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October 21, 2014

Homeland Recap

'Homeland' Recap, Episode 11: 'The Vest' Brings Brody One Step Closer to Revenge (VIDEO)

by Michael Hogan, posted Dec 11th 2011 11:00PM
It's not easy being Carrie Mathison, that's for sure.

In this tense, suspenseful episode of 'Homeland,' we finally learn the truth about her mystery ailment: she's bi-polar, and has been since college. Deprived of her medication following the attack on the square, which sent her to the hospital with a concussion and some nasty facial abrasions, she cascades into full-scale mania, berating the staff of the hospital over its inadequate supply of magic markers (my favorite line of the episode: "Is green elusive? I mean, my kingdom for a fucking green pen!") and giving Saul an awful scare. When he questions her, Carrie admits that her sister is medicating her, and Saul and Maggie Mathison are soon splitting up chaperone duties like a pair of amiable ex-spouses, since it's obvious that Carrie can't be left alone while she's in this condition.

Alarmed as he is by Carrie's predicament, Saul does not make the mistake of discounting what she has to say. Right away, he sees the wisdom in her frantic declaration that Nazir would never pin all of his hopes on a single sniper, even one whose target is the president himself. Saul relays the warning to Estes, who mentions it to Vice President Walden, who is waiting out the scare in an undisclosed underground bunker. Walden swats away this unhelpful suggestion -- "You want your portrait up at Langley some day? Focus on that. Find Walker. And fire somebody. I don't care who." -- and also discloses a vital piece of information: he's running for president, and plans to announce his candidacy next week.

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'Homeland' Recap, Episode 10: Brody Runs Right Over Carrie

by Michael Hogan, posted Dec 4th 2011 11:00PM
What is Brody up to?

Every week, I watch 'Homeland' and find myself caught up in the trajectories of all kinds of sub-plots and supporting characters, only to return in the end to that same question: What is Brody trying to accomplish? Who is this secretive, seemingly tortured soldier, really? What does he want? What makes him tick?

Though the episode was titled "Representative Brody," Sergeant Nick's story line was a lot less interesting than Carrie's this week. Things had been looking up for poor Carrie, but the what-goes-up-must-come-down logic of this show demanded that she must suffer, and suffer she did. Start with the look on her face when she realized what a fool she'd been to think that she and Brody might have a future together. She'd gone to the trouble of introducing a bottle of white to her desolate refrigerator and cueing up a bit of Miles Davis, and all he wanted was to make sure that she had no intention of ever telling anybody about their little weekend at the cabin. Claire Danes earned her inevitable Emmy nomination with the expression of tasered hope that crossed her face. I felt like crying for her.

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'Homeland' Recap, Episode 7: 'The Weekend' the Brody-o-Meter Died?

by Michael Hogan, posted Nov 13th 2011 11:00PM
Was Alan Sepinwall right? Is it time for AOL TV to retire its exclusive Brody-o-Meter? Judging from the last 5 minutes of tonight's episode of 'Homeland,' the answer could well be yes.

What the hell am I talking about, you ask? Well, for the past couple of weeks, I have structured each 'Homeland' recap around a single question: Is Sergeant Nicholas Brody a sleeper agent for al-Qaeda, or a messed-up war hero? Meanwhile, HitFlix's Sepinwall has said he doesn't want to focus on the is-he-or-isn't-he debate. He's more interested in the twisted relationship between Claire Danes' Carrie and Damian Lewis' Brody.

Well, Alan, this episode's for you.

Let's start at the very end of "The Weekend," shall we? Are we buying that confrontation between Carrie and Brody? Knowing what we know of Brody, do we really believe that he would sit down and invite Carrie to ask him anything? And knowing how suspicious Carrie is, and how much she has risked to go rogue on this so-called investigation, do we really believe that she would take him up on his offer and turn over every card she's holding? Maybe so. Maybe I just need to let go of my desire for these two to be master chess players, because this exchange was about as strategic as flipping over the board and crying for mommy.

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'Homeland' Recap, Still With Brody-o-Meter: Episode 6, 'The Good Soldier'

by Michael Hogan, posted Nov 6th 2011 11:00PM
Homeland Episode 6 RecapWho's playing whom? That is the question posed by 'The Good Soldier,' the sixth and possibly best yet episode of Showtime's domestic-espionage drama 'Homeland.' As the hour ended, the audience was left pondering two possible scenarios. The first is that Carrie (Claire Danes) is an Agency Black Widow, spinning a psychosexual web to entrap her pray, the unwitting Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). The second is that Brody is the one stitching the net, and that Carrie -- willful, impetuous, hot-headed Carrie -- is the one in danger of being eaten alive. Let's examine both in tonight's 'Homeland' recap, shall we?

On the one hand, you can view the episode this way: Having decided that her mission in life is to protect people from bad guys, Carrie un-empties her desk and starts looking for a way to prove her case against Brody, whom she is now convinced is a terrorist, based on her conviction that he passed Afsal Hamid the razor blade that allowed the detained terrorist to commit suicide and claim his allotted 72 virgins in Heaven. To that end, she suggests polygraphing all 11 of the people who had direct contact with Hamid, just in case, oh, any of them might not be able to correctly answer the question "Did you pass a razor blade to Afsal Hamid." Even Saul supports the plan, which will be important later.

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