Homeland, Season 1, Episode 11 – “The Vest”
Air Date: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10:00 pm ET/PT on Showtime
When we last saw Carrie (Claire Danes), she was in the hospital after almost being blown to bits in an explosion she was trying to prevent. Now, she’s trying to recover but her manic depression seems to have taken over. In the meantime, Sgt. Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) prepares to take his family on a trip so they can spend some quality time together before his campaign run takes over their lives.
While no questions are answered in “The Vest,” it perfectly sets up the season finale and gives us some of Danes’ best work yet. Her portrayal of a manic Carrie is so convincing, you almost think Danes suffers from bi-polar disease in real life. From the constant alliterations, the rapid speech and quivering of her voice, to the fast movements and apologetic look on her face, Danes is perfection. If this woman doesn’t receive an Emmy® for her performance, there’s something wrong.
Saul (Mandy Patinkin) finally learns the truth about Carrie and is shaken to learn her sister Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) has been treating her for years in order to keep Carrie’s bi-polar disease a secret from the CIA. I’m glad Saul decides to stay mum about this and even happier when he agrees to keep an eye on Carrie at night when Amy can’t be there. It seems Saul cares more about Carrie than I originally thought, which is quite nice. What shocks Saul the most is when he sees the sea of confidential documents strewn across Carrie’s floor, but then he goes to work trying to make sense of it all. We finally learn the importance of the “green pen” Carrie freaks out over in the hospital when Saul puts the color-coded papers together on the wall and recognizes it’s a timeline of Nazir’s life. It seems to me there’s a thin line between madness and brilliance as Carrie is able to figure out something happened to Abu Nazir during the yellow period. She hasn’t figured it out yet, but we know it’s the period during which Nazir’s son Issa was killed. Now, if only someone else could figure this out…
Meanwhile, Brody and his family are in Gettysburg. There’s a double purpose to this trip though—Brody drops by a drugstore where, in the back room, he picks up a vest outfitted as a suicide bomb. The scene where Brody tries on the vest and describes how the head will be decapitated when the bomb goes off is kind of surreal. I can’t tell if Brody is talking about himself or someone else. Lewis does a fine job of portraying Brody with such quiet resolve. His tone when talking about the vest is unnerving and he seems so nonchalant about the whole affair, which is one of the reasons I don’t think he’s the one who will be wearing the vest next week.
While Brody spends quality time with both Chris (Jackson Pace) and Dana (Morgan Saylor), it’s Dana who sniffs something is off with her dad. Too bad she can’t quite put her finger on what it is. There’s a nice scene between Brody and Jessica (Morena Baccarin) where they end up finally reconnecting and having sex. It falls short of the violent sex Brody had with Carrie, so I’m wondering what that means. Perhaps the angry intercourse with Carrie was just a physical release, whereas this has more emotion involved. It makes me sad that Brody seems to be saying goodbye to his family, especially when he tells both kids (in separate scenes) they should take care of their mom when he’s gone. I hope he’s talking about leaving to go on the campaign trail and not something more permanent. They waited so long for him to come home.
After receiving a call from Carrie, Brody realizes something is off with her so he calls Estes (David Harewood). Not only does he reveal Carrie’s problem, he also confesses the time he and Carrie spent together at the mountain cabin! I must admit this shocks me a bit, although with Carrie acting so strangely, I guess he decides it’s better for this information to come from him. What really annoys me is how nonchalant Estes is when he and his officers come swooping into Carrie’s home, ripping down her wall of documents and totally paying her no mind. It seems so sad that Carrie will never again work for the CIA, but something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll see of her. Carrie is not exactly the type of woman who goes down without a fight.
I guess we’re supposed to believe Brody is going to wear the suicide vest in the season finale so he can blow up Vice President Walden, but I don’t buy that for one single solitary minute. There’s no way the show is going to kill off Brody. That is just too simplistic for a show that has led us on a series of such intriguing twists and turns. I’m not sure who’s going to be the suicide bomber next week, but I’m willing to bet it’s not Brody.
So, does anyone really believe Brody is going to die next week? It would seem that’s where Homeland is leading us. Did Brody’s goodbyes to his family ring true? Or will he change his mind at the last minute and go forward with his plans to run for office? One more week until our questions will be answered (hopefully). I can’t wait to see what Homeland has in store for us.
Tune in to the season finale of Homeland, Sunday, December 18 at 10:00 pm ET/PT only on Showtime.
Follow Homeland on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SHO_Homeland.
“Like” Homeland on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/HomelandOnShowtime.
Check into the show’s official site: http://www.sho.com/site/homeland/home.sho.
All photos courtesy of Kent Smith / © 2011 Showtime. All Rights Reserved.
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