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2-7: "The Clearing" 2012.11.11


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#1

TWoP Lockley

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 5:50 PM

Can't think of a better way to spend Veteran's Day!


In the aftermath of the ambush, Carrie and the team scramble to gain control of the operation, while Brody attends a well-heeled fund-raiser at a Virginia horse farm. Elsewhere, Saul drops in on Aileen, who is in solitary confinement, hoping she can shed some light on the latest attack; and a conflicted Dana leans on Finn to fess up to their crime.



Please remember:
This thread is a place to discuss the episode at hand. References to past episodes as they relate to the events of tonight are OK, as long as they are brief and in the context of this episode.
Take in-depth discussions about character development/relationships and plot speculation to the appropriate threads.
If you have an idea for a thread topic that doesn't already exist, you may start one at any time.

Thanks!

Edited by TWoP Lockley, Nov 11, 2012 @ 5:51 PM.


#2

meandthemoon

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:35 PM

The Carrie and Brody scene in the woods made me want to throw up. So freakin' ridiculous. I would love Carrie to handle Brody like she did Mike. Sensitive yet tough.

This show needs way more Quinn. "Like you've never seen a dick before." Ha!

I don't get Brody. At all. I know I'm supposed to sympathize, but I don't really.

Edited by meandthemoon, Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:20 AM.


#3

larapu2000

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:35 PM

Oh, Saul. Even I knew Aileen was like a 2 year old hitting a home run over the Green Monster at Fenway. I was also afraid she was going to smash the damn bottle over Saul's head and hurt him somehow.

"Cease and fucking desist." Best quote of the show.

The conversation between Brody and the Vietnam guy is one of my favorite moments in the show to date, because Brody is finally showing remorse and real contrition for what he's done. I think the thing with Dana is going to be the next step in moving him back towards humanity. Her scorn is going to kill him.

#4

Elle45

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:39 PM

I kinda want Quin and Carrie to get together. Their chemistry would be hot.

#5

Brian C

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:41 PM

Quinn's recovery from his injury is nearly at Jack Bauer levels.

#6

Karelian

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:44 PM

So next Carrie will be hanging out in a seedy motel room with Brody and giving him some sensual healing. This damn show is flying merrily off the rails. This whole attempt to try to flip the Carrie-Brody power dynamics is ridiculous. He is still a terrorist who tried to take out dozens of Americans. Just because his feelings are hurt does not suddenly make a CIA operative act like a schoolgirl around him.

I don't care what people say - Morena Baccarin is a good actress.

#7

Oni

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:45 PM

We still don't know much about any real attack happening, a little disappointing.

#8

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:56 PM

Tonight's episode drove me CRAZY as a viewer. Part of me loathes the idea of Carrie and Brody being romantic in any sense of the word again after all that has been told and shown. At the same time, CD and DL are combustible in these intimate scenes that I forget for just a moment that Brody is a terrorist. ARGH. I think the show is so much better than this romance if you can even call it that. That being said, Claire and Damian on screen together are like a drug. When I watched Carrie and Brody in the woods tonight, I almost felt like I was watching two addicts looking for a fix of each other. It's so unhealthy but I can't stop watching.

Edited by Lilac4381, Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:56 PM.


#9

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

Red herrings or anvils are everywhere: The wayward teens Dana and Finn are the classic Achilles Heels' for their respective parents.

And what was the point of spending so much time on Aileen's story -- other than to have Saul and the CIA waste more time chasing what turned out to the a dead end.

Ray "the mute" aka Virgil's "creepy little brother" is either the mole hiding in plain sight or just a very weird dude who's a red herring. The character of Ray has been peripheral to the main story but has been close to the center of the action first as Carrie's independent eyes and ears and more recently as part of the op within an op that Estes/Saul/Quinn are running. Ray is overlooked, bossed around and derided right in front of his face. If Ray isn't a mole or just a creepy dude, it's possible he'll go postal on the whole lot of them before season's end.

Why is it that the upright, moral good guys are always so s-l-o-w to grasp the BIG picture? I'm looking at you Mike and Jessica. Especially Jessica. Duh! Politics and honesty just don't mix.

Estes grows more and more unlikeable with each episode. He and VP Walden are a matched pair: talk about blind ambition.

Brody's meltdown continues, he seems more possessed than Linda Blair's character Reagan in The Exorcist.

#10

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

Each week I find new loopholes, and have started doing chores around the house while watching this show. Not sure how long I will last. Brody running for President? WTH? How can someone tortured by terrorists for 8 years run for President, without any kind of background detail on him? As for Brody and Carrie kissing, ugh, just ugh. I am so so over Carrie running after Brody for some hot time every single time. Looks like next week this will happen too. As for Saul, how can he trust a terrorist? That woman was a terrorist at the end of the day, how could he trust her for one minute? He is too soft for this work.

I just want Carrie and Brody to stay apart and Carrie to do her job instead of finding her way into his pants. I also didn't get Brody's taking Dana to the police. Is he into politics or not? What exactly does he want? He is willing to jeopardize his political "career", but what exactly does he want? When it comes to Jessica, he has no morals at all. Kissing Carrie, not letting Jessica move on when she is sick of his lies, him heaping on more lies. I don't get this show anymore. They are showing the CIA being run by some doofuses, who trust terrorists and are so desperate for leads that they bend over backwards for terrorists. Whatever.

There was also no connection to last week. What happened to the people who shot the CIA? Weren't there cameras outside and inside to catch the car they came in? License plate? Etc.? It looks like it never happened.

Edited by MasalaCurry, Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:02 AM.


#11

Brian C

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:03 AM

My problem with Ray is that I don't get why he's still there. Quinn seriously has no competent surveillance guys that he can trust to do this op so they're stuck using the guys Carrie was using when she was off the grid?

#12

leapjoy

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:06 AM

Tonight's episode drove me CRAZY as a viewer. Part of me loathes the idea of Carrie and Brody being romantic in any sense of the word again after all that has been told and shown. At the same time, CD and DL are combustible in these intimate scenes that I forget for just a moment that Brody is a terrorist. ARGH. I think the show is so much better than this romance if you can even call it that. That being said, Claire and Damian on screen together are like a drug. When I watched Carrie and Brody in the woods tonight, I almost felt like I was watching two addicts looking for a fix of eac


Yea, I have company. Watching these two characters together is not healthy but I am drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

On a shallow note, DL wearing a Lululemon tshirt FTW.

#13

larapu2000

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:06 AM

I also didn't get Brody's taking Dana to the police. Is he into politics or not? What exactly does he want? He is willing to jeopardize his political "career", but what exactly does he want? When it comes to Jessica, he has no morals at all. Kissing Carrie, not letting Jessica move on when she is sick of his lies, him heaping on more lies. I don't get this show anymore. They are showing the CIA being run by some doofuses, who trust terrorists and are so desperate for leads that they bend over backwards for terrorists. Whatever.


I saw him taking Dana to the police on 2 levels: One, that Vietnam guy really got to him. I think he wanted to prove to himself that he was the kind of man that the vet saw him to be. Two, with all of the lies and dishonesty he's living in, he knows the pain and guilt that come, and didn't want Dana to be wracked with living in the same cesspool (although on a much, MUCH different level) than he's dealing with. I thought, quite frankly, it was the most humane thing Brody's done so far in the show.

#14

dcsassychica

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:16 AM

I could see Saul believing Aileen. I could not see him leaving ANYTHING with her in the room...not his satchel, not his glasses, while she was unguarded. That was not believable.

#15

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:19 AM

I saw him taking Dana to the police on 2 levels: One, that Vietnam guy really got to him. I think he wanted to prove to himself that he was the kind of man that the vet saw him to be. Two, with all of the lies and dishonesty he's living in, he knows the pain and guilt that come, and didn't want Dana to be wracked with living in the same cesspool (although on a much, MUCH different level) than he's dealing with. I thought, quite frankly, it was the most humane thing Brody's done so far in the show.


Amen to that. It was also a way for Brody to assert his independence AND do the right thing. Everyone is pulling him this way and that way and Estes and the VP thought they had him "handled" and he was going to be a father, which is actually the one thing he seems to have done well since coming back.

