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'Homeland' Recap: Die Hard

By Alex Smith, Hollywood.com Staff

Last week's Homeland allowed us to revel in the intensity that followed the aftermath of Carrie's little episode in the hotel room - she pushed the reset button, we watched the aftermath. This week, everything had to work in the real world (or, Homeland's summation of the real world), which proved to be pretty damn difficult for everyone involved. Roya, the character I am most loving to hate on all of television right now, is being followed by the crack anti-Nazir CIA team; Carrie is desperate for hard evidence about the upcoming attack, and Roya is the one with all of the answers. Virgil and Max (I thought Max was a serial killer in the first season) are on the ground to deal with audio, but Roya is one smart cookie and decides to meet her informant next to the largest fountain in all of DC. Carrie is very openly displeased that the audio is trash, and she becomes even more agitated when the creepy informant magically disappears onto a Metro train. We do have a picture of the man wearing sunglasses, but clearly that is not enough to figure out where a team of terrorists is going to strike. Everyone yells at Virgil about missing the train this man hopped on, but DC has the worst metro system maybe ever, so I am giving Vigil some leeway here. You have to compute your own fare for the DC Metro based on distance traveled and time of day. I wish I were kidding. That's math, people.

Jessica and Brody are trying to make their relationship work/figure out why Jessica calls her husband by his last name, as there are still a lot of wonky trust issues. Meanwhile, Dana is sick/depressed because, well, she may or may not have maybe murdered a woman while riding with Finn; this is the best maybe-murder guilt since Serena van der Woodsen "confessed" that she "killed" someone on Gossip Girl. The CIA needs to bring Brody in to help with the whole Roya incident, and Jessica directly asks if Brody's secret CIA mission involves Carrie. Brody, on this whole honesty kick, obviously tells Jessica that Carrie was fired by the CIA aaand we're lying to the family again! God, some habits die hard.

Brody drives Dana to school, and their father-daughter relationship really isn't going well these days. I'm trusting Homeland to spin Dana's car accident debacle into something major, the push the whole plot forward, but we'll see what happens. Brody is a mess, Dana is a huge mess, but Finn really doesn't care about anything. Naturally. Brody heads to the CIA bunker after zooming away from Dana's school; Carrie needs Brody to identify the man that met Roya by Niagara Falls DC (he can't), and Brody starts making wild demands about his involvement in all of this (not smart). Brody realizes that he doesn't have power in all of this business, right?

Quinn knows that Brody isn't coming clean about everything, and Brody finally spills that The Tailor is actually dead; Brody doesn't admit that he snapped Bassel's neck in the middle of a marsh, but I guess those are just little details in the big picture. Quinn is furious, because Brody can't just pretend that people are alive! Resources are being wasted in Gettysburg! Carrie and Quinn are involved in some sort of fight to the death due to differing opinions about how to deal with Brody, especially since Quinn still has questions about Carrie's whole "I love you" thing in the interrogation room; Carrie snaps back - "Don't worry about my objectivity. Worry about your own." Quinn finally calms down, and our three leaders (Quinn, Carrie, and Saul) decide that Brody needs to meet with Roya, as they must find out if this new player is replacing Bassel. Interesting.

Domestic drama - Mike and Alcoholic Marine meet up with a detective in the weird cement center where Tom Walker's body was discovered (after Brody shot him). Mike and Alcoholic Marine are getting closer to the truth about Walker's death and Brody's secrets, but they're also kind of stupid and just wandering all over the place. This ultimately gets Mike in a room with Saul and Estes at Langley, where Estes demands that Mike let the whole situation go, stating the details of this crack Walker-Brody investigation lead to a matter of national security. Meanwhile, Dana bolts from school and pays a visit to the hospital; she meets the daughter of the woman from the car accident, and learns that car accident woman is probably going to die. Dana has a massive panic attack, and Morgan Saylor does a fantastic job with the scene; I love a good daughter on television (Sally Draper is obviously my favorite character on Mad Men), and Morgan is making Dana work.

Quinn heads out to Gettysburg, where he's finally able to move in with his team since the Tailor isn't around and dead and all. In DC, Carrie is hanging out in Brody's car in an attempt to push him to breach Nazir's protocol and force a meeting with Roya; Brody freaks, calling on Carrie's use of physical affection to get him to do what she/the CIA wants. Hey, Brody - you tired of playing puppet to too many people? Brody goes in and makes the meeting with Roya happen, creating some story featuring Carrie talking on the phone about Hezbollah while they were "sleeping together" (I find the use of their quasi-fictional affair as the mission's cover incredibly upsetting); the team hopes Roya will react, and therefore lead them deeper down the Nazir chain. Carrie clearly does not trust Brody during all of these hallway whispers. Roya reveals that she knows about Quinn's plans in Gettysburg. Roya is smart/awful, and Brody has almost no sway over this woman. Carrie realizes that something special is in the Tailor's shop. Quinn needs to hurry up.

Mike, potentially suffering from amnesia after his meeting with Estes (does anyone on this show listen to the people around them?), heads to Brody's house and starts searching the garage. I was clearly worried Brody's Muslim gear, until I realized that Brody's Quran was buried at the end of the season premiere. Oops. Instead, Mike finds Brody's bullet case, including one missing shot. TOM WALKER, GOODBYE.

Quinn is finally getting close to something in Gettysburg - there's a weird false wall at the back of the shop; the CIA crew really does need to hurry up before the scene is handed over to the FBI. Quinn begins to knock on the wall, searching for the edge of the compartment… when armed men swarm the room, guns blazing. For a relatively quiet episode, this scene was very loud and very terrifying (I'm not sure if that is a good thing at all). Everyone from the CIA goes down. Everyone is dead. DEAD. The armed men pull a chest/object from the wall compartment, and their leader pulls off his helmet - it's Roya's little friend, making sure things are kept clean. WHO IS THIS MAN? We clearly don't know how deep this thing goes. While horrifying, this scene also seemed ridiculous; I hope future episodes can iron out the resources used to make this little shootout a reality. I am wildly terrified of Abu Nazir & Co. Regardless, and probably more importantly, QUINN IS ALIVE! He's not doing well, but he is breathing. Sorry, Homeland, you can't kill off your most attractive character just yet! This whole attack was beautifully choreographed and directed.

Mike confronts Jessica about Brody's missing bullet. Jessica defends her husband. Jessica tells Mike that her husband is working for the CIA, which made me literally laugh out loud because you just cannot say that. Carrie storms into Brody's office, demands that he explain Gettysburg as seven members of her team are now dead. Brody pulls the same subversive physical comfort sneak attack that he screamed at Carrie about earlier this episode. Carrie starts to weep, and I'm so glad we could end the episode with some Angry Claire Danes Cry Face. Don't trust someone using their emotions to manipulate you when their emotions might also be the real deal. Side note - did anyone think about Spielberg's Lincoln during all of this Gettysburg talk? Should I just call the movie Daniel Day Lewis' Lincoln? Can I give the Best Actor Oscar to Joaquin Phoenix instead of DDL? Will I pretend to see Lincoln with weekend and instead just go to eight showings of Skyfall in IMAX? Can I take Daniel Craig on a date? I'm allowed to talk about Academy Awards (and peripheral details) here because Homeland just won so many Emmys. Yes, that makes sense. I think I'm distracting myself from the fact that the whole Hezbollah Gunman Brigade needs to be explained as quickly as possible, especially on a show that is usually so careful and meticulous with its action sequences and emotional manipulation. Homeland can push the envelope, sure, but I need it to not forget about its acknowledgment of the real world. We don't need terrorist hyper-villains swathed in black Kevlar, do we? I'm never going back to Gettysburg.

[Image Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime (2)]

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