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Homeland: Vested Interests

In a series that just featured an explosion carried out by a suicide bomber, deadly snipers poised to take shots at the president, and an American-born Marine prepped and ready to blow up the highest levels of U.S. government with a carefully crafted vest of mass destruction, for me, the most telling shot of this week's episode of Homeland was Saul's face as he witnessed Carrie go halfway to cuckoo town. Saul's stunned mug was identical to the way mine has been all season long—jaw agape, eyes wide open, with an air of "HOLY JEEBUS WTF OH MY G!" The Showtime drama has been superb (except for one blip) all season long, and "The Vest" somehow found new ways to give its audience Saul face all over again.

After the events of last week, Carrie is not doing too well, to put it succinctly. Nearly being killed by a suicide bomber would knock a few screws loose in anyone, but Carrie and her fragile psyche got blasted right back into a straight jacket. We learned Carrie's true problem—she's bipolar—and got to see it firsthand in a powerful performance by Claire Danes, who managed to show us a new side of Carrie that we all feared was lurking somewhere inside her.

But that's what you get with Carrie Mathison. She's a brilliant FBI mind with unmatched drive, but she works outside the rules and is prone to mental meltdowns. For every unbelievable act she commits (sleeping with Brody, going face-to-face with white supremacists, cursing like a tipsy sea captain), there's an earnestness to her superior work that makes her invaluable to the CIA and her supporters. More than once I had was reminded of John Nash, the lead character in A Beautiful Mind. That movie was great because of the character, and Homeland has achieved success by taking what made that character great and creating another one who gets to stick around for more than just two hours. The threat against our country? Just icing on the cake that's shaped like an exploding White House.

So after we saw Carrie highlighting her way around Abu Nazir's master plan with a pile of classified documents, Saul's reaction was even more interesting than the meaning behind the puzzle. As Carrie's level-headed support system and disciplinarian, Saul often serves as representative for us, the audience. Like us, Saul's spent enough time with Carrie to know that her madness and brilliance aren't mutually exclusive, but every time he sees an instance of either he doesn't know if he can trust it. Watching Saul alternate between concerned father figure, amateur shrink, and professional mentor elicits all kinds of emotion: sympathy, sorrow, and exhilaration. And Saul nailed all those emotions in every subtle look. Brilliant work by Mandy Patinkin in a role that contrasts Danes' by showing that less is more. These two sharing the screen are what TV die-hards wish for for Christmas.

While Carrie was derailed by her lack of meds, Brody was off on a boring family vacation that was ostensibly about spending some quality time with his wife and kids before the political machine consumes him. Except that wasn't what it was about at all. Brody was in Pennsylvania to pick up a new vest, one that's built to kill anyone within 100 feet at the press of a button. As with most things in this series, I did NOT see that coming. Whoa. His talks with his kids about the importance of the man who defied logic at the Battle of Gettysburg weren't history lessons, they were prologues to what he's about to do. Brody has come to terms with his mission, and he just wants his family to understand.

But after getting a call from Carrie, he had one more loose end to tie up before setting out to meet Allah. Brody assured Carrie that he'd come around to her place (ooh! Another date!), except instead he completely buried her by selling her out to Estes and admitting to their tryst. With Estes already under pressure from Vice President Walden to fire someone in the name of PR after the explosive disaster with the Saudi diplomat, seeing Carrie off her rocker and showing classified documents to friends, learning about Carrie and Brody's incredibly inappropriate relations, and finding out she'd been involved in illegal surveillance didn't make it difficult for Estes to dismiss Carrie from the agency. Absolutely brutal. But what will happen when Carrie's insanity is proven right?

"The Vest" took the show's two main characters and spun them in completely opposite directions. Carrie was at her most manic, and Brody was at his most serene during the most important part of the story so far. While Brody was doing his best to deceive his family and everyone around him, Carrie was struggling to get people to believe her theories. It's a situation where the enemy is a few steps ahead and bureaucracy is hindering the path toward the truth. Gee, does that sound familiar?

When we started Homeland, we were filled with doubts. Doubts that Brody was a terrorist, doubts that Carrie was competent as a CIA agent. Those doubts have now become certainties. Brody's dead-set on harming America, and Carrie's suspicions were absolutely right. It turns out that what we were sold on initially is true, but unlike in other cases where wheels spin and plots are stretched out, the ride back to the beginning has been anything but unnecessary.

