After wanly pestering Finn to come clean clearly wasn't going to work, Dana did what she does best and blurted the truth at one of the least opportune moments possible — in public, at the party, in front of Jessica and Mrs. Walden. Woof, did this plotline bring out the worst of Homeland's hamhanded handling of American national politics. Jessica galloped forward on her honesty hobby horse, never once flinching at the idea of going to the police or even aware of what that would mean for her husband's political career. This is the same woman who refused to acknowledge that her husband had converted to Islam, let alone speak openly about it, lest it damage his place as U.S. Congressman and prospective vice presidential candidate. The Waldens, meanwhile, embraced their venal politician stereotype and presumed everything would be swept under the rug with all the urgency of a paper cut. "It's not okay," the vice president growled of the hit-and-run, "but we should not be benched because of it." Mrs. Walden WASP-ishly flicked at the idea that Finn is scared of his father, while Finn himself disappeared into a depressive cynicism and was sent home. And Dana seemed utterly befuddled by it all.
The next morning, Brody was resolved to do the right thing by his daughter, and scooped her up to take her to the D.C. police — though, since everyone was driven to the fundraiser in government limos, I'm not entirely sure where Brody's car came from. When Estes saw them leaving, he justified his presence in the episode by calling Carrie and alerting her as to what was about to go down. Why didn't he call Quinn or Saul as well? Why didn't he chase Brody down himself and explain right then and there why Brody couldn't risk alienating the Waldens at this critical moment in their effort to thwart an imminent terrorist attack? Because, if he had, we wouldn't have ended the episode with Carrie uncomfortably standing in front of the police station, blocking Brody from entering, in full view of Dana.
At the very least, Carrie's presence rekindled the inner brat in Dana that had been trammeled into submission in the wake of Finn's hit-and-run. She walked up to Brody and Carrie looking ready to punch someone, and after Carrie awkwardly introduced herself, Dana cut her short. "Yeah, I remember," Dana said peevishly. "What are you doing here?" (I had no idea how much I missed bratty Dana, but heaven help me, I did.) With Finn's words about knowing "how it goes" still ringing in her ears, she assumed it all had to do with the campaign — "what could be more important?" — and stormed off after calling her father "bulls---."
As Homeland climaxes go, Brody screaming at Carrie that "none of this is f---ing okay" before running after his daughter doesn't rate too high. The overwrought score especially overplayed the dramatic hand here. But, I mean, I get it. The show needed to turn the screws ever tighter around Brody's high-strung psyche, pushing him to the breakdown he appears to have in next week's episode. I just hope the Waldens are nowhere near it.
Finally, a mea culpa: I was too quick to pronounce Danny Galvez dead in last week's recap. It would appear he's still clinging to life in a D.C. ICU. It's a curious choice, letting Danny linger off camera — clearly, the show isn't done with him yet. Will his recovery (or death) become a rally cry for the CIA? Could he turn out to be the mole after all? Will I ever let that storyline go?
Okay, your turn, and more questions: What did you think of "The Clearing"? Do you think Quinn's pain pill popping is suggesting an unhappy ending? Were you satisfied with how the hit-and-run revelation was handled? And are you hoping to see more from Max the mute?