After Sunday night’s sixth episode of Homeland titled “Still Positive,” I’m fairly positive about one thing myself: we’re watching the origin story of a future terrorist/serial murderperson, Chris Brody, and how he came to be as such. Sure — most folks out there will want to talk Carrie’s crazy-and-apparent pregnancy (more on that later), Dana’s exit from the Brody House of Modern Horrors, How Saul is having his Worst Life Ever, the capture of Javadi, or his brutal murder-rampage against own daughter-in-law and ex-wife. But really — it’s all about Chris Brody’s two minutes of screen time. Wherein the limits of our "how much sadder can Chris Brody possibly get?"-o-meter were pushed to the max. Might as well just go ahead and throw yourself into the deep end of hypothetical crazy head first, considering how hard it is to differentiate between real and mimetic device on the Showtime original.
Instead, speculation on bonkers theories is the name of the game, given the evening’s doings. Tonight's episode was bonzo and delivered more questions than answers in spades. The tagline for tonight’s episode states at the end that “Dana makes a radical decision that will change the Brody family forever.” That decision is either a.) her name change to Lazaro (which, interestingly enough, means “the one God has helped”), and/or b.) her decision to move out (just as we’re starting to like her, too! Which wasn’t always the case ). Both things that further alienate Chris Brody from his family and the rest of the world. Homeland isn't just about catching terrorists, it's about creating them!
It has been a running gag for the past two seasons, but Chris really embodied his role as the Charlie Browniest person on Homeland during the last 10 minutes of the episode. He’s always tried in his own, Jerry Gergich on Parks and Recreation way, to keep things together — encouraging idealist that he is — but it’s all in vain. None of it kept him from losing his father or, as of now, his sister.
And while his mother’s off having an affair with Mike (which, let’s be real: probably the smartest decision Jessica Brody’s ever made in her entire life), Chris is — where? Oh, we don’t know, off learning how to saw off a shotgun? We can speculate all we want here, but on screen it’s as though no one knows nor do they really care. Given the circumstances, it’s to be expected — has he had more than 3 lines this season? — but if I’ve learned anything from television, it’s that it is quite literally always the quiet ones.
And now that his would-be-dead sister and only family confidant has decided to change her name (in essence handicapping the connection between the two) and leave home, the seed has been planted. It’s only a matter of time now before Chris Brody breaks bad. It’ll start unsuspectingly at first, while he sits all alone in his house of bad juju, poor life decisions, radical extremism, and terrible family dinners. At first such mental degradation presented itself in the form of Sad Michael Cera on repeat: hunched shoulders and ho-hum sighs. Nothing more than a series of plodding, padding steps around the house while thing after thing fell down around him. If we’re not careful, Chris Brody’s going to be the one who knocks in the end.
But at least he’s got his mom, right? His totally-not-at-all survivalist, lone wolf, regretful mess of a mother will 100 percent save him from the man that he may become, right? [Insert cricket noise joke here.] Good luck fending for yourself while attempting to survive your emotionally unstable and panicky mother, littlest Brody.
Would you blame him for becoming a murderer or terrorist? Because at this point I just wouldn’t be all that surprised. Chris Brody is the main ingredient in a recipe for disaster.
Nobody on this show is happy. Literally no one. They’re all miserable and those causing them the most pain are clearly the people they care about most. Not surprising considering life, etc… but still! Imagine. They’re all so driven in their own maniacal ways because they have nothing to lose because the things they’d normally be afraid of losing (siblings, lovers, husbands, wives, etc…) are the ones being the most colossal dicks of all! So, really, the possibility of residual calamity is all but guaranteed at this point. Regardless of anything, Quinn wins the night for the most obvious-yet-apt line of the night: “this is just the fucking beginning.”
I Really Wish There Were Subtitles
Not all the time — just during foreign language times. I know, I know: I’m sorry I’m an American and don’t have a working knowledge of (or ability to roughly spell out and therefore throw into a free online translator) the myriad of languages in Iran. Call me ignorant if you must, but I just really like being able to understand what’s being said on the TV show I’m watching.
Saul’s Life Sucks
Poor Saul! Not only is his job being tossed over to someone else, so is his wife, it seems. Man really can’t catch a break, can he? Not that he’s faultless in any of these situations because, clearly, he also has terrible taste in friends. The company you keep, Saul — the company you keep.
Javadi went friend to foe in the most extreme way possible. But still we’re flummoxed by Saul’s show of, well, emotion. What was up with that nose-breaking? Saul is nothing if not cool as a cucumber in pretty much any terror situation, especially when it comes to tactical moves. So why start now? Fariba must’ve been a more important asset than he let on to us audience. Also why wasn’t she in California?!
Javadi is Straight-Up Nutter Butters
Are you a terrorist who’s determined to show you’re not fucking around? Take a page out of the Javadi Terrorism Playbook and kill your ex-wife in cold blood! (Bonus points if you create a glass shiv.) He must’ve killed her as a leverage play against Saul. What did she know? Why did he need her alive?
What’s interesting about this season of Homeland is the divisiveness of its characters. Truly, the enjambment created in the gap between season two’s bombing and season three’s Javadi caper comes at the cost: the frustration on the part of the audience. Why him? Why now? What does this all mean? How did we get here? What about the bombing? It seems unlikely that the creators of this show would simply ignore all of that given its central-yet-background role in everything that’s happening. Still, as annoying as all the unknowns are at this point, it’s hardly fair to say what is or isn’t a mistake when they’ve yet to reveal all their cards.
Is Carrie Pregnant?
Oh SNAP — could there be a tiny Brody bun in Carrie’s metaphorical oven or are these false positives, indicative of something else? I tend to fall on the fence of the latter, even though actress Claire Danes did hint at some “reckless behavior” in teasers for this season. False positives, though rare, can happen when you’re — guess, just guess —on certain psychiatric drugs. Stuff for anxiety and depression, various antipsychotics and the like: all things very plausible for Ms. Mathison to have been prescribed. And while we did see her stop taking the pills in the last episode, drugs like that stay in your system for weeks after the fact. (Google chlordiazepoxide, chlorpromazine, or phenothiazine if you don’t believe me.) Which semi-leads me to…
What’s Up with Quinn?
Peter Quinn has been acting mighty strange this season. His affections towards Carries are certainly a 180 from last season. But there’s something just… different in the way he approaches her, interacts with her, talks with her, is protective over her. What’s up with that and where did the hardened, crazy Quinn from season two go off to? (Not complaining either way — just curious!) Does he love Carrie? Does he despise her? Does he respect her but also disagree with her tactics?
Senator Lockhart is a Major Asshat
But I also think he’s being used as a pawn. He is a Republican placeholder for this show, touching on the fear factor that seems to be all the rage in politics these days. And if he does end up being confirmed as the new head of the CIA, something tells us that it will all come in mighty handy for Saul and Co.
Dar Adal is Totally the Mole
I mean, c’mon. Obviously. Right? (Although with the reappearance of Maury Sterling, a.k.a. Max, my old season one theory about him being the mole is still very much on deck as option two.) Somalia, Libya, Uganda? Dar Adal’s been in some fucked up situations striking fear into the hearts of people — allegedly. Awfully good cover for someone who ultimately might want to turn the world (or at least the terrorists) against the US/CIA, don’tcha think?