HOMELAND Recap: “Q&A”

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“Q&A” may be the quietest Homeland episode yet, but it packed a powerful emotional punch.  I’ll admit, my attention span is not what it used to be, but for the full hour of “Q&A” I was riveted, unable to look away, and not once tempted to cast a stray eye to my nearby phone.  If Claire Danes‘ acting tour de force this season so far was in “State of Independence,” Damien Lewis certainly came close to matching it in “Q&A.”  Brody’s spectrum of emotions as he went from standing firm, to being incredibly frightened (but still lying) and finally to the immense relief of telling the truth was captivating stuff.  It was calm (for the most part, minus Peter’s Bad Cop routine, which was brilliant — he really is a great interrogator), but there were turgid rivers of emotion underneath everyone’s skin, and moving forward, things will only get more complicated.  For more on that and why you are drowning in lies! … hit the jump.

homeland-season-2-poster-1Things went more or less as predicted, with Brody being released back into the wild now working for the CIA in attempting to uncover Abu Nazir’s next plot against the U.S.  I sincerely doubt that Brody would turn his back on America again — Carrie’s speech was so perfectly stated, and she spoke to such truths that Brody did honestly seem to believe and take to heart about how Nazir had manipulated him and his emotions.  As Dana echoed later to Jess, “they did something to Dad over there. He’s not the same.”  Brody seemed to finally acknowledge that he has been little more than a pawn in both Walden and Nazir’s international games.

What made Carrie’s interrogation of Brody all the stranger / more intense was her heartfelt expression of love towards him, not seeming to really care if he openly returned it because she feels certain that what they had (or still have) is unique and beyond just “playing” one another.  The rollercoaster of their emotions towards one another is more engaging and more believable than anything Brody and Jess have been through together (I don’t know who exactly to blame for this, if anyone — Brody just seems much more wooden around Jess and vice versa than with anyone else, but that can reasonably be explained by his change since coming home I suppose).  The intertwined nature of Carrie and Brody, from Day One, has been the crux of the show, and Brody telling Jess that they would be ok and later holding Carrie’s hand in the car were all part of that complicated dance.  Carrie means something very special to Brody, but his family still means more to him than anything.

homeland-season-2-episode-5-morena-baccarinAt the end of last season I thought that Carrie’s ECT erasing her memory about Brody saying Issa’s name in his sleep would be significant, but it turns out that plot point didn’t matter in the end thanks to the uncovering of the video.  And for all of our exclamations about the video being found, Brody was right in saying that they only had circumstantial evidence.  For a moment I thought that the CIA’s case could conceivably fall apart.  It was a relief though to viewers as well as Brody to have him finally come clean and start working for the other side.  He may not agree with everything either side is doing, but he’s been forced to choose.  It was a great close to Brody’s saga (Part Two of his Life as a Terrorist, anyway), and a great moment to see the cork board replaced with pictures of Roya Hammad and the new targets that Brody will help them take down.

Of course, nothing is ever simple, and lest we forget, last week Lauter and Mike were starting their own investigation about What Really Happened with Tom Walker and Elizabeth Gaines.  Plus, despite Carrie’s assurances, there will surely come a point where Brody becomes paranoid that Nazir is on to his treachery.  At least now he has a better cover than his other lies (and the man does lie well).  In fact, I’ve thought for awhile that he could have (and should have) used the CIA as cover for his dealings, because it would have made sense and Jess would have had no way of getting it confirmed since she’s not supposed to know in the first place.

homeland-season-2-episode-5-damien-lewisIn any case, she knows now, and the Brody household is unified once again with Chris able to breathe easy (there’s always one forgotten child in dramas like this, and it’s you, Chris!) though Dana now has a few secrets of her own.  We didn’t see Dana break up with Xander, but we didn’t need to — bye bye, poor stoner boyfriend and hellooooo Vice President’s son!  In an exceptionally self-assured manner, Dana conveys her new relationship status to Finn and then asks if he would like to take her out — nice move, girl.  But later, in one of the more completely bizarre moments of the series, Finn acts just like any other petulant bratty teen and tries to evade the Secret Service for kicks, maiming and possibly killing a woman in the process.  Dana is rightfully shaken, but the two seem to get away with things (I doubt that will last).  I can’t say I am much inclined towards this turn of events or the way they played out, but I’m willing to see where it goes before side-eyeing it too harshly.

