‘Homeland’ Season 2, Episode 8 Review – The Burden Of Truth

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Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in Homeland Ill Fly Away Homeland Season 2, Episode 8 Review – The Burden Of Truth

The deal that Brody (Damian Lewis) made in order to keep his family from the destructive nature of the truth - and to keep the former Marine from spending the rest of his life in prison - was also the lifeline keeping his paramour from once again being relegated to the dust bin of formerly great CIA analysts. As such, Homeland has been playing with the notion that Carrie (Claire Danes) would do anything to keep her asset in the game, without giving away exactly what it was she hoped to save. Is it the mission, her career, or her feelings for an unfortunate terrorist?

‘I’ll Fly Away’ isn’t exactly interested in settling on a single motive for Carrie. As she tells her off-the-grid asset (after they enjoy some take-out in a cheap motel), she’s essentially loaded the bases with the hope that all her runners can head for home. Despite everything that’s transpired, there’s some real hope for a future scenario where good triumphs and past mistakes are forgiven in light of some staggering accomplishments. In short: Carrie is holding out hope that Brody will be her ticket to salvation. It’s the same kind of desperation that led her down such a destructive path last season, but for whatever reason, Carrie Mathison can’t help but double down – especially when Brody, under incredible pressure from the CIA, Roya (Zuleikha Robinson), and his family, decides he’s suddenly had enough and calls it quits.

There’s a lot of desperate belief that, in the face of things going horribly wrong, everything will somehow turn out okay, just as long as the lies can stop. The trouble is, the only way for things to not completely fall apart is for Brody to perpetuate the lie.

Damian Lewis in Homeland Ill Fly Away Homeland Season 2, Episode 8 Review – The Burden Of Truth

At the same time, Dana (Morgan Saylor) is met head on by those who would do the same thing – but for a different purpose. In a sense, Dana is experiencing a situation not unlike her father’s; she is at the whim of powerful people who feel that their goal is more important than a random human life. How will being stopped from doing the right thing shape the course of Dana’s future? There was a time when Finn’s cynicism may have seemed like a charming façade, but now Dana’s come to better understand where his worldview comes from, and it’s not a particularly good place.

In the meantime, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) have to listen in while a “stage five delusional” gets Brody back in the game. Unfortunately, the congressman’s outburst has made his terrorist contacts as nervous as those inside the CIA. Despite Brody’s apology, and affirmation of his commitment to Nazir’s plot, Roya appears unconvinced. Her silence and skepticism leads to a tense drive (the kind you take where no one talks, but you know you’re in trouble) that appears poised to end only one way.

It’s a frantic scene in which the writers lead the audience to believe Brody is either going to be killed, or Carrie is going to compromise the entire situation in an effort to save his life. Instead, Brody’s whisked away by helicopter to some unknown location, and is once more at the whim of those who see him as a necessary means to an uncertain end. If Brody – or anyone else – thought they were in control of something as simple as their own decisions, then ‘I’ll Fly Away’ proves there is much for everyone to learn.

Morgan Saylor and Diego Klattenhoff in Homeland Ill Fly Away Homeland Season 2, Episode 8 Review – The Burden Of Truth

Highlights from the episode:

  • Is Saul’s support of Carrie based entirely on a belief in his protégé, or is part of it because he just wants to annoy Estes (David Harewood)?
  • Dana mentions to Jessica (Morena Baccarin) that her dad’s been working with Carrie. This, like everything else Brody does, cannot end well.
  • Dana zeros in on Mike’s (Diego Klattenhoff) emotional stake in the Brody family with a precision that feels remarkably compassionate and helps to make her character something deeper than a mere teenager going through a terrible ordeal.

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Homeland continues next Sunday with ‘Two Hats’ @10pm on Showtime. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. There’s at least 1 time per episode, where I wanna yell at Dana, or her mom ,” are you really this naive”. This is the United States Government. They can do whatever they want. That fact actually shouldn’t be so shocking as they play it out to be in the Brody household .

    Side Note* anyone else notice that Kerry has never called Brody by his first name in either season? Seems weird that she never calls the man she loves by his first name . Lol

    • I don’t think Brody’s wife, Jessica, does either. lol I can’t remember Jessica ever calling her husband anything but Brody. Or, is it just me?

