‘Homeland’ episode 2.7: ‘The Clearing’

November 12, 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”


This undated image released by Showtime shows actors Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in a scene from the second season of "Homeland," filmed in Israel. (Ronen Akerman/AP)

202: “Beirut Is Back”

203: “State of Independence”

204: “New Car Smell”

205: “Q&A”

206: “A Gettsburg Address”

Maybe this is picking a nit, but are political fundraisers usually this sexually charged?

The party at the ex-urban Versailles that you’re referring to is an aberration from the norm. In real donor shakedowns, there are usually not pools for frolicking or woods for necking. Although it might soon become a prerequisite for all potential VP options to take off their shirts in front of the donors, as Brody did in front of that hot-and-bothered patroness. It’s called vetting, not to get all technical on you. I will now refrain from telling a Chris Christie joke.

Regarding patroness, what does it mean to “still look like a Tri-Delt”?

Hard to describe, corporally. It’s really a state of mind. Did you see the white fences around the horse farm? The number of dormers on the palazzo? Did you hear her husband call her Buttercup? Those add up to something that you can see all over that lady.

What’s that famous movie that John Dahl did?

Well, this episode’s director has become very prolific in guiding smart cable shows (thanks, IMDB!), but you might be remembering 1994’s “The Last Seduction,” famous for sexy jazz score and a daring outdoor makeout session between Peter Berg and Linda Fiorentino. In that arthouse favorite, a slightly unhinged temptress commits transgressive no-no’s, one dirty deed after another. There was also a chain link fence. Does that help? OK, you got it.

So does Carrie Mathison seeing Peter Quinn naked officially make the Carrie-Brody-Quinn dynamic a love triangle?

Our Decision Desk says yes. Even though that scene was in the hospital, that was the hottest part of the episode, and far too fleeting. Seeing him remove his gown, Carrie gasped in protest, and Quinn scoffed, “Like you’ve never seen a [bleep] before.” He means Brody’s (jealous, much?). Well, we project that he means Brody’s, and we’re basing that on exit polls.

Does it seem weird that Saul drove the blonde sleeper-cell-wife “from Mexico to D.C.,” as he reminded her/us?

Affirmative. In both countries there have been planes available for many, many years. (Decision desk confirms.)

Is the Brody-Dana storyline coming together nicely?

Too nicely. It was more fun when the writers were less explicit about how the father has a secret (oops, I didn’t mean to kill, except when I did) and the daughter has a secret (oops, I didn’t mean to ride shotgun in the death car). Now that she’s revealed her truth to him, he has turned morphed from The Terminator to Prince Valiant. It’s dizzying. And if he were really noble and brave, there are some confidences he could share with her.

Is Carrie getting all mixed up in this father-daughter drama for personal or professional reasons?

Well, think of every hush-hush girlfriend of a married dad as a stepmom-in-training. I’m not saying she doesn’t make a good case for the CIA to control the death-car information, I’m just saying that she gets to make a better impression on Dana than she did in the first season. Carrie looks way better now too, so there’s that.

Is Mike Faber really someone whom Carrie should give more sensitive information to, when Saul failed to shut down his Brody-specific snooping?

She is keeping him in the loop because he was not behaving when left out. And remember, if Mike winds up with Jess, then Brody is available for scooping up, like a baby bird. Maybe Carrie can twist Mike’s fate to control hers. “I hope you get what you want,” she tells him, but she could be saying it to herself.

Is the warden too comically sadistic?

Yeah, but Saul needs to do something, for the many minutes he’s on air when we should really be seeing more Peter Quinn. (Way more.) And all Saul’s displays of prisoner compassion and patriotic integrity steer us away from sneaking suspicions that he is the mole. Where’s his wife, anyway? Zero contact? Really?

Is the vice president a Republican or Democrat? Is he hawkish to the core or just for show?

The Decision Desk’s screens just froze. We’ll get back to you on that.

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