I really wish Dana had just walked into the police station by herself, but I guess that's asking a lot of a 16 year old. But damn, way to spill it out to Cynthia! That was classic Dana. Girl can unload!

As for the "romance", well, Quinn did tell her to build his confidence. He didn't say HOW to do that. Carrie is highly intuitive and that method worked. I'm not sure why some of you are up in arms about it. It's a train wreak, but I think the show has earned this wreck. Carrie isn't entirely rational or cold hearted. She couldn't do her job otherwise. Neither can Saul. Saul's irritated at being played, true and I think Quinn gave him the perfect medicine. Quinn is the Spock of this group right now and they need him, but stuff can't get done without Carrie and Saul taking risks and making leaps.

Also, I love the idea of Ray being the mole, but I don't think he's high level enough for some of the stuff the mole has allegedly spilled. I think it could be Estes. Not sure why, but I think Brody stealing stuff from his safe was a test to see Brody's loyalty and his nerve. Just a theory, but there aren't that many potential cast members.

Edited by jeansheridan, Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:56 PM.


#16

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:23 AM

Brody's meltdown continues, he seems more possessed than Linda Blair's character Reagan in The Exorcist.


Carrie is going to screw the demons out of him and he'll be right as rain

This episode turned my stomach

I can't wait for his presidential campaigning while screwing Carrie on the side. It'll be suspenseful and sensual at the same time. I mean, how could it not be? Carrie and Brody have so much on screen chemistry!

*Vomit*

#17

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:25 AM

The scene in the stable was a little overdone with the metaphor ("That's usually time to take them out to the field with a rifle." "But you rehabbed her?"). Yet it was amazing to watch Brody/Damian absorb Rex's story, and find himself drawn in. He was almost dizzy, almost sick with fellow-feeling. We could actually see him revert to the hollowed-out man who fastened on Nazir. The man Nazir had himself hollowed out and left with nothing but need, need and rage about it -- rage that Brody believed was about something else.

That rage is much closer to the surface with Carrie, as is his need. For Brody, at this point, life feels like nothing but a hurt/comfort drama. He protests, but nothing else feels real. Being lied to, being played, being used, all feel good because he feels them. Everything else -- everything but Dana -- caroms off his scars.

#18

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:26 AM

I saw the encounter between Carrie and Brody in the woods a little differently. She had just had a conversation with Quinn about how Brody was losing it because everything was spinning out of his control. Quinn told her to do something about Brody and to let him regain control of something. So when Carrie went to see him she used their feelings for each other to give Brody a little control. Just like she used a real emotional confession of her own during the interrogation to finally break through Brody's lies and get him talking.

In both cases Carrie's feelings are genuine but I don't think she's letting those feelings cause her to lose sight of the bigger picture.

#19

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:51 AM

We still don't know much about any real attack happening, a little disappointing.


Yeah, a lot of wheel spinning, which was disappointing after the first few eps got so much stuff done. I was waiting for Aileen's return since Saul mentioned her in the first ep, and they bring her back only to kill her off? And what's with stringing us along about Danny? Will they let him pull through? (And, if so, will he have some important info?) Quinn was entertaining but tonight's ep felt more like a useless network show to me. Way too much rehashing (and kissing) going on.

Edited by Numb Nut, Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:53 AM.


#20

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:55 AM

This episode just made me feel that the show is close to being off it's game. I did not believe parts of it. It almost seemed silly.

Carrie and Brody in the woods and the kissing just made no sense. If she is doing that to be able to get information, it seems unprofessional. Quinn recovered way too quickly from his injuries. And I did not believe that Brody would so quickly drive his daughter to the police to report the hit and run.

The plot development in this episode is way off the level of most of the previous episodes. For the first time, I walked away from the TV and lost interest.

#21

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:20 AM

Really, really liked this episode so I'm kind of surprised at the negative reaction. No completely unexpected plot twist, but still plenty of “whoa” moments.

