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

After everything that's happened in this packed episode, Brody's ready to be sent off at last. Just before he walks away, Brody pauses to give Carrie a final look. Carrie, though, calls out to him one last time. It looks like she's about to tell him something -- the pregnancy, perhaps? -- before stopping herself and saying, "See you on the other side."

Slowly, the camera zooms in on Carrie as she watches him leave for Iran. Fade to black.

And that's that. Like I said earlier, I'm nominating it as the best episode so far this season. It's brilliantly paced, because you don't get a chance to pause and think about Saul's plan (until now, of course), but it allows enough space for scenes between Carrie and Brody to breathe. In a way, I'd argue that the episode was also trying to show how Brody is Carrie's addiction, and quitting him cold turkey hasn't worked out well for her, even if she was never trapped at the Tower of David. Brody is harder to read, even though we're shown the scene with him and the soldier discussing whether there's anything going on between Brody and Carrie, which means we'll probably find out more of his thoughts down the line.

But aside from all that, having the two of them together was just a testament to how much Claire Danes and Damian Lewis crackle when they're together onscreen, which of course makes me miss season 1 Homeland. I hope I'm not the only one -- Tom Walker and Abu Nazir's appearances also made me nostalgic for the early days of this show.

Yet, even with those reminders of the old Homeland, the current incarnation of Carrie, Brody, and Saul's story is looking up, as everything's set in motion for another explosive season ending. We still have several episodes worth of stories to watch first, but now that we know Saul's plan and its stakes, the show's on a clearer path than before. The only things that bother me at the moment include Carrie's pregnancy story line and how the show just glossed over the Alan Bernard/Lockhart plot, but I'm sure at least the former will come up again before the season ends. (Side note: Is anyone else concerned with how shaky Saul's plan sounds when you think about it more? For example, how can he trust that Javadi will actually help Brody make it to Tehran? We know that Javadi seemingly has no other choice, but he seems too sly to just do Saul's bidding like that, without getting something else out of it. It's a lot banking on a villainous double agent and a congressman-turned-fugitive-turned-junkie working together to take out someone Carrie claims is more protected than the Ayatollah.)

Whatever happens, the show can rest easy knowing it produced an episode that was not only emotionally satisfying, but thrilling in its drama. And I can't wait to see what happens next.

So what'd you think of the episode, readers? What's coming down the line for Brody? Do you think Brody completely forgot Chris existed? Are you happy to see Damian Lewis helm an episode again, or would you rather they write off Brody by the end of this season? Whatever your thoughts, share them in the comments below.

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