Homeland Recap: 310, Betting the Mortgage

 Posted by on December 3, 2013 at 8:00 am  Homeland
Dec 032013

Episode 310I guess I’m going to Yemen! – Chandler Bing, Friends

Years ago, near the end of the last century, I watched Chandler on Friends swing all the way back from loving the annoying girl he’d once hated, to hating her again. Dude told this girl he was being sent to Yemen, just to shake her off. Unfortunately for him, she wanted to wait at the airport gate and watch his plane take off. No post-9/11, passengers-only boarding area for him. He was cornered. “I guess I’m going to Yemen!” he bleated, as realization hit.

There’s a moment in this episode (Good Night) when Nick Brody really wants to go to Tehran. He’ll run through gunfire for it. The Iranian border is only 300 yards away; he can almost taste it. Whatever that new place will feel like, that’s the feeling he wants.

Remember what Brody did after his arrival in Venezuela? He got frustrated with his gangster handlers, started ranting about going to “the next place”. I got the feeling then that this is a recurring theme in Brody’s life: this need to move on, again and again, to whatever is next. I get it again here, as Brody gazes across the dark early morning at Iran: his next place.

That feeling doesn’t last.

Now we go to Tehran. – Javadi

When Javadi makes contact with Brody, he’s in the clink with Boo-Rah Team Lead, who appears to have read my last recap and is having serious second thoughts about mentioning his family in last week’s episode. BRTL clearly knows that the rules of fiction won’t let him out of this room alive, but Brody just has to question his own marching orders.

“What about him?” he asks of his friend, and Javadi gives his favorite answer: he shoots the guy in the head. That’s when the penny seems to drop for Brody. He just had to go to Iran, and now here he is: in Iran. With this murderous, opportunistic psychopath. He’s a literal world away from home, and his only point of contact with home is … that psychopath.

You’d think Carrie would be upset about this. Nonsense! She’s delighted!

Brody made it across. Head first into an Iranian military unit. He made it. And you, Saul, are still in the game. – Carrie

We haven’t seen her smile like this since her caper in the souk back at the start of Season 2. And for the first time, I know what it is she really loves. It’s not Brody; it’s sure not that baby she’s carrying. It’s adrenaline.

At least that’s something she tends to have a lot of. Quinn knows about the baby (he checked out her medical records after he shot her! Creepy AND a crack shot, damn!), and he wants her to sit out the rest of the operation. She shuts him down:

It’s not his [Brody’s]. – Carrie

I mean … What fetus? Love, what’s that? Carrie’s much more interested in getting down to business. As is her boss.

I feel like I’m in Vegas, betting the mortgage. – Saul

It feels like that because that’s what it is. Saul has everything on the line here: if this mission goes well, he’ll get to keep his job. If not, he drops back into the ranks. Worse: Lockhart shows up at the war room, demanding a seat at the table with his usual grace.

Whatever this turns out to be, I’m destined to inherit it. – Lockhart

With the same breezy confidence I last remember expressing in the week before the 2000 Presidential election, Lockhart gets a front-row seat to what at first looks like a very bad moment for Saul. He wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

You had some bad luck. I’m sorry. – Lockhart

But then things turn around, because one person out in that dark field is just as crazy as Carrie Mathison — “the Passenger” himself, Brody. Dude loses it when his Navy Seal escort kills an Iraqi police patrol, has to get talked back into the car, and then refuses to let Carrie talk him out of a suicidal run for the border. He. Is. BANANAS.

And now he’s bananas in Iran, with a psychopath for a sidekick. What could go wrong?

It’s time again for our Closing Thoughts!

If Homeland is serious about shipping Carinn as a couple, Carrie and Quinn need more screen time. And they could stand to get better dialogue than this: “I didn’t want anyone else to take the shot.” (That I fired at your shoulder. Which sent you to the hospital. Where I totally creeped on your medical records.) None of this sounds remotely like foreplay, Homeland!

I don’t believe Carrie’s baby is anyone’s BUT Brody’s. She said that to Quinn to keep him from seeing her an emotional as well as a physical liability, and I don’t think he bought it either.

The Internets tell me that Boo-Rah Team Lead’s name was “Bravo”. I think that’s a great name to give a guy who’s 1) only ever gonna play second fiddle to your damaged male lead, and also 2) set to die after 2 episodes. Great, right? Great!

That said, the camaraderie between Brody and his SEAL buddies is sweet. “When you were a little kid, what’d you wanna be when you grew up?” “Join Al Qaeda, see the world.” And all the stuff about writing the letter home? It’s all kind of hackneyed, but it still kind of works.

Speaking of the field scenes: That drone is a real thing. The Reaper is a “hunter-killer,” designed for unmanned flight over long distances. It pretty much does what it says: it hunts, and it kills. Its cousins might only be delivery drones now … but what if we caught one of those? Broke it down? Turned it?

Imagine! Just imagine.


  7 Responses to “Homeland Recap: 310, Betting the Mortgage”

  1. BRTL might as well have worn a red shirt.

  2. Saul knew the cleanest way to get Brody in was along. Bravo was a residue of a busted yet successful mission.

    In a real intrigue Javadi would certainly attract suspicion for executing Bravo – at first I thought it was a mis-step. But on further reflection, Javadi knew that Bravo would give up the game under torture, whether before or after Brody’s exfil. Javadi knows he’s either in for the long haul as a mole – or (very unlikely) will be part of his own exfil. Both mean he’s tortured and dead starting “within seven days” (if Bravo were to hold out that long).

    In a spy novel Bravo might have that poison tooth (is that real?).

    This is Homeland, however, so dramatic demands might toss the suspect-Javadi-angle to the curb.

    As for hackneyed sentiment, I think Bravo was right – as a child you don’t forget what you wanted to be as a grown-up.

    I can only remember playing little league at age ten – and wanting to be a MLB-player. By twelve I knew it wouldn’t work out. After that my horizon was so short that I never contemplated it until I started college.

    What did you (and hubby) want to be?

  3. … but what if we caught one of those? Broke it down? Turned it?


    Also, I hope that Peter Quinn is not growing a beard so that he may be dispatched to Iran to be killed in the season finale. Good night.

  4. Four really good episodes in a row.

    DAMMIT, I’m back in this.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.