"The Vest," perhaps Homeland's most well-put-together episode to date, was incredible and guaranteed where I will be next Sunday night. This has to be one of my most anticipated finales in recent memory.

Notes:

– I know that annoying teens can be, well, annoying, but I'm still very pro-Dana. She's a smart kid, and what teen wouldn't be bummed about heading to Pennsylvania to see the spot where a bunch of people died a long time ago?

– We still don't know exactly what Tom Walker's plan is, but a few folks on Twitter have posited that it could be to stop Brody, probably under orders from someone else. It's an interesting theory that the show would have to wiggle around to make it happen, but it's certainly a possibility if motive can be established.

– I'm going to have to backtrack a bit on Vice President Walden being a mole, but I will not backtrack on my assertion that he is a major jerk.

– It can't be said enough: Danes was fantastic in this episode. Scary fantastic.


Question: What's your stance on Brody now? Is he 100-percent jerk, or is he still somewhat sympathetic?


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

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I thought from early on that Carrie was Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on antipsycothics. In this episode, when manic, she was really Kara, but in a different universe.
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Awesome. That word isn't even adequate to quantify the acting in episode 11. I still can't judge who was the better actor between Saul, Nick, and Carrier. Scary good portrayals. Brody's amazing conviction followed by his father routing was amazing and gut wrenching to watch especially the night scene with Chris and his heart to heart with Dana. And who can forget that haunting staring across the field scene?! The article above mentioned how brilliant Saul switched in and out of roles between been an awesome agent to a caring father figure to a man riddled with guilt over his treatment of Carrie since she came home. And Carrie... wow. Simply wow. She went in and out between completely loony tunes to genius who saw patterns before anyone else did. Needless to say i was stunned when i learned that the finale is 2 hours!! 2 more hours of goodness!!
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Interesting article in the New York Times: "'Homland' Inches Tensely to Its Finale" by Bill Carter (without spoilers)
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Apart from brilliant writing, this show has been graced with one of the most talented cast on tv right now... Danes was absolutely amazing, Lewis conveyed so much emotions in his eyes and his speeches that it really made me feel like he was gonna die next week! Patinkin really nailed the "Saul face"! And even the girl who portrays Dana was surprisingly good in that scene with Brody...
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the preview gave away walkers role in the plan. bad preview by showtime
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I hope after watching this episode, Tim, you can recognize that Carrie has not been "cuckoo" all season, but extremely stable.

It was pretty obvious she had bipolar disorder based on the meds she was taking, and it was an amazing performance by Claire Danes showing the manic side of Carrie's bipolar. I would like to have seen maybe a bit more of the flip-side of bipolar: depressive. Carrie was sulking a bit in the car, but only a little. Mandy Patinkin was fantastic, as always. He is so good at that subtlety, it's amazing.

Dana is extremely smart, always has been. Chris is the jerk: "Can we talk about this another time? The ice is melting..." or "What's it like to shoot someone?". What a terrible son. Not very bright either, as evidenced by his inability to figure out whether Pennsylvania was North or South. Dana recognizes that something is off with her dad: the way he was talking, acting, the weird hidden package (I wanted her to open it!).

Walden is definitely not the mole. Estes isn't the mole-he's overly concerned with his personal career, though. Could be Galvez, I guess. It's not Saul, although I did think that for a little bit-his work on Carrie's rainbow proves as much. LOVE THIS SHOW :D
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I still maintain that Galvez is the mole. David Estes is too much of a "yes" man, he just takes orders and doesn't know how to solve terrorist plots. He's wanted to get rid of Carrie for awhile now, so firing Carrie fits in perfectly with his plans. He's the typical boss, as Jack Bauer had so often on "24", who thinks the hero knows nothing. Saul is her one true friend, mentor and compassionate helper. He understands she's a manic genius, and can help her solve her puzzle. Perhaps they can start their own covert agency, just Saul & Carrie, a truly great team.



As for Brody, very subtle great acting by Damian Lewis, and I think he'll be stopped in his attack by Dana telling Carrie what she witnessed in Gettysburg. Carrie will thwart the attack, and Brody will be court-martialled.



