Homeland recap: Cold Turkey

Carrie reunites with Brody, who struggles through withdrawal, while Saul preps the next phase of his plan
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 24, 2013

THE CARRIE CARD No matter what happens, Saul always ends up turning back to Carrie for help. In this episode, however, Carrie finds it hard to trust him, until she realizes that if Brody's involved, she has to be as well. Even so, the strikes against Saul are adding up -- will Carrie ever completely disobey her mentor?

Kent Smith/Showtime

Alone in his room, Brody begins to lose his mind, fixating on a spot on the wall and singing the Marines' Hymn -- "From the halls of Montezuma/To the shores of Tripoli/We will fight our country's battles/In the air; on land and sea" -- before pausing and reprimanding someone he sees.

"Say something, you motherf--ker," he says, just as the camera cuts to who he's glaring at: Tom Walker, his former ally he killed after the botched suicide vest op. Walker silently glares back until he sings the rest of the hymn to Brody. The hallucination understandably drives Brody out of his mind. He destroys a chair in his cell and grabs a splintered stake to stab himself with, repeatedly driving it into his arm.

Saul dashes to Brody to stop him from hurting himself further, but Brody doesn't see Saul; instead, he hallucinates that it's Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban, making a surprise special appearance -- the actor wasn't even included in the opening credits) coming to his rescue. Brody stops and gazes at Saul-as-Abu-Nazir, until he's restrained.

It's a fascinating scene for the episode, and not just because it brought some characters we've missed back on screen, but also because it accomplished many things at once: Tom Walker and Abu Nazir effectively reminded us of Brody's past, but more than that, having Brody hallucinate that Saul is Abu Nazir was, at least to me, some sly meta commentary from the writers. They've been remaking Saul this entire season into somewhat of an antihero (I know, not that word again, but I think it's true), and this just underlined Saul's new position as someone who's less moral than previously thought.

Anyway, when Brody wakes up, Saul's waiting to talk to him about why he's there. Brody immediately tells Saul that he had no hand in the bombing, but Saul stops him from saying more. "I'm inclined to agree," Saul tells him. "But your transgressions don't begin or end there. And I'm not about to engage in a back and forth where you somehow end up the victim. We both know what you've done. We both know what you are." Brody looks stunned and confused at Saul's speech. What could the acting director of the CIA possibly have in mind for him?

It turns out Saul wants to turn Brody back into a Marine, into someone who can help him carry out a mission. But Brody protests. "Please, no more, I'm done," he says.

"You're not," Saul replies. "You will do this one last thing."

Brody refuses to accept Saul's offer, saying he would rather die. Saul decides, then, to test his resolve, and the special ops team drives Brody out on a boat in the middle of the night and tosses him overboard into the water. The foursome patiently waits to see if Brody resurfaces, but it quickly becomes clear that Brody has no intention of saving himself. Two men dive in after him, pick him back up, and report back to Saul.

"He went down like a stone, no attempts to save himself whatsoever," one of the soldiers tells Saul. But Saul and Dar aren't giving up on Brody. For the time being, they'll have to force-feed him and keep him alive.

Clearly, Saul can't motivate Brody, but he knows the person who can.

NEXT: Calling Carrie

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