Homeland recap: The Day the Pacemaker Died

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December 5, 2012 by Susan Miller

walden dies

P.S. In case you missed it, I’m killing you now.

This week in “Broken Hearts,” everybody got their hearts broken.  Jessica Brody got her heart broken because she woke up with Mike but realized she was still married to Brody; Finn Walden got his heart broken because he realized he can’t talk about killing that Hispanic lady with his car to the only other person who understands, you know, because he didn’t do the right thing in the first place; Chris got his heart broken because his dad wouldn’t even finish a game of hearts with him; and finally Walden got his heart broken because he’s silly enough to leave serial numbers lying around and about.  Oh, I left out us.  We got our hearts broken because all semblance of verisimilitude has gone bye-bye.

Broken hearts aside, we have a few questions:

What will the ramifications of Walden’s death be?

Steven: We need something big to come out of this, right?  Morally, if this all works out for the best, only really bad people getting killed, then what are the creators of the show teaching us?  (“Don’t you also recap and love Dexter?” you ask.  To that I say, “Shush, this is my blog.”)  If this magically works out for Brody and the world, then not only will loyalty to a cause seem to be an ineffectual virtue, but also Brody will yet again be let off the hook.  Remember a few episodes ago when they discovered the truth about Brody and Peter stabbed him in the hand and everything was going to change radically and forever??  Yeah, it’s exactly the same show now as it was then, only more people are working out their own agendas.  Oh and the mole is back!  What?  I mean Galvez…

To answer the question, I hope a children’s hospital gets bombed.  (Not in real life, but on the show.)  It’s high time Brody gets away from his own small-mouthed rationalizations and starts feeling some real-life guilt over being a terrorist.

Susan: Steven has explained his children’s hospital bombing theory to me at least 5 times this week and I still don’t get it.  I promise he doesn’t hate children, it’s just that this show has really increased his desire for justice, and children = justice in his mind.  Somehow.  Anyway…

I think Walden’s death will leave Estes even more squirmy than usual.  He and Walden were in this whole drone strike mess together and Estes’ career has been tied to Walden’s ever since.  Maybe now that Walden is gone, we’ll finally see Estes’ true colors?  Or maybe he will be even more anxious for a scapegoat than before and throw Saul and Carrie under the bus?  What is Brody supposed to do now?  He can’t possibly get away with it, right?  I know the writers are all hopped up on this doomed love story between Carrie and Brody, but I’m not really sure where they go from here.  The biggest problem is that it’s no longer doomed.  Carrie can’t rejoin the CIA.  Brody and Jessica don’t want to be married to each other anymore and the kids prefer Mike.  The only thing stopping these lovebirds is an Abu Nazir kidnapping?  Puh-lease.

Why in the world are they detaining Saul?

Steven: He’s onto their Brody-assassination plot, so there’s that.  Really though, I think he’s just going to get called up/downstairs to interrogate Roya.  What annoys me about this particular plot twist, or what-have-you, is that they grabbed him right before the end of the episode and then ended the episode several minutes early.  So what we know about next week is that Saul will appear in a room either up or downstairs and that Carrie will turn on a light switch to reveal a room of some sort with probably some objects of some sort (will Abu Nazir have his own cork-board?).  That isn’t a lot of foreshadowing, guys.  But really, they’re detaining Saul from the action because he’s the last character who doesn’t annoy the bejezus out of me and therefore should be kept as far as possible from any actual scenes.

My prediction for next week is that Carrie will run around ineffectually and Saul will stand around in a dark room conferring when he should be tracking down Nazir himself, a Spanish sabre held firmly in his hand.

Susan: Sabre Saul!  Now that’s a show worth watching.  I think Estes is detaining Saul to give Quinn time to get to the warehouse and kill Brody or Nazir or Carrie or anyone else who shows up and gets in his way.  This whole secret Quinn/Estes black ops business is super annoying because it’s the most interesting story and gets the least amount of time.  I am so frustrated with what Homeland has done with Carrie and Saul this season.  Why aren’t they talking CIA strategy?  Why isn’t he papa-bear protecting her?  Why aren’t they working together with Virgil and Max?  Why is she left alone all the time to go neck with Brody while the rest of the warehouse listens in?  Ugh and a half.  They better be setting this up for a season long arc for next year, because it deserves a LOT more attention.

Stray Thoughts

There were a lot of plausibility issues this week and a lot of anger on the internet about it.  My biggest problem is the phone.  Why did the CIA magically stop tracking Brody’s cell phone?  Why was no one watching Carrie?  Why would Brody be allowed to go visit the VP at his home and wander around unimpeded?  Why wouldn’t there be more security around his office?  Why did he have such a comically large magnifying glass?  Why wasn’t his pacemaker monitored by some assistant or other secret service official?  Why didn’t pretty CIA lady think it was suspicious when his discussion about wheat subsidies suddenly turned into him needing to withdraw from VP consideration?  So many whys, so little time.

Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) is an absolute delight on Twitter and published her own crazy Homeland theory this week.  It’s just crazy enough to get me on board, because it excuses so very many plot holes and character conundrums.  She suggests that Brody and Nazir cooked up the kidnapping plot as a way to divert attention away from the VP so that he could kill him and she wouldn’t tell anyone.  Therefore, all his frenzy would be for her benefit and it would make sense why Nazir would let her go and why he was operating alone and why it would happen that way at all.  Then, at the end of the season, Carrie will realize she’s been played and kill Brody.  Boom.  Now that’s an ending I can support.

Galvez!  I can’t believe I forgot to mention Galvez.  He reappeared this week, with an arm sling, and no one said anything about it.  He reappeared just after Carrie went missing, so… he’s pretty much got a big arrow attached to his head from now on saying “Here’s the mole, you big dummies.  Now do something interesting about it.”  That’s fine and all, as long as you BRING BACK CARVER TOO.

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