He will be found innocent because of post-traumatic stress disorder. Perhaps he can still run for Congress then, I'm sure Elizabeth Gaines would still want him to run!
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Walkers plan is to shoot someone near enough he vice president as to cause a lockdown. All the figure heads in attendance will be hearded into a single location with Brody.
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You lil terrorist ! Brilliant plan , hopefully they get them all.
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Hah, Saul face. That look said it all...and Carrie was cookoo-bananas x1,000,000 in this one. Seriously, give Claire Danes an award right now, cuz that was some of the most incredible acting I have ever seen. Her facial expressions at the end were so scary, I had to cover my eyes.



And the episode itself--well that was pretty f***in intense as well. Say it ain't so, Sgt Brody...say it ain't so.... Obviously, he will change his mind at the last minute. Mark my words, he will NOT die. The only question is, what will change his mind? Maybe Dana? For a girl who walked through a solid glass door, she's pretty perceptive!
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YES! I have a hard time even looking at the picture.



Since we know Homeland has been renewed for a second season, I think it's highly improbable Brody will die (I won't say impossible, because with this show you just never know). I'm not sure if you saw the sneak peek for the finale, but they showed a clip of Brody recording a jihadist farewell. They're really trying to convince us of his imminent demise, but I just don't buy it. Someone speculated in an earlier post that, perhaps, the vest is not meant for Brody to use. I always felt Brody's purpose was more complex and elongated. Congressman to Senator to Vice-President. A sleeper in the highest level of government. And if Brody is meant to just blow up the VP or President, what is Tom Walker's role in all of this? It doesn't quite fit.
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Well the vest is obviously for Brody since he tried it on to see if it fits.. Plus, i can definately imagine him dying and Season 2 focus on an another threat "A la 24"...

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I guess we'll see. But just because the book is great doesn't mean its adaptation will be. Game of Thrones is a very good show, but it feels too disjointed and has too much exposition to be truly great.

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Read the books, and you will love the show.
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As I haven't read the book(s) I was happy that there was so much exposition, I enjoyed the series a lot. - Btw, some people are unhappy with Homeland's score. GoT has probably the best main title theme of all TV shows!
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That is a fair criticism. I believe Tim said something similar in one of his early reviews of the show. GoT has so many characters, backgrounds, and mythology's all intertwined in a world as vast and complex as Middle Earth, it can feel overwhelming. But once you come to know the characters, the detailed exposition is no longer so exhausting (you even begin to appreciate the depth it creates). Book 1 was adapted brilliantly and I expect nothing less for book 2. If you keep watching, I'm confident you'll come to believe in the greatness of GoT.
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The exposition may be necessary, but still hurts the show. Too many scenes had too much on-the-nose dialogue meant to fill in details and summarize back-stories/subplots. I'd rather be confused then deal with clunky writing.



As I said, it's a very good show. It had some truly spectacular, brilliant moments in season one. If it weren't for Friday Night Lights I would have been rooting for it to win the drama series Emmy this year. But in order to become a thoroughly great show it's going to have to be less episodic, more focused and delivery the exposition with a bit more grace. At least two out of the three.
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Afterthought: I wish the writers waited an episode to fire Carrie. I would have liked to see Saul and Carrie in the workplace, to see how they would react with each other, and to see how Saul would behave in front of his boss with Carrie.



It must be there is a crucial reason why Brody told her Boss: She's on to their plans.
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This series is just awesome, the season finale is gonna be legen - wait for it - dary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I think that Brody will win the election, and I guess he is suppose to tell the world the truth about the bombing, and then blow him self up? But the writers will probably make him come to his senses and save the day :-\



As for Walker, he could be a bait/misdirection in this phase and a backup plan if Brody doesn't blow him self up?



maybe... :)
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I can't help thinking that there is still another twist coming that none of us have thought of yet ....
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Great review, with the exception of the praise for "A Beautiful Mind". One of the worst Best Picture winners ever.



This will probably end up being my number one drama of the season. I doubt Mad Men, Game of Thrones or Justified will be able to top it.

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Whoa! I'm with you on Mad Men and Justified, but I've read A Clash of Kings, and let me tell you: Season one is tame by comparison. Prepare for High Fantasy with a bloody vengeance.



APRIL IS COMING!



