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

Like their epic interrogation a few weeks back, Carrie simply changed tactics, bringing the conversation back to her. She sat down next to him on the bed, and began telling him about the future she'd imagined for the two of them — and in doing so, gave Brody an alternative vision for his fate. "If we saw this through together," she said, "if we finally stopped Nazir once and for all, then you'd be a real hero. And that fact would somehow make everything you did before not matter. That it would all just be about getting to there." It was just enough hope to derail Brody's epic pity party. Even what he did to Carrie, even that would be absolved? "Including that," she said. "Just wouldn't matter any more, to either of us." Brody sat up. "You know how crazy everyone says you are?" he said. "You're crazier than that." Carrie smiled. "This deal of ours, I think it's a way out for both of us," she said. "You said you were all alone. You're not."

It was such a gentle scene, marvelously underplayed by Danes and Lewis, both of them at once speaking the full truth to each other while also touching at the heart of the show's nimble blearing of the personal and the professional. It was so lovely and moving, in fact, that what followed was, for me at least, so jarring I laughed out loud through most of it.

Carrie may be crazy, but she was smart enough to make sure Saul and the CIA could find them without any real effort. Unfortunately for Carrie, Saul found them so quickly that the CIA was listening in on their entire conversation — and the noisy, grunting, aggressive boning that followed. The sight of Saul gripping his hand to his forehead as he heard their jackrabbity happy sounds is something I won't soon forget. Quinn, meanwhile, appeared to be consumed with a heady cocktail of incredulity that this was even happening, and jealousy that he wasn't the one receiving Carrie's vehement affections. He wanted to pull the plug on the entire thing, but Saul stubbornly refused to give up on Carrie. "She's turning it around!" said Saul, which managed to be both entirely accurate and entirely hilarious. Quinn characterized it as "a stage five delusional getting laid," but Saul pointed out that Carrie deliberately went to a place where they could be found. "All she's asking for is time," he said calmly. And remarkably, Quinn gave it to her. (One unambiguously terrible thing about this scene: The extras in the nerve center were behaving like background characters in a videogame, not reacting to anything Saul and Quinn were screaming at each other.)

The next day, Brody called Roya and apologized, using all the same language one would use when apologizing to an estranged significant other — and Roya's dubious expression made clear she wasn't ready to buy what Brody was selling right away. When they hung up, she took the battery out of her phone, already wary of surveillance. Carrie and Brody, meanwhile, spent a quiet moment cuddling on the motel walkway. Given how the episode concluded, I wonder if it was the last moment of calm affection they will ever have.

Back at the HQ, Saul had the unpleasant task of informing Carrie that the entire nerve center had been privy to her bedroom gymnastics. "I don't know what's worse," Carrie said to Saul. "Quinn's perverts with their idiot smirks" — no, Carrie, that's "pre-rendered videogame character smirks," totally different — "or you giving me that look." Saul gently pressed Carrie to own up to her obvious subjective feelings for Brody — and recognize how badly it ended for her the last time she got that close to him. But instead of having a human conversation with the one person who fought to keep her efforts with Brody alive (and how!), Carrie threw Saul's own subjective feelings for her back in his face. "I'm not your daughter, Saul," she said with not a small amount of contempt. "I don't need you telling me what to do." Not exactly burning a bridge, but certainly building a fire on top of it.

NEXT PAGE: Bye bye Brody!

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