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.