(I apologize for talking about GoT on a Homeland forum, but it's hard to keep my excitement contained.)
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Don't apologize. I'm so tired to read so much praise about GoT whitout knowing why, that I'm gonna take a look at it very soon. Coming from the guy that advise me to watch OUAT, I'm sure I won't waste my time ;)
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It is anything but a waste of time. You won't be disappointed.
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I was quite impressed with GoT, which stayed very true to the book (half through the book so far), yet it has an anti-climactic ending of sorts. Throughout the series there a certain build up towards an epic conclusion that never really happens.
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Well series are not finished yet: A Dance with Dragons was published this year and according to George R.R. Martin there might be still 2 more books to go...
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why do all believe that Brody is the terrorist? If I learned one thing watching this show, you should never believe what we see. Everything until now was about deception.



When Brody discovered that Walker was alive, he said that he's done. I think that was the only moment in the show that he was sincere. Why should he change his mind?
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I am right there with you. Part of me still believes that Brody is our Main Marine Man all the way through and is doing all of this as part of a great deception and undercover work to be a USA hero all over again. Great show.
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Agreed. So far even though the show has turned the tables time and time again on our presumptions, they've done a good job of it. I think it's too obvious to reveal Brody as a terrorist at the moment, so I'm inclined to think it's yet another ruse... BUT, perhaps that's because they've thrown in so many loops thusfar. Hence, no one knows what will truly happen at the end... yet.
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While I agree that Saul's shocked face was brilliant acting I cannot agree whatsoever that Claire Daines acting was 'powerful'. In fact, I felt utterly embarrassed for her because that's what it was, embarrassing and pretty much impossible to buy into. Damian Lewis did an awesome job in this episode, as he has for most of them (save the flashback episode, which was a bit too corny and slightly out of character), and most of the other actors in the show do as well, but Daines is an awful actor, and I nearly turned the show off.



Not sure how I feel about the film noire-like music coming up at the end while they stripped down her (and Saul's) work. I liked that the interior soundtrack faded out while all the chaos was continuing, but not sure that particular music fits. True, it does tie in with the opening credits, but given that the opening credits are the worst of any show this season and long before that, that's not saying much.
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I think that's the first time I've read such a negative opinion on Claire Danes in Homeland. And I've read a LOT of Homeland chatter all season. You're entitled to your opinion but I don't think it will be a popular one :)
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If this episode is submitted to the Emmys, Danes will get nominated and win best actress in drama series. She is not awful, she's the best on television. Hands down.
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Oh, and forgive my misspelling of Danes name. Oops! Guess my subconscious was wishing it were someone else, as I DID used to like her on the silver screen.
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IMO jazz is the perfect soundtrack to this show which reminds me a lot of the classic cold war spy stories. And I think they showed great timing in using the main title theme at the end of this week's episode when Carrie's world came tumbling down. - Jazz often plays a prominent role: in one episode they pitted Carrie's love of Thelonious Monk (who was a crazy genius) against Saul's preference for the more contemplative, cerebral and spiritual John Coltrane. It's details like this which make this show so great.



In general, I don't like the tendency in a lot of shows and movies to use an extremely manipulative score. Usually that just tries to compensate for deficiencies in the plot/direction. So I'm very happy that (with the exception of the blip-episode) Homeland's score is so discreet and unobtrusive. The story and - yes! - the acting are strong enough to make us care.
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"Danes is an awful actor" - Were you watching the same show I was? She has been absolutely brilliant this entire season. Best performance this year, in my opinion (yeah, that good). My sister-in-law is bipolar and Danes portrayed it to perfection.



I think the jazz music is correlated to Carrie's psyche. We saw her listening to it on her car radio and it's obviously her musical preference. So when they play jazz it's like a glimpse inside Carrie's disjointed, unorthodox, and often genius mind.
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I'll check out the Dexter page, thanks. Plan on watching that episode tonight, though, so I'll wait until I'm done to avoid spoilers.
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The jazz correlates to her fractured psyche? I think Skinny Puppy would have been better suited. haha. True, she does listen to jazz on a couple of occasions, but I still see it tying more into the horrible opening credits, and if this is a mid-season ender then it makes even more sense as a wrap-up as such.



And yes, I was watching the same show, and yes I nearly turned it off. I think her acting in this series has been sub-par at best, and the last episode her worst. Absolutely UNbelievable; she has shattered the fourth wall and in my opinion ruined the show. I don't see her character when I watch it -- I see Danes trying hard to play a character, and failing.



That is, of course, my opinion, and I'm glad others see it differently and can engage in healthy debate.
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Healthy, civilized debates are the best. You should see what's going on at the Dexter forum. Contentiously polarizing to say the least (Price, even went on a deleting spree for the nastier comments).



