Homeland Recap: New Car Smell, Old Carrie Revenge

Nick Brody's true colors are revealed

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Tierney: Wow! What an episode. I guess we have to start with the final scene: Carrie's confrontation of Brody. I had assumed that the takedown of Brody would unfold slowly, with all the suspense and tension Homeland typically has to offer. We are now again left with the question (a question I have had to ask myself often since the season 1 finale): Where does Homeland go from here?

I also was surprised by Carrie's mental fortitude throughout the whole operation. When she defied her orders (classic Carrie, going rogue) and went to Brody's hotel room, I thought she was losing it, that her fragile mental state couldn't handle the confrontation with Brody. But she said exactly what she wanted to say to him--she got as much of confession out of Brody as she could have. Note that she suggested that this was their final moments alone, even knowing she was on camera, and that she mentioned his children, which she knows is his soft spot. My question is, are we supposed to believe that "old Carrie" is back? I thought her mental condition would be a persistent issue throughout the season, but considering how quickly the other plot points have turned, the bipolar thing could have been just as easily resolved.

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What did you think about that final scene?

Danielle: I am completely with you, Tierney, on the question of where the show goes from here -- I've been asking that every episode since Carrie and Brody slept together. So many plot twists in this series have felt to me as they happened like superfluous complications. And yet to the writers' credit, it all seems to work so well. Here's hoping we don't have a jump-the-shark moment coming up.

Which brings me to the final scene -- it had such a sense of finality to it, because Carrie got to deliver her big money line. She gets to get right up in his stupid terrorist face and tell him he's a disgrace to his country -- something I figured we wouldn't see until the final episode of the series. So, yes: what now?

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I also add that I loved the 10 seconds after that of watching Carrie, standing there staring after him, when it was all over. She didn't look proud or vindicated; she looked completely lost, which is to be expected. I think my favorite dynamic of this series is that you have two very smart and strong but also broken people -- one by war, one by mental illness -- just ready to take each other down. And even after getting the confrontation that you just know she wanted so badly, Carrie is still clearly broken.

Also, regarding your "old Carrie" question: I hope to God that Old Carrie is back, because watching her sit on the edge of breakdown episode after episode is getting tiring. I also wonder if Claire Danes' face gets exhausted from the heavy, jaw-out, about-to-sob frowny face that she has to make for roughly two-thirds of every episode lately.

OK, so my questions have to do with some of the side plots: 1) What is going to happen with Dana and the VP's son, Finn? This show doesn't bother with immaterial storylines, so I think we can expect something big to happen with them. Maybe she'll tell Finn for real about Brody's new worship habits. 2) I smell romance between Carrie and the new agent, Peter. Once again, I ask you, Homeland writers: where to go from here? Another love interest just feels so beside-the-point right now. I mean, Carrie's saving America, people.

Your thoughts?

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Tierney: I agree about the sparks between Carrie and mystery agent Peter Quinn. Maybe he will serve as a rebound for Carrie, and help her get over Brody. But I'm sure there's some major twist coming about his background and his connection to Estes.

Which brings me to my next point (which will speak to your first question). I think the next major hurdle the show will jump is the Estes-Walden relationship, and how it will play out that the CIA (which Walden once ran) is accusing the VP's favorite son of terrorism. Saul brought the tape to Estes's house because he knows this would be an issue, and Estes, aside from verbally acknowledging the awkward spot, insisted that the operation would be outside the CIA so Walden wouldn't be able to intervene. I've had my doubts about Estes, so I'm glad he put his trust in Saul and Carrie, and put national security above his political allegiances.