So, our beloved Homeland has brought back America’s favorite marine-turned-terrorist-turned-heroin-addict, Nicholas Brody. But probably just this “One Last Time,” if episode titles have anything to do with it (also because I’m totally normal and not at all overly-invested in a fictional television character). The stakes are high now: another play is on the mount, thanks to the colossal woopsie-poopsie of Senator Lockhart’s doing, furthering the last big play to get Javadi well-placed as an informant. Oh baby, baby.
It’s a risky move on Saul’s part, and it all lies on some very abused, misused, and detoxing shoulders. Brody may be back in the pocket of the CIA, trying to right the wrongs he’s done over the past three seasons, but he’s still just a pawn. And a junkie shell of his former self to boot! Wouldn’t you be, though, if you were brainwashed to perform, celebrated and elevated by those who declared you a “hero” before being rejected over something you had no control over? If you ask me, Brody’s trajectory feels more in line with a modern-day pop star than a terrorist. In the immortal words of a one miss Britney Jean Spears (oh yes, we’re going there): Hit me baby, one more time. Indeed.
Oh Baby, Baby
So, Carrie is still absolutely, positively 100% pregnant, but it all stinks of some sort of waiting gamble. Her behavior has vacillated wildly between wanting to miscarry and wanting to carry the redeemer baby into the world: one second she’s worrying about going back on her medication to a doctor, the next she’s throwing herself into the line of fire (literally catching bullets) and… smoking a cigarette? It’s all very erratic, textbook Mathison behavior. The doubts grow equally alongside the fetus with this one.
And why hasn’t Carrie told him? Could she be waiting to see how this mission fares, or is it something deeper? Either way, Carrie’s playing the ignore-the-life-changing-pink-elephant-in-the-room game and lord knows that never ends well for her.
That Something Wasn’t Right Here
Incubating tiny humans aside, there are other things amiss. Mira may not be involved in the whole “bringing down the CIA and doing Saul in” shebang, but her handsome lover over there? Well he most certainly is — and working for both Iran and the incoming CIA director to boot (that’s going to be a tricky one to explain during the confirmation process). How is Saul so sure that Mira is that innocent, though? She’s done nothing to convince us otherwise, sure, but her machinations during “Gerontion” have left us unable to shake the feeling that she's up to more than what we've seen.
But perhaps we're just cynical, since trust is very broken on this show. We saw it last week with Fara and this week with, well, pretty much everyone else. Saul, Mira, Carrie, Brody, those Marines: for an agency that has to put a lot of trust in other people, no one really seems to do it well.
Show Me How You Want it To Be
Saul has so many deceptions going on its hard to know what’s what. He’s creating a smokescreen of 10,000 smokes, and while it might put us on uneasy footing, it’s a tensed-up thrill to watch.
Tell Me, Baby, ‘Cuz I Need to Know Now
Oh Dana. Brody’s relationship with Dana has always been his morality barometer, man-made to assess who he is as a person. As long as he believes he has her love, Brody’s managed to muddle through. No more, though. Carrie’s revelation about the tough road the eldest Brody child has towed made Brody really truly see himself. The consequences, the hurt, the reality. Which is ultimately what convinced him to complete a mission that seems guaranteed to fail. Or in the very least, end up with a dead Nicholas Brody. His resolve to come home is what will likely bring him down.
My Loneliness is Killing Me
The moments of Brody battling withdrawal were at times hard to watch (if a bit over-the-top with the Tom Walker hallucinations). But Brody left alone in his mental anguish showed a man broken and defeated by the fucked up shenanigans he’s gotten himself into. He wasn’t the Langley bomber, but his subsequent transgressions forbid him from ever being considered a victim. There’s a slippery slope beyond that thin line of victim and pawn, and Brody’s shot well beyond it at this point, and it’s hard to believe that he could ever be redeemed. Still, you feel for him in those moments of weakness, uncertain if he’ll even survive the withdrawal or his new mission. I must confess, though: I still don’t believe.
Hit Me Baby One Last Time
Well, the title of the episode is certainly a bad-seeming omen for our fair Brody, isn’t it? Given the finality that comes with the word “last” and all. Sure, it all looks well and good from the outset — he’s off the heroin, determined to make things right — which means, obviously, that everything has to go wrong. I think (or at least hope) that this might mean the end of our beat-up and broke-down ginger terrorist once and for all.
Creator Alex Gansa has stated these last four episodes will be all about the Carrie/Brody relationship, only time will tell if it’s toxic — and if this all these crazy Britney comparisons actually work.