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Homeland Watch: Hotel Check-Out

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Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in Homeland (Season 2, episode 4)

Well. I was not expecting that!

Once again, I have to give Homeland season 2 credit—it’s not skimping on the forward motion. It’s played cards that I didn’t expect it to play until later in the season or the series, from Brody’s confession to Jessica that he’s a Muslim to the revelation that Carrie was right. Now, just as it set up a scenario that I might well have expected to take up the bulk of the season, the investigation and surveillance of Brody, it springs his exposure and arrest. Cautious, this season so far is not.

There’s a lot to say about this pivotal episode, and, unfortunately, I don’t have the time to say it—as I write this, I’m about to hit the road for some unexpected business travel (not involving a tailor and a safehouse), so a long review is out of the question this week. Some super-fast bullet points and then I turn it over to you:

* “Game-changer” is the current reigning biggest TV cliché, but here it fits—how does this not change Homeland’s game? I have next week’s episode, but I swear I have not watched it yet, nor have I visited the set, seen spoilers, &c. So my entirely uninformed guess as to where Brody goes from here? Clearly his terrorist toothpaste cannot be put back in the tube. I would be stunned if the show plans to write him off and start with a new story. I have to imagine he gets turned somehow—threatened with exposure in exchange for becoming a double agent against Abu Nazir. Any other theories, I’m glad to hear them.

(MORE: Homeland Watch: The Expendables)

* Again, Homeland combines victory and triumph. It’s cathartic for Carrie and for us to see her stand over Brody as he’s brought down and vilify him as a traitor. It’s also, arguably, a major screw-up: by going rogue again and unilaterally deciding to force Brody’s capture, she’s single-handedly upset the CIA’s surveillance plan. Maybe she’s right that he made her—did anyone else pick up on The Look? But after this, is Estes, so recently apologetic, going to want to work with her again?

* Good God, what an electric scene between Carrie and Brody, reunited again at a hotel bar, the dynamic so similar and yet so different. “I have good boundaries now!”

* And Good God, that cornered-rabbit look in Brody’s eye as he realizes he’s in a hotel room, trapped, and scanning his mind for options.

Apologies again for the short post—duty calls. But I have a feeling we’re going to have plenty more to talk in the weeks ahead. Leave your thoughts in the comments, and see you next week.

MORE: Homeland Watch: The Inside Man