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Homeland Review: "New Car Smell" (Episode 2.04)

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<i>Homeland</i> Review: "New Car Smell" (Episode 2.04)

“Brody ETA one minute. Arriving by taxi.”

We knew this day would come, but who thought it would take almost a year for Brody and Carrie to finally cross paths again? The episode “New Car Smell” firmly places all eyes on Brody and hurls Carrie back into the investigation that dismantled her at the closing of season one.

Let me start off by saying that I like Peter Quinn. Why? Because he says what everyone else is thinking. Sure, he’s cold and lacks social graces, but he’s a firecracker, and the show will benefit from his intrusive personality. After all, someone needs to frisk Carrie for some of the reckless things she’s done. But what exactly do we know about Peter Quinn? He’s a Harvard grad, trusted completely by David Estes, and he’s extremely reliable—or so he claims. Regardless of that claim, he’s the one assigned by Estes to lead the covert operation on Brody.

As expected, Brody’s marriage is on thin ice. The constant lying to Jessica has landed him in a hotel for at least a few days. This plays perfectly into the hands of the covert team; they have cameras in all rooms of the hotel—including the bar. Brody spends most of his evening ordering drink after drink, drowning in loneliness.

Meanwhile, the team is watching Brody’s every move and hoping that he will make contact with his handler (unknown to the CIA). Late into the night, Brody picks up his phone, but it’s not to call his handler—it’s to call Carrie. His proposition to her is to “bury the hatchet” and join him for a drink at the hotel bar, which she nervously accepts. Innocent enough, right?

The moment Carrie arrives the flirting begins, just like old times. It’s interesting to note that both characters have their own motives for being there: Brody wants to know why Carrie was at the CIA, and Carrie wants to bait Brody so he reaches out to his handler. Brody quickly gets under her skin with questions about the ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) treatment she had. When she loses her calm, Brody calls it a night and puts the bill on “Room 416.” Was the room number to lure her? Did Brody just “make” Carrie? She thought “yes” to both.

Quinn orders Carrie to return back but she doesn’t listen—it’s not her thing. She arrives at his door and he welcomes her in. With the mission blown, Quinn orders to send in the team to arrest Brody. They have just a few minutes to talk until Brody is bagged, cuffed, and taken away.

Just when Brody says he liked Carrie, she shouts back that she loved him. This is where we realize that Carrie is blinded by revenge.

If you felt anything like I did, you were torn from the last scene. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Brody. This is a man who has been tortured, subjected to years of isolation and brainwashed into the man he is today. He doesn’t hate his country, he wants revenge on the vice president for his past war crimes. Yet all that’s insinuated by Carrie is that he’s a terrorist and a traitor.

There’s only one word I’d describe Brody as: human.

Here are a few questions that should stimulate conversation:

-Are the Marines piecing together what happened to Brody?

-Where is Brody being taken?

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