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The third episode of Homeland‘s third season opens with a tropical beach, birds chipping, and men with huge guns looking bored at a road crossing. A car pulls up, and two men drag out a limp, pale body. It’s Brody; it’s the first time we have seen him since Carrie took him to Canada after the Langley explosion for which everyone thinks he’s responsible. He’s pale and heaving and has a huge, gaping gunshot wound in his stomach.
The gun-toting men pile him into a truck, cover him with a white tarp (practically a white burial sheet) as they drive him to a room that looks like a leftover set from one of the Saw sequels. It’s all flickering lights, shadowy figures, and a sketchy operating table. A mysterious man begins to operate on him. When Brody manages to mutter “You a doctor?” to the man poking his stomach, he answers slowly and calmly: “Interesting question.”
Doctor or no, Brody is saved. Our first image of Brody is not unexpected; he is hanging in the balance between life and death. He’s on the run, he’s supposed to be a ghost, and our first sight of him is bloodless, rattling, and gasping. The source of his wound—-which one of his companions says was random violence from a group of Colombians—-is perplexing. Brody, he’s in a parallel universe now. Well, actually Caracas. He’s staying with a gang leader who owes Carrie a big favor.
As Brody begins to heal, he resists the doctor’s attempts to fill him up with what may be heroin, preferring to bear the pain. He sets all his energy on escaping the gang leader’s dingy, dirty, drug-and-violence ridden hovel.
Flash to Carrie, who is also set on escaping. She’s still in the psych ward, presumably under punishment from the CIA for attempting to speak out against them and clear Brody’s name. A slick-haired lawyer visits her at the hospital and states his interest in freeing her because his boss wants to “talk” to her. Carrie flips on him, declaring that she would never speak to whoever he’s working for, Syrians or whoever, and she would rather die in the psych ward. She returns with frightened and wild bug eyes—-she’s so great at those—-and demands her meds, something she has resisted for so long.
Brody, for a moment, finds solace at a mosque. He even gets a few cathartic moments in a cleansing, baptismal shower. But the mosque leader turns him in, and just as the police start to take him away, gang members come in and begin to shoot the mosque’s inhabitants, while Brody flails desperately, nude and despondent. He is taken back to the scary place, where the mysterious doctor figure stands over him and says, “Everywhere you go, other people die. But you always manage to survive. … You’re like a cockroach. Still alive after the last nuclear bombs go off.”
This is playing into Brody’s survivor guilt, long coursing through his blood since his return from capture. Brody, desolate and out of options, snatches at the drug kit left by the doctor, and injects his sore arm repeatedly with the needle, jabbing and begging for solace, over and over and over.
Did you see all those parallels between Brody and Carrie? They’re both trapped. And in pain. And suddenly have drug dependencies. They’re stuck in their situations, between a rock and a hard place, with very few options for escape.
Last week depicted Dana and Carrie as these two broken pillars. Who will be Carrie’s complement next week? What confines will hold them, what drugs will they take, and which insect will they be compared to?