HOMELAND Recap: “Tower of David”

     October 13, 2013


To quote Collider’s own Adam Chitwood from a comment he once made to me: “The best thing about Homeland is, if you don’t like the direction it’s going, just wait two episodes and it’ll have a crazy turn!”  Case in point: “Tower of David.”  That’s about as different as things could be so far this season.  It answered the question “Where’s Brody?” and then made us wonder if we really wanted to know.  Brody’s story has felt played out for awhile, and “Tower of David” did little to dispel that notion.  He’s trapped and back in the hole from whence he came to start the series.  Maybe it’s a metaphor, though.  If Homeland needs a makeover, “Tower of David” was indeed the best place to start.  Hit the jump for more.

homeland-season-3-posterThe first two episodes of this season helped close the book and move forward from the back and forth with Carrie and Brody, and then the explosion that killed pretty much everybody who opposed them last season.  The question of whether or not Brody was responsible for that feels stale, and so “Tower of David” moved away from it totally.  Brody continues to live through Carrie’s connections, but they are tenuous, and “life” in Caracas seems to be a relative term.

Brody was slowly stripped from everything he still held onto — Carrie cannot reach him there (or isn’t being told of his whereabouts), and the mosque doesn’t prove to be a safe haven, either.  As he sits in what is now a cell, he’s right back where we first met him: in a hole, being held prisoner.  Except this time, no one is looking for him.

That kind of utter hopelessness (you cannot live, you cannot die, but above all you cannot leave) might drive anyone to reconsider their stance on hard drugs.  Here, in this tenement house of misfits and evildoers, Brody is not out of his element.  He’s done terrible things.  When the drug pushing pedophile tells him he belongs there, both he and we start thinking maybe he does.

homeland-tower-of-david-damian-lewisIn a parallel story, Carrie is also being held against her will and given drugs she abhors.  No one is looking for her here, either.  The visitor she obsesses over is not Saul, it’s a man from a law firm looking for Carrie to turn against the agency.  Again, the idea of “life” becomes relative.  Is Carrie really improving?  She’s certainly willing to say anything to make the right people think so.  But they don’t believe her.  As her paranoia takes over and she bangs her head against a mirror and desperately shouts at nurses (who, understandably, are repelled by her actions), the question is begged: what is the best place for her?

“They don’t know where else to put me,” she answers us and herself, and it’s damming.  The final shot of Carrie huddled in the darkness, lost and abandoned, mirrored Brody all too clearly.  Whether you believe in the Carrie / Brody love relationship or not, the episode still did a nice job of showing the two to be in parallel worlds.  They are also both there because of each other — thanks to Brody, Carrie is once again on the outs with everyone.  And were it not for Carrie’s contacts keeping Brody alive, he probably wouldn’t be.  But if he was, he might be free.

Homeland has made clear here that Carrie and Brody are going to stay connected, and their stories intertwined.  But it also left us on the precipice of a dark cliff, just like it did last year when Carrie considered taking her own life.  What brings Carrie and Brody back from the brink is uncertain, but the answer may not just be a new beginning for them, but for Homeland itself.  Both are long due.

Episode Rating: B

homeland-tower-of-david-claire-danesMusings and Miscellanea:

— Of all of the shows I’m currently recapping (and even watching for just my own amusement), Homeland is the only one I really look forward to every week. You just never know what the heck is going to be up (and I can’t ever wait to find out). The show has always been good about keep expectations high, even when it falters.

— Bald Brody is very disconcerting, isn’t he?

— Was the house Carrie building in art class “the” cabin?

— Brody: “I’ll survive.”  Drug Pusher / Pedophile / Doctor of Sorts: “You’re good at that, aren’t you.”  By the way, if he looked familiar, the actor playing him is Erik Dellums, who also played a medical examiner on The Wire.

— Did Carrie banging her head against the mirror remind anyone of that terrifying final scene of Twin Peaks? Bobbbbbbb …

— “You’re not a Muslim, you’re a terrorist” – the Imam