Episode Title: "Broken Hearts"
Writer: Henry Bromell
Director: Guy Ferland
Another week, another insane episode of “Homeland.” Do you realize that if certain legal hurdles were to be overcome, Nicholas Brody could be the next President of the United States? But I’m not sure if even the “Homeland” creative team would go for something that crazy.
Or would they?
Full spoilers are ahead for “Broken Hearts.” If you read this review and you’re not up to date with “Homeland” then Abu Nazir will play around with your pacemaker.
Last week’s “Homeland” revealed that it won’t be so easy for Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) to get out of this situation intact. Even if Brody makes it to the end, his agreement with the CIA requires him to turn down a place on the Presidential ticket and give up his congressional seat.
Brody could probably live with that if David Estes (David Harewood) hadn’t already brought in Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) to oversee the operation and quietly assassinate Brody when it was over. Only Abu Nazir's (Navid Negahban) escape kept that from happening last week.
Since he isn’t aware of what we know, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is still trying to get answers from his former associate, Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham); who deflects his questions and implies that Estes doesn’t trust Saul. Abraham was kind of wasted in his bit part here, so hopefully he’ll have a bigger role in the next two episodes.
Estes is apparently trying to clean up all of his loose ends so that they can’t come back to haunt him. Estes kept Vice President William Walden (Jamey Sheridan) in the dark about Brody’s true loyalties and he kept Saul out of the loop so he can silence Brody. And when Saul calls Estes out about his plans with Quinn, Estes arranges to have Saul escorted to a questioning session just when Carrie needs him the most.
Why would Estes pick that time to get Saul out of the way? Maybe it’s because Brody isn’t the only person that would have to die to protect Estes’ secrets. My theory is that Carrie’s (Claire Danes) life may also be in danger. Estes has no love for Carrie after what she’s cost him personally and professionally. If Carrie’s death was arranged alongside Brody’s, her demise would probably not raise any eyebrows if it looked like an overdose. And if Saul is discredited along the way then the plan would be working to perfection.
That’s just a theory for now. Carrie had bigger problems this week as Abu Nazir had her kidnapped out of her own vehicle to use her as leverage against Brody. Even before that, Brody showed signs that his feelings for Carrie have only intensified. When Brody speaks with Carrie on the phone, he’s noticeably much more relaxed and happy than he is with his own family. And to save Carrie’s life, Brody agrees to do one final mission for Abu Nazir: obtain the serial number of Walden’s remotely controlled pacemaker.
That all sounds pretty far fetched if you think about it too much. And the latest twists definitely felt very “24.” Which isn’t to say that there wasn’t some riveting drama along the way. Carrie and Abu Nazir’s argument over ideology and resolve was very interesting. But the highlight was Brody getting the chance to tell Walden face-to-face what he really felt about him even without confessing that he was a terrorist.
Walden was a pig of a man who probably would have abused the powers of the Presidency to further his own agenda. He certainly misused his powers as the Vice President and there’s something unsettling about how power hungry Walden was even in his private moments with Brody and his family.
And yet even Walden didn’t deserve a death quite like that. Brody actually seemed to enjoy watching Walden die and he also prevented Walden from getting medical help in time. Potentially, that could come back to bite Brody if Walden was paranoid enough to have recording devices set up in the room.
Alternatively, Walden’s death could suddenly propel Brody to the top of his party’s Presidential ticket. Keep in mind, the circle of people who know the truth about Brody is relatively small. Most of the nation thinks that Brody is legitimate war hero and the voters would likely overlook his lack of experience. If Estes decided that it would be convenient to have the POTUS under his thumb then maybe the evidence against Brody could simply disappear. Who knows? Stranger things happened on this week’s episode.
Aside from the people who know the truth about him, the biggest obstacle to putting Brody in the White House would probably be his own estranged family. The public seems to prefer putting married men with families into the nation’s highest office and on paper, Brody is perfect. Except his daughter, Dana (Morgan Saylor) has a good reason to hate him, Brody often ignores or lets down his son, Chris (Jackson Pace) and now Brody’s wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin) has basically given up on the marriage by resuming her affair with Mike (Diego Klattenhoff).
Early in the episode, Jessica openly wonders why she doesn’t feel guilty about sleeping with Mike. But the answer is obvious: Brody wasn’t giving Jessica what she needed out of her marriage and he’s been exposed multiple times as a liar. Dana’s confirmation that Brody was still working with Carrie was pretty much the final straw. It’s hard to see how this family could be saved even if Brody gets out from under the CIA and Abu Nazir.
Hilariously, the newly freed Carrie briefly steals a cell phone from a trucker to report on Abu Nazir’s location. And apparently telling Carrie not to do something only leads her to immediately do it. Her pattern of behavior reasserted itself when Carrie was ordered not to go back into the factory to find Abu Nazir… and she did it anyways.
The cliffhanger of Carrie walking into a dark room inside the factory was a little cheap, but it still worked and it added some tension for next week’s episode. “Homeland” has been such a roller coaster ride this season that it’s difficult to gauge where it’s going with two episodes left this year.
All we know for sure is that the ending is likely to be messy.