There is a lot of drama in cars in Homeland — from Brody’s extended flirtation with the surreal in his backwoods drive with The Tailor to Dana’s hit-and-run murder, cars are really doing a lot of work this season. This week’s episode opens on Dana riding… the bus. Figuring as Dana will probably never get in a car again, and my emotional flashbacks of riding scary buses during Lower Manhattan’s transformation into the set of I Am Legend post-Hurricane Sandy, this was a really traumatic way to open. I spent these minutes screaming at Dana for visiting the daughter of the hit-and-run victim, but it turned out Dana was just heading to Mike’s house. Oh. Mike. Right. Season two’s two weirdest subplots finally converge!
Back at home, Jessica and Brody are having their 9,347th fight about Dana/everything in the world. Carrie is listening in from Virgil’s van, which is never great, while Jessica is asking Brody for the CIA’s phone number so she can call and tell them to chill out. I think someone needs to explain to Jessica how the CIA works, you know? This is all in the aftermath of not being able to report Dana’s hit-and-run to the police. Brody screams “I CAN’T I CAN’T I CAN’T” at one point, and it’s horrifying. Brody is spiraling out of control, as his brain can’t handle all the lies and all the pressure. This was bound to happen. Jessica heads out, Carrie heads in – Brody has a meeting with Roya in 30 minutes, and Brody needs to be there to meet the new contact. Brody is curled up on the floor of his home. This is very bad.
Jessica went out to pick of Dana, since Dana did her thing in figuring out the bus schedule and hopping over to Mike’s place; Dana is asleep when Jessica arrives, so she’ll stay for the time being. Jessica and Mike still share their quasi-lovey shifty eyeballs. All the possibilities that existed when Brody was dead! Brody is heading to meet Roya, and looks like the most suspicious person ever racing through a park with both hands jammed to the bottom of his pockets. Roya chastises Brody for being late, but Brody hits the wall – “It’s been impossible… I’m through.”
Roya tries to follow Brody and calm him down, but Brody races off. “There’s nothing more to say.” Roya is holding all of the cards right now, and Brody might feel like he can gain a little power/leverage by pretending to cut ties, but Roya isn’t an idiot. Brody needs to take a deep breath, maybe borrow some meds from Carrie, and stop playing around; Brody needs to be careful around, you know, a giant terrorist organization. Might be smart. Brody is racing off into the world, and Carrie decides to follow him on foot; as long as Brody’s cover isn’t blown, he’s technically still in the game. Carrie has tracking on Brody’s phone turned off for the time being, as she’ll try to repair the situation. Yikes. Carrie is good at her job, but she’s shown time and time again that she doesn’t know how to act responsibly around Brody. Did you see SNL’s Homeland skit last week? Kind of like that.
Estes is livid at Carrie for going off grid with a terrorist, as the two are currently untraceable; Saul thinks he knows where Carrie will be, as Saul will always trust Carrie and maybe has a chip planted in her brain. I want Saul and Estes to get in a fistfight! Carrie and Brody check into a lakeside motel, so it doesn’t seem like they went very far. Here’s hoping they picked up condoms and white wine on the drive over. I’m always afraid Carrie’s going to get fired. Is Carrie even really employed? She’s a mess. I know we’re supposed to worry about Saul finding this motel, but I’m terrified that Roya will show up and kill everyone. Or, like, Jessica will kill everyone. I want Roya and Jessica to team up and kill everyone.
Brody is finally able to relax in his motel room because he’s burned all of his bridges, he can finally stop lying. The game is over. Or so he thinks. Carrie basically agrees to be Brody’s illicit runaway secret lover, but admits that this wasn’t how she imagined they’d be together; Carrie had this magnificent dream that they would shut down Nazir and then everything from the past wouldn’t matter. Is this actually Carrie’s dream? Is Carrie playing Brody to keep him in play? Will I ever understand Carrie’s motives? Will Claire Danes ever not be the best?
Brody answers Carrie’s little speech with one of the most important quotes about Carrie in the history of Homeland — “You know how crazy everyone says you are? You’re crazier than that.” BOOM. That’s a huge statement, and something that Carrie probably can’t even acknowledge to herself. Carrie and Brody might always be playing one another for the sake of the United States of America, but there’s also the very real possibility that they truly understand the deep secrets and emotions they find in one another. Obviously, this revelation leads to really insane sex. We’re talking… intense. And, naturally, Saul and Quinn have caught up with the two freaks and are listening to the entire thing. Marvelous. Quinn is livid, but Saul trusts Carrie in her ability to turn this situation into a win for the CIA; Carrie went to a safe harbor where Saul could easily find her, so it seems she has a plan. Let’s hope.
