‘Homeland’: Venezuelan Vacation

Published 10 months ago by

Damian Lewis in Homeland The Tower of David Homeland: Venezuelan Vacation

In reintroducing Nicholas Brody, Homeland takes an entire episode’s leave from the larger concerns of the season 3 storyline and, after a considerable and lengthy introduction to Brody’s bleak new circumstances, begins to twin the experiences of its two leads in an effort to demonstrate just how similarly unpleasant their two situations really are.

There’s a great deal going on with Brody, the most pressing of which is that, when we finally see him for the first time since escaping at the end of last season, he has been shot twice in gut. The circumstances of his having been shot and the reason why a group of Venezuelans seems to work tirelessly to get him to safety and attempt to save his life a largely left unresolved early on for the benefit of the scene in which a shockingly calm-voiced man and his young assistant set upon the task of removing a bullet from their patient and then getting him stitched up. Of course, much of the doctor’s efforts are helped by the fact that a young woman named Esme shoots the dying Brody up with a syringe full of heroin – which later becomes a staple in the Venezuelans’ attempt to keep him locked away in Caracas’ unfinished Tower of David.

As unsettling as Brody’s circumstances are, the swiftness with which time passes and we see him healing from his injuries suggests he has been a somewhat unwilling resident of the world’s largest slum for some time, and when he attempts to leave he is told by El Nino, the leader of his benefactor/captors, that there is a $10 million bounty on his head, leading to the question of why he isn’t firmly in U.S. custody, while El Nino and Dr. Graham (the doctor who seems to know everything about Brody) gleefully roll around in the reward money – being mindful that the Tower of David doesn’t have any guardrails, of course.

Damian Lewis as Brody in Homeland The Tower of David Homeland: Venezuelan Vacation

Once the episode establishes that enough time has passed and Brody is now jogging the stairwells of the decrepit, half-finished tower, Homeland introduces us to Carrie’s ongoing situation inside the mental hospital, where she attempts to convince her doctors that she’s gotten better, has once more resumed her medication, and is simply waiting for a visit from Saul. As it becomes apparent that Saul’s not coming, and that a mysterious lawyer is intent on making her acquaintance in the manner of a CIA agent attempting to turn an asset – a fact that only makes the already paranoid Carrie scream out for her meds – Carrie’s desperation for a friendly face (even Saul’s) that can alleviate her present situation is further juxtaposed by Brody’s worsening state of affairs.

There’s an intriguing twinning of their circumstances that has them each locked away in a place they’re desperate to escape while being simultaneously drugged up to their eyeballs – making the comparison even more complete is the fact that both are willingly taking what has been prescribed.

It’s a dreary, but compelling hour of television that reintroduces a character who is both one of the show’s main draws and one of the things putting it in its own problematic predicament. With any luck, Carrie and Brody will find a way out that not only gives them what they want, but gives Homeland the storyline it needs as well.

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Homeland continues next Sunday with, ‘Game On’ @9pm on Showtime. Check out a preview below:

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  1. For me, this was a significantly more exciting episode than the first two of these season, which have functioned as place-setters. Getting Brody off the screen really charged up our sense of anticipation so it was great to finally get to see his journey, however grim it may be. Kind of amazing that after everything that’s gone down in Brody’s life, he seems to be at the lowest point yet.

  2. Hm. A little too on the nose with the comparative of the scenarios and story progression of the two principal leads. I appreciated the idea but it just lacked the finesse. The intention was primarily to set up an eventual reunion which to be fair we all knew was going to come at some point. Let is just be notable and for it to actually feel like it means something (which was the secondary aim here).

    My prediction last week was Brody getting Carrie out of the ward and on the run together. Still kind of leaning towards that (more in hope for an interesting diversion than anything). But more than likely is Carrie will let Saul know about what the lawyers tried and that will get her a pass. Brody? Some cliched nonsense contriving towards a shoot out escape or something.

    I find myself repeating a phrase about ‘Homeland’ a lot now. As long as the current plot strand doesn’t drag on for more than it is worth (1-2 episodes), then this show will just have enough to maintain its interest. ‘Vikings’ was the best example this year of rattling off plot points conclusively (for that time in the series) before shifting its perspective. Conversely, ‘Breaking Bad’ was a masterclass in sticking to the one major plot point but mapping out to perfection so it never felt stale. This show is the equal of neither, but there is still potential for it to excel.

    More eager for new episodes to see whether it does as opposed to what happens next right now…

  3. Another comment seeking moderation. I have little idea why (as per) and I cannot bring myself to type all of that again.

    So, yeah, little on the nose in terms of comparative between the two primary leads, both in situation and progression. But it was an intelligent reintroduction to Brody.

    I suspect Carrie will let Saul know about the lawyers and get her way out there.

  4. I give up…

    • Sorry about that, sometimes comments ended up being accidentally flagged for moderation, even if there’s nothing inappropriate in them.

      • No. It is I who should apologise. I feel like a child now. If it happens again, I will let it be. Sorry once more.

        • No worries, it’s all good. :-)

  5. i thought it was the best episode by far this season, goes to show you how important Brody is to the series. with that said i agree the similar paths were a little too on the nose, and to be honest the Brody being trapped (again) and addicted to heroin will get old really fast, so my hope is they don’t kick a dead horse and move on quickly, same goes for Carrie because i seriously can’t take the chin quivers anymore.

  6. This series has really fallen through the floor since season 1. I continue to watch it, in hopes that it will get better, but I doubt it. The original premise should have been a miniseries, maybe a season and a half worth.

    B

  7. That was such a beautiful episode. Reminds me of SOA where the show gets a lot darker and gloomier than before even though it is already dark and gloomy from day 1.

  8. I’m assuming El Nino can’t turn Brody in because he himself is a fugitive and he can’t trust someone else to cash in for him. Also, since he has some connection to Carrie, he probably owes her so that’s another reason why he protects him so much.

    Brody must give off some killer pheromones because it even seems like Esme is struck with him (or sees him as a way to escape her father).

    It was an okay episode, I’m tired of Carrie and look forward to the spy vs. spy action to resume.

  9. I love how they’re showing the Mental Health system is really not about mental health in this show. But it’s really about pedaling drugs and control. I also love how they’ve really departed from the last two seasons. Though I wish they’d spend less time on Brody’s family and more on Brody and the CIA. I want to know more about what’s going on with Quinn. He’s a far more interesting character than Carrie this season around. She’s not taking the lead anywhere, but it’s Saul, Quinn, and Adal. I want to know more about this network they allege Brody to be involved with.

    I hope they answer this later in the season.

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