I was surprised Dana just blurted out “we killed someone” like she was commenting on the weather, but in the end that’s who she is. I know a lot of people were displeased with the way this story was going, but I actually thought the way they tied it into the plot with Walden and Brody was done very, very well. It sets up a lot of contrast between who Brody is and wants to be. So much irony when Jess asked Brody whether he would just sweep whatever Dana had done under the rug when she had done just the same thing when he told her about Tom Walker.

I also thought it was interesting the way they incorporated Brody’s deal into everything. His whole involvement now hinges on his involvement with the VP, so it seems obvious the VP is still the target (as Carrie pointed out, too).

If I had one complaint with this episode it would be the lack of Carrie, but I do love the girl.

I was pretty surprised that Carrie and Brody didn’t actually hook up, and I still can’t figure out whether she’s playing him. At least Brody seems to think so. That whole moment in the clearing was perplexing.

I felt sad for Aileen. Her appearance was really rather scary and I wanted to believe, like Saul, that she’d do the right thing. But once again the CIA is duped. I’m not entirely sure how the CIA works (maybe it’s a lot more miss than hit), and maybe it’s just because in S1 the team seemed to get most things right, so the contrast with their pitfalls is greater this season, but at least there seems to be a larger sense of urgency. And Estes actually did something helpful! Who knew he was actually good at his job (sometimes)?

Another episode written by Meredith Stiehm. She also wrote The Weekend and New Car Smell. I think she’s got a really great feel for the Carrie/Brody dynamic.

Oh, and how could I forget: “Cease and fucking desist!” Another great Carrie one-liner.

#22

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:23 AM

Dana's angst is getting tiresome. That is one morose teenager. Saturday Night Live nailed it in their Homeland sketch. I kept waiting for Dana to start wringing her sweater-sleeved hands. When I'm bored, I just watch her hair change during conversations (now it's behind her ear, now it isn't). Fun!

No ugly crying from Carrie this week. Darn. And I had a drink at the ready, too.

Quinn was eating those pain pills like candy.

And yeah, leaving Aileen with Saul's reading glasses was kind of silly. The guard sure was quick to pick up those paper cups, though. And why was he not peeking into the room now and then, through that window in the door, to be sure she didn't do anything crazy?

#23

Brian C

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:39 AM

Dana's angst is getting tiresome. That is one morose teenager.


Well, she did just see her boyfriend kill an innocent woman and then help him hide their crime, so I think her morose levels are pretty accurate (although I agree that it is a bit annoying that they went with a plot where she'd have to be so morose).

#24

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:48 AM

Dana's angst is getting tiresome. That is one morose teenager.

She it taking more and more cues (unfortunately!) from the Kristen Stewart - Twilight school of acting with all the lip biting, head shrugging to the side, staring off... yes, it is becoming VERY tiresome.


I thought this episode was a mess; there seemed to be little cohesion, the story development felt all over the place and loose; not near as sharp and tight as previous.

#25

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 1:59 AM

I seem to be mostly alone in this, but I thought the Aileen subplot was one of the strong points of this episode. I've always liked this show because of its focus on the psychology of anti-terrorism work-- not just for Carrie, but for everyone. I've always thought part of its focus was what it means to want to keep people safe, what it means for all of your day to day actions to be colored by that sense of responsibility, and how many costs and consequences are too many. Aileen never managed to commit an actual crime, and even before they found her, was a confused former operative who had always been low-ranking and didn't know much about much. Yet, hardcore antiterrorist policy dictated that she be caged, shackled, and deprived of everything that makes life worth living. It broke what was left of her, and it made her totally useless and an asset, because she was willing to say anything to get even a glimpse of freedom or being treated like a human being. It's an interesting counterpoint to the "torture works," message we see so often on law enforcement shows. And yet, the takeaway was ambiguous, because Saul's kindness was also ineffective, in either protecting her or getting accurate information from her. The whole Aileen plot was a lot more psychologically complicated than what was going on with Carrie and Brody this week, and I appreciated it as a reminder that there's more to their job, both practically and ethically, than catching bad guys, many of whom are, like Aileen, dangerous in some ways and pitiful in others.

