October 28, 2012


“Q&A” may be the quietest Homeland episode yet, but it packed a powerful emotional punch.  I’ll admit, my attention span is not what it used to be, but for the full hour of “Q&A” I was riveted, unable to look away, and not once tempted to cast a stray eye to my nearby phone.  If Claire Danes‘ acting tour de force this season so far was in “State of Independence,” Damien Lewis certainly came close to matching it in “Q&A.”  Brody’s spectrum of emotions as he went from standing firm, to being incredibly frightened (but still lying) and finally to the immense relief of telling the truth was captivating stuff.  It was calm (for the most part, minus Peter’s Bad Cop routine, which was brilliant — he really is a great interrogator), but there were turgid rivers of emotion underneath everyone’s skin, and moving forward, things will only get more complicated.  For more on that and why you are drowning in lies! … hit the jump.

homeland-season-2-poster-1Things went more or less as predicted, with Brody being released back into the wild now working for the CIA in attempting to uncover Abu Nazir’s next plot against the U.S.  I sincerely doubt that Brody would turn his back on America again — Carrie’s speech was so perfectly stated, and she spoke to such truths that Brody did honestly seem to believe and take to heart about how Nazir had manipulated him and his emotions.  As Dana echoed later to Jess, “they did something to Dad over there. He’s not the same.”  Brody seemed to finally acknowledge that he has been little more than a pawn in both Walden and Nazir’s international games.

What made Carrie’s interrogation of Brody all the stranger / more intense was her heartfelt expression of love towards him, not seeming to really care if he openly returned it because she feels certain that what they had (or still have) is unique and beyond just “playing” one another.  The rollercoaster of their emotions towards one another is more engaging and more believable than anything Brody and Jess have been through together (I don’t know who exactly to blame for this, if anyone — Brody just seems much more wooden around Jess and vice versa than with anyone else, but that can reasonably be explained by his change since coming home I suppose).  The intertwined nature of Carrie and Brody, from Day One, has been the crux of the show, and Brody telling Jess that they would be ok and later holding Carrie’s hand in the car were all part of that complicated dance.  Carrie means something very special to Brody, but his family still means more to him than anything.

homeland-season-2-episode-5-morena-baccarinAt the end of last season I thought that Carrie’s ECT erasing her memory about Brody saying Issa’s name in his sleep would be significant, but it turns out that plot point didn’t matter in the end thanks to the uncovering of the video.  And for all of our exclamations about the video being found, Brody was right in saying that they only had circumstantial evidence.  For a moment I thought that the CIA’s case could conceivably fall apart.  It was a relief though to viewers as well as Brody to have him finally come clean and start working for the other side.  He may not agree with everything either side is doing, but he’s been forced to choose.  It was a great close to Brody’s saga (Part Two of his Life as a Terrorist, anyway), and a great moment to see the cork board replaced with pictures of Roya Hammad and the new targets that Brody will help them take down.

Of course, nothing is ever simple, and lest we forget, last week Lauter and Mike were starting their own investigation about What Really Happened with Tom Walker and Elizabeth Gaines.  Plus, despite Carrie’s assurances, there will surely come a point where Brody becomes paranoid that Nazir is on to his treachery.  At least now he has a better cover than his other lies (and the man does lie well).  In fact, I’ve thought for awhile that he could have (and should have) used the CIA as cover for his dealings, because it would have made sense and Jess would have had no way of getting it confirmed since she’s not supposed to know in the first place.

homeland-season-2-episode-5-damien-lewisIn any case, she knows now, and the Brody household is unified once again with Chris able to breathe easy (there’s always one forgotten child in dramas like this, and it’s you, Chris!) though Dana now has a few secrets of her own.  We didn’t see Dana break up with Xander, but we didn’t need to — bye bye, poor stoner boyfriend and hellooooo Vice President’s son!  In an exceptionally self-assured manner, Dana conveys her new relationship status to Finn and then asks if he would like to take her out — nice move, girl.  But later, in one of the more completely bizarre moments of the series, Finn acts just like any other petulant bratty teen and tries to evade the Secret Service for kicks, maiming and possibly killing a woman in the process.  Dana is rightfully shaken, but the two seem to get away with things (I doubt that will last).  I can’t say I am much inclined towards this turn of events or the way they played out, but I’m willing to see where it goes before side-eyeing it too harshly.

Big, big setup of an episode, huge turn in trajectory for the remainder of the season, Damian Lewis for all the awards, thank you and goodnight!

Episode Rating: A-

homeland-season-2-posterMusings and Miscellanea: 

— Quite a few of you guys mentioned last week in the comments that Dana reminds you a lot of Angela (Claire Danes) from My So Called Life and I 100% agree.

— Do you know anybody who dates someone known by a last name and still calls them that after they’re in a relationship? What about after marriage? It’s just hard to think of Jess never calling Brody “Nick.”  Friends of mine who ending up dating people known for a last name invariably switch to calling them their actual first name.  I dunno.  Strange.

— I really loved Jess showing up with a Tupperware container of soup.  Cute.  Morena Baccarin is the hottest mom ever, by the way, though I have trouble believing she is the mom of a 16 year old, but that’s TV for ya (where parents are 10 years older than their kids).

— “When is the last time you told the truth?” – Carrie to a beleaguered Brody.

— Useless fact, Damian Lewis is married to the actress who played Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

— How was the war, Carrie? “Well my interpreter was burned alive and hung from a bridge, so …!”