Episode Title: "A Gettysburg Address"
Writer: Chip Johannessen
Director: Guy Ferland
Previously on "Homeland":
Full spoilers lie ahead for those of you who haven’t seen last night’s episode of “Homeland.” So come back later if you aren’t up to speed!
From the first season of “Homeland,” I seem to remember Virgil (David Marciano) and his brother, Max (Maury Sterling) being more competent than they are portrayed in the opening sequence of “A Gettysburg Address." Granted, Roya Hammad (Zuleikha Robinson) seems to be well trained in shaking tails and in picking places to meet where audio can’t be heard clearly. But when Virgil lost the mystery man whom he was following, it was definitely a groan worthy moment.
But it was the perfect excuse for Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) to bring in Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), now that her former (?!) lover is essentially under her heel. Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) is the only one who calls Carrie out on telling Brody that she still wanted to be with him during the interrogation last week. And Carrie’s mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is obviously worried about the same thing.
To hear Carrie tell it, her declaration that she wanted Brody to leave his family for her was simply a performance to get Brody to lower his defences and tell her what she wanted to know. And yet, does Carrie herself even know how much of what she said was a performance? Her feelings for Brody are all too real, and the ending of the episode suggests that her emotional vulnerability could still put her back in Brody’s arms.
Brody’s wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin) also has her share of self-deceptions. Jessica is so eager to find something true in Brody’s layers of lies that she clings to his admission that he is working with the CIA. Deep down, Jessica has to know that Brody is still holding out on her. But she really does seem to love him. It’s not all about becoming a powerful D.C. wife.
As much as I’m not enjoying Dana’s (Morgan Saylor) subplot with the Vice President’s son, Finn Walden (Timothée Chalamet); it was almost worth it for the awkward scene in the car between Brody and his daughter as they both sensed that they were hiding something. Also, Brody’s increasing paranoia about being followed was pretty funny.
Brody eventually questioned Carrie about her constant tactic of making physical contact with him when he gets panicked. Brody asked “What is this, sex? Understanding?” But Brody actually grabbed Carrie’s hand first during that same scene in his car. Personally, I think that Brody and Carrie have become lifelines to each other. Brody is the key to Carrie’s sanity, her unresolved feelings and the possibly of regaining her old life while Brody needs Carrie for any hope of getting himself and his family out of Abu Nazir's (Navid Negahban) web. It’s messy and complicated, but Carrie’s affection towards Brody doesn’t appear to be one sided.
“Don’t trust Brody” was the constant refrain of Saul and Quinn, but Brody did seem to be trying to help (at Quinn’s insistence) when he admitted that the Tailor died while Brody was trying to move him to a safe house. Brody conveniently leaves out the fact that he killed the Tailor after the man had fatally injured himself running away. But in the meantime, the FBI has been wasting their time waiting for the Tailor to return to his shop in Gettysburg.
Quinn goes down in person for the FBI’s search of the Tailor’s store. However, Brody’s subsequent meeting with Roya reveals that Nazir’s forces were well aware that the FBI was watching the store and that there is something critical inside that may be found.
And just as Quinn apparently stumbles upon a hollow part of a wall, masked gunmen in SWAT uniforms arrive with assault rifles and wipe out the FBI team and sometimes seen CIA Agent, Danny Galvez (Hrach Titizian); who at least manages to kill one of their attackers. Quinn survives the initial attack, but the extent of his injuries isn’t immediately clear as Roya’s mystery man and his comrades retrieve something hidden from behind the hollow wall.
Over in the CWland, Dana can’t get Finn to talk with her about the accident in any meaningful way, so she goes to the hospital and finds the victim and her daughter in the ICU. Again, I really dislike this part of the story, but Morgan Saylor almost makes it work with her performance when Dana is overcome by grief and remorse as she learns that the woman whom Finn hit with his car may be dying.
This would not be good news for Brody or Jessica, but Dana is definitely her father’s daughter. She lies and tells Finn that the victim is already dead, but he still won’t take responsibility for it more out of fear of his father than anything else. I still think that Dana will end up stuck with the blame for the accident. At least Dana wants to accept some responsibility for what happened. And if we’re being honest here, it is partially her fault. After all, Dana did encourage Finn to speed through the streets of D.C. as they lost his Secret Service detail.
I’m also not enthused with the story of Lauder (Marc Menchaca) and Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) as they attempt to prove Brody’s involvement with Tom Walker’s death. They are so far behind the audience’s level of knowledge that it’s kind of frustrating to watch them try to figure it out. And Lauder may be crazy, but his theories about Brody have been oddly on the mark.
Mike makes up an excuse to snoop around the Brody home and he finds Brody’s gun (the same type that killed Walker) with one bullet conspicuously missing. Although I could have sworn that Brody fired that gun at least twice last season, but whatever. That single missing bullet is all the evidence that Mike needs to tell Jessica that Brody killed Walker. And in response, she tells Mike that Brody’s working for the CIA!
Well, it didn’t take long for Jessica to spill that detail. Although I doubt anyone would have guessed that she would blurt it out only one episode after learning it. Far too many people outside of the CIA know that Brody is working with them now. At some point, Roya and her associates are bound to figure it out as well.
For now, we’re left with a very angry Carrie confronting Brody in his Congressional office about the attack on the FBI agents in the Tailor’s shop. In the face of Brody’s puzzled reaction, Carrie breaks down and cries in his arms. Just like that, the balance of power in their messed up relationship shifted back to him. I expect we’ll continue to see an emotional tug-of-war along those lines as the rest of the season plays out. Brody needs Carrie for his family’s future. And Carrie simply needs Brody.
"A Gettysburg Address" isn’t quite the home run that last week’s “Q&A” was. But then “Homeland” had to slow down eventually. At the rate this series has been burning through story, it feels like “Homeland” is already near its endgame instead of at the middle of the season.