Mar 15, 2021
Homeland Recap: Reconstructing Brody
Carrie’s in the hospital. In case we didn’t realize it’s a hospital, she wakes up asking a doctor, “Where am I?” and he tells her. No nerve damage on her arm. The bullet went straight through. She’ll be fine. He asks if she knew she was 13 weeks pregnant. Funny, how they figured that out so quickly when the psych hospital never even checked.
Next up, we find Brody going cold turkey in some CIA facility. There are four strapping special ops guys babysitting him, but none of them are Quinn who we will hardly see this episode. Dar and Saul are outside of the room watching everything on a monitor. See Brody. See Brody go berserk looking for drugs. See Brody cry and shit himself. It’s very French Connection II.
Carrie gets a visitor. It’s Lockhart. He mentions the CIA did this to her and there are two guards outside of the room, and he can’t believe she still considers HIM the enemy. He may have a point, but he’s whiney and weasely and has a Dick Cheney sneer, and we just can’t quit team Saul. Carrie is doing her best to wish Lockhart away. Then he asks her what Saul was doing in Caracas. After a beat, Lockhart realizes that Carrie didn’t know Saul was in Caracas, and knowing something she didn’t makes him way too happy, which is another reason we don’t like him.
Carrie sends a message to Saul about Lockhart’s visit and his mention of Caracas, which is enough for Saul to know that Carrie knows Brody’s back. How exactly does Carrie work out that Caracas equals Brody is back? Best not to think too much about that. Saul is wondering how Lockhart found out about Caracas, so he brings in Max and Virgil to check all their homes and offices for bugs. Yay! Max and Virgil! Always a treat to see the bros!
The special ops guys watching Brody don’t seem to have names, but his chief minder has a neatly trimmed beard, and a slim but muscular build, so he will henceforth be referred to as Johnny Quest’s dad, Dr. Benton Quest. Dr. Quest informs Dar and Saul that Brody is not doing well with the withdrawal thing. The pressure is on. Lockhart is days away from being confirmed and pulling the plug on whatever it is Saul is planning to do. If only there was some magical way to cure heroin addiction instantly. Wait, Dar has an idea. It’s Ibogaine! Dar knows all about Ibogaine, no doubt because of CIA experiments on unsuspecting veterans. Those of us who learn everything from the TV know about it from an episode of CSI and/or the X-Files.
In real life, Ibogaine was once a legend among junkies, the magic bullet cure that big pharma didn’t want “the people” to have. There’s no real evidence that it’s more effective than garlic for HIV, or laetrile for cancer, but it’s perfect for this kind of television situation, and the shout-out will no doubt benefit many a clinic in Mexico where it’s now touted as a treatment for everything from PTSD to shingles.
Brody’s Ibogaine hallucinations include special guest appearances by dead people. First, he sees Tom Walker and then he thinks Saul is Abu-Nazir, which Saul sort of is and has been since he got Brody out of the Tower and decided to reconstruct him to use for his own purposes.
Once Brody wakes up from a long nap presumably cured, Saul tries to have a nice chat. He’s offering Brody the chance to “be a marine again,” to make up for all his “transgressions.” Before Saul goes into the details of his plan, Brody tells him he isn’t interested. He just wants to die. So the special ops guys take him out on a boat to the middle of a lake and throw him overboard because sure that’s a great way to deal with suicidal ideation. Then they all sit there waiting for him to try to save himself. After that doesn’t happen, they jump in to look for him. Next they have to force feed him because he stopped eating. What part of “Kill me. Kill me, now,” don’t they understand?
Saul brings in Carrie. He tells her Brody’s in bad shape and she accuses him of lying to her. Saul brings up the horseshit she told him about being passed out for 14 hours in the ladies’ room after the bomb went off. He never believed it. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is how Carrie could have believed he believed it. Carrie wants to know what Saul did to Brody. Saul convinces her it wasn’t his doing or what he wanted. He needs Carrie’s help talking Brody into participating in his “play” which he finally explains. First, Brody “defects” to Iraq. Second, he meets with Javadi’s boss – the number one head of Iranian security – because yeah it would happen just that way – and then Brody assassinates him. Carrie is skeptical, but Saul gets that glazed over, “I have a dream” look and continues explaining that this will put Javadi in the number one spot, which will end the “logjam” and create “facts on the ground” (YES really he says that.) and it’s the only way Iran and US will ever start talking to each other.
