Homeland recap: The New Normal

Brody and Carrie both struggle adjusting to their new roles, while Mike's investigation runs afoul of the CIA
Ep. 06 | Aired Nov 4, 2012

QUIT ASKING ME ABOUT POETRY, KID, I'M THINKING Mike Faber (Diego Klattenhoff) takes his Tom Walker investigation to Brody's garage, which Chris (Jackson Pace) says their mother calls "The Wreck of the Hesperus," after the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem about a ship's captain who brings his young daughter on a voyage even though it looks like a hurricane is approaching. SPOILER ALERT: They both die. Way to bring things down, Chris. Go play more Xbox.

Kent Smith/Showtime

Really, though, Quinn's biggest concern — and Saul's, too — was how much Carrie was willing to trust Brody, a sentiment that really got under Carrie's skin. "[Quinn] said not to trust Brody, Saul," Carrie told her mentor. "If you'll remember, I'm the one who came up with that theory back when everyone else was calling him the patriot of the century." Carrie's also the only one who, you know, slept with Brody when everyone else was calling him the patriot of the century, so when Carrie told Saul that it was hard "having everyone assume you're at your worst, like you can't see straight," it was hard to know whether by "everyone" Carrie was speaking about her CIA colleagues, or herself. She told Saul that Brody's suicide tape had opened her eyes, but Saul's response — "that's all I wanted to hear" — sounded less like a man genuinely reassured and more like a man in need of just enough reassurance so he could go on denying what was staring him square in the face.

Brody, however, wasn't interested in Carrie's reassurance.  She stole a moment with him in a car garage to arrange his meeting with Roya, telling him to tell her that he'd overheard a phone call at Carrie's apartment during their fake affair indicating a Hezbollah agent had just entered the country. Brody wasn't sure it would work — Roya always contacts him, not the other way around; the Hezbollah element was just a best guess — and Carrie turned on the empathy, stroking the back of his neck and taking his hand. In another show, this would've been the end of the scene, but thankfully, the writers are keeping Brody's instincts as sharp as a bayonet. "You ask me to approach Roya, I say it's a bad idea, and then you do this," Brody said, holding up Carrie's hand. "For what? What is this? Sex? Understanding?" Brody wasn't going along to get along, and he wasn't about to slip easily back into an actual affair with Carrie, either.

Since its very first episode, Homeland has kept a fundamental distance between Brody and the audience. Because of the nature of who he is, Brody has never been able to be completely honest with anyone — not Carrie, not Jessica, not Abu Nazir, not Roya — so why should he be allowed to be completely honest with us? We saw him chafing at the constant observation by the CIA, even when driving Dana to school. We saw him lie to Jessica about working with Carrie again. We saw him hesitate over giving Carrie and Quinn more info, and then lie to them about snapping the tailor's neck. And when Brody did approach Roya, and spin Carrie's story about the Hezbollah agent, there was a moment when Carrie wasn't entirely sure if Brody was communicating with Roya — and neither was I. Virgil noted that Brody and Roya appeared to clam up when they saw a man on his phone within earshot, but Brody's back was to the security camera, and we stayed with that shot until the stranger left. Could Brody have mouthed something to Roya? Well, probably not, but I appreciated the uncertainty — I like Nicholas Brody ambiguous.

When Roya and Brody did start talking again, however, Roya mentioned that she knew the FBI (with Peter Quinn) had moved into the tailor's shop and had started nosing around. "Will they find anything?" asked Brody. "They might," said Roya with a whiff of significance. It was enough to pique Carrie's interest, though, and when she phoned Quinn with an update, she passed on her concern that there was something big at the tailor's place. "What did she say?" asked Quinn. "It wasn't what she said, exactly — it was..." Carrie trailed off. "Another one of your hunches?" asked Quinn, which Carrie took as a dig, but Quinn had learned to take seriously. He asked Danny to call in reinforcements, just to be on the safe side. Danny obliged, reporting that they were about an hour away from arriving.

NEXT PAGE: Bye bye, Danny Galvez

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