The tables are turned as Brody faces betrayal from all corners in this week's 'Homeland'.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
I can say with confidence that not since Lost has a series kept viewers on the edge of their seats quite like Homeland (and not a polar bear or smoke monster in sight!). The show is essential viewing, and even those who have expressed reservations at the direction the second season has taken can't help but spurn the remote the moment Carrie and Brody appear on screen.
At this point in the season, a layer cake of secrets and hidden agendas has developed in Brody's relations with the CIA. After being whisked away by Abu Nazir in last week's episode, the CIA (and Carrie in particular) speculate that Brody may be dead. As usually Danes plays her scenes brilliantly - I can never quite tell if her concern for Brody is genuine, or if her allegiance to her country takes priority. After all, this is very much a show about the effects that performance and role-playing can have on our professional and personal relationships. Everything from Carrie's relationship with Brody to Dana's in the wake of the accident is a thinly veiled, frequently threatened epidermis of artifice.
The perfect example of this in Homeland at the moment is Peter Quinn, played brilliantly by Rupert Friend. Since his introduction at the start of the season, I've frequently revised my opinion of his character without really considering him a major player in the arc of the series. In fact, I've written very little about him in my posts for this season, as he seems to have slipped under my radar for the past few weeks.
|Quinn (Rupert Friend, above) has dark plans for Brody in Homeland|
Initially introduced as water to Carrie's oil, he seemed to hover on the fringe of 'love interest' status (there was a nice moment while he and Saul listened in on Carrie and Brody's outrageously loud lovemaking, when it even looked as though he was feeling a twinge of jealousy) only to show me a completely different side in this week's episode.
Our suspicions are initially raised when Max follows Quinn and sees him engaging in conversation with a mysterious man on an unexplained bus journey.
Saul, essentially the moral compass of the show, questions what Quinn is really doing on the team. As it turns out, he is absolutely right to do so.
Towards the end of the episode, Quinn arrives to collect Brody from his house. Brody narrowly avoids death; it seems as though Quinn has been sent to kill him, but in the wake of news that Abu Nazir has not been caught and Brody is still needed, holds back. Despite some of the terrible things Brody has done (or almost done), I was incredibly relieved that he wasn't killed. It occurred to me how deeply I have become attached to his internal struggle, and like Carrie I find myself caring for the character despite his obvious flaws.
The rest of the episode focuses predominantly on Jessica and Mike, and the inevitable developments in their relationship that reach their culmination this week. Homeland is as much about protecting one's family as it is one's country, and Brody's family has been under attack since his return. The awkward, subtle dance that Jessica and Mike have engaged in since the first episode is common knowledge to most of the characters, but Mike's heartfelt speech to Dana about the effects of war on a soldier's psyche solidifies Jess's connection with him. In that moment he becomes the husband she wishes had returned to her, the father that Dana needs.You only have to see the look on her face to know that they will end up in bed together. Although Brody has yet to realise it, his home life and his working one are set to implode, imminently and synchronously.
The final major development comes through Brody's meeting with Nazir. Although the details of their encounter during the interim of this episode and the last one are not fully revealed, we can surmise that something of great importance was discussed. Nazir concludes by saying goodbye to Brody, identifying that they are now on track to complete their life-defining work.
Perhaps that's all there is left of this season's arc; a series of painful, gruesome goodbyes from characters whose veneers are crumbling to dust.
What did you think of Jessica and Mike's actions in this week's episode? What does Quinn have planned for Brody? Will Carrie succeed in preventing the scheduled attack on America?
Leave your thoughts below!