  2. This season has been brilliant so far, and I really enjoyed this episode especially the very end. That was good! Before this season started I wasn’t sure whether it would be as good as the first, but I’m starting to think it is just as good if not better.

  3. Did I miss last episode’s recap?

    Does Carrie have to seduce Brody to keep him “in the game”? I just don’t understand how a relationship with an asset can be approved by the CIA… too many risks.

    The Dana storyline is strange, she is supposed to be this tough girl but is getting freaked out over something she really has no power over. Even if they did stop to call 911, the mother would have died anyways because they did witness someone else helping her right after they hit her.

    The CIA couldn’t follow a helicopter? Mind boggling… where is the CTU team from 24?

    • @BigNerd

      Couldn’t agree more. So tired of the plot holes this season. In this episode, as you say, the idea that the CIA etc couldn’t track a frickin chopper is just… silly.

      But that’s just one thing. John LeCarre it ain’t!

    • First off, the Dana storyline i find frustrating because i like many of you that have posted, try to rationalize in my head her through process, and as some of you have concluded, her telling this women what she did, does nothing for her, plus why is she guilty? there was someone there immediately after they hit her, but despite my frustration over it, i do understand it somewhat, she’s a teenager and just can’t grasp the big picture that all of us viewers can, because most of us are older, and more mature and can grasp that now.

      As far as Carrie, the relationship isn’t being approved, they’re letting what’s happening go on because 1) They think she isn’t attached, and honestly i think at the end of the day she is, but she does a damn good job of making you question if she is or not. and 2) They have NO options besides Brody, so most of these decisions are made out of desperation.

      Finally, as far as the chopper scene, what is so far fetched about them not tracking a chopper? they had limited resources on this as it is, because they’re keeping lots of people out of the loop, plus they had to keep a very far distance from Brody, and they definitely didn’t think or plan out some scenario where a chopper would come. Don’t see that as being far fetched.

      @Kevin7 I’m confused, like i just mentioned that chopper scene was perfectly fine, are you against 24 type tactics or for them? I know you said you feared them using those type of plot devices and twists etc, but what was wrong with the scene? While i loved 24, it was always walking the line between extremely compelling and a tad absurd, and it almost always stayed on the right side of it, and if it didn’t it didn’t stray too far. Homeland is far more grounded, and reserved, at least so far than 24 ever was. Them listening into her and brody having sex, i didn’t really find funny except a couple purposely put comic relief moments, beyond that, i honestly enjoyed watching Mandy Patinkin work because well he’s a god, and just how he was sitting, gave you this deep feeling of how he was feeling, which he elaborated somewhat, he just had this insane trust that despite whatever was going on and how ludicrous and painful it was to hear he had faith in her at the end of the day to do the job. Which she did.

      • @Joe:

        Your item #2 and “limited resources” and “out of the loop” contradict each other. As you said… Brody is their ONLY lead to a terror attack… so they should be throwing ALL their resources at it. Not everyone has to know it’s Brody who is involved, but they can have more surveillance available to do thing like… uh… track a chopper. Why no night vision equipment, parabolic mikes… etc etc?

        Saul and Quinn are just like us… they presume she is attached (which is why Quinn want to end the op)… the directive on Carrie should have been to do what you can WITHOUT the emotional aspect of it. Do we really think that’s the only reason Brody is going along with it? That Carrie’s pillow skills are that awesome?

        Which by the way… I find a bit strange this season. He was such a hardcore Nazir loyalist so Carrie’s “turning” of him seemed too easy. Remember, this was a guy who was willing to blow himself up, has murdered two people and blew a CIA Op for Nazir.

        • @BigNerd
          My 2nd item, do not contract each other what so ever, they specifically stated, when Saul and Estes agreed to do this and bring Carrie back in, that very few people would know about it so they could keep them off the grid, so no one would notice them missing. Secondly they started the chase during the day as you saw, there was almost a foreshadowing by Carrie when she told virgil “we’re gonna need lights soon” because they had no idea how far she was going to drive, and that it would take them far into the night, as far as they knew they were going on a 20 minute drive, not hours, so they weren’t prepared.

