Gay Girl’s Goggles “Homeland” SnapCap (1.07)

When you read a recap, you pretty much know you’re going to get details of the plot, right? Yet, I’m really struggling with this week’s Homeland SnapCap because the episode was so damn good. I don’t want to deny anyone the satisfaction of actually watching its revelations because I can’t convey the pure delight of seeing this story unfold. Watch. This. Show.


AFTERELLEN BAIT

If Carrie ever decides to turn — to women — she already has one of the most desirable traits a lesbian could want: She is an awesome pool player. Even when drunk.


Hey, it’s something.

FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS!

So! Many! Feelings! We haven’t talked much about Aileen (Marin Ireland), the female half of the couple that bought the house by the airport. But one of the storylines this week involves Saul driving her from Mexico to Langley where she faces arrest for being part of a terrorist plot. (Her boyfriend Faisel was killed last episode.) She has been so stoic, so focused on the mission, that we have not seen emotion from her. So, when she finally breaks down from grief, we break down, too.


But the Most Important Feelings bubble up during the interplay between Carrie and Brody, who retreat to a cabin for the weekend. The two have definite chemistry and understand one another in a way other people don’t. But Carrie slips and tells Brody that the cabin doesn’t stock his favorite Yorkshire Gold tea. How does she know his tea? Oops.


Suddenly, the ace CIA agent and consummate liar can’t even conjure a believable explanation. Brody goes into alert mode, finds Carrie’s gun and confronts her. In the few minutes that follow, we learn the truth about everything — maybe. Carrie admits to the surveillance. Brody admits to beating Tom Walker to death, converting to Islam and lying about knowing Abu Nazir. Why did he lie? Because he was embarrassed that he took comfort from Nazir — he loved him. The tension of this scene is impossible to recap. Suffice to say that we feel every single second of it. And by the time Brody finishes, we think he’s telling the truth. Carrie’s starting to believe him, too.


BTW, this week’s performance by Damian Lewis puts him in Emmy contention. He and Claire Danes are doing the kind of work we rarely see on TV, even on premium cable.

THE LYING GAME

Excuse this bit of blogger bluster, but I was totally right about Tom Walker. Aileen identifies Walker as their contact. He spent over an hour on their roof — which turns out to be within sniper’s range of the Marine One (Presidential helicopter) landing pad. By the time Saul reaches Carrie with the news, Brody is leaving in disgust and doesn’t want to hear her apologies.

Questions remain, of course. Was Brody honest with Carrie? If Walker is the POW who turned, how has he stayed under the intelligence radar? He still has to have a contact on the inside — who is it? Who killed Faisel? Who slipped Hamid the razor? Did Saul have a personal agenda behind his determination to drive Aileen to Langley? Was Brody’s release a ploy by Nazir to divert attention? Or is Brody in cahoots with Walker? How is Carrie going to get home from the woods — and where is her medication? Could Jess and Mike’s relationship be any less interesting?


WATCHABILITY

@Josh_Friedman tweeted Monday: “Thank you Homeland for being one of the only dramas on TV that feels written and not engineered.” Exactly. I’m always a little hesitant to recommend serial dramas because I’m afraid they won’t live up to my praise (I’m looking at you, The Killing). But Homeland outdoes itself week after week.

Dare I say that this episode was the best so far? I think I just did. The Yorkshire Tea slip-up was a little contrived, but I’m willing to forgive it. So much was right about this week’s show, from the way Saul gets Aileen to talk to the way the intense chemistry between Brody and Carrie turns from sweetness to anger on a dime. The story has so many layers … you just need to watch it.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Homeland? Any theories about what’s next? Or thoughts on Claire Danes’ arms? Did anyone else think of My So-Called Life when Brody asked Carrie to the prom?

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