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Carrie’s emotional tremors vibrated at a particularly high frequency in last night’s episode of Homeland. Carrie’s mentor, defender, and steadying protector Saul Berensen betrayed her by publicly revealing her bipolar diagnosis. He also might have leaked her romantic ties with Brody (“the Langley Bomber”) to the press, who put that insanely juicy story on the front page.
Saul’s accusations of Carrie’s mental instability create a vicious cycle. With her eyes blazing a warpath trail ahead, Carrie sets up a fraught meeting with a reporter to clear Brody’s name. The reporter just probes Carrie about whether she did in fact bed the bomber. Carrie implores her not to and gives a sideways criticism of sex-scandal reporting, arguing that the real issue is about who was responsible for the explosion. But as she starts to give the reporter details, some dopey-looking police officers come to escort her out of the newsroom under a “psychiatric detention order.”
Carrie spends the rest of the episode in a psych ward, wearing a sad, pale hospital gown, occasionally flinging herself about violently in protest. The desperation with which she attempts to convince people of the “truth,” confirm her rightness, and defend her sanity, seems to push away anyone who listens.
So who has filled Carrie’s shoes at the CIA? Fara—a measured young whippersnapper only previously employed for eight days at the CIA. Saul is not pleased with her inexperience.
Oh, and a set of moneyed, mercenary bankers are in the hot seat this week. The CIA calls in a cadre of New York financiers brought to D.C. for questioning after moving funds involving Iran and some explosions, which brings us to Homeland’s badass of this week: Peter Quinn. Not only does he visit Carrie in the hospital and stand up to Saul about his current shiftiness, but after Fara’s flopped attempt to extract information from the bankers, Quinn approaches one outside a restaurant. He gleams with effective intimidation, and delivers a key line in a skillful growl-whisper: “I want you to know I try very hard to be patient with venal little shitheads like you, but I can only do it for so long.” (Feel free to deploy that line in your day-to-day life.)
Speaking of telling it like it is: Dana, Dana, Dana. She pulls a real One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on her family and runs away, back to the rehab facility where she lived after her suicide attempt (granted, she escaped to make out with her boyfriend Liam in an industrial laundry room, tangled in what seems like everyone else’s sheets).
Screen time is divided pretty evenly in this episode between Dana and Carrie, the two people closest to Brody. As daughter and girlfriend respectively, both were trusted confidantes, and Brody’s absence has wounded both deeply. Dana and Carrie are each imprisoned to some extent—Dana at home under constant surveillance from her mother and Carrie, handcuffed to a hospital gurney. Each is plainspoken to the extent that their honesty and clear-eyed analysis often shocks, and both are different avenues through which to discuss sanity, recovery, and “normalcy.” Though Carrie, who screams, “just leave me alone” to Quinn, acts far more like the teenager.
So after last week’s notable absence, do we glimpse Brody’s face this week? Only in photographs. In a sentimental, lonesome montage, Dana sifts through a too-pretty collection of old family photographs (they’re all like those stock photos that come in new picture frames). We do get to see Brody with long red hair, probably in the late ’80s, and lots of lovely family embraces. Images of innocence lost and all that.
Photo via Showtime