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Monday, November 21, 2011

Homeland - Achilles Heel

Carrie now believes that Brody is not a terrorist, because Walker is. We, as an audience, are now sure that Brody is at least slightly involved with the terrorists' plans, but he's having some serious second thoughts. Last week’s episode was incredible. An episode grade of "A," for sure. That perfect episode centered around a weekend with Carrie and Brody at Carrie’s family cabin, having sex and bonding. That is until Carrie let slip to Brody that she has been watching him and a confrontation (the likes of which is hardly ever seen outside a season finale) ensued. Now, Brody is angry at Carrie for lying to him, and Carrie keeps trying to apologize, leading us to believe that she has real feelings for Brody. The crying when he left the cabin tipped us off too.

Walker’s young son saw Walker watching him at the boy’s school. Walker has also been calling his family’s voicemail when they are not home, just to hear their recorded voices. Saul and Carrie pronounce Walker’s family to be his “Achilles heel.” Walker is homeless and begging on the D.C. streets. He’s looking at the Capitol building in a way Jack Bauer would not approve of. An older white man in a car passes Walker a key wrapped in a dollar. The key is to a storage facility.

Saul is still reeling from the love of his life, his brown girl, preparing to leave him. As if anyone could leave Inigo Montoya. Carrie goes to Saul’s house and confesses that she had an affair with Brody. He is predictably not pleased. Carrie tells Saul that it’s over, Saul asks if she is ok, and Carrie says that she will survive. They hug. Saul is so nice to Carrie. Carrie is such a complex character. On the one hand, she is paranoid, sometimes cold, manipulative, and possibly mentally ill. On the other hand, she’s capable of real love in grey areas, she’s compassionate, she’s smart, and she’s capable. Women don’t often get to play such fully fleshed-out characters on TV.

The CIA and the FBI team up to catch Walker. Carrie is placed at Helen Walker’s home, and she is in charge of the operation. The Walker boy leaves the house for school on the morning of the op. The plan is for Walker’s wife to pick up the phone when Walker calls and keep Walker talking long enough for the government to trace the call. Duh. These are the 24 writers, after all, and call tracing is in the top five Terrorist Catching Tactics. The other four are breaking rules, torture, whispering to a suspect really quietly then yelling really loudly, and voicing a constant awareness of time constraints (“Dammit. We’re running out of time.”)

Someone calls, and it’s a telemarketer. Yet another reason those should be outlawed. They fuss with national security. Helen crumbles and Carrie talks her back to strength. The next call is Walker. As soon as Helen answers, he hangs up. They really should have had his wife read out a pretend, long message so that he wouldn’t hang up. The CIA should hire us, seriously. Ok, the fake, TV CIA that actually deals with Homeland Security. That’s not really what they do. They gather intelligence, but whatever. This is TV. The CIA does everything, including supplying Jennifer Garner with an endless supply of wigs.

Brody goes back to Jessica, and they come to an understanding. Jessica makes it clear that six years is a damn long time to wait and that she is sorry she made a mistake. Brody apologizes for being difficult. The children notice a positive change in the marriage and family life. Brody, Jessica, Saul, and Saul’s wife attend a party thrown by Elizabeth Gaines, who clearly wants to bone Saul. Brody shows up in uniform, which we think is kind of a jerk move. We really hate the way the actor speaks, too. Everything about it just rubs our ears the wrong way. Everyone at the party is really nice to Brody/Elizabeth, because Brody is being groomed to be a Congressional candidate for the Democratic party. Wait until everyone finds out he’s a Muslim….

That night, Carrie is still at Helen Walker’s house. They discuss the men in their lives. Helen never stopped loving Tom, even now. Tom Walker calls Helen in the middle of the night, and Helen chooses not to go through with the government’s plan and actually warns Walker that he needs to book it. The Feds chase Walker, and he runs into a mosque. The FBI agents accidently shoot two random Muslims. The FBI publically declares Walker a terrorist so that the murders will be eclipsed by the needs of national security. Also, the FBI wants the public to keep a lookout for Walker, because Walker has gotten away. Good luck sorting through every tip where an American sees a homeless black guy and calls it in… Walker goes to the storage unit, where he finds a gun.

Carrie goes to Brody’s house to tell Brody that Tom Walker is alive. Abu Nazir tricked Brody into thinking he killed Walker. Carrie assures Brody that she kept all of his secrets from the government and tries, again, to explain herself. The friendship and affair is not rekindled, because Brody still feels used by Carrie for her job. Saul was going to make breakfast for his wife and see her to the airport, but he had to leave when the CIA called, even though he had only hours to convince her to stay. Saul’s wife took note of that, and this made her choice to leave Saul for India a lot easier. Meanwhile, Carrie has an epiphany that she is going to be alone her whole life. There’s still hope, Carrie (or at least that’s what we single, adult TV addicts tell ourselves).

The episode ended with Brody finding the old white guy who passed Walker the key. His house is fancy. Brody angrily demands answers from Old White Guy. The OWG said, “You'll have to take it up with your boyfriend Abu Nazir.” We kind of figured that when Brody said he “loved“ Abu Nazir it was more than platonic. That’s why he was “ashamed,” probably. Gay sex might not have occurred, but for some reason the show wants its audience to think it did, at this point. Brody tells Old White Guy to tell Nazir that “he’s through talking with Nazir…it’s over.” Ohhh, Carrie, if only you could have heard this… We wonder if she’s be appalled that she shared a man with Abu Nazir.

Episode grade: A-

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