Michael Mahin ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
The latest episode of Homeland‘s second season, entitled “A Gettysburg Address”, was a disappointingly hit-and-miss episode of an otherwise consistent, and consistently great, television series. Despite some thrilling set pieces and narrative shocks, this week’s episode focused too heavily on subplots which were never very interesting to begin with.
“A Gettysburg Address” begins with the CIA’s surveillance of Roya Hammad, exposed by Brody in last week’s episode as working for Abu Nazir. Roya is seen conferring with an unknown man though the CIA is unable to obtain sound and therefore are unable to understand their interaction or identify Roya’s mysterious source. Carrie suggests that the CIA take Brody in as he might be able to identify the man. Brody is unable to do so though he does tell the CIA that the tailor is dead, allowing the CIA to remove surveillance outside of the tailor’s shop and to send a forensics team in.
Meanwhile Mike and Lauder begin to investigate Walker’s death, going to the site of his murder in hopes of gaining an understanding of the events that transpired. The two decide that Walker would have only gone to the site to meet someone he knew and trusted, thus strengthening their suspicions that Brody was, in fact, the murderer. Mike attempts to meet with a contact at the CIA but is instead met by Saul and Estes who command Mike to cease his investigations into Walker’s murder.
Brody, commissioned by Carrie, meets with Roya in hopes of learning more about the unidentified source. Roya does not let onto the source’s identity but does seem to communicate that she knows about the forensics team moving into the tailor’s shop.
Dana, still shaken by last week’s hit-and-run accident, goes to the hospital to the visit the woman that she and Quinn hit with their car. At the hospital, Dana meets the woman’s daughter and learns that the woman is dying. Traumatized, Dana tells Quinn the next day who remains firm that Dana not tell anyone happened, as it could ruin his life and his father’s career.
Meanwhile, at the tailor’s shop, the CIA team is swiftly cut down by a special unit with assault rifles. The unit removes a trunk behind a false wall in the shop. Before leaving, one of the members removes their helmet, revealing their identity to be the mysterious man seen with Roya earlier. Quinn, though shot, appears to still be alive after the ambush.
Mike, looking through the Brodys’ garage, finds a gun and an ammo case with one missing bullet. Mike brings his concern to Jessica, claiming that Brody was involved in the plot. Jessica tells Mike that Brody is working for the CIA and tells him to leave.
In the final scene, Carrie comes into Brody’s office and questions his allegiance, accusing him of telling Roya about the forensic investigation of the shop. He refutes her accusations and Carrie, crying, defeated, falls into his arms.
The ambush at the tailor shop proved to be the dramatic focal point of the episode, providing one of the season’s more shocking, and thrilling, set pieces. It was a jarring though satisfyingly dramatic plot point and it put, once again, Brody’s reliability into question, showing that the series writers still have a number of tricks up their sleeves in store for the season. However, there was too much emphasis was placed on Dana and Mike’s plot lines, which have always served second to the overall narrative arc. Morgan Saylor did an able job this week portraying Dana’s torment and guilt but her story still feels overly melodramatic in an otherwise subtle series. Mike, by contrast, has always been one of Homeland‘s least interesting characters and Diego Klattenhoff has not yet found a way to bring any life to the role.
Though the episode ended on a strong note, “A Gettysburg Address” was a middling episode in a usually stellar series. Luckily though, Homeland looks to still be moving in interesting and thrilling directions.