After two episodes that were at times disjointed and even frustrating, “Homeland” needed that go-to episode to remind people that it was the show. The one that other networks wanted to have, and the one that other actors aspired to be on. “Tower of David” was that episode, as finely-crafted an hour of television as there has been since “Breaking Bad” said its farewell two weeks ago. This was the best “Homeland” episode in nearly a full year; not only did we have the return of Nicholas Brody, but also a cold, harsh reminder of just how alone both he and Carrie Mathison truly are. Are they any closer to being together? No, in fact they have never been more far apart.
The moral of “Tower of David” was consequences in that you reap what you sew in this world. Brody’s mistakes led him to be a suspected terrorist with a $10 million bounty on his head, while Carrie allowed herself to be in the compromising position where she fell for the worst person to possibly fall for. The dichotomy was striking as the episode ended, and we saw the two of them not only alone, but covered in darkness.
There was no Saul, no Quinn, and no Dana or Jessica this week; it was almost all the story of Brody, with a few scenes of Carrie in the institution spread out near the end. Venezuela was one of the last places that we ever expected the man to end up, but the image of the Tower of David, a striking image of an abandoned skyscraper in Caracas occupied by squatters and vagrants, seemed to be the perfect home for him. The problem was simply that it was not where he wanted to call his home. With the help of new “helper” Esme, he spent much of the hour trying to escape, even to a mosque, where he could feel so much more at home.
But Brody is a very stupid man sometimes, and the strongest line came from the man who briefly opened his doors for him: “You are not a Muslim. You are a terrorist.” It was seconds later than the authorities were there to take him away, and then Esme’s people came and shot up everyone that was there, including those who called the authorities to begin with. Brody learned the hard way that there is no escape from this ghastly building, his past, or even his future living and dying there. Such a harrowing punishment for his sins, even if he was not responsible for Langley.
Damian Lewis was outstanding through this entire ordeal, handling the pain of some of the darker scenes (including the injection at the end). He does just enough to make you want to sympathize with Brody, even if at the end of the day you find that to be an impossible task. He’s a selfish, reckless, and dangerous man, and that makes him compelling television. You don’t want him over for Sunday dinner.
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