Big, big setup of an episode, huge turn in trajectory for the remainder of the season, Damian Lewis for all the awards, thank you and goodnight!

Episode Rating: A-

homeland-season-2-posterMusings and Miscellanea: 

– Quite a few of you guys mentioned last week in the comments that Dana reminds you a lot of Angela (Claire Danes) from My So Called Life and I 100% agree.

– Do you know anybody who dates someone known by a last name and still calls them that after they’re in a relationship? What about after marriage? It’s just hard to think of Jess never calling Brody “Nick.”  Friends of mine who ending up dating people known for a last name invariably switch to calling them their actual first name.  I dunno.  Strange.

– I really loved Jess showing up with a Tupperware container of soup.  Cute.  Morena Baccarin is the hottest mom ever, by the way, though I have trouble believing she is the mom of a 16 year old, but that’s TV for ya (where parents are 10 years older than their kids).

– “When is the last time you told the truth?” – Carrie to a beleaguered Brody.

– Useless fact, Damian Lewis is married to the actress who played Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

– How was the war, Carrie? “Well my interpreter was burned alive and hung from a bridge, so …!”




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  • Rosie

    This was such a FUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT. “HOMELAND” has just jumped the shark for me. It was too soon. It was too soon for the CIA to learn the truth about Brody. And now the rest of the series is going to be about him exposing Al-Queda on behalf of the CIA. How FUCKING unoriginal is this?

    I don’t think I want to bother with this series again.

    P.S. Carrie’s “manipulation” of Brody in this episode was so hamfisted that I was surprised that he cracked. Ugh! Is this the best they can do?

    • CamdenHey

      What remains to be seen, though, is what side does Brody’s loyalty TRULY lie? Just because Brody appeared to switch sides in the episode doesn’t mean that his actions down the line will reflect that.

      Just look at the preview for next week. Something terrible happens and Carrie asks Brody, “DID YOU KNOW?”, as if he is still withholding vital information.

      And really, to say that the show has “jumped the shark” and become some sort of predictable crap is pretty premature, don’t you think? You haven’t seen the rest of the season. More twists and turns are without a doubt in store for the plot of Homeland.

    • cobby

      @ rosie wait for it , its not to soon , who knows brody playing big game , by screwing CIA as well , he is still with abu nazir

    • John

      I was skeptical too when this happened and was not supprised with the “double” agent offer, how else can this keep going. BUT what I love most about this show is the human aspect of our soldiers. At the begining when he came home and could not be close to his wife, he even slept on the floor. The best part of the Q&A episode was “What do you tell people when they ask you about the war?” As a 22 year military person and the last 10 years being in the Nurse Corps in the Navy… I cried. I hear these stories from my fellow shipmates who have come back, and I am starting to hear from more Vets as I have just joined the local VFW. That “dual” life you have, the one you can not share with the average American, cuase they just cant wrap their head around it. Also I got to say I loved Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers a show I watch every year. He does military men a good turn by representing the common man in battle. I thought this might be jumping the shark too, till it realy hit home, to the soul of the battle worn.

    • Tim

      Rosie is insane. This is the best drama on TV. This episode had one of the best on screen duo’s I’ve seen on TV in a while. The fact that this played out so soon tells you how confident the writers are in the series to come. Every other show out there would have screwed around for 5 episodes to drag this big moment out, but Homeland gets right too it without feeling it was forced on abruptly. It was not too soon. The series hasn’t even played out yet.

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  • Mars

    I find it a bit strange that they showed a USA Today newspaper showing the presidential campaign with Obama v. Romney, when they use a fictional VP running for election in the show.

    Anyways, a decent episode. Carrie and Brody on the same team could be fucking awesome, unless they just play each other and deceive one another as usual. Carrie sure seems depressed when she’s not working, though. That whole car accident with Finn was a cheapshot, though…a really lame dramatic device I’d expect from 90210, not Homeland.

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