(Spoilers) Holy Cow! This season of Homeland keeps topping itself with each new episode. Most new shows lose some traction in the second season and experience a sophomore slump. Homeland only gets better this season; leaving viewers with so many jaw dropping moments. Most shows leave the big reveal for a season ending cliff-hanger but not this show. They hit the ground running exposing Brody (Damian Lewis) from the start. Viewers are left riveted and wondering what comes next.
Last week’s episode, “State of Independence” was the beginning of Brody’s downward spiral. Nothing was going right for the tragic terrorist. A suspicious wife, car problems, a murder was all in a day’s work for the POW turned congressman. Any one else would have a major melt down but Brody stayed cool and lied like a pro.
This episode, “New Car Smell” finally gives us the much anticipated Brody/Carrie reunion. Carrie is vindicated by the truth about Brody. The big question now is what to do with this big reveal.
Brody wakes up the next day like he didn’t just break a man’s neck the night before. He attempts to make amends with Jessica (Morena Baccarin) with a cappuccino and then drives his kids to school. Dana (Morgan Saylor) is also getting weary of her dad’s unexpected behavior and sides with her mom this time. Dana tells Brody the car smells like smoke and he drops the car off to be detailed.
Saul (Mandy Patinkin) pays a visit to Estes’ (David Harewood) house to tell him about the thwarted suicide bombing of Vice President Walden (Jamey Sheridan) and shows Estes the video of Brody. A plan is put in motion to keep the intel contained. Estes approves of putting a group together to track Brody and find out the details of the terrorist plot.
We’re introduced to Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), an analyst Estes hand picked to run the operation. Saul, Carrie, Virgil (David Marciano) and Virgil’s cousin, Max (Maury Sterling) are part of the small group tracking Brody. Cameras and phone taps are placed to track Brody’s movement. Carrie is apprehensive about Quinn being put in charge and grills him about his credentials. She lets up when she hears his plan to use Carrie as Brody’s Achilles heel.
Carrie “accidently” runs into Brody at CIA headquarters and leads him to believe she is back in play because of him. They hope the ruse will lead Brody to expose his contact. Unfortunately they don’t have sound during a pivotal moment when Brody tell his handler, reporter Roya Hammad (Zuleikha Robinson) about Carrie. The team suspects every person of Arab or African heritage Brody is in contact with but doesn’t suspect Roya.
Roya dismisses Brody’s suspicions about Carrie at first. He tells her, “That woman is stubborn as shit. She gets her head around something…” Roya eventually encourages Brody to get close to Carrie and find out what her agenda is.
Carrie regroup with the team after her run in with Brody. We get some great interactions between Carrie and the new guy. Claire Danes is such a great actress that she can get chemistry out of a paper clip. The back and forth banter between Danes and Friend is classic. Rupert Friend (The Young Victoria) is another British actor on Homeland (Lewis and Harewood are also British) with a flawless American accent. You have to love how straight forward Peter Quinn is when he grills Carrie about her relationship with Brody.
Quinn: “You were fucking him?”
Carrie: “Who are you fucking?”
Quinn: ”An ER nurse. I’m not that into her.”
Carrie: “You are pretty mouthy for an analyst.”
Quinn: “I am just saying. If he did to me what he did to you. Got me fired. Made me think I was crazy when I wasn’t. Sent me off to get my brain zapped. I’d fucking rip his skin off.”
Carrie: “Well, that’s the plan.”
Everyone is on to Brody in this episode. Lauder Wakefield (Marc Menchaca) shows up drunk at Brody and Jessica’s house wanting to talk to Brody. He still wants answers from Brody about what happened to Tom Walker (Chris Chalk). Jessica can’t get rid of Lauder and calls Brody who doesn’t return her calls right away. She calls Mr. Reliable, Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) to come get Lauder. By the time Brody calls Jessica back, she informs him that Mike is handling the situation. Lauder convinces Mike that Brody had something to do with Walker’s death. They don’t realize how right they are about the Brody/Walker connection and mistakenly assume Brody was working with the CIA.
Quinn won’t let up grilling Carrie about Brody. He continues asking Carrie about her relationship with the would-be-terrorist.
Quinn: “Was it work or love?”
Carrie: “What are we girlfriends?”
Quinn: “I want to know if you fell for him.”
Carrie tries to get the subject off of her and Brody by asking Quinn some questions of her own.
Carrie: “Why does Estes like you so much?”
Quinn: “I’m pretty likable.”
Carrie: “Matter of opinion.”