Anyway, Back to Homeland. I agree the jazzy ending of this episode ties into the opening credits. But I think the point of the jazz in the opening is to usher us into the world of C(razy)arrie.
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Gosh, completely disagree with you on this one smithinjapan. I've seen people go frantic like that because of similar medical problems (schizophrenia) and believe you me: Danes nailed it perfectly!



Actually what you are describing, about feeling embarrassed is simply because you cannot believe that somebody can behave like that... But I just hope you never see a real case, especially on a friend or family, somebody you care about.



Danes performance actually triggered a memory I thought I was buried... it was not pleasant at all.



The use of "classic jazz" and "jazzy music" for this show has been criticized but for my taste it is absolutely brilliant.
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And no one says we all have to agree -- that's why there are so many different shows out there. :)
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bluemorphotat: I'm glad you disagree. As I said above it makes for interesting debate.



"Actually what you are describing, about feeling embarrassed is simply because you cannot believe that somebody can behave like that... But I just hope you never see a real case, especially on a friend or family, somebody you care about. "



Now you're crossing the line a little in telling me what I do or don't mean, and FYI I have a step-sister with a similar affliction and have helped her deal with it for some time, when I can. So perhaps it's just the opposite of what you're saying; perhaps it's because I HAVE (and do) deal with it in real life that I know her acting is a crock, and unbelievable.



It's not that, though, and I'm sorry about the unfortunate memory it drudged up for you. It's simply that I do not find her acting convincing in the least -- be it the final episode when her bi-polar gets the better of her, or all the way through. There have been points where I felt she was BETTER than in the last episode, but still not convincing on the whole (I liked her in the last episode to an extent, before Monday night's).



As for the jazz, I didn't say it doesn't work at times, I just wondered if it was the best as the closer here, and if you've read my comments you already know how I loathe the opening credit sequence.



Anyway, cheers!
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Well, my apologies if you felt I was "interpreting' what you meant...



Regarding acting there is an interesting fable my dad used to tell me when I was a kid (history teacher, ran out of children stories at bedtime and dived into mythology and what not):



There was this very famous Greek theater actor, let's call him D, whom everybody loved and thought he was a genius.



There was once this great competition and everybody in the surrounding cities came to see D give his best performance against anybody who dared challenge him.



There was this crafty lad, let's call him A, who thought that although D was good, people were just in love with him and would prefer him to anybody no matter how good the other person was. So he decided to compete and actually cheat to prove a point.



The last challenge was issued and it was just to imitate the sounds and behaviour of an animal. D chose to imitate a pig and his rendition was very applauded by the public, all thought he ought to win.



A's rendition was very good and his squealing sounded authentic as well.



But of course D was declared the winner. So A removed his tunic and showed to the public that he actually had had a piglet hidden inside it the whole time, and that the squealing they had heard came out of a real animal...



People suffer from different mental illnesses and those illnesses manifest themselves with different degrees of severity. I know about this in a very empiric way (am into Computer Science, not Psychology or Psychiatry) because I accompanied a friend of mine to a mental institution 3 times a week during a month. She was writing a paper and was scared shitless to go by herself to interview/study some of the most "functioning" inmates.



I also had a very upsetting and harrowing experience with an uncle that I do not care to give details about. But that is what Danes' acting triggered in me, that memory.



I like Clare Danes and her acting made me feel and re experience some of the anxiety I felt when in the presence of some people afflicted with similar illnesses.



I have worked with many people that have a degree of what used to be called Aspergers (now they have incorporated that into the Autism range) and every time I see Ryan Cartwright from Alphas playing his functioning Autistic character Gary, it reminds me of several people I know...



Acting is pretending, it is not real.



For me Danes acting was fantastic and good enough to trigger unpleasant memories.





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Promo for episode 12 sold everything left to know.
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I love this show. Total awesomeness.



-Dana is smart. What's more, she's played like an ACTUAL teen. Petulant about her boyfriend, actually noticing the emotional shifts of her recently returned from the war military father, and observant of something going wrong... Love it.

-I don't know what his plan is, but I'm excited to find out.

-Probably not a mole, though definitely a tool. VP can stay in the hole and be a jerk.

