After a few stand-out weeks, the dust settles on Homeland as everyone adjusts to their new circumstances.
Let’s bitch it out…Perhaps it’s inevitable that after so many twists and turns, Homeland needs a breather to take things down a notch or two. Is it expected? Sure. Is it a little disappointing? Maybe. (Perhaps this is simply in comparison to the recent events taking place on The Walking Dead). In effect, ‘A Gettysburg Address’ (pun-y titles = nyuk nyuk?) helps to smooth out the transition as Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie (Claire Danes) adjust to their new relationship as double-agent and handler. Naturally things don’t go as smoothly as either plans, though that’s mostly to a dastardly plan initiated by Roya (Zuleikha Robinson) once she learns that agents are moving in on the Gettysburg tailor shop that’s been sitting empty for two weeks.
The ambush scene in the shop is by far the highlight of the episode: a tense, shoot-em-up as a group of SWAT-like mercenaries take out seven CIA operatives and shoot Quinn (Rupert Friend) in the gut. What they take from the back wall of the store remains a mystery, though I’m sure that if it was worth so much firepower, it won’t be good. Another question: how does Roya anticipate the attack when she meets her contact days earlier (nicely captured in the opening scene of the episode)? This surveillance job is the other stand-out piece of ‘A Gettysburg Address’ – a nice call-back to the more tragic surveillance job last season in 1×10 ‘Representative Brody’ when Saul (Mandy Patinkin) nearly saw Carrie exploded in a public park.
Initially I thought that Roya acted on information leaked by the CIA mole (a dangling plot thread that demands to be addressed one of these days) or even the silent moment when she and Brody meet in the hallway. It’s actually pretty clear that the journalist/terrorist is simply one step ahead of the CIA (nevermind why she waited until the CIA took over the shop to send in the big guns to retrieve the case). As it stands, the shoot-out nevertheless produces an interesting denouement as the news of the ambush sends Carrie into a tailspin – and Brody’s arms.
Methinks Saul and Quinn are right to worry about Carrie’s attachment to Brody. You?
- Mike’s (Diego Klattenhoff) B-subplot continues to chug along. After surveying the death site of Tom Walker (Chris Chalk), Lauder (Marc Menchaca) goads Mike into meeting with Saul and Estes (David Harewood), who he believes “stonewall” him. Eventually Mike discovers a missing bullet from Brody’s 9mm, the same weapon Walker was killed with in 1×12 ‘Marine One’, but when he tells Jess (Morena Baccarin), she responds, more or less, by telling him to drop it. While I’m no huge fan of Mike, I can easily see this ending the same way for him as it did for Tom. Better watch your back, Mike!
- The other substantial B-plot of the evening is the fall-out from Dana (Morgan Saylor) and Finn’s (Timothée Chalamet) hit and run last week and it’s as terrible as we anticipated. Terrible for Dana and Finn because the woman they hit dies and terrible for viewers because no.one.cares. This entire storyline shouldn’t have made it past the writer’s pitch, but apparently we’re going to have to see it through. Perhaps this is simply a reminder that everything related to the Vice-President is corrupt? That the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? Regardless, I’m bored, even if Saylor is doing her best to turn this turd into a diamond
- Carrie (to David Marciano’s Virgil, about Roya’s clandestine meeting by the fountain): “It sounds like Niagara Falls!”
- Brody (elaborating on the cover story he’s told Roya): “I told her we were fucking, yeah.” Well that’s one way to break the ice, Brody
Thoughts, Homeland viewers? Is it fair to say that this episode is decent, as opposed to spectacular (like the last few weeks)? Are you concerned by Carrie’s proximity to Brody? Worried Mike’s going to bite it? Fearful that Dana will blab about the hit-and-run? Hit the comments below
Homeland airs Sundays at 10pm EST on Showtime