This post discusses plot points from the October 7 episode of Homeland.
“It’s not lost on me why people don’t trust my judgement,” Carrie tells Saul on the roof in Lebanon. “Why you didn’t even want me here. It’s not fair, I know, for you to be the one who had to decide. It fucked me up, Saul. Being wrong about Brody. It fucked me up. Because I have never been so sure and so wrong. And it’s that fact that I still can’t get my head around. It makes me unable to trust my own thoughts. Every time I think I see something clearly now, it just disappears.” It’s a powerful scene, one fueled by Saul’s rebuke to her that “We were supposed to meet her together so you could talk to her and I could assess her reliability,” after she meets her source alone, his overheard shot at David that “For the record, as long as we’re covering our asses, I didn’t want her here in the first place. She’s not well.” Homeland‘s perspective has always meant that we know more than any other single other actor in the show, and often, that gives us a kind of authority over them. But here, it’s created a terrible helplessness: we know that Carrie is not just damaged, but has been damaged through a terrible injustice. And there is nothing at all we can do about it.
If last season was centered on the questions of whether Brody would carry out his mission and when Carrie would crack and be found out, this season has built up a different set of questions. Will Carrie be exonerated, either by patient, excellent work or the radical revelation that Brody did, at one point, intend to commit terrorism? Will Brody’s conversion to Islam become public? Will he get away with what he intended, and with his murder of Tom Walker? Is the story of Walker’s part in the plot plausible, now that the failure of its radical and immediate sequel has left it exposed to scrutiny? How long can Jessica, who is meeting “the junta who actually runs DC,” who wants to use Jessica to get to her husband, sustain the bright fiction that’s propelled her to the social standing he enjoys so much? The problem is, for these questions to remain suspenseful, they can’t be resolved or kept alive by implausibilities and chicken wire, something that the show leaned on heavily this episode.