Homeland Episode 11 Review: The Vest

Last week on Homeland I was certain that Carrie’s adventure to the hospital would crack her mental issues wide open. This week, that came true. Wow – I had absolutely no idea that she would be so manic without her medication. Of course, I knew she was in trouble and hiding it for her CIA clearance, but this was really beyond my expectations.

Poor Saul. Carrie’s breakdown literally slammed him against the wall. He was torn between wanting to help her and wanting to run from her as fast as he could. I can’t say I blame him, just watching her was making me want to rip my hair out. Another testament to the incredible acting skills of Claire Danes that she made the break so compelling. In lesser hands, it wouldn’t have had the impact on the viewer, and Mandy Patankin would have had a more difficult time being so visibly affected. That Homeland was so brilliantly cast makes it come alive.

Even in her addled state, Carrie was saying things that made Saul take note. Nazir wasn’t the type for a sniper hit. He did things on a grander scale, and overlooking the forest for the trees could cause very unexpected consequences. “You wait, you lay low, and then you come to life.”

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the man crafting a bomb vest for Brody was housed near one of the most sacred war memorials of our country? I grew up in Pennsylvanis, and have never been to Gettysburg. I wonder if there are pockets of insurgents in our most treasured historical areas.

I still can’t believe that Brody’s going to don that vest. I’m trying very hard to understand the mission of Homeland – is it to show that your homeland is created in your mind? That war is (duh) bad? That war creates a risk of Stockholm Syndrome that we can’t possibly understand? At this point of Homeland I can’t possibly believe that the man we see at home, loving his family and concerned for their future, that he could ever consider committing such a malicious act against his country and his family. To throw away some 30 odd years of life, love and belief for the loss suffered by his captor.

Yet the quick change of Brody toward his daughter when she felt the need to see that package he “bought for his wife” at the drugstore, that wasn’t a man I want around my children. His ability to turn on a dime is frightening. The video Dana caught of him, deep in thought at Gettysburg was haunting, but nowhere near as agonizing as what he did to Carrie.

With Carrie working behind the lines and without the government having (or not having, as the case may be) her back, what on earth will next week bring? I cannot wait to find out.

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