Before Carrie could meet up with Brody, though, she decided to empower Mike Faber — by kneecapping his investigation into Brody and Tom Walker. She told him of an impending terrorist attack, told him to "cease and f---ing desist," and then switched on the empathy. "You're emotional about Brody because you're in love with his wife," she said, cutting to the chase as only Carrie can. Mike, being a handsome loaf of generic white bread, put up a feeble protest, but eventually folded. "That was a long time ago," he mumbled. "Not really," Carrie said. "Not when you've chosen someone. Look Mike, it's hard wanting something, or someone, that you just can't have." Indeed, Carrie. Indeed. "I hope you get what you want," Carrie said as she was leaving — because if Mike gets what he wants, of course, maybe she can get what she wants too.
For a fleeting moment, in the sexiest scene yet in this rather unsexy season, she did. She met Brody in the woods outside the fundraiser (nevermind that the perimeter would've been covered by the Secret Service — Carrie is pretty squirrelly), and just let him talk. She listened to him talk about the uncomfortable conversation he'd just had with his host; how the man had seen a greatness and grace in Brody that Brody knew for a certainty was not there; how the man had actually served as a soldier in Vietnam instead of disappear into a hole for eight years and reemerge as a terrorist. "He didn't lose himself," Brody said, his eyes wide and brimming as he spoke more honestly about who he'd become than he had in ages. "Worst part of it is, he believes I'm like him. That guy is the man I could have been, if I hadn't..." He trailed off. Carrie took his hand. And they kissed, passionately.
But if Carrie found what she wanted in that moment, Brody did not. "Is this for real?" he asked, pulling away. Carrie was as honest as she could be: "I don't know, and I don't want you to feel used." He tried kissing her again, and then, his lips still on hers, he confessed: "You know what? I do feel used. And played. And lied to. But I also feel good." Carrie grinned with pleasure and relief, like an addict who'd rediscovered a long-lost stash. But Brody wasn't done. "Two minutes with you, and I feel good. How do you pull that off?" He couldn't trust his own happiness anymore. He left, and to Carrie's credit, she merely looked put out — no lip-quivering breakdowns ripe for SNL parody this week! (Kudos to director John Dahl for finding a way to shoot around Claire Danes' pregnancy while still giving this scene some palpable heat.)
Brody returned to the pool, this time devoid of people and grotesque emotional vultures pissed they missed they cut for Real Housewives of D.C. He was alone, finally, and thus followed a brief and melancholic underwater scene of Brody swimming, his scars exposed as he hovered underneath the surface, the world finally, fleetingly shut out. It was an affecting sequence, as close to visual beauty as this show allows itself. Alas, it was also as short-lived for Brody as it was for us. He'd barely resurfaced when he was confronted with yet another nagging yank at his attention: Dana. And that's when things began to go off the rails for me.
NEXT PAGE: "It's not okay, but we should not be benched because of it."