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October 6, 2015

'Homeland' Recap, Now With Brody-o-Meter! Episode 5, 'Blind Spot' (VIDEO)

by Michael Hogan, posted Oct 31st 2011 12:10AM
Brody and CarrieThis was a family-oriented episode of Showtime's 'Homeland': We met Carrie's profanity-spewing Dad, Saul's long-suffering wife, and a terrorist who was willing to give up a key piece of intelligence in order to save eight family members, including his wife and kids. Yes, everybody is struggling to balance their family and professional obligations -- for Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Carrie (Claire Danes), that means protecting the world from bad guys, but what does it mean for Sergeant Brody (Damian Lewis)? Is he really just struggling to adjust to life back at home after eight years in captivity, or is Carrie right that he's slowly and stealthily setting the stage for a follow-up to 9/11?

Starting this week, AOL TV's Brody-o-Meter will gauge the rescued Marine sergeant's likelihood of being a sleeper agent for the Taliban on a 100 percent scale. Read on to find out this week's score!

The episode opened with what looks at first like a classic Brody flashback. As we'll soon find out, it's happening in the present tense: the last surviving inhabitant of the compound where Brody had been held is being hauled out of bed and shipped to the U.S. for questioning. Scenes of the capture are interspersed with -- what else? -- shots of Brody praying in Arabic inside his garage.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: Even. The Islamic prayers are nothing new, and anyway they mean nothing; if Brody had come back from prison in Italy chanting in Latin, we wouldn't assume he was planning a bunga-bunga party for Berlusconi.

Next we meet Saul's wife, Mira, who's just back from visiting her family in India. About five seconds after she arrives, Saul's getting an urgent call from headquarters: they want him there immediately to interview their new prisoner. Mira says she's not mad but she totally is.

Meanwhile, Carrie is invading her sister's house, where she shares some friendly vulgarities with her dad, who, we learn, has the same weird psychological affliction she does, and steals some of his pills from the medicine chest. Knowing she won't stay long enough to eat a sandwich, he wraps it up for her. Nice guy.

Brody is sprinting through the woods, covered in sweat. Then he sees Mike. He hates Mike, because he basically realizes that Mike has been sheet-wrestling with his wife, but he also needs Mike, because he's a mess and can't satisfy his wife or look after his own kids. Mike has a message for Brody: he's wanted at Langley. Brody is so surprised, he takes a five-second break from giving Mike a hard time before starting right back up again. What does Langley want from him? Hard to say if he seems nervous, but he's definitely curious.

Turns out Brody is going to be in on the interrogation of the new captive, whose name is Asal Hamid. Carrie thinks this a terrible idea, obviously. Saul just wants her to shut the hell up, it seems, but he does point out that there's a chance Brody will do something to give himself away.

When Brody arrives, Carrie makes it clear that she doesn't want to talk about their little interlude outside the support group the other night. What was that all about? We still don't know, do we? He gets the signal and pretends they've met only once before, at his debriefing. The situation this time is awkward: Saul is doing the investigation in a room behind Carrie and Brody, who are watching it on TV. Brody hears what Saul is saying and feeds him information to create an illusion of "omnipotence." What we learn: Afsal Hamid was Brody's guard, and he did terrible things to Brody. Specifically, he peed on him and whacked him in the groin with a stick wrapped in barbed wire.

Brody handles himself professionally throughout, losing his cool only when Saul turns over a picture of the big-fish terrorist, Abu Nazir. We already know that he lied to Carrie in the debriefing, saying he'd never met Abu Nazir when he so totally did, but Carrie notices his reaction this time. He stopped breathing, she'll tell Saul later.

When it's all over, Brody asks Carrie if he can step inside and see Afsal Hamid face-to-face. She says sorry, against policy, and he says he understands. That will become important later.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: -20 points. We already knew he lied about Abu Nazir, and it's still not clear why. Apart from that, he looks like a responsible Marine here.

After hours of being softened up, C.I.A. style, thanks to a blasting A.C. and blaring bouts of death metal, Asal Hamid gives up an email address. One of Carrie's quants traces it to a local address -- not Brody's but Raqim Faisel, the professor with the American wife and the house conveniently located right next to the airport. With Carrie and company busy setting up a stakeout, Brody showers, shaves, uniforms up, and visits her boss, David Estes, to ask for that sitdown with the man who urinated on him.

This may be the most animated we've seen Brody since the series began: he goes on and on about how he needs to "close the door," which frankly is suspicious. Suddenly he's talking in therapy-ese? Estes, a sucker for a man in uniform, falls for it and sets up the meeting. Carrie is going to be so pissed off.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: +10 points. He's up to something. No Marine worth his salt gives a crap about closure.

