Homeland recap: Safehouse Or Guardhouse?

Brody thinks he finds sanctuary, but ends up trapped; a mysterious stranger visits Carrie
Ep. 03 | Aired Oct 13, 2013

ON THE RUN Brody has nowhere to turn, not even his faith, when he reaches "the end of the line" in Caracas. His fugitive status makes him an easy target, and he's desperate to find out where he should go next. And of course, Carrie's in no condition to help him out.

Kent Smith/Showtime

Like Carrie, Brody comes thisclose to getting away, but his bombshell doesn't come in the form of a law firm associate -- it comes in the form of El Nino and his guys, guns drawn and firing on the imam and the police dragging Brody out of the shower and into custody.

Let's back up a little first: Brody, believing he found refuge at the mosque, takes a refreshing shower there in an extended shot that makes the scene seem like a dream sequence. Just as he's leaning against the wall and relaxing for what must be the first time since the Langley bombing, two police officers draw back the shower curtain and pull the nude Brody out, beating him senseless and dragging him to the imam. "You're not a Muslim," the imam tells a shell-shocked Brody. "You're a terrorist."

That's when El Nino comes to the rescue in a bloody shoot-out that leaves all threats to Brody dead and Brody himself lying naked on the floor (and unfortunately for me, calling this song into mind).

Clothed and returned to square one at the tower, Brody sits collapsed against the wall in a bare room. "I told you, 'Don't leave,' but you go," El Nino says, admonishing Brody. "This is what happens. We all get trouble." Brody says he understands, and agrees to also stay away from Esme, as Dellums returns in the doorway to see him.

"You're a naughty boy," Dellums says in the shadows, his voice washing over the scene. "Naughty, naughty boy... Everywhere you go, other people die, but you always manage to survive, have you noticed that? You're like a cockroach, still alive after the last nuclear bomb goes off."

Indeed, Brody the human cockroach has survived impossible odds, even aside from the failed bomb he was supposed to detonate at the end of the first season. He's killed a man while on the phone with Jessica, shot Tom Walker to protect himself, and escaped the hold of Abu Nazir. But a cockroach can simply continue to survive, while Brody needs a plan, somewhere to go, something to do. And right now, he's stagnant, forced to stay exactly where he is, drugging himself so he can run away from his thoughts. The same goes for Carrie, alone in the corner of her room, hugging her knees to her chest. Just two lost cockroaches, stuck where they are on a show that won't let them get what they want.

The episode leaves us to ponder what both characters could possibly do next, now that they've seemingly tried everything they can to escape. By only using them in "Tower of David," the show has amplified their helplessness and loneliness, and despite my misgivings about how the episode played the pair's similar situations, I'm glad to see Brody again, and I'm eager to find out what they're planning with his character. Plus, the location's gorgeous and a much-needed respite from all the D.C.-centric plots. Bringing in a ton of new players to work with his storyline is a wise choice, because it allows for new Brody stories -- we'll just have to see if they're worth following. Given the use of Esme so far, one path could lead to an unfortunate romantic spin, but Brody could as easily head in a different direction. I'm hoping the writers do the latter.

And Carrie? I'm predicting she'll eventually take Franklin up on that offer. Homeland doesn't add new characters for nothing -- at least, it'd be a shame if we never find out the identity of her mysterious "supporter." Whoever it is, we've got new players on the board, in addition to last week's Fara and the frequently mentioned Javadi. (Hey, maybe the interested party is connected to Javadi? My theories are starting to look as ridiculous as Carrie's scribbles in her notebook.)

So what did you all think? Was this episode nuts? Were you bored or thrilled? Happy to see Brody back, or frustrated that the show can't get rid of the Brodys entirely? Wishing the story moved forward some more? (I'm with you there.) Itching to see Dana again? Just kidding, I know how most of you feel about that one. Whatever your thoughts, sound off in the comments below.

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