Image credit: Kent Smith/Showtime
BEARD VS. BEARD After watching Saul (Mandy Patinkin) confront black ops svengali Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) at the latter's favorite waffle spot, I've begun fantasizing about a spin-off series that's just these two men touring greasy spoons across our fair land — kind of like that 2011 Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon film The Trip, but with way more growling.
Speaking of characters reaching their sell by date, I give you the Brody family. In one corner, we have Jessica Brody, still basking in the afterglow of her roll in the hay with her super-terrific man toy Mike Faber, and happy to get smoochie with him while her children procrastinated on their homework just a room away. When Brody walked in on their snogging, she barely cared that Brody picked up the sexual tension between them. "It's good that Mike was here," Brody said with not a small amount of smarm. Jessica just leveled him with an even stare: "Yeah. It helped." (Morena Baccarin's delivery here made me laugh out loud; next to her impromptu veteran families speech, it was my favorite Jessica moment so far this year. Yeah, I know, them's slim pickings.) Even when Brody fielded a phone call right as Jessica told him she knew he was working with Carrie again, she just shrugged and shuffled away. This marriage has been over for weeks now anyway.
In another corner, we have Dana Brody, whose very soul has been pancaked by the crushing cynicism of "the way the world works," Finn Walden's euphemism for his father paying off the family of the woman he killed with his sweet BMW. Hopefully, the sight of the two of them laying like clinically depressed logs on anonymous pool chairs, contemplating the wreckage of their short lives, is the sad trombone coda to Homeland's least enjoyed subplot this season. But I doubt it; Dana's father did just kill Finn's father, so I'd say whatever is broken between them is about to be smashed further into smithereens.
And in the final corner, we have Chris Brody, whose only distinguishing characteristic has been his unwavering hero worship of his effed up father. Then again, that warm goodbye hug Chris gave Mike makes it seem as though Chris's filial piety isn't all that picky. Or maybe it's just fickle; one cross word from his clearly stressed out father about not finishing their game of cards, and Chris was so heartbroken he appeared ready to renounce his pops on the spot. Just as well, really.
Brody's curtness was due to a most inopportune phone call from his former brainwasher, Abu Nazir. I've noticed online already that the Abu Nazir-kidnaps-Carrie plotline has not been regarded as one of Homeland's strongest. I'm inclined to agree, but I don't think it was a completely preposterous turn of events. We know Roya Hammad had been keeping Abu Nazir in the loop about Brody's relationship with Carrie, and with so many players in his American terror cell either dead or in custody, it appears Nazir is something close to a one-man operation. So I buy that Nazir would know where Carrie lives, and would resort to the desperate act of capturing the one available person he knows he can leverage to get Brody to do his bidding. (Dangling thread #3: Still, why would he allow himself to be photographed by a convenience store surveillance camera, and park the car so his license plate could be seen through the window?)
NEXT PAGE: Nicholas Brody and the Case of the Convenient (Plot) Device