Brody is let into the interrogation room and begins his speech: "You beat me. You humiliated me. You killed my friend. But you did not break me. You shoulda killed me when you had the chance. But now here we are. I'm a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, shit bird. How did you think this would end?" What is he talking about? Hamid responds by spitting in his face. They get in a fight. This is completely out of control. Seriously, someone please tell me the real C.I.A. wouldn't allow anything like this to happen.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: +30 points. Now we're sure he's up to something.

Raqim Faisel is nowhere to be found. Carrie's sitting outside his house, waiting for something to happen, when Saul calls: Afsal Hamid committed suicide with a razor blade. "Someone passed it to him," Carrie immediately shouts back. She doesn't even know yet about the meeting with Brody. She is going to be so pissed when she finds out about the meeting with Brody.

Worried that the same person tipped off Faisel, she begs Saul for approval to enter the house. He agrees, reluctantly. It's empty. The trail is cold.

Saul comes home to a very unhappy Mira. She's trying to break things off with him when guess who shows up at the door. Carrie found out about the Brody meeting and she is so pissed. It's obvious to her that Brody passed Hamid the blade (after identifying the camera's blind spot during his first visit, since their tussle took place out of sight of its lens) and tipped off Faisel.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: +50 points. It seems incredibly obvious that Brody passed the guy the blade. How is he going to explain this one?

Carrie wants to air her suspicions to her superiors, but Saul says no. "When did you become such a pussy, Saul?" she screams. Like he needs this tonight of all nights. Did she just quit? Looks that way from the fact that she's now at her office, filling that sad little banker's box that characters in movies and TV shows inevitably use to pack all their professional belongings no matter how many years they've been on the job.

She goes back to her sister's place, where she spends approximately three hours pretending she can give up the C.I.A. and live like a normal person before climbing out of bed and explaining to her niece that it's her job to protect their family from bad guys.

Brody, meanwhile, walks in on his son, Chris, praying to the Christian God and kneels down beside him. He apologizes for not being there to see Chris get his blue belt in karate (Mike went, of course). Chris explains that they used to pray for Brody to come home; now they pray for him to be normal again. Ouch.

Impact on the Brody-o-Meter: Even. Hey, it's not like he caned the kid and called him an infidel.

Final score: 70.

[Graphic by Catarina Ferreira]

Do you think Sergeant Brody is a hero or a threat? Let us know in the comments!

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Not trying to nitpick, but at the end of the article you should have used "saying a Christian prayer" or something like that. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all share the same god. Which makes it even more nuts that they all keep killing each other over it.

November 07 2011 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

saul was saying the prayer for the dead in HEBREW, not arabic, so there goes that theory

October 31 2011 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to anonymous's comment

yes a lot of bloggers got that one wrong. but note it was the Kaddish the prayer for the dead. For him to do a Kaddish for the terrorist...interesting.

November 02 2011 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mike, we have an answer to your question straight from Showtime: the song is called 'Orphan,' the band is Gridlink, label is Hydra Head Records. Here's a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otyZ9UIDB7w

October 31 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brodie is a threat he is a plant by terrorist

October 31 2011 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dexter Morgan

Gets better and better with every new episode......

Showtime Sundays nights with Dexter & Homeland...as good as it gets !!!!

October 31 2011 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny, I did a double take when Saul started chanting in Arabic but chalked it up to him being an old Middle East hand. But yes, @Sean, GOOD POINT: having Saul be the bad guy would be a great twist. Even if things don't turn out that way, it seems like a great thread for the writers to pull for at least a few episodes.

October 31 2011 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gotta agree with the comment below @Sean, there has to be something in Saul mutterings in Arabic, as well as his sudden turn against Carrie's investigation? is there something in that or am i just fishing?

October 31 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I mistaken, or was Saul speaking Arabic to himself at one point? Could the HUGE hook in the show center around Saul, himself, being the one who has "turned" ?

October 31 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Mills

As much as I want Clare Danes to be wrong, and not just because every time I look at her I think of the autistic cowgirl lesbian genius she played to such scary effectiveness, and not just because every line she delivers makes me confused about why she seems to be on the verge of tears at all times, but more because I straight up don't like the bitch; but I think the BrodyMeter is dead on. The dude jerked it on the floor without even touching his wife's perfectly perky boobies. If that's not a terrorist red flag I don't know what is. I loved Sargent Winters in Band of Brothers, but I'm pretty sure he's getting ready to kill some American ****.

October 31 2011 at 10:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
pat k

the brody-o-meter is awesome. especially the graphic.

October 31 2011 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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