The problem with giving Brody (Damian Lewis) a deal in exchange for his cooperation with the CIA is that at a certain point, Carrie (Clare Danes) is going to have to believe what he says. It’s a complete reversal of what Homeland started out being. Carrie has gone from assuming (correctly) that every word out of Brody’s mouth was a lie – or at least a half-truth that maintained the Brody persona of “super-patriot” and returned war hero. Of course, Carrie’s first instinct was to believe him to be the sleeper agent she’d been warned of, and after much suffering on her behalf, as a result of Brody’s actions and, especially, his lies, Ms. Mathison has once more found herself in turnaround.
The question then becomes: How much does Carrie believe Brody is telling the truth, and how much does she simply want to believe?
Olive-appreciator, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and even Saul (Mandy Patinkin) are hesitant to think any words out of the traitor’s mouth have much value, but Carrie’s adamant that Nicholas Brody’s been successfully turned. Besides, as she mentions, if Brody wants to double-cross the CIA by feeding intel to Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), he can; they just have to believe he won’t or hasn’t already. For the team, though principally Quinn, believing Brody to be their ace in the hole, may stand as their biggest risk.
After a surveillance detail on Roya (Zuleikha Robinson) leads the team to discover a new player that they have zero information on – they can’t even identify the fellow with facial recognition software – Brody’s called in at Carrie’s request to take a look at the picture of this as-yet unnamed participant. But Brody’s also there to cough up any additional information that may have slipped his mind after Quinn went for his hand like it was the last dolmade in Washington, D.C. Naturally, there’s still some unresolved tension between the two, with Brody fully expecting Quinn to be the bad cop in every situation, which keeps him from doing anything but appearing to cooperate. So, in lieu of being able to identify the new mystery man, Brody offers up the whereabouts of the tailor, neatly glossing over the fact that he broke the guy’s neck, and reminding us all of just what a reflexive phony Brody is capable of being.
Carrie trusts that Brody will force a meeting with Roya to discover the identity of the new guy, while assuming he won’t tip her off in some way. Meanwhile, taking part in a forensic detail in Gettysburg, Quinn and his crew tear through Bassel the tailor’s shop, only to find a mountain of paperwork, but no hard evidence. With Nazir’s team on to the CIA’s presence in the store, and with backup close, but not close enough, Quinn stumbles upon a false wall mere seconds before a tactical unit, being led by the mystery man, wipes out his team, takes whatever was in the wall and vanishes as quickly as they materialized. Being a method actor and clearly into theatrics, Quinn uses the fact that he’s been shot to act like he’s been shot and killed – a clever ruse that seemingly keeps him from playing the more permanent role of dead guy.
Brody is a pathological liar – a fact that, this being the spy business, is actually true of all the major players in Homeland – and ‘A Gettysburg Address’ plays up the history of those lies, and why trust can often prove to be and enemy in situations as potentially devastating as the one Peter, Saul and Carrie are all in. After the tailor shop massacre, Carrie storms Brody’s office, spouting accusations and basically just wondering aloud if he’d somehow played a part in the death of all those men. She’s feeling responsible; the deaths were on her watch as much as anyone else’s. Involved or not, maybe Brody’s the only one she can think to face in a situation like this; after all, they do share a rather tarnished history. Breaking down in his congressional office, Carrie seeks, and seemingly gets the solace she was looking for – perhaps without considering where it’s all headed.
In the meantime, Mike (Diego Kattenhoff) and his ever-inebriated investigative sidekick Lauder (Marc Menchaca) begin asking the kinds of question about Tom Walker that earns Mike a visit into Saul’s office. There, Saul and David Estes (David Harewood) put it in plain English that he’s to drop his freelance investigation into Brody and Walker immediately. It’s hard to tell if that triggers in Mike a simple need to know, or if being shooed away from anything Brody-related by the CIA makes him think there’s a window of opportunity where Jessica’s involved. Either way, Chris (Jackson Pace) needs to stop letting people into his dad’s garage.
That’s not the only trouble one of Brody’s spawn may have caused. Haunted by the idea that the guy she left Xander for may have killed a pedestrian on their first date, Dana (Morgan Saylor) does a little snooping of her own. Wandering the halls of the ICU in search of Finn’s (Timotheé Chalamet) victim, Dana happens across the poor woman’s distraught daughter only to learn that things are nowhere near okay. Panicked of what will happen if anyone finds out the son of the future president was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident, Finn attempts to spell out to Dana just how golden her silence in this situation is. But, as her father has learned, keeping something like this internalized will only serve to destroy who holds it from the inside out.
Homeland continues next Sunday with ‘The Clearing’ @10pm on Showtime. Check out a preview of the episode below: