In its ninth episode of its third season, Homeland continues to be in rare form, hammering on the same themes, parallels, and character clashes over and over and over. This week’s installment is called “One Last Time,” but it’s probably just a taunt.
For some reason, Brody has just six days to become a fully-functioning sober person. Cold turkey doesn’t cut it, so the CIA puts him on a frightening, illegal recovery drug that a medic says gives you “violent, mind-bending hallucinations.” Weeee!
These mind-bending hallucinations allow us to see into Brody’s deepest, darkest subconscious. And in this place there is song. Bloodshot eyes a-blazin’, he sings the Marines’ Hymn. He sees vivid images of Tom Walker. Then he breaks a wooden chair and starts to jab his forearm veins with the wooden splinters. When Saul treys to restrain him, Saul morfs into Abu Nazir. Is Saul Carrie’s Abu? Ugh, maybe.
Then Brody and Saul have a conversation on the surface is about Brody but works as well as a critique of the show. Saul explains how he understands this whole thing. He sees “a man that’s dug himself into a whole so deep, common sense will tell you there is no way out…I’m telling you though there might be.” “How?” asks Brody. Great question.
Saul’s got a play, though. He wants to send Brody to Tehran to take out a chief military commander, which would move up Javadi (who’s questionably in the CIA’s pocket) from one of the top 20 commanders to the top three. Saul waxes poetic about how good this could be. His plan would make it “so two countries that have not been able to communicate for 30 years, except through terrorist actions and threats, can sit down and talk.”
But a helpful twist has kinked itself into this plot-line: that dude that Saul’s wife was sleeping with, handsome Alain who bugged their house, is an Israeli intelligence operative. And he’s conspiring with Sen. Lockhart, who is about to take over the CIA from Saul in six days. Saul discovers this and is all, Dude just give me a few more weeks at the CIA! And Lockhart goes from denying his actions to telling Saul all the ways Saul could ruin his life with this information. But Saul’s like, No man, my wife would be mortified and it would damage the CIA irreparably. And Lockhart’s all, Cool, we have a deal that works amazingly in my favor, obviously, why would I have argued with this generous offer in the first place?
In an effort to convince Brody to join this plan, Carrie takes him to see Dana from afar. She then asks him: “What have you always wanted a chance at? Redemption.” Brody—-so lucky Carrie’s there to articulate his thematic arc out loud.
OMG training montage. And Brody is sharp as a tack again, no longer addicted to drugs. There is no rehab like a Marine-training montage. But running with Marines in the woods can’t solve everything, because Brody approaches Dana, which doesn’t work in his favor at all. She cries: “Did you ever think about whether I wanted to see you? What do you want me to say? Just write it down so that I never have to see you again.”
So Brody is now very spirited about this mission. “I will come back from Tehran,” he says to Carrie. “Not just for her.” Significant look. Bye, bye Brody.