-Danes WAS fantastic. That was grade A acting and breaking down and theorizing. I think it's the perfect reasoning behind her character, too. Sort of a bipolar-based-synesthesia. Absolutely perfect. Also, Mandy Patinkin! Great performance as the return of the mentor first because of care for her bringing her back from the bomb, then because of personal reasons seeing her insanity, and then finally as a true believer as he sees the absolute genius of her work, even amidst the crazy. Awesome.



Question: I think Brody is pretty daring. Obviously he has been affected by the war. I think it may go another way, though. I didn't feel too bad about the "blip" episode, and I think that the reason of a child's death and a well played news cover up is a good reason for him. Even still, I don't think that he's 100% jerk. I think that the choice to deliver up Carrie was one of those last ditch, arms flinging out gestures before he admits what he really believes.



Cannot wait for the finale. Easily the best treasure of the season. I have every hope for the future, too. Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin. I will follow all three of you to the end of the show. Every time.
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I was surprised that Brody appears to be so focused and determined now because in the last few episodes he was shown to have some qualms, he seemed to be more and more confused. I still think that the life back home with his family and episodes like the one in the diner have a profound effect on him. So I think there's still hope that somebody will get through to him. But even if he doesn't execute Nazir's plan he will probably have to spend a long time in a federal prison. (Unless there's some mitigating circumstances we don't know about or he's a double agent... Who knows with this show!?)



The scenes with Dana were very moving. She might become the key figure in next week's episode as it might well be her who finds out first that her father is a terrorist. So maybe the daughter will have to "betray" her own father.



I think that Walker is definitely a bad (or at least totally broken) guy. He would never have killed that random guy in the woods if he were working against Brody/the terrorists as an undercover agent or so.



Finally, IMO Saul is in trouble too. Estes will probably find out that Saul knew about Carrie's solo operation and that he got her a judicial "permit" for the surveillance. I wonder how that will play out.



Tim's right, this show is really a great Christmas present. Oh, I wish it were already Sunday!

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While I will not say Brody is 100% jerk, there is nothing sympathizable about the man or his mission. He is a traitor to his country and more importantly, to his family. From the moment he returned he has lied to them, manipulated them, betrayed them, and despite his earnest family man moments in Gettysburg, if he goes through with his mission for Nazir, they will not remember him as a deeply principled man driven to make the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs, they will remember him as the terrorist who lived in their house and left an IED crater sized hole in their souls when he chose the false love of some distant political dissident and long dead boy over the life they have so earnestly been trying to rebuild since he returned. But he is not irredeemable, he has not yet strapped himself into his couture a la mort, and I believe Brody is deep down a good man. I hope something will deter him before he reaches the point of no return.



I concur with @ArjunaJenning, Brody sold Carrie out because she was too close to the mark with her theories. Her father was correct, some gut feelings you have to wait on. Estes is a mediocre agent and a smarmy bureaucrat, and getting rid of Carrie likely salves that bitter little scab he nurtures from his affair with Carrie has such disastrous effect on his life. Seeing those CIA agents taking apart Carrie's life's work was one of the most heart-breaking things I have seen in some time.



I think Carrie is spot on and thankfully Saul has already seen the brilliance in her madness and he is on the trail. Carrie called it: Walker is a distraction, and a massive one at that. While 18 intelligence and security agencies are chasing after Walker and the only agency with a clue is being misdirected by the self-important VP and Estes the pandering bureaucrat, Brody is teeing up his grand finale and has effectively neutralized Carrie, the only true threat to Abu Nazir and his great political statement. I have to wonder how Carrie, in her fragile mental state, will take it when she realizes that she ruled Brody out because she was infatuated with him and felt guilty about the surveillance, yet she was correct about him from the very beginning. I am on tenterhooks waiting for the final episode.
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What an emotional rollercoaster !

Looks like Saul is not lucky with his women... first his wife left him and now Carrie gets crazy... hence the heartbreaking confession of his half-wanted blindness towards Carrie's state of mind.



The vest really took me by surprise as well. Last week, I said in the comment section that I would not call Brody a terrorist because he did not seem to rely on terror to defend his cause. I said that, as he's a smart man, smarter than Walker, he would be the perfect mole at the highest ranks of the government when Walker would be the low-grade terrorist who would shoot people and blew himself up. I could not have been more wrong ! (unless the vest is not for him but that's unlikely).

However, I can't believe that all those efforts to get him where he is right now is just to blew up the president or the vice-president. That just doesn't fit. I've hoped something more complex... more elaborate. Plus, I just don't buy that Issa's death got him to go that extreme.

The last ep has all the answers and I'm sure it will be as shocking as this ep.



Carrie's move was reckless but after the confrontation at the cabin, her suspicion went away and she let herself dive completely into this forbidden love (as last week ep showed us). I don't think that her maniac state this week made her call Brody. I think that she would have called him even if she would have been in her normal mental state. Her crazy speech though, made Brody called Estes because she said a little too much.



About the mole thing, I don"t think it will be the big players (saul or estes). My money's on Galvez. Few eps back, they did explain that he was a smart guy speaking several language with a childhood tied with the middle-east. Hell, he might be Aissa/Issa's brother ! (wild guess here but that may not be that stupid).

That show is really the best of the season for me.
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I agree that the "blip-episode" didn't sell Brody's conversion very convincingly, but I think they won't provide us with further motive. So we will probably just have to go with it. - And I have the same feeling about Galvez. When they were talking about the mole and Saul said "just look around" the camera focused on Galvez (who told Estes that he had to meet the VP). But maybe this would be a hint not subtle enough for this show?



I'm not sure that I agree with your assessment of the terrorist plot though: what could be more complex and elaborate than to kill the (vice) president of the United States (if that's Brody's task at all)?
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A terrorist attack is a ponctual thing. Whereas having a congressman in his pocket means lobbying power, reliable intelligence source, protection to a certain degree and even a financial help. Hell, he could even become a more important political figure, I just figure that it's a waste to make him blow up that fast.

But again, we have no idea of Abu Nazir's motivation (the yellow event would be Issa's death but are we sure of this ?)

It's unbelievable how this show let us know so much but that we still have some basic questions before the finale !
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I don't want to be annoying but I'm still not convinced. What you say would make perfect sense under Cold War terms but imo terrorists have a different agenda. To kill the (vice) president of the United States would be hard to top: it would force/entice the USA into another war (possibly several other wars) while it is still engaged in Irak/Afghanistan. Geopolitically and economically this would be devastating. Additionally, a plot being executed by a domestic terrorist would probably have an (even) more damaging effect on civil liberties than 9/11. I think a deed like this could almost rank up there with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. So, I tend to believe that the only reason Nazir makes Brody run for Congress is to give him (physical) access to the (vice) president to be able to kill him. But, of course, next week I could look like a fool. - I fully agree with you on your last point though: how awesome is it that we still have discussions like this with only one episode left!
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Sorry guys, but most of the gaps I put between my paragraphs disappeared as I hit Submit ! (I tried several times)
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Claire Danes was brilliantly superb as an Bipolar CIA agent.... she is so good at acting people with problems..remember her in Temple Grandin where she was this women with autism .. THUMBS UP.. should win an emmy

and Saul's face ...was remarkable..shocked, scared, amazed, guilt.. but among all those expressions there was no pity for carrie... he finally understands her..

I think Dana would be the one who rescues her family...
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Tim, can you please remove that picture of Carrie's face, please? She looks like something out of hell a la Supernatural and its really freaking me out.



If Claire Danes leaves the Emmy's empty handed next year, I'm gonna punch someone.



BTW if Homeland is apparently so awesome in the mind of TV.com users and staff, then why does this ep only score an 8/10 in your episode guide?



I smell a rat, not just around Homeland, but around a lot of shows on here.
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All the episodes of Homeland were 'bombed' recently , most of them ranked in the high 8s and 9s as soon as last week .



TV.com needs to have someone look at their voting data. I am sure it would not be hard to find the phony votes.
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Hey bonezrulz05, remember that the episode guides are created by site users not by staff. You can actually check the reviews for the series, those are written by fans as well. You can vote for you favourite episodes and all.



Some people actually give very low scores to shows they don't like just to annoy those shows' real fans. For example look at the scores of individual episodes from Community. Some users give 1 & 2 to the most brilliant episodes. My theory is that those are fans from TBBT LOL!
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I know how to use TV.com. You hit the nail on the head exactly. I'm almost positive there's a group of people going around TV.com, giving all episodes in a show 1s and 2s. If first noticed it on The Secret Circle. For the first week or two, it has a 8.5-9.5 score. The suddenly another 10 votes will come in and the score will tank down to a 7-8. Happens on Homeland, Blue Bloods, Secret Circle, Good Wife, Bones etc. There are some really sad people online.
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Brody realized Carrie was close to finding out his plan when she asked him about Nazir's great loss in his life, so he told Carrie's boss about them having sex. Now Carrie will be fired and in mental hospital so Brody can use the vest. But Saul will also know most of what Carrie knows, and he will be hot on his trail, and with a major clue discovered by Carrie at the hospital, they might just have enough time to catch him before Brody is able to fulfill Nazir's evil plans!
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That screen cap of Carrie going crazy is freaky. When Claire Danes goes crazy, she goes all out bonkers.



Jeez, Homeland is really outdoing itself in just its first season. I mean, I know a lot of shows have first seasons that are much better than the rest of the series, but I think Homeland is killing every episode this season (including the one Tim describes as a blip).
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Claire Danes rocked this episode. Major accolades coming her way in the off-season. going to be a wild 90 minute finale. Brody facing off with his daughter is going to be a lot of fun. The whole Gettysburg trip worked well to fill in the blanks. Is Walker bad or good, my guess - not sure! Will Brody follow thru with the path he is on? Cant wait until next week.
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What are you guys talking about? What is important right now is the green pen!
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Give Claire Danes ALL the awards!!!
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I agree. The look on Saul's face was just incredible. Perfect. So powerful.

This was an amazing episode in my new favorite show on TV (until Game of Thrones comes back :D)
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This show is just magnificent! What more is there to say? And the promos they make for the following week are always great. Based on the upcoming week's promo, I can't wait for next Sunday.
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A brilliant episode for sure, a masterpiece. Claire Danes is awesome... I loved her in Romeo & Juliet... she was a complete delight as a fallen star in Stardust... but have you guys seen her in Temple Grandin?!?! That movie alone proves that she's one of the best actors out there - if not the best...!



*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*



- Dana is certainly a smart one... she suspects something. And watching the next episode's trailer, when Carrie is talking/yelling to Jessica, you can see that Dana is watching her from the window and i'm sure there'll be more to that...?



Tom Walker's purpose is to shoot at someone, not sure who... perhaps someone random... to get all the "important" people piled together into a close area so that Broday can do what he's gearing up to do... Scary... but that's what i got from next week's trailer...!



President Walden = Major Jerk... Amen to that! Ummm... can we add David to that list too? Pretty please!!! :)



Claire Danes in this episode was freakishly awesome!!! The way she went off in the hospital and to see Saul's face as it was...! i'm sure like you and me and Saul, every1 else had the same kinda look on their faces too at the time!



EEEEEEKKK!!! NEXT EPISODE PLEASE!
More+
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i think he is definitely sympathetic. i mean, i think the main reason he was turned was because the death of issa that was caused by americans.





such a fantastic show.
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I still can not believe Brody is a terrorist ... and if it was that Brody has to stop Tom Walker and not the other way?

because during lunch, when people surrounded him ... I have seen a change in him. he really cared that this people supported him in the election campaign.



Btw he is one of the two leading star of the show, if he dies what's next. I still believe that at the end he will help Carrie (after she tells him, that she loves him) find Abu Nazir.
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Tim, she never worked for the FBI!



I am going to miss this show after next Sunday :(
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Tom, I think Carrie is CIA



''But that's what you get with Carrie Mathison. She's a brilliant FBI mind with unmatched drive, but she works outside the rules and is prone to mental meltdowns.''
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Yep - in one of her memorable swearing moments Carrie said 'Fuck the FBI' as a kind of mantra - in Homeland at least FBI are gun toting culturally insensitive jerks and CIA are culturally sensitive nutjobs with messed up family lives
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If Claire Danes doesn't get an Emmy there is no justice in Hollywood. It's about the best piece of psychiatric breakdown acting I've ever seen. Sensational stuff.



I also like Dana. Teens are moody, it's part of what happens at that age and she is pretty realistic.



I don't understand why Brody would blow himself up. Surely he can do more for the "cause" whatever it may be in Congress. And why would Abu Nazir waste an asset like that by sending him on a suicide mission. Unless the vest is for someone else - although from the trailer that doesn't seem likely.



This is the best show on tv at the moment. The casts of every other show must be watching and weeping.



On a separate note, tonight I pulled out my West Wing Box set and have been watching. I still cannot believe how superb that show was. There is nothing on tv today that comes even close.
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