Quinn: “Reliable. I am extremely reliable.”
Brody checks into the hotel with Virgil spying on him from the lobby. Brody goes to the bar and looks at his phone. Quinn thinks Brody may be ready to call his contact but it’s Carrie’s phone that rings. Brody wants to bury the hatchet for real and ask Carrie to join him for a drink. Carrie is nervous about the meeting Brody and Quinn tells her she will be fine. We see some of the old Carrie from the season 1 episode, “The Weekend” as she plays cat and mouse with Brody. Can she really out smart Brody, the expert liar?”
Brody: “By the way, this is not a booty call.”
Carrie: “Didn’t even cross my mind.”
Brody: “Wanted to say it up front.”
Brody: “I’m not here by choice. My wife’s fed up.”
Carrie: That can’t be good politics. You’re suppose to be JFK and Jackie.”
Brody: ”I guess it all ends with a bullet in by brain.”
Carrie: ” Wow, dark turn.”
I wonder if Brody’s comment about a bullet in the head is a foreshadowing of what is to become of him. Brody shakes Carrie by talking about the ECT treatments. Carrie is visibly rattled by Brody bringing up the subject and she finds it hard to keep her composure. Brody abruptly calls it a night. Carrie feels she has taken a misstep and thinks she was made. Brody knows. Saul thinks she did okay. Carrie tells Saul and Quinn she saw it in Brody’s eyes. They both didn’t read it that way. Carrie thinks Brody is going to go to ground. Carrie knows now she has to take Brody down before he makes a call to his contacts and tips them off.
Quinn tells her, “You’re work is done. Get the fuck back here.” Then he says to Saul, “Jesus, how many times do you gotta tell her something?” Saul responds simply, “Alot.”
Carrie goes out on a limb to have Brody brought in. She shows up at Brody’s room all coy with the ruse that he announced his room number out loud for a reason. I kept wondering if she was reverting back to her old ways and was nervous for her. Is this going to be more like “The Weekend” episode all over again. Boy was I wrong. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis’ talents are off the charts. The were so many things going on in their eyes and their expressions. When these two are in a room together, the chemistry is electrifying. Carrie was flashing a thousand different emotions all at once. The confrontation between Brody and Carrie were nail-biting moments. I had no idea where they were going. It begins with flirtation and then takes a completely different turn.
Carrie: “Why did he mention his room number I ask my self. Was it just to pay the bill or maybe…”
Brody: “Maybe, to get you alone, again.”
Carrie: “It reeks you know.”
Brody: “My confusion?”
Carrie: “Your bullshit.”
Brody: “I don’t follow.”
Carrie: “We only have a few minutes alone.”
Brody: “You still have your twisted theories about me, don’t you?”
Carrie: “Not theories anymore.”
Brody: “Look, I’ m sorry I called. I guess, I thought we could be friends.”
Carrie: “Friends? Yeah, who wants to be friends with a demented ex-soldier who hates America? Who decides strapping on a bomb was the answer to what ails him. Despite his daughter; his son. People who love him in real life and not the mind fuck world of Abu Nazir. Who in the end didn’t have the stones to go through with it but had no problem sending me to the nut house. Yeah, no thanks. I don’t think I need a friend like that.”
Brody: “Ok, not friends.”
Carrie: “What are you going to do now? Are you going to kill me? You’re gonna blame it on rough sex, maybe. How long can you get away with something like that?
Brody: I’ve had a pretty good run so far. It’s true I seem to be good at this if nothing else.
Carrie: “You’re special.
Brody: “I liked you Carrie.”
Carrie: “I loved you. If only the circumstances hadn’t been wildly different. You’re a disgrace to your nation Sergeant Nicholas Brody. You’re a traitor and a terrorist. Now it’s time to pay for that.”
I was actually scared of Brody toward the end of the episode. He was so menacing as he walked closer to Carrie. Loved how Saul said to keep away from her as he watched them from the monitor. Just give Claire Danes and Damian Lewis the Emmys now. The interplay between Carrie and Brody had so many layers to it. You weren’t sure what was going to happen. At one point, I thought Brody was going to break Carrie’s neck.
The final shot of Carrie with a million emotions flashing across her face was still heartbreaking. She wasn’t just feeling satisfaction from having confronted Brody but she was also feeling the pain of loving this man and being completely wrong and right about him. I wonder what her point was in telling Brody she loved him.
Can’t wait until next week’s episode. Is this the end for Sergeant Brody? Watch Homeland 10/9 c on Showtime.