Homeland recap: The arrest, the mole, the end of the series as we know it

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October 23, 2012 by Susan Miller

The best doomed couple in the history of television.

Well there you go.  Season 2, episode 4: end of the show as we know it.  It’s so brave (crazy) to tell the story in such an accelerated (crazy) way.  Bravo to the (crazy) writers for being so innovative and mercenary (crazy) with these characters and plots that they so lovingly created.  But now they have to top it.  And keep topping it.  And then do it all again next season, because – oh goody! – the show just got renewed for season 3. It makes you wonder if the writers are genuinely happy about that bit of news.

I don’t mean to sound unfaithful or disloyal or in any way begrudging of the (crazy) writers.  I love the show and I love that it’s blowing up traditional plotting and is willing to take huge risks in every episode.  I just wonder how drastic the decline will be when they run out of gunpowder.

Also, I’m a little bit sad that we might miss out on more Brody and Carrie interactions.  Their doomed relationship is the heart of this show, and keeping them apart leads to weird dark comic scenes in the woods and Carrie picking vegetables and presidential fundraisers.  Those things are all good in small doses, but tonight’s episode reminded me just how good Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are together.  Their chemistry is the only thing keeping Brody on this show, as evidenced by the sheer ridiculata he’s been put through this season without her.  Now that the writers have acknowledged plausibility again, where do they go from here?

Will they try to turn Brody back to their side?

Susan: I can’t really imagine what else they would do with him.  Carrie going rogue like that certainly creates problems, because they need to turn him before anyone realizes he’s missing.  Also, will Estes still keep Walden in the dark?  Is there any advantage to that?  What will happen with new teenage lovebirds, Finn and Dana?  How are they possibly going to justify allowing Carrie to be involved in this project any more?  She’s the loosest of cannons, and now that Brody’s in custody, I can’t really see a use for her any more. How did you manage that, Homeland writers?  You destroyed your two lead characters’ entire agendas by episode 4.  (Crazy!)

Steven: I also think they have to. For one, as the little missus pointed out, there are people expecting him to return from the grocery store or wherever Jessica told the kids he went. Then there’s the VP and Roya and God knows who else scheduling meetings for the Congressman. I see this interrogation deal lasting only a few episodes and successfully turning back (re-turning?) Brody. He has been on the fence about whether or not to keep helping Abu Nazir, so maybe all he needs is a little nudge… and some light torture. I mean, it worked for the terrorists, so why shouldn’t it work for the Americans? Although I do have my concerns about where they could possibly go from here. Will they black-mail Brody into becoming an asset for them? Will they allow him to become the new VP and then control him to be extra anti-Abu Nazir? He seems like too much of a risk to be released, but to send him to Guantanamo Bay would sort of end his effectiveness as a character. I don’t see how Estes and Saul can go without telling Walden or other people in the CIA for that matter.

What’s the deal the new guy (Peter Quinn)?

Susan: Is he the mole?  I hope he’s the mole.  He seems like the mole.  So he’s probably not the mole.  He seems too obviously set up as a love interest for Carrie, so I sort of wonder if Estes picked him to distract Carrie from the mission.  Is Estes the mole?  I’m still in shock that Carrie blew up the entire project in less than one episode. What’s Virgil supposed to do now?

Steven: I would love it if Estes were the mole. What a twist! That would solve the Brody problem. Estes could talk Saul into keeping the information quiet while keeping Brody in the story. My trouble with the new dude being the mole is he doesn’t seem interesting enough to be a mole. Maybe an Apple-mole working for Microsoft… but al-Qaeda? I think he simply has a little spy-crush on Carrie, and he’s awkward.

Virgil’s back. All is right in the world.

Stray Thoughts

Estes’ and Saul’s secret Brody spy mission is like The Wire spin-off we never knew we wanted.  Did you see it?  Go back and watch it and then try to unsee it.  Carrie is McNulty, Peter Quinn is Daniels, Saul is Lester, Virgil is Kima, Max is later season Carver.  They were even setting up in an unfinished warehouse building!  Reuniting all the players from last season felt like a superhero homage for TV snobs.  So cheeky and fun.  I loved that they were pinning pictures to boards and sending Virgil and his brother to hotel lobbies and listening to phone calls and putting cameras in the Capitol.  I love that we got those weird little half scenes with Brody at the car wash and Brody in the taxi so that the dream team would have the wrong people to follow.  Even by picking their suspects by profiling, they missed Roya entirely. I suppose when it comes to Middle Eastern politics, women are still way off the radar.  I also love how fortunate it was for Jessica to kick Brody out of the house the very day that the surveillance cameras moved back into his house.  I hope they can turn Brody somewhat realistically and keep the bunker project going.  The Bi-Polar Wire must survive!

Is there any point to Mike and Lauder being on the show this season?  If their whole arc is to be suspicious of Brody, that’s all kind of ruined now.  They did come up with an interesting theory about Brody working for the CIA, though.  Foreshadowing for the next step in the season?

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