If the name and events of a single episode tells us anything, then ‘Two Hats’ suggests that Homeland wants us to be suspicious of everyone
Let’s bitch it out…
Homeland sure does like to play “who do you trust?”. As the second season moves closer and closer to its second season finale, the show wants us to remain on our toes and doubting everyone (and everything). For this episode in particular, that means Brody (Damian Lewis) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) – neither of whom is telling the truth about their respective backgrounds.
After being helicoptered away at the end of last week’s episode, it’s very telling that we don’t see what actually happens, but rather Brody’s version of the events as described during his debriefing. As Tim Surette notes, Brody is the epitome of an unreliable narrator, so the version of events he tells Carrie (Claire Danes) and the others is likely a modified version of the truth. Whether it’s closer to the truth or a lie, we know for certain that Brody is lying about at least one aspect: we see him praying with Nazir (Navid Negahban) even though he claims nothing else happened. So if Brody is lying about this, what else is he lying about?
Honestly, I think that Brody’s just being a self-preservationist (remember that no one but Dana knows he is a practicing Muslim). I don’t think this lie indicates that he has turned into a triple-agent. There’s only so many double and triple crosses a spy drama can support before the house of cards come tumbling down, and Brody’s got enough on his plate between disappointing his daughter, Dana (Morgan Saylor), his tendency to break down and working double-time to please both Nazir and Carrie.
On the flip side is Quinn, who I’m sure many pegged as the mole until his strange actions were explained at the end of the episode. I may have missed the rationale behind Saul’s (Mandy Patinkin) decision to authorize Virgil’s (David Marciano) search of Quinn’s place, but the show deliberately wants us to question who Quinn really is and what his agenda entails. Again this proves to be more innocuous than alarming: after all, haven’t we always suspected that Quinn is more than a simple analyst? This is, after all, a man who barely blinked before stabbing Brody in the hand during an interrogation or jumping into the field to storm the tailor shop in Gettysburg. So the news that he’s significantly more well-connected than we knew, and apparently a hired gun working for Estes (David Harewood) is hardly a surprise.
The two threads (or hats, if you would) come together at episode’s end when the CIA takes down Roya (Zuleikha Robinson) in anticipation of a terrorist bombing at the homecoming ceremony for 300 Afghanistan troops. It appears that Roya and the bomb are out of commission, but since Nazir is nowhere to be found I’d say that the threat still looms – and Brody’s cover may actually be blown (who else could have tipped off the CIA?). (Side Note: Anyone else interested to see whether the homecoming ceremony figures prominently into next week’s episode?)
Either way the big climax is not the CIA takedown or Carrie’s frustration that Nazir isn’t in the van, but rather Quinn’s near execution of Brody. That was definitely something I didn’t see coming. You can bet that if Carrie hears about this (or Estes’ involvement in the kill order), there’ll be hell to pay!
- Dana naysayers likely hated the majority of the family portion of the episode as the petulant teen acted like…well, a petulant teen. After being moved to a super swanky hotel safe house for their protection, Dana explodes at Mike (Diego Klattenhoff), who then wisely tells her off. On behalf of everyone, Mike: Thank you!They end up patching things up over a mini-heart to heart later, but many of these scenes simply felt grating and tedious (my notes: b*tch, daddy has bigger things to worry about than your petty problems! Get a clue!). I think it’s a realistic portrayal of a teen girl who feels slighted by her father, but that doesn’t necessarily make for compelling television
- Jess (Morena Baccarin) and Mike hook up again. It seems only fair considering Brody and Carrie do it fairly regularly. Admittedly Baccarin’s frank nudity is always a little shocking, though it’s not as though it’s without artistic merit. Gotta say: watching a pretty frank sex scene does make for an interesting lunch at the office. Huzzah cable nudity!
- It’s hard to catch the name, but Quinn’s mysterious bus companion appears to be named Dar Adul and he’s played by amazing character actor F. Abraham Murray. It seems clear that we’ll see more of him, which hopefully includes a tense meeting between him and Saul. Those two will tear the sh*t out of it!
- Finally, gotta love how Tim Hortons coffee (brought in for everyone by Quinn) is making its way into the US cultural nexus. Go Canada go!
- Saul (when Quinn says he looks wasted): “I’m just old.”
- Virgil (about Quinn): “He’s no more an analyst than I’m in the hair club for men.”
- Saul (re: checking the backgrounds of Roya’s camera crew): “Until we know for sure, everyone’s a terrorist.”
- David (when Saul questions who Quinn is): “He’s here to kill terrorists, Saul. Just like the rest of us.” Way to tow the party line, there, David
- Quinn (to Brody, moments after order to kill Brody is rescinded): “Believe it or not, I’m your best friend in the world right now.”
So what did you think of ‘Two Hats?’ Were you surprised at how closely Brody escaped with his life? Do you think there’s more to Quinn to be explored? Will we see Roya get tortured next week? Think the VP (Jamie Sheridan) will survive the season? Did you feel like Carrie was underutilized this episode? Sound off below!
Homeland airs Sundays at 10pm EST on Showtime