‘Homeland’: Everything’s Coming Up Brody

Published 8 months ago by , Updated November 19th, 2013 at 10:43 am,

Claire Danes and Rupert Friend in Homeland Season 3 Episode 8 Homeland: Everythings Coming Up Brody

[This is a review of Homeland season 3, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]

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As far as dramatic devices go, pregnancy is a fairly cheap one designed to elicit a specific response from the audience, while at the same time designating a unique and inexorable bond between two characters that is intimate in a completely different way than the one that got them to their current predicament. And in the case of Homeland, the idea of a CIA operative carrying the child of a man wanted the world over is intended to be seen as a dramatic predicament for Carrie Mathison, as now her objective is, more than ever, to prove the innocence of Nicholas Brody once and for all.

But it’s also intended to give weight to the idea that Brody must be saved or salvaged for a purpose beyond simply proving his innocence. The curious thing about the pregnancy is that it sort of acts as a smokescreen to the kind of person Brody actually is (somewhere between a blank slate and an actually terrorist), as opposed to the person Carrie (and, to a certain extent, Showtime) wants him to be.

In that sense, keeping Brody locked away in Caracas with nothing but a syringe and what we can only assume is the near limitless supply of heroin El Nino (Manny Perez) has access to, helps further negate the character’s culpability most everything that’s happened so far in nearly three seasons of Homeland. By pushing the character as close to rock bottom as possible and generally keeping him out of the storyline as anything other than an illusory goal with an indeterminate value for the characters or the plot, the writers have helped to shift the perception of the character into one of a man who perpetually suffers at the hands of others.

Jason Butler Harner and Claire Danes in Homeland Season 3 Episode 8 Homeland: Everythings Coming Up Brody

The other, possibly inadvertent, result of this treatment is that Brody has become a hovering reminder that this show once had a framework larger than five people in a room at the CIA. As the series has progressed, the scope of Homeland has consequently shrunk, and the results have been mixed. Before, Brody, Carrie, Saul and even Virgil were all representative of a larger, more complex idea of intelligence and surveillance in an age where the line between paranoia and vigilance had become so blurred that a woman suffering from mental illness was not only the protagonist, but also a parallel to what the show was trying to say about the pursuit to keep the United States safe from threats both foreign and domestic.

To say, in its current season, Homeland has lost sight of that is something of an understatement. It would be one thing if the outcome of this narrower scope presented a story that felt more like one the audience needed to get behind, but watching while Carrie again goes off her meds and again goes against orders, while Quinn is suddenly concerned with the (literal) blood on his hands, and Saul (despite some strong moments) is shown to be behind a series of stunts and surprise reveals, only further diminishes that extra important dimension of the series.

It’s clear at this point that Brody is on his way back into the main storyline, so perhaps that will grant Homeland access to some closure, so that it can better focus on clearing up what has so far been a rather muddled season 3.

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Homeland continues next week with ‘Horse and Wagon’ @9pm on Showtime.

TAGS: homeland

8 Comments

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  1. I can’t help but feel that they missed an opportunity to build up some suspense by delving too far into Saul’s meeting with Brody. I wholly expected them to end the episode with the shot of the Tower of David, and it would have left me desperate to find out what was happening in the next episode. But I digress. I thought this was the strongest episode this season (minus the whole Antonio Banderas spy guy), and the show seems to be back on track.

  2. Not sure I agree with your analysis–but it is interesting. IMO, Homeland is doing what I want from it–telling compelling stories. The over-arching theme from day one seems to me to have been the frailty of loyalty: especially to a county or a cause. Which, given the Israeli roots of the series makes lots of sense. Whatever else the Homeland is, the storylines continue to demonstrate that we should be moderate in our beliefs, loyalties, passions–for they will surely change over time.

  3. In the last ep, Saul guaranteed to Javadi a way to get him to rise in the Iranian ranks. I wondered how but now I think we know, Brody seems to be the means to that end.

    It’s probably why Saul wasn’t really concerned about that real bomber and maybe why Dar was allowing him to be killed.

    The boyfriend as a spy is interesting but don’t CIA officials have their homes swept daily for bugs? If they track employees like Fara, you would think they would be keeping tabs on Saul’s wife and his home.

  4. I’m not gonna read the review or the other comments but Gerontia aired last night (finally saw it not that long ago) and more Brody is always good by the look of what happens in this Sunday’s ep.

  5. The analysis of the episode is interesting, I’ll admit, but I like where this show is going. It started off rough, VERY rough, but now I’m back to wanting to know what happens next.

    Saul is a beast.

  6. Loved the second half of the episode, i was actually not too bothered with watching homeland today, i watched the walking dead govenor episode from last night first thing this morning when i got up, and usually homeland straight after but waited till this evening as felt no urgency, also watched the up to date castle which was pretty good!But i thought this homeland episode has thrown in enough questions that ill be watching it first thing in the morning next week! am really looking forward to next weeks episode :)

  7. I have to admit that when Carrie asked “where the **** is Saul?” I got really worried that it would turn out that Saul is the mole we’ve been wondering about the past 3 seasons and IMO that would not be a good thing.
    So, when we saw him going to see Brody I was relieved.
    How will this play out? Who knows, but while I’ve enjoyed this season and I prefer it more than season 2 everything can get messy fast and with only 4 episodes left I hope the writers can pull it off.

  8. Did Carrie want to be shot? Thats one crazy beach chair!

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