Homeland recap: Safe Harbors

The pressure becomes too much for Brody, so Carrie takes matters into her own hands, and how!
Ep. 08 | Aired Nov 18, 2012

DOUBLE AGENT WORK IS STRESSFUL, YOU GUYS After the spirited night Brody (Damien Lewis) spent with Carrie (Claire Danes) following his meltdown in front of Roya (Zuleikha Robinson), you would think the guy would look a bit more relaxed.

Kent Smith/Showtime

Instead of confronting his sins, Nicholas Brody didn't try to run away from them so much as he simply stopped moving in any direction. When Jessica pressed him to tell the CIA he had to go to the police for Dana, Brody bellowed "I CAN'T I CAN'T I CAN'T!" — a primal scream, his declaration that he was simply done with everyone and everything, especially himself.

Carrie, however, was not done with him — not even close. Finding him huddled in a fetal position in his home, muttering about the "nightmare" his life had become, she propped him up for the meeting with Roya that was meant to introduce him to his new contact. (I remind you, this meeting was scheduled for the same day that Brody brought his daughter to the D.C. Metro police, which was also the same day as the end of their weekend presidential fundraiser with the Waldens. So, you know, busy day.) But when Brody got to his meeting with Roya, while never blowing his cover per se, he supremely and utterly lost his s---, telling her, "I'm through." Roya tried to win him back with veiled threats that quitting was "not an option," but Brody was resolute. "There's nothing more to say," he growled, pulling away from her. (Nice visual touch with that swarm of kids in blood red polos racing by them at this moment.)

The CIA, naturally, was just as freaked out as Roya was. Quinn believed the mission was blown, but Carrie refused to give up — as long as his cover was intact, Brody was still in play. She ordered Virgil to kill the transmitter on Brody's phone and blame it on technical difficulties. And while she told Quinn she would bring Brody in, instead she took his keys and spirited him out of town. "Do you think I really care what happens to me anymore?" Brody said before they drove off. "Well, I do," she replied. "I care what happens to you, even if you don't."

Estes, understandably, was furious, but all he did was yell at Saul that he needed to find his protégé. Saul, who had been consumed with such resolve at the end of last week's episode, was remarkably calm, trying to assuage Estes concerns by noting that Carrie was managing Brody to keep him in play. Estes, however, had lost his patience. "I can't bank on that," he said darkly. "There's an attack planned, Saul, possibly imminent. And I don't want to be the one standing in front of the Senate explaining who Carrie was f---ing when the bomb went off!" (I'll pause for a moment to note that this episode aired just days after the real-life former head of the CIA testified before the real-life Congress about a recent real-life attack against the U.S. whilst embroiled in a real-life pants-dropping scandal of his own — a scandal several pundits have compared directly to the not-real-life Homeland. That sort of head-twisting serendipity is why I'm inclined to go along with what happened in the rest of the episode instead of dismiss it out of hand as simply ridiculous. Life is clearly much more absurd.)

Instead of supervising this precarious operation himself, Estes disappeared for the rest of the episode, letting Quinn and Saul battle over just how much testimony about Carrie f---ing Brody that Estes would have to give. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. First, Carrie had to check Brody into their room, at a motel that we learned later was designated as a CIA safe harbor. Still numb with apathy over his own fate, Brody soaked in a sublime sunset as possibly the last thing he saw before the CIA locked him up. "You think you can save this?" he asked Carrie softly. "You can't." Again, Carrie was undeterred, walking off to get food, trusting that Brody wouldn't bolt.

And he didn't. Instead, that night in their hotel room, he sang his own funeral dirge. "I was thinking, I'd finally done it," he told Carrie. "Burnt every bridge. With Abu Nazir. With the CIA. With my family. I'm more alone now than I was at the bottom of that hole in Iraq." Brody stretched out on the bed, totally spent. "I'm done," he sighed. "At least I'll finally be able to stop lying to everybody."

NEXT PAGE: Carrie and Brody unwittingly star in their own reality show

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