So with 3/4 of the season already aired and now sitting in the Showtime’s archives, the head honchos for Homeland, finally decided to kick-start the show, and get it running fast, or at minimum, a whole lot faster than what we’ve seen over the first 8 episodes. Gearing up for the home stretch is an expression that seems to fit.
Actually it started at the end of the previous episode called A Red Wheelbarrow, when Saul Berenson showed up in Caracas, Venezuela, of all places. As far as we knew before hand, he had little reason to even think about Caracas, except for the fact that Farah had developed a case that linked Javadi to Venezuela. But as for going there – it didn’t figure at all. But as we’ve discovered, plot twists and surprises are not unheard of on this show.
Specifically, Saul arrived at The Tower of David, a decidedly down market, a building that was unfinished and abandoned to squatters, apartment complex, where Nicholas Brody lived or existed in squalor. Brody didn’t much care about anything except when could he next jab a spike into his arm which would deliver his dose of smack.
The stench of the rat shit, cat shit, and likely bat shit, was enough to get Saul to reach for handkerchief to cover his nose and mouth. Likely, Brody wasn’t at his freshest either. Then again, I wasn’t there in person. Anyway that’s how Episode 8 ended.
This episode, called Horse and Wagon begins in the hospital where Carrie is recovering from the gunshot wound. She was shot by Peter Quinn, intentionally, so she wouldn’t blow up a mission of major importance to Saul. Carrie’s now smoking and is basically indifferent to the fact of her pregnancy. When her doctor says, You know, you are 13 weeks pregnant? Carrie is like Yeah, so? Carrie and Saul will also have to work on their simmering distrust.
Brody has to be brought back to the states and coaxed, or whipped into shape. At the moment he’s not even interested in standing up much less working with Saul on the forthcoming mission. Saul pays the $10 million ransom to El Nino and his vaqueros, and Berenson, Brody, and the boys say hasta la vista to the Tower of David.
It’s not like Saul can march Brody into the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, or Walter Reed. No, they have to stay off the reservation. Saul insists that Brody go through his drug withdrawal and detox cold turkey, but that might kill him. Dar Adal suggests, and recommends from personal experience, that they use ibogaine.
The last time I heard about Ibogaine, was back in the 70’s in the Hunter Thompson book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972. Thompson suggested that Democratic Presidential hopeful Ed Muskie basically blew up his chances for running as the Democratic candidate by ingesting the hallucinogenic Ibogaine. Thompson was clear to state that all of this was unsubstantiated as well as unproven. Some suggested that it wasn’t Muskie that took the ibogaine, but rather it was Thompson himself. And that was never proven either. But it did make for interesting reading.
But in a bit les than three weeks, Brody did make it through his withdrawal, and if he wasn’t quite the standard image of a spit and polished Marine in full dress, at least he was out of the crapper and functioning.
Carrie had managed to take him off site and showed him what his daughter Dana had done with her life. These facts were all news to Brody. Dana Had attempted suicide, had been put into an institution, had legally changer her name, and had left home. She was now living at a roach motel, and working there as the housekeeper. She was nearly off the grid completely – except that Carrie and company knew her whereabouts.
Brody attempted to make peace with his daughter, but Dana wasn’t buying into it. She was wasn’t the least bit interested. So Brody and Carrie leave.
Brody hadn’t even asked about Jess and Chris – his wife and son. Not really a welcome home. Looks like, Dana and Jess and Chris will be off site for a while. As was Quinn and Fara this week.
Senator Lockhart was decommissioned as well – at least temporarily. And in my opinion far too easily. Remember that Saul’s wife Mira took a lover, Alain? Then when Saul showed some interest, she jettisoned Alain. Then we saw that Alain had snuck into Saul’s house, and had swapped the mouse for the PC. He took away the ordinary device, and replaced it with a mouse housing a listening device and transmitter.
But when Saul heard that Senator Lockhart knew that Saul had gone to Venezuela, Saul got nervous and ordered that both Dar Adal’s home and his own be swept immediately for bugs. Virgil and Max got on the job and found the bug in Saul’s mouse. They reverse tracked it back to Alain, then photographed him meeting with Lockhart. Easy peasy.
Lockhart immediately agreed to give Saul more time before having his confirmation hearing rather than have Saul go public and discredit Lockhart. After all Alain was also, and conveniently, a Mossad Agent. Oh those tricky script writers. But Saul wasn’t about to embarrass his wife and the CIA by bringing Lockhart down.
To sum up – we should discuss Saul’s Mission. Brody would be dropped near Iran. Saul was counting on Brody in Iran would be a PR dream for the Iranians. Brody would be regaled and revered and be able to get close to Javadi, and Javadi’s boss – the senior most guy in Iranian intelligence.
Brody was to kill Javadi’s boss, and then Javadi would assume the role as the head of intelligence in Iran and all the while, he’d be working for Saul. Sounds good – but Brody getting away clean – no sure thing.
That’s what we got in Episode 9 entitled One Last Time. A transitional episode to be sure. But the engines have been revved up. As have the stakes. Just three episodes remain in this season.
What did Carrie say to Brody just before he was about to board the chopper?
See you on the other side?
Don’t ask – there are so many interpretations of what she meant that we won’t even try. But feel free if you would like to offer an opinion on that.