#26

Brian C

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 2:28 AM

I had no problem with the general idea of the Aileen plot, but I just didn't like the execution of her, well, execution. If her suicide had been better planned, I'd have been okay with it, but her suicide required Saul to screw up so badly (not to mention the guard supposedly watching her) that it really took me out of the scene.

Here's an interesting angle my wife and I were thinking about while watching the scene. Let's say that she was willing to give up the info the room with a window and let's say Saul was unable to get such a room. Would he be willing to fake a legal document to trick her into giving up the info? Would his personal ethics allow him to do that? Carrie, Quinn and Estes wouldn't give it a second thought, but would Saul?

#27

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 3:04 AM

I wonder if Finn knows his dad is responsible (or maybe thinks his dad is responsible) for the drone attacks killing innocents. He seems to be awfully afraid of his father and seems resigned to any and all misdeeds by his family going unpunished.

Edited by Bella, Nov 12, 2012 @ 3:08 AM.


#28

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 3:28 AM

Yes Evalusion I agree with you - the Aileen story was riveting in its realism, or what I think is realism about many people drawn into spy and terrorism work. This reminded me of all the material about Oswald that surfaced when the former USSR files finally became available, showing how ruined but small a person he really was and the damage that he was able to do was so disproportionate to who he was. He wasn't really about causes, he was just trying to be important in his own small world, in the way Aileen was not really about causes, she was working out her own private wars with her father and other identity crossroads.

Poor Saul, who had successfully broken Aileen on their roadtrip, coming up empty on this one. But I bet this is how most leads turn out and what the show was about this episode, how so much of undercover work, whether CIA or FBI, goes awry, whether because politics rears up as an obstacle, or because forward motion depends on so many different people being on the same page on the same day. Plus, the pressure alters your view, as we saw with Saul wanting so much to contribute beyond managing Carrie that he was blinded to Aileen's manipulations.

So was I, wanting that raid to produce a real live villain that Saul identified and Peter could take down. I was completely sucked in and love this episode for making me see how easy it is for everything to go wrong.

I think of this episode as integral to understanding or at least learning more about the psychology of many of the players. Plus I needed to take a breath from all the action of the last few episodes. But now that I see how high the stakes are with all the politicos, it just makes me more nervous. Great show, great episode.

#29

Vegascrowe

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 3:36 AM

Did antyone else get the feeling (and forgive me, i've had a couple margaritas) that Brody's wife wasnt long for this world? The whole episode I expected her to die, especially after Dana told her the truth. And now, seperated, would be the perfect time to take out the part of the family (mother and son) that has no story... anyway. taking her out would leave her for Carrie, leave Brody a senator, fuck mike up, etc. It seems the obvious choice at this point. To me anyway, a drunk las vegan. Have a good night.

#30

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Posted Nov 12, 2012 @ 3:54 AM

I disagree with the notion I've read from several posters that Carrie meeting with Brody constitutes more "She Luvs Him" ridiculousness. While she does care for him a lot, the reason she went to see him in the first place is because Quinn told her to. Brody is really cracking under the pressure of this double/triple agent thing (more on that below) and the only person the CIA knows can keep him in line is Carrie. Heck, she wouldn't be working there if it wasn't for that. Just like she admitted in "The Weekend", some of it is feelings and some of it is work. However, I've never gotten the feeling she lost track of the bottom line... finding out about the Abu Nazir's plan.

I didn't see Brody taking Dana to the cops as an altruistic act. I think he was doing it because he wanted to get out from underneath the double/triple agent thing, as well as screw the Vice President over. He had to know that would be the eventual outcome. He doesn't care about politics... it was all a means to an end. When Carrie told him that his political career would be over after he helped the CIA, he didn't seem to care at all.

I know Dana was doing the right thing, but she still has annoyed the heck out of me during this entire storyline.

The scene between Brody and the donor was really good. Saul made the mistake of getting too close to Aileen. I highly doubt he would've fallen for her crap or taken her word as gospel otherwise. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way Mike listens to what Carrie said.

Edited by shockey80te, Nov 12, 2012 @ 4:04 AM.