          Secondly there’s a big catch 22 right now, with Estes and Quinn, (and saul until he found the Brody tape) they want to doubt her, they want to pull her, but she keeps getting the job done, and her one strike against her for so long was her misjudgment of brody which has all been proven right, so as they keep portraying both Estes and Quinn are hesitant but realize it’s probably in their best interest to keep her going. No we do not think she’s so good in the sack it made him change his mind lol, however we should think his connection, possible love for carrie calms him, and keeps him anchored. It was obvious he was making his first decision simply out of pressure, not because he necessarily wanted to do it, he was just burnt.

          Finally as far as his indecisiveness, and reluctance to do the mission, because he was a “hardcore Nazir loyalist” last season, you’re essentially describing the essence of the show, he was always conflicted, even in the first season when he had the bomb on his chest, but he pressed the trigger anyways, but now that he’s had more and more time for it to settle in, and become re attached to his family, it’s becoming less and less of a priority to him, which is only natural, so no i don’t find that at all strange. I’d find it strange if he didn’t change over time, that wouldn’t be realistic at all, no matter how messed up he got over there, he still loved his family before he was put in a hole for 8 years, and coming back only (even if slowly)snapped him back into reality and made the decision exponentially harder to be a terrorist.

          • @Joe:

            Keeping it off-grid was before they turned Brody… when they were just tracking him to see who he contacts. Once he confessed and they found out there is an imminent attack planned… what government is not going to throw their full resources at him?

            As for his reasons for turning… I agree… but it’s a bit too convenient at how quickly although I feel his motivation was more to save himself than his family. And… is he attached to his wife or to Carrie? Because it seems he can’t decide that either. I think the next episode will show us how flip/floppy Brody can be since his homie is now face-to-face (before, just a Skype of Nazir convinced Brody to flip back).

            • @BigNerd

              Good catch about the little resources thing, however, I’m not sure much has changed in terms of how many resources they have at their disposal, it is still as far as i can tell Quinn’s team, along with Carrie, virgil, saul, no one else, especially with them keeping all this from virtually everyone it seems. I think they know despite it being one of if not only resource, they’re still extremely hesitant, though i foresee this pasts’ episode turn of events, in particular the chopper, possibly changing their mind that this is very real, very legitimate, and could help them stop this. We’ll see.

              • I think the 6 tailor massacre in the real worlds would bring more resources into play for the CIA and this ops. Not being able to track the chopper was a joke.

    • Sexual relationships have always been a tactic of espionage, spying, military intelligence operations during war, etc. to gain info or advantage in intelligence matters. Security clearances are required for classified missions and foreign relationships always have to be reported to one’s security supervisor while working under classified security clearances, to be monitored for any kind of intelligence compromise. If one doesn’t volunteer information about foreign contacts/relationships, it can result in adverse information reports and they have to be investigated for any possibility of intelligence breaches. (A good example would be RE Gen. Petreaus and his dalliances with Kelly and Broadwell in regards to “pillow-talk”.) This is a reason why Carrie’s handlers are freaking out when she goes “dark”; they don’t know if she’s going outside of the parameters that have been agreed upon for her mission. And as we have seen, Carrie is notorious for stepping out of her bounds. That’s why she is considered a security risk, even though she is very very good at what she does.

  4. This show any good? I keep being asked about it. Going to try the first episode but I keep trying to picture claire danes as the role

    • First season is great but second season is frustrating as it’s got so many plot holes and things wrong that you have to suspend disbelief.

  5. As much as I loved season 1 and the first 5 episodes of season 2 since Brody flipped the show has been on shaky ground with me…
    My biggest fear from the start of Homeland would be that the writers and producers would fall back on their experience from 24 to maneuver tricky situations and the past few weeks have had that happen a few times.
    Especially the end of this past episode. When Carrie was running in the field while the Chopper landed. If she would have yelled “Damn It” a few times she would have been Jack Bauer. And the scene with Saul, Quinn and the other analysts listening in while her and Brody enjoyed some “Adult Time” was ridiculously funny but not in a good way.
    I don’t know what this says about me but I actually started wondering if one day did the producers have Daines and Lewis sit in booth and record the loudest “sexy time” noises they could muster? Or did they use some stock audio from a porno? ;)

    • Or a 3rd possibility – a live performance. lol

  6. First season was great but second season is starting to overreach now with silly plot lines. The CIA can’t seem to track very well. Cmon that’s there MO! Is Saul blind! He keeps trusting Carrie. That’s what they made fun of in the SNL skit with Anne Hathaway.

    • “Carrie’s only let me down every time I have trusted her” lol