I’ll deal with all of Dana’s dumb murder drama now. Sigh. At Mike’s, Dana is awake and Mike is making eggs. Another spinoff! Dana tells Jessica that Carrie stopped everyone at the police station, which is the last thing Jessica needs to hear. Dana asks Mike how it felt disappearing as soon as Brody reappeared, because Dana is secretly really smart. Dana needs a ride to Columbia Heights, because she needs a lot of things from people. Dana visits the daughter of the hit-and-run victim, and Daughter screams at Dana not to tell the police or else Daughter doesn’t get the money she needs to raise a family. Dana cries a lot. Dana’s just being Dana.
The next morning, Brody calls Roya and apologizes for his moment of crazy the other day; they have a terse conversation with Brody’s maybe apology and Roya removes her phone battery as soon as the call ends. Does Roya know something? Should we be worried? Carrie has corrected the situation, it seems that some good old sex shook Brody’s brain back into place. Carrie reports back to Saul, where Saul does his somewhat passive-aggressive father figure thing to make sure Carrie’s stable; “He was running of the rails, I did what I had to do” is Carrie’s reasoning behind her glorious sexual motel experience, and I’m maybe 60 percent convinced. Even Saul remembers Carrie’s confessions of severe love for Brody.
Quinn informs us that Brody and Roya are about to meet cute in a parking garage. Nothing good can come from a meeting in a parking garage. Parking garages are so scary. To back up this statement, Roya swoops in from the shadows and hops in Brody’s car. Roya is a vampire! Help! Roya starts asking a lot of questions while telling Brody where to drive, and also removes the battery from his phone. The CIA bunker is in a tizzy, because they can’t really track Brody (and Roya) without that cellphone. This is very bad! Carrie is convinced that Roya knows everything, that Brody’s been made, so she decides to hop in a follow car with Virgil and Max. ROYA IS TOO SMART, Roya might always be two steps ahead…
Roya makes Brody stop on a random road in the middle of nowhere, and Quinn commands that all of the follow cars hold off. Roya makes Brody turn all the lights off in his car. Roya makes a lot of demands. Who knew that two people sitting in a dark SUV on the side of a windy road could be filled with so much dread? Brody and Roya hop out of the car, and Brody’s face is confused – what are they doing at this giant field with this gnarly tree? Night has fallen, and Carrie gets permission to do a single drive-by so the CIA can get some kind of visual; Virgil notices someone hopping back in the car (Roya commands Brody to get off the road, as he’s a public figure), and Max snaps pictures of… THE GETTYSBURG KILLER aka the informant Roya met by Niagara Falls aka the scariest human on this show. Carrie is having a complete meltdown over this important development; Quinn starts screaming at Carrie, basically saying all the things that have made me upset with Carrie this season – she needs to get a grip, she needs to remember how this whole ordeal works, she needs to stop letting her feelings for Brody interfere. Tighten that leash! Quinn ends his tirade – “Stay the f*ck back. That is a direct order. Acknowledge.” Naturally, Carrie does not acknowledge but instead grunts and runs from the van.
Carrie is out in the open. Carrie sees Brody being pulled way by the Gettysburg Killer, pulled into the middle of the field. Carrie is screaming a lot of things in her shaky terrified voice, her blonde hair swirling all over the place. Saul is wondering why Roya took Brody to the only clearing in miles, and the answer to Saul’s question comes in the form of a helicopter. Gettysburg Killer shoves Brody inside, Gettysburg Killer and Roya also hop in, and the helicopter flies away. They’re gone. Nothing is okay. Brody is gone. Carrie is alone.
Carrie, Saul, and Quinn have their hands full. But Brody gets the real shock – ABU NAZIR IS IN AMERICA. “Nicholas,” is Nazir’s simple greeting, a truly horrifying greeting that also ends the episode. Jaws to the floor! Sweat! Vomit! Tears! Carrie’s sex noises! This episode was really emotionally demanding, and Dana is really demanding in the sense that she keeps taking up precious minutes in all of these episodes. That’s really selfish, Dana. Please act your age and understand that we’re all in danger of a really scary terrorist that is now too close to home. Please text me the CIA’s number so I can alert them of the danger.
[Image Credit: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME]