Homeland: A Romantic Weekend Getaway

Wow! After Sunday's excellent "The Weekend," Homeland cannot be blamed for dragging things out. Episode 7 gave us the confrontation we thought wouldn't happen until the season finale, and a twist that only some guy out there who predicted every fathomable permutation got right. All that, and there's still lingering doubt about everyone involved.

"The Weekend" was ostensibly about two couples getting to know each other better—Brody and Carrie, and Saul and Aileen. But really the episode was about what the series has always been about: trust, in all its blossoming wonder and crumbling disappointment. Saul was able to build trust with Aileen, leading to the super-sized double-patty McTwist with cheese at the end, and Carrie, with one slip of the tongue, saw the trust (and love?) she had earned from Brody explode in her face. The two relationships were opposite trajectories that only crossed at the very end of the episode before rocketing away from each other.

Of course, this is Homeland, a show that we've learned not to trust, no matter how obvious things may seem (and admit it, you get a certain joy from not trusting the show). What we did learn was that Thomas Walker, Brody's bunk buddy back in Iraq, is not dead—despite the memorial service and Brody's flashbacks and admission of killing him—and that he's the prisoner of war who was turned. I'd assumed a major twist was in the cards and pegged everyone as the potential terrorist. Heck, I even thought Dana might take off her jacket and reveal a dynamite vest at some point. But never did I think Walker was alive and terrorizing. You beat me, Homeland.

So does this mean Brody is completely innocent? Is he just a victim of bad intelligence and paranoid finger-pointing? Of course not. Wouldn't Aileen, if she were in deep with Abu Nazir, be trained to divert attention from the real threat? If the CIA's best weapon is surveillance, putting the organization on the wrong trail with bad intelligence would be the best move the bad guys could make. But that's anticipating super-triple-dog-dare double-crosses, and if we're going to do that, we may as well just keep watching through the end of the finale or wait for the recap.

But Homeland isn't just about who is planning to blow up whom. Brody and Carrie's relationship is one of the most fascinating things on television right now, and it's only enhanced by the fact that we're not entirely sure who is the cat and who is the canary. But even if you remove the uncertainty from the equation, we have two completely effed-up people who are effed-up for entirely different reasons, drawn to each other for entirely different reasons. It's simultaneously romantic and creepy. Both are living double lives—one in which they're adversaries and one in which they're sneaking around like teenagers in love. It's fascinating stuff, and I'll be damned if I don't want to see them walk off into the sunset together somehow, even though it seems near impossible.

And things just got more difficult during that fascinating scene at the end of the episode, with Brody sitting across the table from Carrie in a no-holds-barred interrogation. Carrie instantly made the transition from a girl with a crush to an intense CIA agent and drilled him with question after question. And she didn't just ask light, "What's your favorite color?" queries, we're talking full-on accusations of treason. But Carrie! Things were going so well! Looks like your future holds another Valentine's Day of wearing a slinky black dress and preying on other singles at the local bar.

Homeland has been excellent all season long, but now it's at a point where we have to ask ourselves where it will go next now that the big confrontation between CIA-agent Carrie and accused-POW Brody has taken place and the mystery is seemingly been solved. However, if Homeland has taught us anything in its first seven episodes, it's that something new is just around the corner, ready to blow our minds. And even if the next twist never comes, we can still root for the bizarre romance between two fantastic characters who have no business being together.

Notes:
– Carrie looks like a fun girl to go out drinking with, doesn't she? A good time is guaranteed! You may end up in jail or bleeding in a gutter, but you'll have a story to tell the next day. And maybe even a psycho girlfriend, too.

– This show loves to end its episodes with people crying, doesn't it? How is Carrie's sister going to react when Carrie calls her for a ride home from the cabin?

– Rebellious teen Dana continues to be a great character, legitimately grilling her mother about how she behaved while Brody was missing. But she sucks at drinking games and drinking in general.

– Over-analysis of the week: Did you notice that Carrie likes clear (or white) liquor and Brody likes BROWN liquor? If that's not proof that Brody is a terrorist, then I don't know what is!

– Brody was able to make love like a man! Way to go, dude! But seriously, how is it that not being a five-pump chump came off as sweet, and a sign that these two should maybe settle down together?

– Fantastic acting all around, especially from Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. They're working great together. In addition to the scene at the end, their drunken arrival at the cabin and their sober walk-and-talk the next day were great. These two are convincing.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Nov 28, 2011
That interrogation scene... Phew. This show makes me hold my breath everytime.
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Nov 17, 2011
I was thinking that perhaps being "off her meds" contributed to her slipping up about the tea. Or is it that she's truly falling in love with Brody, and she was off her guard. She got right back on game at the end of the episode when she was interrogating Brody though, maybe because she felt the relationship was over at that point because he had scared her by having her gun and knowing she'd spied on him.



Once she hears that Walker is the one who turned she's at his car apologizing. I think she's lonely, with only her sister's family for friends, and she thought for a short time she had found a kindred spirit with Brody. I think her getting drunk with men is an excuse to release her inhibitions. She was afraid to be sober with Brody, it made her shy at first and she doesn't know what to talk about with him, because a sober Carrie is "always working". When she's drinking with men she lets herself become a different Carrie. It's a way for her to let herself go "off duty" from her CIA training. Also the combination of her meds & liquor makes her behavior while drunk even more unbalanced.



I don't think Brody will help the CIA in their efforts on terrorism, he just wants to pass polygraphs and not have to reveal what he knows. I think he knows a lot about future plans that Nazir may have, remember he believes he killed Walker in order to live, so who knows what else he is silent about in order to live? He has the ability to turn from sweet to mean very quickly, and may be dealing with a personality disorder of his own. No, I see him trying to keep his nose clean and stay out of the limelight, and certainly not helping Carrie find terrorists. He may take promotions in the Marines to provide for his family, but that's just to keep a roof over their heads.



I think all the acting & writing was great in this show, and also love that it's being filmed in the Charlotte, N.C. area, where I used to live.
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Nov 16, 2011
Hahaha I was right , he is just a muslim not the terrorist !

Or at least I was right until this point because we will never know what will happen next , this show is so tricky :S .
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Nov 16, 2011
- SO GOOD. And you know what, despite your frequent FALSE accusations that Carrie is "crazy", she was off her meds for a whole weekend and was fine! i don't know how bipolar meds work-if it's an immediate relief per pill or if there is a delay (days, weeks, etc.)-so maybe she still had some drugs in her system.

- Carrie drinks clear liquors, tequila specifically in this episode, because she's a woman and that's a feminine drink, whereas Brody prefers Bourbon because he's a man and whiskey is a man's drink. You're reading a bit too much into it. Next time on Tim's review: "Did you catch what make Brody's car is? It's not American, so obviously it's reflective of the fact that he's no patriot!"

- Love the acting; love the writing; like most of the characters. Best new show on television, by far.
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Nov 16, 2011
Carrie didn't take her anti-psycho drugs for 2 days! this could be a trick people! It might all just be a dream or a hallucination!
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Nov 16, 2011
We're used to have main characters on shows we love to be flawed for the sake of believability. But then these are usually more character traits than actual flaws that tend to affect common behaviour. In Homeland we see some characters that are SERIOUSLY flawed or SERIOUSLY traumatized, with very little space to improve on that but then it's expected to.



Carrie will always act like we've seen: crazy, unbalanced, disregarding of consequences, stubborn... she'll do what she must to get to what SHE thinks is closer to truth, and that means anything. We've seen her playing advances to anyone with two legs and an in-between. We've seen she's a master manipulator and recurrent lier, if not a good one. She may have the guts but will struggle to be the one with the mind strength and mostly, background, to reach out and convince others she is correct. I recall she failed the polygraph and that won't be forgotten.



Estes wants that promotion more than anything and that means he'll f*** up again if something comes up that might help him get it. He's already allowed a blade to kill his prisoner, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't Brody's bunk buddy who slipped it to him. I'm also pretty sure it wasn't on his boot or he'd killed himself earlier. He isn't without some background story on messed relationships, including with Carrie which I believe speaks more for him than her. These misgivings give him a very human outlook and they might make him an important character later on. If he realizes his shortcomings he might be the one to rise to another level.



Nick will be collected, pondered, observing, like someone who've been through a decade long incarceration must adapt to survive, through cunning and perception of what can get him through. He won't act without definite proof of his suspicions - we've seen that although he knew Mike was sharing shirtless hugs with his wife but it wasn't until he saw his friend promptly defend her honor that he knew for sure. Islamism gave him some peace that he brought with him in his return to the USA and I believe he'll be more faithful to the Quran than most of other muslims.



Saul will be careful and insightful: He seems like a bloke who's been through a lot of crap in his career, is having trouble in his marriage so he's on edge: wants to be in the field to distract himself and do something useful since (I'm guessing here) he got the desk job to please his wife (she complained about the constant travels) and still wasn't enough. He'll be trying to hold himself to something dear, whether the job or Carrie I don't know.
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Nov 16, 2011
Nothing is certain with this show, wow what an effect it has. Even after revealing the Real "bad" guy. U still don't believe them. Amazing acting by everyone this week.

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Nov 16, 2011
I'm a little in awe after watching this episode, not only because of the twist at the end and the great acting from the whole cast, but because I honestly didn't expect that confrontation between Brody and Carrie to happen this quickly. As good as the first half of the episode was, those final 20 minutes just kept slapping me in the face because I thought it'd be at least until the end of the season for things to have gotten to this point. As much as I enjoy being right about things, I loved this episode for making me wrong.



Also, I loved Brody's "Hey, Carrie. Fuck you." and subsequent drive away.
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Nov 16, 2011
Piouf, what a week ! My first reaction after watching this ep was : "okay the show's over" but we still have 5 or 6 eps coming.



I don't think, like most of you fellow commentators, that Brody (btw, why everybody, even his wife, calls him Brody and not Nicholas or Nick ?) is totally clean here. I think that mostly because I have my doubts about Abu Nazir's real intentions about taking care of Brody. As far as we know, including the twist of this week, Abu Nazir seems to have use Brody to help turn Walker. But why keep Brody alive after the job had been done then ? Only to get him to confirm Walker's death after his rescue ? I'm not so sure. He has to have another purpose.

However, his answers to Carrie's brutal interrogation seemed quite honest. His shame, about killing Walker, becoming a muslim and his weakness to receive Nazir's "love", is quite legitimate and explain every suspicious behavior he had.



As usual with this show, there's no room for certainty : each clue points to some explanation and its opposite. So I'm quite suspicious of everything right now. That's how Homeland works.
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Nov 16, 2011
It was interesting to watch alternatives to the grindcore-interrogation-technique of two weeks ago. Saul's "good-cop"-approach appeared to work. But I wonder if that's already the whole of Aileen's story. In the last episodes she was portrayed as the tough one, having received terrorist training - and converts are usually more zealous anyway. So it's kind of doubtful that she would break that easily. You can never be sure with this show.



Carrie's "have-sex-with-the-suspect"-approach wasn't as successful. I found very interesting how she blew her cover: it showed how familiar she has become to Brody during the surveillance. It was hard to avoid such mistakes once she met him in person. The total asymmetry of knowledge in their relationship (Carrie knows Brody very intimately while he hardly knows her at all) is attractive to watch. In this scene Carrie acted as if they were married. - I couldn't believe how much information she gratuitously gave away during the interrogation, though. She acted like an amateur. My theory is that by not taking her pills she lost her inhibitions. What interrogator would yell "a POW has been turned - and it has to be you"!? Earlier in the episode during the phone call with her sister the writers put a lot of emphasis into ensuring that we knew that Carrie was supposed to take her pills. I actually expected her to freak out or something. But it could explain the botched interrogation. (I also think that her lying about taking drugs at the lie-detector-test will be an issue soon. Could it be used to undermine her credibility at the Agency? Will she get suspended?) - Brody on the other hand appeared to be on the top of his game. Was it a tactical move to give away some compromising information to be able to hide even bigger stuff? I love this show!



BTW: For the first time Claire Danes' acting didn't fully convince me. She looked more like a middle-school-teacher trying to find out who has scribbled on the desk than a CIA agent trying to find out who's a terrorist. (Maybe also a consequence of not taking that pill?) All in all she's great, though!

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Nov 16, 2011
Tim, I find it hilarious that thus far Brody's most indelible feature appears to be his lackluster skills in the boudoir. I love that you are keeping score on this man, lmao.
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Nov 16, 2011
My prediction: Brody saves the CIA's ass in this next coming operation, resultantly comes to work for the CIA or runs for Senate, and then Carrie gets intel that casts new suspicion on Brody that no one else will believe. End Season 1.
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Nov 16, 2011
EXACTLY what I was thinking, you two ! And Saul is in with Brody because Abu Nazir had Sauls wife kidnapped !!! Drama all over the place
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Nov 16, 2011
Or maybe Brody's partner appears and will try to shoot someone. Brody will take him down with a sniper riffle from another building or something. Brody is a hero again. Everyone is happy. And he meets Abu Nazir in some safe house. And Carrie will them coming in while she follows Brody to apologize. End Season 1.



Oh, oh. And Carrie is not in the CIA, because she went nuts without those drugs.
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Nov 17, 2011
Carrie's unstable character is the screen writer's ace in the whole. Or is it Ace up their sleeve? Maybe its both.
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Nov 16, 2011
Great episode, but I think the writes must still have a couple of Aces up their sleeves, must be, otherwise, why to reveal Tom is the POW gone dark side?



I am starting to think, Brody is just a double agent presumingly turned terrorist, but have not tell the CIA as he knows they have a mole (probably Saul or Estes) Or is that a bit too far fetched? I just think, whatever they take the plot, it will be amazing!
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Nov 16, 2011
First off, excellent episode!!



I'm glad this Carrie/Brody thing came to a head so soon. The whole situation was making me dislike Carrie (I don't trust Brody, but I still felt what she was doing was wrong on some level; call me old fashioned, I dunno...).... but both Carrie & Brody are such uniquely flawed characters, and seeing them end up together would be nice, but like Tim stated--highly doubtful...
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Nov 16, 2011
I agree, it is disturbing that Carrie can so easily load and hide a gun to possibly use against the man and then unlock the door and get naked with him. I am not surprised she could not contain herself and confronted Brody, nor would it surprise me if she is unwilling to cease pursuing him now that he knows she was playing him. Woman is crazy and I love her for it.
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Nov 16, 2011
Yep. I don't see her giving up with Brody either.. But for now, she will definitely seek his forgiveness.... She is *so* intense. and that's what makes her great at her job.
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Nov 16, 2011
What is "not being a five pump chump"? I've never heard that expression before, please explain!



Love this show, the acting is superb (especially Damian Lewis & Clare Danes). I'm so into their relationship, even though it will probably just be on & off again through the entire series.



I disagree that Brody will be aiding Carrie with capturing Walker. I think he will want to steer clear of any terrorist capturing adventures, and concentrate on getting his family back, moving up in the Marines, and not being interrogated by the CIA. I think Jessica will be shamed (by her daughter) into staying with Brody, and will give up Mike for awhile. Mike may get tired of waiting for Jessica, and move on with other women. Meanwhile, Carrie will be saving the country from terrorists with an occasional fling with Brody, just to keep us all interested!



Love this show!
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Nov 16, 2011
To answer your question- he's talking about sex, and the longevity of said action.
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Nov 16, 2011
Keep it coming - great episode.
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Nov 16, 2011
I love it when a show has characters you care about on every level, major, minor, hell even the extras. I care about them all! I don't even guess plot twists anymore bc I'm always wrong. I LOVE THIS FREAKING SHOW
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Nov 16, 2011
You're right! I particularly like that no character has been completely denounced. There's no black and white here.
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Nov 16, 2011
This show is awesome. Unlike Dexter, not a weak link in the entire cast. This wonderful show and "SoA" are the best Dramas on television currently with "Revenge" being the only network drama to come close to what these two shows are doing this year. "Mad Men" is so yesterday's news.



Claire Danes may be creating the greatest and most compelling female character that this wonderful network known for allowing its actresses to create real characters not just female sterotypes (see Mary Louise Parker, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Eve Best, Merritt Wever, Toni Collette, Brie Larson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Billie Piper, Natascha McElhone, etc, etc, etc.) has ever seen. Kirsten Bell has to be excited coming to work for Showtime.
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Nov 15, 2011
Best episode so far without a doubt!
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Nov 15, 2011
-I wouldn't mind a date.

-I'm assuming that Carrie's sister is going to get pissed. Or maybe it'll just be a "Really? Again, Carrie?"

-I love her character. She is a great litmus test for everybody she comes into contact with.

-I must be a terrorist. I love Scotch and Rum (real, brown rum, not Bacardi crap). Though I also love some good gin, so maybe I just flip sides.

-It's pretty cool. Brody is an interesting guy. And I don't know if anyone on the staff of this show has actually been imprisoned in a terrorist camp or whether or not they had consultants on that, but I am quite impressed.

-Fantastic acting. Everyone. Even the young Dana.



I just love this show. Fantastic idea, and just very well executed. Good job everyone.
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Nov 15, 2011
I really liked this episode. And I really can't believe that rich/lost/terrorist girl Aileen could act like this in front of so experienced as Saul and give him a wrong sniper person. But maybe she was told so. But what did she suppose to do if the other person showed with a sniper rifle one day?



The series is really complicated and interesting!
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Nov 15, 2011
Excellent episode, truly excellent, but somehow I see another twist coming.
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Nov 15, 2011
Fabulous episode. My only wish is that they'd properly kicked the bejesus out of those neo-nazis!
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Nov 15, 2011
Firstly, this is the best new show of 2011 by far!



With the constant plot twists every week it is almost impossible to predict the bigger picture. The writers are doing a brilliant job of keeping the audience guessing and even manipulating our imaginations into running wild.



My current theory is this. Saul is involved in the overall story some how. Thomas Walker is carefully planned scape goat to ultimately divert attention away from Brody. My gut just tells me not to trust Brody .... )



And looking at the titles of the upcoming episodes (season finale = Marine One) I'm guessing there is going to be a failed assassination attempt ...
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Nov 15, 2011
This episode was quite amazing! This is what great TV is all about. It had everything: awesome acting, surprising twists (to say the least), and a balanced portrayal of the different characters. Me like. Me like very much.

The question is if Brody's "confession" to Carrie turns away CIA's attention from him completely. I doubt it. In fact, I hope not. After a twist like this confession, it would be a juicy turn of events if he still had something to do with the terror attempt. His confession was so perfect somehow, it sounded rehearsed.
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Nov 16, 2011
Like Carrie said, he had answer for everything....



The whole Walker is still alive angle could be a classic misdirect; but the premise of the show implies Brody is somehow involved, and therefore I will always question his true intentions.
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Nov 15, 2011
Oh my GOD, this episode was so intense, I've found myself sitting on the edge of my chair while it ran. Brody at this point is presumed not to be turned, but knowing the show likes to play with our minds, who knows what turn it will take next. At this point I'm so hooked up with the show, that I wish it was Sunday everyday ;)
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Nov 15, 2011
Have to admit I did not see this coming! This show gets batter and better and I was not going to watch coz its named Homeland, yeah, I know stupid but just my little bit of civil disobedience!

This is what the other shows try to capture-twists, turns, drama, excitement, and oh so quality acting from everyone!!!!!! But I still want to put an ice pick in Carries eye!!!!!
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Nov 15, 2011
New to the show, just caught up, and am absolutely hooked - but doesn't anyone else feel like it's been going WAY to fast?? The sex between Carrie and Brody, and especially the reveal of her suspicions to him.. this is the stuff I thought we would only see near the middle or even end of the series! This episode was packed with developments. I love it and I'm also nervous at the same time.. Now with Brody being made aware of Carrie's intentions, and the fastest pacing bang-sessions to cutesy-relationship of main characters of any show I've recently watched, I sincerely hope the writers have still got some more intriguing and surprising twists in store. I feel like the way it's going it's best told as a mini-series.
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Nov 15, 2011
Don't forget it is being written by the people from 24. Those guys don't know what go slow means!
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Nov 15, 2011
It already has passed the middle. Cable shows like Homeland have around 12 episode seasons unlike the 22 episode seasons of network shows.
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Nov 15, 2011
I was sitting on my couch just grinning from ear to ear as I watched. My husband commented to me, "wow, you really do love this show!" And I really, really do! It is the best show on tv right now. It has the suspense and drama that I enjoy. The acting isn't too shabby and the story line is fresh. I am sorely disappointed when it is over and I know I have to wait another 167 hours to watch another episode. I rewind the preview for next week's show over and over just to feel a bit more connected to the next episode!



This week was awesome with Brody calling Carrie out on knowing what kind of tea he drinks. I was shocked how she told him what was going on and she didn't hide behind the fact that the CIA thought he may be a traitor, but it was her that thought this! Really, I would have totally thrown the agency under the bus. Then the way she asked question after question, she has a set of balls on her! Then as Brody drove off I sat there and wondered, "is she going to regret what just happened? How is she going to explain to her sister she's stranded at the cabin? Is she going to try and reach out to Brody again?" Uggh... I can NOT wait for next week!
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Nov 15, 2011
I've been waiting anxiously for this review ! I'm a little disappointed with Carrie and that fact that she told Brody everything! Where does this leave us? I was hoping that would continue a little longer. They have amazing chemistry! The drive with Saul was really dull and I was hoping that the picture that she was drawing was going to be Brody. I don't know how I feel too much about the Walker storyline, it doesn't seem too interesting! But this show is awesome and I'm sure it will play out nicely.. I really feel that they made a huge turn in the show with Carrie and Brody..



Also, can anyone blame Brody's wife ? He was gone for 8 years! I don't know why Dana has to act like such a cow. Especially with the way Brody has been acting, I would want to turn to his friend anyway!!
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Nov 15, 2011
What child is not going to hope her parents stay together. the daughter's not acting like a cow. It's completely realistic.
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Nov 16, 2011
You'd think after 8 years, you'd be able to understand... She wants to be treated like an adult but is not behaving like one.
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Nov 16, 2011
"wants to be treated like an adult but is not behaving like one" - You just defined "teenager"... I completely understand why she acts like that. I agree with you that it's a little unfair towards her mother (8 years is a long time) but you couldn't possibly blame Dana for her reaction.
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Nov 15, 2011
Aside from possibly the world's worst opening credit sequence, the show is turning out to be slightly better than I expected. Danes' acting is a bit over the top, but oh well.
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Nov 15, 2011
I felt this episode was too on-the-nose, I wish she hadn't revealed herself so soon.
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Nov 15, 2011
Best show ever! I'm completely obsessed with the Carrie-Brody relationship.
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