‘Homeland’ episode 2.8: ‘I’ll Fly Away’

November 19, 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 Gettsburg Address”

207: “The Clearing”

OK, there needs to be a public discussion of the way that Brody and Carrie kiss. Or is that too gross?

There needs to be a discussion because it’s way too gross. They Hoover each other’s faces. It brings to mind the word liposuction, but not the definition. And more importantly, it makes them less compelling as characters who you want to see wind up together.

Why is it necessary to be driven by that?

Stipulated: This isn’t televised Jane Austen, it’s televised John Le Carre. So Carrie, the CIA agent, and Brody, the double agent she’s personally enlisted, are entwined on many levels. They’re using each other as emotional outlets and carnal escapes, but also it continues to be, against all narrative odds, in their mutual interests to be attached at the mouth. And it helps the drama to wonder at all times if their love is many splendored, if their confessions are true.

Is this some Paula Broadwell-related point where we can’t concentrate on the apparatus of war without some element of coitus?

I will reiterate a previous point: love stories, against the backdrop of the fate of the world, are more engaging.

Did you just answer without answering?

Off the record, no comment.

Is it useful for the story that Mike is presenting himself as the alterna-Dad?

On many levels! One, it revives the faltering character of Jess. Two, it gives us a break from the sullen meanderings of Dana, satirized perfectly on Satire-day Night Live. And now that Mike has been scolded by Saul, and then Carrie, for meddling in their Brody protection scheme, Jess gave him valuable anti-Brody intelligence, in the form of Dana’s hit-and-run accident. That grenade could scuttle Brody’s political career, if Mike decided he needed to do go that direction.

Is “Saturday Night Live” affecting Damian Lewis’ portrayal of Brody?

Yes. It’s unfortunate and inescapable, and they made important points about how small his mouth is. All’s fair in love and war.

Doesn’t Brody’s meltdown show that he’s troubled?

Yes, but when he’s in a heap in the hallway, after his “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!” rant, he’s not as sexily crazy as Carrie Mathison. But he didn’t seem to be faking that meltdown for show, although I had some doubt when he whined about being “more alone than I was in that hole in the ground.” Semper Fi, Do or Die, jarhead! And he probably understands that no matter how much Carrie’s crush keeps him alive, she might not be able to protect her valuable resources. See also Season One, the dead girl and the swiped diamond.

When Brody walks away from Roya, does that mean she need no longer be on our screen?

“I’m through!” he yelled at her, but she shows real persistence. I still cannot comprehend the grip she has on Brody, except that it might not be her. Nazir seems to have fully captured Brody’s heart and mind in some permanent way, and you could see that in his face in the final scene, when the terror mastermind calls him “Nicholas,” a name that not even his wife calls him. Daddy issue? Something intense.

Why doesn’t he assume that Roya is going to kill him when he confesses he’s done?

She and Nazir need him. He might be vice president. That’s Manchurian Candidate level access. They can take down the whole totem pole.

But isn’t she a little pushy? And should he be allowed to push back as much as he wants?

Yes and yes. But he still complies, even when she says she got his daily schedule in a casual convo with his chief of staff and when he takes out his cell battery on command.

Whom did you think was going to emerge from the shadows in that final scene?

Well, I’m prone to fantasy. First I hoped it would be the mole, which ideally would be Virgil’s hapless little buddy. But when it wasn’t Gilligan, and it was all Christopher Nolan rain-puddle-and-shadows, I hoped it was Heath Ledger as The Joker. A guy can dream.

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