn’t true? Have the Homeland EPs just given up all together on explaining things? Who was paying for Brody’s heroin? Ugh.

Anyway, since this season has been “carefully plotted out since the beginning,” I’m sure everything will be resolved satisfactorily. Actually, I’m not sure at all, given this week’s subplot in which Brody kicked heroin with the help of Ibogaine, Seal Team 6, and the theme music from Rocky. I know we should be talking about how Carrie and Brody were reunited for the first time this season, but lord above is their stupid love story stupid and boring, so let’s not. Carrie isn’t dead, and her baby (make a face here) is doing just fine, thanks to Peter Quinn’s sharpshooting skills. Brody isn’t doing quite so well—he’s anemic, probably has Hepatitis C, might have HIV, and went through a pretty Trainspotting-like period of withdrawal complete with shaking, retching, puking, even worse than puking, crying, and begging for his “stuff.”

Lockhart went to visit Carrie in the hospital and finally pointed out that the CIA isn’t authorized to conduct operations on US soil, which made him the first person in the history of the show to realize this uncomfortable fact. Lockhart mentioned Caracas and pointed out that Carrie didn’t know the man who shot her/Quinn was recently there, and Carrie basically ignored him, because she has the social graces of the evil spirit from Mama. Speaking of people being in Caracas, I still haven’t figured out why Brody was there (see above), but then I still don’t know who the mole is from season one, so I don’t imagine anyone’s going to clear this up anytime soon.

Virgil and Max went to check Saul’s house for bugs, because someone deduced somehow that some information was being diverted in ways it shouldn’t have been, and they found Alain’s mouse and a remote transmitter inside it. They traced the signal to Alain’s house, and then took pictures of Alain ducking in and out, and then traced the lease to a shipping consortium in Tel Aviv, which means he’s a Mossad agent. Well, he kind of is—they also followed him all the way to breakfast with Lockhart at Pete’s Diner, which is the actual real-life Capitol Hill place where all the best neocons eat their incredibly awful eggs in the morning.

Saul confronted Lockhart, who said Alain was writing a profile on him for Le Monde (lol). Saul said, I don’t know if you know this Senator, but as the acting head of the CIA I have resources at my disposal that occasionally allow me to find things out, and I know that that’s a bunch of horsecrap (I’m paraphrasing). And then Saul had all the power, given that Lockhart had somehow co-opted an Israeli intelligence agent into spying on his predecessor (and shagging his wife), and that’s it’s possible the President wouldn’t take too kindly to it. But instead of asking Lockhart to step aside so he could keep his job, Saul simply asked for more time, because he didn’t want to humiliate Mera or damage the agency. Sigh.

What was he going to use this time for, you ask? Well, he found the handsomest team of bearded operatives in CIA history, as if People’s Sexiest Men and the stars of Duck Dynasty got together and made a super race, and he got them to throw Brody in a lake to see if he’d try to swim (he didn’t). Brody took the Ibogaine and saw the ghost of Tom Walker singing the Marine song (Brody killed Tom Walker in cold blood, you may remember, on the orders of Abu Nazir, and now he’s atoning for it). All the Seal Team people went shopping, or something, leaving Brody alone with the most important and powerful man in the CIA, who was then pretty much helpless when Brody went postal and started stabbing himself in the arm with a chair leg. And then Saul told Brody that he had one more mission for him, and that Brody must do it to make up for all the people he killed (including the Vice President who no one seems to know about, still, because they’re stupid).

Saul went to get Carrie to help, and told her he knew she was responsible for getting Brody out of the country and she too had better start atoning. “What did you do to him?” said Carrie, aghast, when she saw how pale and junkieish he was. “The assumptions behind that question are so misguided,” said Saul, in classic Saul-speak. Anyway, Saul told Carrie he wants to send Brody to Iran as an asset to kill the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which is a plan someone would only have in Homeland, because it’s insane. He then said a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap about peace and love and she fell for it and agreed to help. And then she drove Brody to a motel in Virginia where Dana’s now working as a chambermaid, and he screamed and screamed and called her something that rhymes with “ducking witch.” Whoa, Nelly. That’s no way to talk to the woman carrying your child.

Carrie and Brody went back to his room and she talked him into doing the mission for Saul, mentioning the long-forgotten Elizabeth Gaines and the suicide vest (but not her tiny, tequila-addled fetus). Brody went jogging with the Seal Team and fell over, and then the camera cut to 16 days later and Brody was suddenly in totally awesome shape again and ready for action. Brody found Carrie outside, pretending to smoke (still probs not that good for the baby), and persuaded her to take him to see Dana, which she did. And it was heartbreaking. “Did you ever for one second think about if I wanted to see you?” said Dana. “What do you want me to say? Write it down and I’ll say it right now, as long as I never have to see you again.” Pretty sad. And then Brody told Carrie that he WILL come back from Tehran, and not just for Dana, and if this means those guys are going to start getting romantical again then I am going to dig out my eyes with dessert spoons so I don’t have to watch it.

• Not enough Peter Quinn in this episode, given that he is the only likable character left.
• But bonus Max and Virgil, which was nice.
• “What happened to your arm?” “Hang-gliding accident.” +5 for Carrie (and she needs them).
• I don’t really have much else to say. Apart from that it’s going to be awesome next year when The Americans comes back.

What did you think of last night’s Homeland? Let us know in the comments.