This was a very stripped back episode, much more like a low budget original than an HBO blockbuster. Mostly shot in a dimly lit room as a two-hander across a table.
Brody finds himself a prisoner again, but this time on American soil. Carrie is forced to play second fiddle after her rash judgement call at the hotel, while Estes is kept busy.
What do you do to a suspect who was locked up for years and tortured by America’s enemies? Why, put a bag over his head and take him to an unknown location where you’ll chain him to the floor and question him. Brody was given enough rope to hang himself before being confronted by the tape he made himself to explain why he had become a suicide bomber. Cue trauma. Brody admitted to the tape but not the bomb vest. He pointed out that the VP was the one who had ordered the drone strike that had killed Isa and that he had hated him for it but that the CIA had no real evidence at all. In a cut to domestic life, Dana told the VPs son that her father had been kicked out by the mother – so quickly disloyal to her parents.
Carrie could only watch and marvel at how good Quinn was at reeling him in. Meanwhile Brody’s disappearance was conveniently explained by his marital spat and an imaginary ‘flu. Quinn demanded details about where the strike was going to be and who the target was. Quinn stabbed Brody quite unexpectedly and Carrie and Saul rescued him – good cop/bad cop to soften Brody up. Would that ever happen in any real life scenario?
Jessica went to the Ashford Hotel looking for her husband, taking him chicken noodle soup for his flu and immediately phoned his aide to demand to know where he was. The aide phoned Estes and demanded to speak to Brody and was fobbed off with a promise that he would call back.
Carrie and Brody had a heart to heart and she remonstrated about what his actions had done that impacted on her life and career. There was a lot of talk about “feelings” – the one thing a terrorist would be trained to avoid. She denied that she had been playing him the whole time and said that what had happened up in the cabin had been real for her. She also turned off the cameras to make it seem that they were alone and could talk off the record. She asked him about friends and therapists and if he had ever found anyone to talk to and she told him about what caused her nightmares and them asked him about his. She told him it was the lies that undo us. He claimed to be sure that he was not a monster. Abu Nazir’s crimes were outlined by Carrie again and his “kindness” was actually a disassembling of Brody so that he could be reconstructed in the image Abu Nazir wanted. She said that Walden and Abu Nazir were the ones who had ruined his life and then came back with the kicker that she wanted to be with Brody and that she thought he was a good man because he hadn’t gone ahead with the bombing. Dana’s voice was what had changed his mind – killing himself and ruining Dana’s life wouldn’t bring Isa back. Brody was sick of death – that was who Carrie wanted and had fallen in love with. Nonetheless he said he didn’t know what the plan was but agreed that there was a plan and gave her four names including Roya. Saul entered and told him he had to phone his wife and tell her he would be home later that night. He told her he’d been off looking for answers and Jessica used emotional blackmail to get him to agree to come home – too bad about the stab wound – how would that fit in with seeking answers.
Dana went on a date with Finn, having dispensed with her homeboy the night before. Finn promised to get her back “safe and sound” – ominous.
Brody was offered shame or redemption – back to a life of obscurity, out of politics in any small town of his choice.
Finn drove like a maniac to get away from their security detail while Dana screamed for him to go faster. Unfortunately Finn knocked down a woman in an alleyway and as his father was VP didn’t want to stick around so drove off with Dana’s agreement.
Carrie drove Brody home and they agreed that as far as Roya was concerned Brody and Carrie were having an affair – that that would be their cover. Immunity, protection for his family and sex – what more could a boy want?
The episode closed with Brody and Jess having a conversation about him working for the CIA – and Dana returning with her own secrets.