Finally, the Brody family takes a vacation to one of my favorite childhood spots: Gettysburg. How could a day of history and happiness and hamburgers turn sinister? On Homeland, even a small town diner can be across the square from a master bomb maker.
This episode was devoid of Sapphic subtext, but if you ever had a shadow of a doubt that Claire Danes deserves an Emmy, this week settled the issue. Give her all the awards. While we’re waiting for the nominations, let’s enjoy the beatific smile of Morena Baccarin. Happy Jess makes us happy.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS!
Carrie’s hospital treatment after nearly being blown to bits last week did not include her meds for bipolar disorder and by the time Saul arrives to take her home, her mania is full-blown. She’s bouncing off the walls because the staff can’t find a green pen for her to use for her release papers (green means movement). Watching her makes us almost as manic as she is. This obviously is the first time Saul’s seen Carrie like this and as he interacts with her, she begins to realize what’s happening.
(The one false note in this scene is that Carrie’s sister Maggie isn’t there. Wouldn’t the family have been notified of the accident? I realize that we needed the mania for the story, but Maggie would have been there and made sure she got her meds. Right?)
If you know someone bipolar, you understand how true-to-life Carrie’s behavior is. Mania feels good — and Carrie believes that she can solve the whole Walker case if she can just get to work. Instead of sleeping, she color-codes every bit of intelligence she can find. Saul somehow finds the logic in Carrie’s disarray and constructs a timeline of Abu Nazir’s activities.
The way we feel Carrie’s mania, Saul’s confusion and guilt, and Maggie’s love and despair for her sister is a tribute to the character development in Homeland. We are right there with every up and down, with the added tension of knowing what Carrie and Saul don’t. Watching Homeland is excruciating — in the best possible way.
THE LYING GAME
The Brody road trip to Gettysburg, billed as a last chance to spend time together before the congressional campaign takes Dad away from home again, is a cover for Brody to pick up an explosive vest from a Pennsylvania tailor. Dana knows something is wrong with her dad, especially after he tells her to take care of Mom when he’s gone, and sees Brody stashing the wrapped vest in the car. He tells her it’s a surprise for Jess, but Dana isn’t buying it. She almost gets into the package, but Brody catches her and actually gets a little rough with her. Dana’s kind of a brat, but she’s not stupid.
Back at the agency, the goal is to find the mole. We get several precisely timed cuts to Galvez that point to him as the leak, but that would be a letdown, IMO, since he is sort of a minor character. But I have to say that Saul’s behavior this week makes me trust him more — I don’t know why he’d bother with Carrie’s timeline if he’s a traitor.
After our lesson in mania this week, I’m guessing the finale will give us a look at the depression side of bipolar disorder. Carrie, convinced that Brody can give her the reason for Nazir’s withdrawal from public for a while, calls him. He agrees to meet her, but instead calls David and reports Carrie’s surveillance and harassment, as well as admitting to their relationship. Finally, David has a reason to fire Carrie — and does. What follows is heart wrenching, especially knowing what we know.
That leaves us with a sniper on the loose, an informant inside the agency and Brody packing a suicide vest. And Carrie, the only agent smart enough to figure out what’s up, is out of commission and can’t do a thing. (Where is Saul?) Looks like the finale is going to be a wild ride.
What did you think of this episode of Homeland? Do you think Brody will go through with his suicide mission? How will Carrie save the day? Who’s the mole?