Mandy Patinkin stars as Saul Berenson, Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in an episode of "Homeland" where things don't go exactly as planned. (Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime)
Wow, this most certainly was not a good night for Brody and his special ops troop. What's that called when you give a title to something where it's not taken at face value? Oh yes, irony!
So the title of the episode comes from the command that one of the special ops says is a code word for "immediately kill those guys who are giving you any sort of hassle." But we'll get to this later. The special ops are the guys we previously referred to as dark-haired dudes or DHDs in last week's recap. Anyway, it was not a good night for the DHDs.
The episode begins with Quinn telling Carrie he knows she's pregnant. He asks if maybe it wouldn't be better if she sat out watching the first part of Saul's big plan in action. She's like, "What? Oh, cuz you think Brody's the father? Well, um, he's totally not, so mind your beeswax."
I'm paraphrasing, of course, but this is one of several instances in this episode where she acts like a middle schooler. Heck, she might as well have had "crossies" behind her back as she said that.
But Quinn's a bit more mature, so he doesn't say, "Hey everybody, Carrie's pregnant!" or do the thing where he pretends to cough into his hand and says "PREGNANT!"
Meanwhile at the Iran/Iraq border, Brody is bro-ing out with the DHDs (or Bro-dy-ing out) and they're sharing trade secrets and getting Brody's cover story straight for what he did after the bombing. We learn that Brody did not write a letter to his family.
We also learn, back in America, that Saul chews gum for luck when he's planning something big. I believe this is the first we've learned of this weird quirk. Let me know if I'm wrong. Is there a video compilation similar to the Brody's breathing one somewhere out there of Saul popping gum?
As night falls in Iraq, we learn that Brody still prays to Allah, and as the DHDs prepare to drop him off at the border Iraqi (or are they Kurdish?) police see them stopped on the side of the road and question them.
The Iraqi (or are they Kurdish?) police don't believe their story and the aforementioned "good night" is ordered, and they waste the guys.
Brody is shaken and makes a run for it, reminiscent of the "You didn't have to kill him!" incident in the "Tower of David" episode. Dude just wants to be done with innocent people dying. Sorry bud, there's going to be more of that.
The main DHD talks him down.
They report back to the U.S. that he got carsick, and Carrie is all, "What?! My boyfriend got carsick?! That's so not like him! He's the toughest!"
Senator Lockhart wants to watch the big plan unfurl, and he and Saul are actually kind of cool with each other for the first time.
Meanwhile in Iraq, Brody and the main DHD head to the border without the other special ops.
Out of all the episodes this season, this one is the most insular. It's all related to this one action.
Sure, there's tension (the drone that serves as backup is temporarily down, the higher-ups want to alert the White House of what's going on but Team Saul doesn't want the White House to know). But really, when compared to the other episodes this season, not much happens.
And just as we get to feeling complacent — BOOM! Brody and the main DHD hit a mine!
Carrie is freaking out that Brody got blown up.
The freakout factor is upped when the White House rep calls with an idea: take out Brody and the main DHD since they're disabled anyway, and pretend like they just killed America's most wanted terrorist.
"He doesn't care whether they're dead or alive, all he cares about is covering his own f—ing ass," Carrie yells. This time I'm quoting verbatim!
Come on, Carrie. Keep it professional!
But then, what's this? Brody is alive! And he's able to carry the main DHD to some semblance of safety.
Then comes one of the episode's intentionally comic moments: As Brody is trying to psych the injured DHD up, he says, "Just focus on your kids."
The DHD responds: "I don't have any kids, dumbass. I was making small talk because you were being a f—ing baby."
But this moment of respite doesn't last long. An Iraqi patrol has joined the party! And they've brought bullets to rain down on the DHDs and Brody.
The CIA team back in the U.S. is like, "Abort mission." Saul is bummed. He's like, "Crud! I guess I need to rethink my lucky gum strategy," and returns to his office. I should point out that he doesn't actually say this. This is just my interpretation of Saul's actions.
But while the CIA has ordered the DHDs to retreat, Brody ain't having any of it.
"I'm 300 yards from the border, Carrie," he yells into the walkie. "I can make it!"
Carrie tries to talk him down, but he won't listen.
"You're gonna get me home," he tells Carrie. "You'll find a way. I have faith."
It's a weird moment. And then Brody takes off on his own. One of the DHDs follows him. The two then surrender to the Iranian patrols. The DHD says he is an Al Qaeda operative helping Brody seek asylum in Iran.
The two are taken captive and they talk about how bad the torture will be. Brody tells the DHD it will be tough, and they will break him, but if he can last long enough so that Brody can carry out his mission, that's all he could ever ask.
Back in the U.S. Carrie asks Fara to set up a safe house for Brody after the mission is carried out. Fara's like, "Dude, he's a member of a moderate opposition group, it's not like he's a total U.S. lover." I'm paraphrasing again.
Then back in Iraq, Javadi walks into the room where Brody and the DHD are being detained. He's super cool.
He's like, "Are you ready to go with me to Tehran?" I'm quoting verbatim.
And then he says, "Oh, but first, I'm gonna shoot this other dude." (This is a paraphrase.)
But yeah, he just offs the other DHD and Brody blurts out ye olde "Ya didn't have to kill him!" bit again.
Oh, but Brody, he did have to kill him. Just to make your time all that more hellish.