‘Homeland’ episode 2.10: ‘Broken Hearts’

December 3, 2012

As Carrie tracks Brody, Ned Martel will be tracking their every move in weekly recaps of Showtime’s Emmy Award-winning series “Homeland.” Check back each Monday morning to join the conversation on one of TV’s best nailbiters.

Previous episodes

201: “The Smile”

202: “Beirut Is Back”

203: “State of Independence”

204: “New Car Smell”

205: “Q&A”

206: “A Gettysburg Address”

207: “The Clearing”

208: “I’ll Fly Away”

209: “Two Hats”

Are you still stuck on the idea that Saul is the mole?

Yes. Fixated to the exclusion of better possibilities, I am sure. In the latest episode, Saul sits with Dar Adul, who’s the head of some sort of meta-secret death wing of the CIA. He admits he is Peter Quinn’s boss, though Estes is in there too. Meta-secret Death Guy keeps telling Saul things like “Maybe he doesn’t trust you” and “I’m amazed you lasted this long.” But then again, Saul does all sorts of moves that seem anti-terrorist: Remember when he handed over the Brody pre-bombing video to the CIA? He’s a riddle! An enigma! Evita’s rebel lover and Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride.” You never know with this guy.

Why does he need to be anti-America to be a mole?

Good point. He could be Mossad, helping the lumbering American bureaucracy figure out how and when to discipline Middle East enemies. As an aside, Mandy Patinkin will one day win a Kennedy Center Honors rainbow necklace, predicts my colleague Lisa de Moraes, who insists he has “the voice of an angel.” No, she is not Mossad, but I suspect she has a Che Guevera t-shirt. And I think she liked him in “Criminal Minds.”

What is it with Carrie and jazz?

Heed the dissonant chords of doom! As soon as she cranks up some hard bop in her Chevy Nunmobile, she gets blindsided. She was listening to it during her meltdowns this season and last. Ever since “In the Line of Fire,” it’s the soundtrack of Washingtonian melancholy, the sonic means for coming down off a hard day of democracy preservation. Chardonnay also helps.

Are these multiple abductions and releases, first Brody then Carrie, getting a little dizzying?

I’m afraid so. Nazir is everywhere he wants to be, no? He slips into the U.S., has his thugs shoot through all those g-men to get his Gettysburg bomb back, snags a sitting congressman via helicopter and pulls an injured CIA agent out of a car wreck in broad daylight on “17th Street.” [cough, Charlotte, cough, cough]

Why do CIA safe houses have plate-glass windows?

That’s because backlighting helps the makeout scenes with Jess and Mike look interesting. Their dialogue is not really selling their romance, so let’s have it all look pretty.

Are Brody’s visits to his family unnecessarily fraught, given all he’s risking to protect them?

Think of it this way: he is endangering them as much as he’s shielding them. I enjoy the scenes because his son Chris keeps greeting new arrivals with such guileless bounds. Really, who doesn’t like a golden retriever? Plus, he offers some wholesome relief when all the glum and glaring skeptics are facing off.

Would Brody yell, “Nazir! Nazir!” into his cell phone when he’s standing mere steps away from CIA guards?

Look, he’s stressed! A plausible scenario is that he, Carrie and Nazir might all be zipped up in body bags by season’s end. Let’s allow him to be twitchy.

Was the vice presidential death a little much?

Perhaps. Brody took very few seconds to find that particular needle in the bibliophile haystack. The monitoring of Walden’s heartbeat by remote access was a little cuckoo. But the serial number of the pacemaker was a clever hacking mechanism. Oy, another thing to get password-protected!

The vice president gets decisively snuffed but those feds in Gettysburg keep coming back to life, don’t they?

Well, now that Peter Quinn has been eliminated as a love interest for Carrie, they called up another from the minors, or in this case, Walter Reed.

Should potential vice presidential candidates be allowed to linger unattended in the Naval Observatory mansion?

Well, Brody’s daughter is being text-bombed by the veep’s murderous son. Eight years in a snakehole have not exactly made Brody sunny and bright. And clearly in the morning intel briefing there must be some mention of Nazir’s globetrotting, so let’s at least put a camera on the ex-POW.

So any lessons for politicians? Must they fear their proteges as much as they do their enemies?

Now everyone in Washington is on notice: If a guy needs to see you urgently about wheat subsidies, get thee to an undisclosed location.

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