Homeland “Tower of David” Review (3×03)

14 Oct


Wherever you go, people die.

Nick Brody is the reason for Homeland, but does Homeland even need him?

I’m not sure yet. The character and the actor are magnificent, but would the show have been better off if it had killed him already? There’s no way of knowing, and while I’m sure the writers can come up with something for him to do, it’s all a matter of how well they do it.

As for this episode, it’s a nice digression from the normal episode organization. The episode cuts between Brody’s and Carrie’s stories, drawing parallels between the two, albeit a bit heavy-handedly. Still, this works as a fitting end to our two main characters’ journeys, but I’m not sure if it works as an episode of this show because it’s not the end of their journeys. The show can still surprise me later, but the writers have written themselves into a hole, yet it’s one that is necessary given the road the characters have gone down. There really was no other way this could all turn out if neither died.

It’s a nice character study, that’s for sure. It’s necessary to focus on both Carrie and Brody because they’re simultaneously parallels and foils. The Tower of David represents everything Brody does not want it to be: the end of the line. In reality, it represents everything that he is: a scar that can never heal. Much like Carrie, he can’t come to terms with the fact that he’s got nowhere to go; he’s come full circle from his captivity in Iraq, now in a situation that’s strikingly similar to those miserable years. There truly is no escape, and that is exactly why this storyline can’t really sustain itself much longer, however compelling Danes and Lewis are. It’s time to bring in the aliens.

There are some intriguing scenes in this episode, though, something that seemed to be missing from the first two installments this season. First off, we have Carrie meeting a lawyer that seems to want to help her, but in reality is trying to manipulate her. She sees right through this; Carrie’s never been someone that can be manipulated by strangers, bad guys, and the like; her sharp instincts are always on in regards to those kinds of people. Where her weakness lies is with people she’s supposed to be able to trust: her own government, Saul, and even Brody to an extent. Her need to please those around her holds up blinders, not allowing her to see herself falling deeper into the hole those very people have dug.

Speaking of holes, both characters end the episode in both literal and metaphorical prisons. Brody’s been beaten down physically and emotionally; he’s the guy that always seems to survive, but hurts those around him. Now, all he can turn to is heroin. I’ve seen some grumblings around the Internet about this scene, but I believe it works; he can’t hold on any longer because he’s been holding on for years. As for Carrie, she still has a flimsy support group, but she’s only going to allow herself to work with Saul. She thinks that everyone else is out to get her. The thing is, Saul can’t risk working with her, and rightfully so.

It’s a beautiful closing shot, that’s for sure, but it’s one that suggests finality. I’m not sure where this is going. What is finality but a prison? We can always look for an escape, we can always move on, and we can never be satisfied.



-Henry Bromell was a fantastic writer, and this is the last episode credited to him. RIP.

-No Dana this week, who’s probably off banging her boyfriend in the middle of a restaurant somewhere.

-No Jess or Chris, either. Nothing feels different. No Saul, either.

-I appreciate and respect the ambition of this episode more than I actually like it.

-Esme is like an Issa replacement. Of course, “Take me with you!” got a big groan out of me. She’s cute, though.

-I think the time with each character gets shorter as the episode goes on. It’s an interesting stylistic choice that culminates in a final quick shot of the two, and it creates a nice constricting atmosphere throughout.

-I enjoyed Brody’s captors.

Credit to Showtime and Homeland for all pictures. I own nothing.

One Response to “Homeland “Tower of David” Review (3×03)”

  1. JustMeMike October 14, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Nice work here PB. I compared Esme to Dana – as a female support group for Brody. Dana is his daughter who he remembered as a little girl before returning home to her love. Esme seed to fill the same role.

    I didn’t compare Esme with Issa simply because I had forgotten him.

    I liked the mystery of why Brody is being held ‘at the end of the line; by El Nino. We don’t know why – but I think they probably intend to trade at some point in the future. This is still something cloaked in a mystery, which makes it all the more intriguing.

    Carrie’s situation – being approached by a lawyer speaking for a partner of the law-firm didn’t sit well with me either. Like Carrie, I was immediately suspicious.

    But for the story to move forward both Carrie and Brody will need to ‘escape’ their situations. Carrie is more likely to be released, than Brody. And Brody is more likely to find some means. I wonder why El Nino gave Brody back his passport?

    I can see retrn the watch and wllet – but handing back the passport seemed peculiar.


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