Was there ever a more tragic, star-crossed couple than “Homeland’s” Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis)
and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes)? But despite all the obstacles against them (he’s married, for Pete’s sake!), the terrorist traitor and the mentally ill CIA operative who apprehended him are irresistibly drawn to each other.
They make contact again in “The Clearing” — and their latest clandestine meeting, on the estate of a wealthy campaign supporter hosting a weekend fundraiser — results in more than just a firm handshake.
Asking Carrie whether kissing him is her way of keeping him close, Brody admits, “I feel used and played and lied to.” But, he adds, “I also feel good. Two minutes with you and I feel good. How do you pull that off?”
He didn’t feel so good earlier when meeting another woman, Roya, in another clearing, to discuss the Gettysburg ambush. While Brody protests the murder of six federal agents, she insists, “We got what we needed — that was the important thing” and warns that things will “move very quickly now” in the attack on the United States.
In response, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) is moving quickly to help identify Roya’s Hezbollah contact, and visits the Supermax prison to enlist the help of Aileen, his terrorist road-trip pal from Season 1. She dupes him and uses his glasses to commit suicide, showing that Sal, like Carrie, was blinded by his emotional attachment to a criminal. (Poor Quinn discharged himself from the hospital to capture a man whose only crime is liking Coldplay.)
En route to the fundraiser, Jess (Morena Baccarin) tells Brody that Faber suspects he killed Tom Walker, adding, “I can take it if it’s the truth, but I can’t take it if it’s another lie.” Wow, that’s quite a leap! (If she can “take” the fact that he murdered his buddy, maybe he ought to confess he’s still seeing Carrie too.) Blaming his death on a “messy” CIA operation, Brody says, “Tom lost his way … he just went through too many things and couldn’t get right again.” Does she have any idea he’s really talking about himself?
Furious, Brody calls Carrie, and accuses her of lying to him: “You’re hedging, Roya’s hedging, and I’m at the center of it and I’m in the f***ing dark.” When Carrie assures Quinn, “He’s still with us but he needs to feel a sense of control and power,” he responds, “So empower the guy.” (That’s a euphemism, right? Whatever, Carrie’s on it!)
Carrie confronts Faber, telling him about Brody’s role in preventing a terrorist attack. Then she suggests he’s “emotional” because he slept with Brody’s wife. (She’s definitely the expert in such matters, as Faber well knows.) Is her suggestion that he support Jess and the kids — and hope that he gets what he wants — her way of trying to break up the Brody family?
Or is Dana (Morgan Saylor) doing that just fine on her own? When she finally reveals the truth about the hit and run, she and Jess bristle at the politicos’ plans to hush it up — with Estes’ help. Brody, so desperate for his daughter’s respect, takes her to the police station to report the crime — only to be intercepted by Carrie, the crazy lady who had a meltdown on their front lawn last year. Seeing Brody back down (because otherwise he’d be arrested himself), Dana calls him “bulls***” and adds, “Dad, you really make me sick.”
That’s got to sting, especially after earning the respect — and a sizable campaign contribution — from Rex, their fundraising host and fellow war vet. And he’s not only endorsing Brody for vice president: he’s eyeing him for president in eight years.
First lady Carrie Mathison has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?