Watching this week’s episode, “Tower of David,” I was reminded a lot of Amour and Requiem for a Dream, two movies with a relentless and methodical way of destroying something beautiful, piece by piece, until you’re left in a moment so low that it is almost peaceful–note the way the characters run to their dreams in Requiem, and how the house is silent, empty, and sealed off by the end of Amour. That’s how it goes in Homeland, which ends with Nicholas Brody curled up in a cell at the bottom of an unfinished skyscraper (hubris! Ozymandias! Icarus! [insert comparison here]), injecting himself with heroin to numb the dullness and the pain, and Carrie almost identically positioned in a psych ward, willingly taking her medication, hoping to numb her manic senses. So far as setting the stage goes, this episode’s a bit of a palate cleanser–in the syrup of Ipecac sense–and those who have been frustrated with the scaled-back pace of this third season aren’t going to find much to love about an episode that features only Brody and Carrie, separated by thousands of miles. But it’s a necessary episode: I don’t know where the series is going from here, but it had to hit this point of despair in order to at least move forward. (My prediction is that Senator Lockhart’s the guy attempting to flip Carrie [against the CIA] and that a washed-out Brody is going to find himself once against leveraged in something that he believes to be redemptive, but will probably be destructive. His daughter will be used to motivate him.)
You can read my full thoughts on the imagery and significance of the episode over at Slant Magazine; I’ll update this post if I read any other interesting recaps that I strongly disagree or agree with (and feel free to direct me to other conversations in the comments section below). Cheers!