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"Homeland" — "New Car Smell": Get Smart

By Cindy Davis | TV Reviews | October 22, 2012 | Comments ()


new car smell.jpeg

Let's start out by addressing the elephant in the room; Virgil and Max are back! I didn't realize how much they were missed until the boys reunited with Carrie, and the trio slipped right back into their amusing repartee. That said, the two may be among the worst undercover surveillance guys ever seen snapping photos and lurking near a bar entrance.

Estes' reaction to the Brody video was just as satisfying as Saul's, and as the two men discuss setting up a covert operation that will lead them to Nazir, incredulity and regret wash over David Harewood's face. But Estes rightfully still feels a need to put his own man in charge; an analyst named Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), who from the moment they meet, irritates and challenges Carrie.

Brody is falling apart at the seams, panicked and unable to handle Jessica's challenge to his empty apology, he packs and leaves. He can barely deal with Dana's revelation that his car smells like smoke; choosing a cover-up scent at the car wash practically overwhelms him, and he projects his paranoia onto the cab driver who transports him to the CIA building. So it's no surprise when Brody runs into Carrie outside, Quinn's plan works to perfect effect. Thankfully, we only have to suffer through a quick few moments with Roya, who increasingly seems more important than the self-described Nazir ally we met in "The Smile."

Drunk Lauder--not unlike Carrie--is a dog with a bone, and his ramblings are even more significant than Mike realizes. We'll come back to that. It's not immediately evident how the blossoming relationship between Dana and Finn will be put into play; with these writers, it's no coincidence.

Though Carrie has momentarily regained her confidence, her moods--and stability--are all over the place. While she and Quinn are monitoring Brody at the Ashford Hotel bar, Quinn gets in a timely comment about his reliability. Because as soon as Carrie heads out to meet Brody, we know things are unlikely to go according to plan. The two slip right back into a comfortable, yet uneasy rapport; Brody and Carrie sit on bar stools beside each other like unstable chemical compounds that will explode if they get too close. When she becomes convinced that Brody is onto her, we know that no matter what Saul and Quinn say, Carrie will go her own way. But neither her co-workers nor we would have predicted what happens when Carrie heads up to Brody's room; the shock on his face mirrors our own. Carrie loses it and hurls everything she knows about Brody at him, Saul drops his head into his hands, and we all hold our breath as Brody's mask drops and he angrily steps toward Carrie. Their exhilarating and slightly terrifying exchange leaves us wondering just who is more out of control.

So where do we go from here? Presumably, Brody will have to cut a deal to work with the CIA, and turn double agent--there's a very short window of time to make that decision and get him back on the street. It was great to see Danes and Lewis bouncing off each other again, so hopefully this development will give them more scenes together. Can Brody handle more pressure? How much trouble is Carrie in now, or will the team decide her move is to their advantage? Will Lauder and Mike get too close to some version of the truth, and get in the way? Will Brody's prediction of ending with a bullet in his head come true? (Seems inevitable.) Whatever we think will happen, "Homeland" will undoubtedly throw us for a loop.



Cindy Davis thinks Max should be renamed Skippy.



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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • PuraPuma

    I was happy with the turn at the end. It was totally unexpected. I think they know they have to trust Carrie and her instincts to a point. They failed last time and she was right. Now they have to believe her and know that just because she's bi-polar doesn't mean she isn't smart, calculating, and spot-on!
    Um... can the Obama girls go to the top of the Washington Monument whenever they want? I hate when they throw that sort of thing in there. We all know, here in DC, the Monument is closed due to the earthquake. So the Secret Service just let them in? They surely didn't break in....

  • Masterpiece

    Homeland and Boardwak Empire are the best shows on Sunday. Walking Dead is overrated.

  • PuraPuma

    Totally agree! Great 2 hrs of television!

  • pockets full of stones

    Strangeness and Charm, these two. Those Quark particles that get closer and closer just to fall apart until they get closer together just to fall apart etc. (Physicists, don't correct me, I choose to believe it works like this, what do you know anyway!) It was so exhilarating to see these two share on-screen time together; the chemistry, the physicality, the Danes-and-Lewis of it all. Strangeness and Charm working full time there. Just amazing, just...kick-you-in-the-crotch spit-on-your-neck fantastic. Now onto downloading all of the gifs.

  • Blake

    I am totally amazed at the lack of Pajiba love for this show. There never seems to be more then a half a dozen comments on these episodes recaps. Thanks Cindy for all your hard work.

    Another terrific episode by the way.

  • prairiegirl

    I agree Blake. I came expecting to see a slew of comments and next to nothing. I guess everyone else was too busy slobbering all over The Walking Dead (which I happen to like well enough but not as much as this series).

    Anyway, I was surprised by the turn of her calling him out in his hotel room. I thought she was going to manage to keep it together but it was satisfying seeing her go after him. And oh yes, the chemistry between them. . .I agree with you Cindy - I hope we see more of that throughout the season.

    Do you think Estes is going to go ape shit about her decision or take it for what it's worth and (hopefully) use it to the CIA's advantage? Maybe both?

  • Blake

    I think Carrie's calling him out will actually save him (temporarily). Brody was helpless, caught between Nazir and being discovered by the CIA. The blowback to the VP and Estes would be too great to expose him (I'm glad to see Etes is smart enough to know he is screwed either way). He is after all an elected congressional representative with a family and is considered a war hero and simply can't disappear. Now instead of hoping for a "slip up" they can use the confession and the love he has for his family to turn him into a double agent.

    I also don't buy Quinn as Carrie's new love interest, and if anything I expect Carrie and Brody to end up back to together. Carrie's initial elation at finally being able to confront Brody all to quickly turned empty when he was led away and she was left alone.

    Sidenote: Why was Roya not on the list of possible Nazir handlers? Other than that she's screwing Etes.

  • prairiegirl

    I thought they did have her on the wall/list of potential Nazir contacts. I need to watch again to be sure. I think she was the third one mentioned but it was a quick gloss-over.

  • Blake

    A woman is mentioned (a blogger?) but it's not Roya.

  • Thank you, Blake.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Roya is still the worst. God how I loathe that woman. Estes has been amazing. Carrie amazingly frustrating. Daines is so good it gets hard for me to root for Carrie.

  • Wicked

    "I LOVED YOU!" - Wow, that was the line that surprised me the most. She totally unravelled herself in front of him. I liked how they didn't dwindle on the cat and mouse chase anymore, and finally said Enough, lets do it. Well... that was Carrie, but still! Good play from her.

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