First off … let’s take a deep breath. In “Redux,” Homeland‘s writers succeeded in some major trolling that they did well to keep quiet. But for the rest of the hour, “Redux” was full of suspense, not because of Saul’s capture and what might happen to him, but because of Carrie’s descent into mania and complete mood destabilization, thanks to friggin’ Dennis. Hit the jump to visit “the graveyard of empires.”
Like last week, we must address the beginning first: holy fuck. Carrie hallucinating that the hospital security officer was Quinn was the best clue that Brody was not really Brody, but dammit, Homeland has gone and done everything else on the Brody front, why not resurrect him and wreck everything this season has built so far? Why not bring Brody back as the human suicide vest to this season?
Thankfully, that wasn’t actually the case, as it was Aasar Khan (Raza Jaffrey) whose (handsome) arms Carrie fell into, and not Brody’s. But there was no better trick, or better way to show Carrie’s complete meltdown than to bring Brody back. It also reminded us how great this season has been without him (sorry to say, Damien Lewis, you know I love you). The more important thing though was Carrie admitting that she was, on some level, ok with him dying. It’s ok, girl. We were, too.
Still, it’s not surprising that her guilt complex would be at a maximum on the heels of Aayan’s death. It was the emotion Quinn had been looking for (that she did not seem to display regarding Sandy or Saul), but he surely never wanted it to come flooding forth like this. Watching Carrie completely lose it throughout the episode as she lost her grip on reality was so intense and heartbreaking, but Claire Danes absolutely delivered (per usual).
I can’t recall viewers getting the “Carrie view” before when it came to her being on or off of her meds, but I can say with certainty it has never been so wonderfully and horrifically portrayed. What started as her fear of something feeling not quite right (and Aasar Khan baiting her by saying she was talking too fast) became a terrible reality almost immediately. Her struggle to hold herself together in an increasingly chaotic and nightmarish world was incredibly tense and full of suspense. It led to some of the best sequences Homeland has done in a long time.
All season, I have been calling for more to be made of Carrie’s bipolar — some reference to it that would confirm her meds are working, or that she’s feeling stable (or isn’t). “Redux” went whole-hog with it, but it wasn’t wholly without precedent; for that, we had Dennis and his amateur creeping to lead up to the events of this hour. And what an hour.
Other parts of “Redux” worked well, like Martha’s dissatisfaction at the State Department being left out of foreign policy deals (like Lockhart taking over her diplomatic meeting), as well as the maneuvers and machinations relating to how the CIA is thinking of rescuing Saul. The small moments were also affecting: Haqqani letting his hand glide in the air outside of the car window; seeing his wife again for the first time in three years; making his son apologize to Saul.
Saul’s actual journey, though, felt a little too much like grandstanding; the back-and-forth at dinner about 9/11, and why America is in Pakistan and not Saudi Arabia, was a little too, “and now we will make sweeping generalizations to support vague politics on both sides.” Hilariously, the most general of all arguments regarding religion ended with Saul asserting he was Jewish, and Haqqani having no comeback but, “well” before the scene cut away quickly. Wise move.
The question of Saul’s return or exchange will now be one of political posturing and maneuvers, which Homeland excels at doing. But the other major component will be ISI’s use of psychological warfare against Carrie. She was set up by them, and now, she is being held by them (literally, in Kahn’s case). Homeland has the opportunity to do some very interesting things in these next few episodes, with its portrayal of Carrie and her emotional state. Yet, as fun as “Redux’s” twist was, let’s leave Brody in the grave.
Episode Rating: A
— I felt like I was losing my mind when Brody reappeared.
— “What’s unacceptable is the double dealing your country has been engaging with for decades” – Lockhart, who is suck a dick, but seems to actually be pretty good at corralling people, if not actually coming up with any ideas on his own.
— Martha should be suspicious as hell of Dennis saying Pakistan has grown on him. I feel like once his treason comes to light, she won’t even be the least bit surprised by it, though.
— Carrie: “I sent him to his death.” Fara: “We all did.”
— I want extras of Fara and Max hanging around the office in between Carrie bursting in. What else do they do?
— Saul having to sit there while Haqqani and his wife had sex was hilariously awkward.
— “You are teaching an entire generation to live with one foot in the grave” – Saul.
— Great, great moment when it seems that Carrie has shot two people during her psychotic break, but it all her imagination. How terrifying.
— I feel like a Pakistani mental hospital would be a grim place. Glad she was delivered to Khan instead (except not really, because he is dangerous. But he is soooo handsooooome …)
— “Praise God for sending me a human shield” – Haqqani.