HOMELAND Recap: “A Gettysburg Address”

     November 4, 2012

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This week’s Homeland was mostly the payoff from last week’s emotionally explosive episode, where alliances seemed to genuinely change and create a new trajectory for the back half of the season.  And then, orbiting out on its own, is Dana’s story, a terrible tragedy that has to be kept a secret.  Dana, who has always seemed to share more with Brody than Jess (including his ability to lie) has found herself a little too close to things that Brody knows — like what it’s like to take an unexpected car trip and end up killing someone.  Yes Finn was driving the car, but it was at Dana’s behest that they do something reckless.  Ultimately the fault lies entirely with Finn, but Dana simply being there and witnessing and being able to do anything (or rather, choosing not to do anything because of other factors) weighs heavily upon her.  Hit the jump for more on what went wrong in Gettysburg and elsewhere in Brody’s emotional Civil War (see what I did there?)

homeland-a-gettysburg-addressLies were flying all over the place in “A Gettysburg Address,” but none are ever gotten away with for long in the Homeland-verse, and even though Brody did tell the truth to Jess about his working for the CIA (of sorts), he then lied about Carrie’s involvement (naturally). That first truth, though, may help him out again Mike’s attacks on him to Jess.  But help me out here: Tom Walker is and was a known terrorist, so why is Brody killing him considered a super suspicious thing?  Especially if it’s been revealed that he works for the CIA?  It would be easy to conceive that the CIA used him to lure in Walker, maybe things went bad, or maybe that was the plan all along, but that Brody was working as an operative at that point (which would also explain why he was such a mess during that time).

In any case, it’s not what Mike and Lauder think — they are putting on their tin foil hats and crying foul at the government (and they are, let’s not forget, correct).  Despite Mike getting pulled in the Principal Estes office for a dressing down, there he was at the next chance hunting around in Brody’s garage for clues about the gun (which Brody left very obviously, a surprising move from him).  I was more concerned that Lauder would find the Qur’an, but maybe Brody has thought better of leaving out anymore.

homeland-season-2-episode-6And speaking of tin foil hats, I have to pause and comment on how amazingly creepy it is how the government can track individuals through security camera networks and face recognition software.  I have no idea how accurate Homeland is in portraying that sort of thing — it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched in some ways — but the idea that we’re being watched and could be tracked in that way is alarming.  Yet, as Homeland presents it, it’s also a necessary part of, well, homeland security.

Still, that didn’t help Peter (and Alvarez? Please live!) and his gang who were gunned down as those tied to Abu Nazir stripped Bessel-the-Tailor’s shop of whatever traces it still had to their nefarious dealings.  Though Carrie lashes out at Brody at the end, it’s really herself that is to blame.  She sent Brody to feed Roya Hammad that information specifically to see “what comes back.”  And though Peter thought to call for backup once Carrie told him Roya knew that they were there and that there might be something there, it was too late, culminating in a tragic and shocking scene that made me sit up after having been lulled so far and actually shout “what the fuck?!”

homeland-gettysburg-addressBack to Carrie and Brody’s relationship, it was interesting that he called her out on her comfort tactics when they were in the car and she held his hand.  There will always be something between those two, but it takes many forms.  It makes Saul rightfully worried, because even though Carrie swears she could never trust that terrorist again, she really does still love him and wants him to be ok.  It’s a toxic partnership in most ways, and Brody is clearly a trigger for Carrie and the fine line of her mental balancing act.

But did Brody give Roya a signal?  Or did she just take Brody at his word and put it together that the CIA would soon be on the tailor’s track and needed to be stopped?  Or did she have that plan in place even before Brody talked to her?  Brody, though still reluctant with Carrie and Peter, does admit to knowing about Bessel’s “accidental” disappearance (like him killing Bessel would even be a big deal in the scheme of things right now), showing that he is cooperating.  But his honesty is still peppered with lies.  Maybe he just needs a hand to hold.

claire-danes-homeland-a-gettysburg-addressEpisode Rating: B

Musings and Miscellanea:

— This week felt like it had too many coincidences for my liking.

— Dana’s trip to the hospital seemed, again, a little too perfect in many ways.  Finn’s reaction was unsurprising, but I’m still interested in how it will (if it will) connect back to the main story.  Once again, Dana is a great character who feels so real as a teenager, and seeing her deal with this should be Emmy material in the making.

— I liked that Brody returned the hand hold, whatever it means for either of them then in that moment or in general.

— Never ignore Carrie’s hunches!

— Glad Carrie and Saul had a moment to talk, it’s been a few episodes and they definitely needed to powwow.

— I know that Mike and Lauder are trying to do the right thing but they really irritate me, which means I’m supporting a terrorist double agent, which makes me feel weird …

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