Instead debating the merits or lack thereof of this lunacy, pointing out that someday diplomacy might work, or that Javadi is a complete sociopath who just carved up the mother of his son like she was a Thanksgiving turkey, Carrie agrees to talk to Brody, who doesn’t seem overly receptive and clearly sees her as part of the problem. But she comes out of the room convinced she can convince him. She asks Saul to get her a vehicle.
Virgil and Max have discovered Alan Bernard is working for the Mossad, and they have pictures of him meeting Lockhart in a diner because foreign agents and senators meet in the most public places possible to do their secret stuff. Saul orders Quinn to pick Bernard up and make him talk. Also Saul has to admit in front of the guys that Mira is and or was sexing up the Mossad agent, but he’s sure she didn’t know he was a spy.
Carrie and Brody are in a car with Brody’s special ops caretakers. They are outside a sad motel. Dana steps out of a room with a mop and bucket, looking older and wearier than when we last saw her. Brody starts screaming “Dana!” Carrie tells him she can’t hear him and he can’t get out of the car. It’s kind of like in It’s a Wonderful Life when Clarence shows George that Mary has become a librarian, except Brody calls Carrie a “fucking bitch.”
Saul confronts Lockhart with pictures of his rendezvous with Bernard.
Lockhart claims he was being interviewed for Le Monde. Saul tells him Bernard admitted everything – including bugging Saul’s home. Lockhart gets this look like he thinks Saul is going to punch him, but all Saul wants is more time to complete his operation. He’s not going to use this to embarrass Lockhart and prevent him from getting the directorship because that would humiliate Mira and hurt the agency. Lockhart is too much of a weasel to fully comprehend that Saul’s main goal is not to screw him over and gain power. Sometimes Saul can be a mensch.
Brody and Carrie are back in his cell. Brody wants to know what the hell is going on with his daughter. Carry explains she dropped out of school, moved out of the house, and changed her last name. This took about ten seconds and gave us all the information we needed to know so we could have skipped all the Dana stuff in the first seven episodes. Brody wants to tell Dana that he’s innocent. Carrie reminds him it would be another lie. He didn’t bomb Langley, but he still put on a suicide vest. He’s responsible for Elizabeth Gaines’ death, the death of two secret service men, and the imam and his wife in Caracas. Carrie doesn’t mention the vice-president because I guess that was a freebie. Carrie has played him perfectly. Brody is now onboard.
He immediately goes out to a field where the special ops boys are training and tries to join them. They are mean to him in that macho-hazing kind of way or maybe because Brody really is a weakling sad sack traitor, but then it’s sixteen days later and he’s gone from flab to fab. His mind is sharp. His body is fit. He can shoot straight and now he’s one of the guys. He’s even playing backgammon and joking around with young Dr. Quest.
It’s nighttime. There’s a briefing about the mission, including mention of the extraction plan involving the four team members, so what could go wrong? (Dr. Quest wasn’t wearing a red shirt, but he might as well have been.) Carrie steps outside to have a cigarette because it’s better for the baby than chugging down vodka. Brody comes out and finds her, and it looks like they’re going to have a serious talk. Maybe they’ll admit their feelings or she’ll tell him about the baby, or they’ll just start tearing each other’s clothes off, but none of that happens. He tells her he wants to see Dana again. She says he can do it when he gets back. He tells her they both know that’s a long shot. He’s not going unless she takes him to see his daughter. Carrie drives him over – no team. When they get to the hotel, Carrie tells him about Dana’s suicide attempt and hospitalization – another thing viewers could have been finding out about for the first time. Brody knocks on Dana’s door. Dana is super not happy to be having this late night visit, and would really like her dad and his crazy girlfriend to leave her alone forever.
As they drive back, Brody tells Carrie “I will come back from Teheran, and not just for her.” Carrie still doesn’t mention the baby. Saul yells at Carrie when they return, and that’s without his even knowing they just compromised national security by letting an unstable teenager find out Brody is in the country and the CIA knows it. Carrie tells Saul that Brody was going to back out and they left to talk. She’s still lying even as she tells him they have to trust each other. We hear the whir of a helicopter, and it turns all Zero Dark Thirty with Carrie as Jessica Chastain watching the brave boys march off as a team. Movie music begins to swell. Brody stops for a second and he and Carrie look at each other. No kisses, no hugs, no words. He keeps going, and she calls out, “Brody, see you on the other side.” He turns, smiles; then he’s gone. We watch her watching the helicopter. Fade out.
More action here than in the last 8 episodes combined. That’s more like it, Homeland. Can’t wait till next week to see how the mission turns out.