‘Homeland’ Pulls Brody Back Into the Thick Of It

Published 9 months ago by

Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin in Homeland Season 3 Episode 9 Homeland Pulls Brody Back Into the Thick Of It

[This is a review of Homeland season 3, episode 9. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Last week’s Homeland ended with what looked like Saul preparing to pull a drug-addled Brody from the unfinished tenement in Caracas that had been both his prison, and a convenient spot for the narrative to leave the character until it needed him again.

When we last saw Brody, he was on the verge of delivering himself from the pain of his continued existence through some heavy drug use. By the time he’s delivered to Virginia, Brody’s on the verge of collapse, and not at all prepared for what Saul has planned for him. That plan, of course, involves helping Javadi ascend the ranks of power by assassinating the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. But before any of that can happen, Brody has to undergo a rapid detox program with the help of a narrative fix-all that includes administering him a drug capable of accelerating the recovery process, while also allowing the episode a chance to throw in some convenient hallucinations – “violent, mind-bending hallucinations,” according to one source in Saul’s military entourage – for the sake of reminding the audience just who Nicholas Brody is, who he’s killed and why.

For his part, Saul tries selling the mission as a chance for Brody to redeem himself. While that works to a certain extent, Brody is further incentivized by the arrival of Carrie, who has now made it her mission to help him in any way she can.

The intent of ‘One Last Time’ seems to be the chance to see Brody in a new light, and to justify all the crazy things that Saul and Carrie have done this season by demonstrating what is at stake in terms of future U.S.-Iranian relations, as well as the future of the show’s primary characters. In essence, it is the second turning point of season – the first being when ‘Game On‘ revealed Carrie’s institutionalization was all an elaborate ruse to trick Majid Javadi into the United States – and the setup for what will likely be the final arc of season 3. To its credit, the episode manages to cram a lot of information into a relatively tight space (the episode runs almost the entire 60 minutes), but a great deal of that time is spent watching characters explain things to one another that the audience already knows.

Tracy Letts in Homeland Season 3 Episode 9 Homeland Pulls Brody Back Into the Thick Of It

On one hand, seeing Damian Lewis’ response as Carrie catches him up on all the Brody family goings-on was surely part of the objective, and, to a certain extent, his anguished expression and ill-advised visit to see Dana were likely intended to be positive outcomes of all the expository dialogue. After watching Brody approach his daughter, however, it’s hard to say whether the scene between the two yielded anything beyond the hope that the episode’s title, ‘One Last Time,’ was meant to cover such exchanges, in addition to the heavy suggestion that this very well may be the last time Carrie sees the father of her child alive.

But the title also refers to the likely idea that this will be the last time Saul gets to pull off such a high-risk, high-reward operation before Sen. Lockhart is confirmed as the new head of the CIA. Saul plays his trump card against Lockhart, but rather than use it to destroy his political adversary, humiliate his wife, or further damage the credibility of the Central Intelligence Agency, he negotiates a mutually beneficial agreement that leave him looking like a selfless hero.

That leaves the audience to wonder: Is this also the last time someone will opt to take such an approach?

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Homeland continues next Sunday with ‘Good Night’ @9pm on Showtime.

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  1. A TV time episode. The black screen time jump especially annoying to this format of storytelling. Simply, it would’ve worked better had it been a concurrent storyline stretched out over 3-4 episodes. The emotional veracity of reaction amongst those concerned would’ve also have seemed a little less hollow.

    The contrivance leading to Saul’s (admittedly expert) blackmailing signified the principle fault of this show. What was in S1 a coherent long term plan now sets up strands, leaves them hanging around before settling them with minimal acknowledgement of what had previously been highlighted as a major point in the narrative. So, entire scenes/themes/character traits dedicated to this point of transition (it was the driving force of everything Saul was doing) eradicated within 5 minutes of convenience. Sigh. It is why I do not take this show seriously anymore.

  2. So it’s flip the script time, use Brody to do the same thing Iran was using Brody for, take out a high level official.

    My question is, by now, won’t Iran high command already know Brody wasn’t involved in the bombing? Wouldn’t have Javadi briefed them prior to and after the bombing? So is Javadi back in Iran now saying “Uh… remember how I told you it was a different bomber and we only wanted to frame Brody for it… well I was just kidding, it was really Brody”.

    Nice to see Brody back, not so nice to see Dana back. Is it mean that I ask the writers to kill her character off?

    Why does the leader of his extraction team remind me of Gerard Butler?

    Carrie smoking while pregnant… bah… her stupidity is amazing.

    • @BigNerd man you’re right dude! That doesn’t make any sense for Iran to not know who the real bomber is.

    • Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Jivadi knows Brody didn’t do it, so wouldn’t his boss know that as well?

    • I think Saul said that Brody would be going there to seek political asylum or something? Even if they knew Brody wasn’t the bomber, they used him as a scape goat. I think Saul’s reasoning is that maybe they will accept him into their country or whatever because they are grateful that he has taken the fall for them.

      Also, the tape they released of him confessing was picked up by one of Nazir’s men (or even Tom Walker) which was then found by Carrie and Saul in Beirut. I can’t remember exactly, but these guys Brody is going to meet were working or involved with Nazir right? They just sort of took over from him yeah? If that’s the case then I guess their logic might be that Brody would have been proud to take the fall for something like that: Brody was working for Nazir and the CIA kept it pretty quiet that Brody was helping them in season 2.

      Of course, the more likely scenario is that either its all going to stuff up, or Saul has another plan in mind entirely and is planning to sacrifice Brody, which is also possible.

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