Warning: Spoiler Alert
There are moments watching Television, that make us appreciate the medium, an hour of our lives in which we get sucked into the screen in front of us, when the acting, the writing and the production, leave the viewer drained after they exit the emotional rollercoaster they just got off. The Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” hit that sweet spot, in the episode entitled “Redux,” reminding long-time viewers, just how engrossing this series is, when all cylinders are firing. While doing little to advance the story-arc of the season, the acting performances, topped by Claire Danes as Islamabad’s CIA Station Chief Carrie Mathison, were award quality throughout the episode. We also witnessed perhaps, the most realistic descent into delirium, captured by any medium, as the episode progressed and concluded with a mind-bending scene.
We also witnessed the depths to which Dennis Boyd, husband of American Ambassador to Pakistan Martha Boyd, will sink to keep his tail out of the deep-fryer. The professor, perhaps the most unlikable traitor to this country since Benedict Arnold, as he attempts to settle up with the ISI, broke into her quarters, flushed her anti-psychotic medication down the toilet and replaced it with another drug, in the same color capsules. The act resulted in Carrie exhibiting her bi-polar behavior, but also caused her to violently hallucinate.
The episode opens with CIA Director Andrew Lockhart, arriving at the American Embassy in Islamabad by orders of the President, to secure the freedom of the Agency’s former Director Saul Berenson. Berenson’s being held by Taliban Chief Haissam Haqqani, used as a human shield to protect the terrorist from United States drones. Haqqani’s not been home to visit his wife and children, in three-years and he’s using the opportunity to head to his home village for a much-needed reunion.
After speaking briefly with the Ambassador, he talks with John Redmond and Peter Quinn and asks where Carrie is, Quinn believes she’s in her quarters and goes inside looking for her, then calls her cellphone. She tells him she’s working on some leads with Fara and Max and Quinn tells her to get to the Embassy, as Lockhart’s on the warpath. As he leaves her quarters, we see Boyd hiding in the corner, his brow covered in sweat, thinking he’d get caught, he then replaces Carrie’s medication with the other drug.
Lockhart chews out the staff of the Islamabad bureau, calling them out on the unit’s dysfunction over the last few months, then tells them they’re the best chance to recover Berenson safely. Mathison walks in at that point and apologizes for being late, Lockhart confronts her and asks where she was in front of her staff and refuses to move the conversation to her office. She tells him she’d been working a lead on Haqqani, to rescue Saul. They’re interrupted and told that the Pakistani delegation had arrived and the pair head to the meeting.
Ambassador Boyd’s trying to maintain a diplomatic air to the proceedings, but Lockhart does his best to revert to “blunt talk” as soon as possible. He flat-out says that the Pakistani’s negotiate often with the Taliban and they’re to broker a deal with the Taliban to gain Saul’s release. The Foreign Minister refuses to address the Director, instead telling Boyd that the accusations are insulting. Lockhart then says here’s how it’s going down, Berenson’s returned in 36-hours, or the $2 billion aid package to Pakistan will immediately undergo review. At that the Pakistani delegations gets up, turns around and leave as a unit. Carrie however runs after them and catches Aasar Khan, the man who speaks to the Americans for the ISI.
We can see that Mathison’s starting to get jittery and Khan remarks about how fast she’s speaking, a sign her medication’s wearing off. She asks him about the surveillance footage at the airport the night Saul got abducted and he responds, that ISI saw no signs of Saul getting kidnapped. She then says she wants to look at the footage and he says he’ll take her to the airport right then they can look at the tapes together. Carrie says she needs a half-hour and will meet him at the airport. She heads back to her quarters looking ill, but she freshens up and pops another of the substitute pills.
Her and Quinn arrive at the security station and look at the tape presented to them, they see Saul at his gate, then moving to the food court, but those are the only images they have. Khan states that the cameras were out at the gate that Farad Ghazi, was at to catch a flight to South Africa. Mathison’s starting to really lose it at this point, speaking in fragments instead of sentences, she also accuses a security guard who’s leaving the office of smuggling out video footage in his briefcase and demands he opens it. He does and Peter’s embarrassed when it’s just paperwork.
The bureau’s gotten a video feed of an old green Mercedes driving to Haqqani’s village, being swarmed by villagers and realize that the member of the Taliban’s getting a hero’s welcome. They watch as all including Berenson, get out of the car and at that point Carrie walks in, totally manic. She starts screaming they need to get a rescue team there before nightfall and Peter tells her that’s not possible, a mission like that would take six-months to map out. She keeps ranting until Lockhart finally screams at her and tells her to take a break. She heads to her quarters, gets the spins and falls to her bed, then passes out.
She wakes up in a haze as Max calls her phone, telling her he’s located Aayan Ibrahim’s girlfriend Kiran, they hope she can tell them the drugs she held onto for Aayan, so they can identify the illness plaguing Haissam Haqqani, in an effort to locate him through a doctor or hospital. Carrie’s barely functioning at this point, tells Max to pick her up in 15-minutes. She then takes another substitute pill and takes two with her.
She’s full on hallucinating by the time she reaches the hospital that Kiran’s working at. The fluorescent lights are strobing on her and everything looks a bit unreal. She finds Kiran, identifies herself as the journalist helping Aayan then asks Kiran what the drugs were she held for her boyfriend, but the girl says she has no idea. Mathison then goes on a swearing jag as she tries to remember the name of the nurse who sold Ibrahim the drugs at the hospital, when she remembers, Kiran doesn’t know her, but Carrie says she’s lying.
A hospital security guard comes over to intervene, but Mathison sees Peter Quinn instead and asks him if he’s stalking her. The security guard says he doesn’t want to hurt her, when Carrie savagely attacks him, still believing its Peter. She then leaves the hospital and it’s as if she’s on another planet, as she barely negotiates walking, nearly getting hit by several cars. She then bumps into a giant man who yells at her in Arabic. She then looks about 50-yards down the street, seeing a car she’s sure is tailing her. She pulls out her pistol shatters the driver’s side of the windshield, then as the passenger gets out she shoots him dead. We hear sirens, a police vehicle pulls up and we realize Carrie imagined she had a gun and shot the men, she’s handcuffed by the officers and put in a holding cell. She’s terrified in there as bugs and dripping water seem monstrous to her.
A few minutes later, the two men she thought she shot come for her, put her in a straight-jacket then into their car, refusing to answer Mathison’s cries of where they’re taking her. Minutes later she arrives at a mansion, the men take off the jacket and leave her in a finely furnished room. She sees doors to the backyard, but quickly backs away when a Doberman jumps at the glass door from the outside. She tries another door, it’s unlocked and she attempts to explore the area when she hears footsteps. She hides in the corner and tries to attack the man, but she’s subdued by Nick Brody. Yes, you read that correctly, he former lover, the father of her daughter Frannie, the man hung until he died last season in Iran, NICK BRODY.
Now we realize it’s impossible, Carrie realizes it’s impossible, but there he stands with a full head of hair, wearing a tailored blue suit. Mathison says it’s not happening she watched him die and Brody says Carrie’s had a really tough night and she’s confused, he’s perfectly fine. He puts her hand on his face, saying see it’s really me and she says she wants to believe it and Nick tells it’s truly him. At that point she kisses him on the lips and on the neck, hugging him and crying, asking how this is possible. Brody sits them both down on a bay-window sill and she crawls into his lap and says Brody it’s so good to see you. At that point Aasar Khan, asks whose Brody, but Carrie doesn’t hear him, now deliriously happy, still believing Brody’s holding her.
The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on Showtime.