[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Homeland. Read at your own risk.]
After two episodes of wondering, "Where in the world is Nicholas Brody?" Homeland viewers finally got their answer Sunday. And it wasn't necessarily pretty.
On Sunday's episode, Brody (Damian Lewis) is brought into Caracas, Venezuela having suffered two gunshot wounds in his stomach. Although a group of strangers perform crude surgery and nurse Brody back to health with a steady dose of pain meds (aka heroin), Brody seems determined to move on to the next stop on the escape route plotted out by Carrie (Claire Danes) last season. But that's easier said than done.
Although one of his captors acknowledges that he's keeping Brody alive perhaps as a favor to Carrie, he also makes it clear that he won't allow Brody to leave. Brody begins to refuse the heroin and rebuilds his strength before deciding to seek refuge in a nearby mosque. However, when the Imam recognizes him as a wanted terrorist and plans to turn him, Brody's captors once again intervene, killing the Imam and the police in the process. Dejected, Brody is last seen shooting up voluntarily as the episode comes to a close.
So, what's next for Brody? TVGuide.com caught up with Lewis to break down Brody's less-than-triumphant return. Will he eventually fight his way out of his latest round of captivity? Or will he die trying?
How did you feel about Brody not being a part of the first two episodes?
Damian Lewis: Well, it was a mixed blessing. I spend a lot of time away from my family during the show, so it gave me a little more time to just be with them and that was nice. At the same time, if you're in a global sensation like Homeland,you want to be in it. You want to be there doing it, but you see the impact Brody has when he does come back into the show. So, I'm very happy actually with the way the season has gone so far.
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Help us fill in the gaps. What has Brody been through before we see him with two bullets in his gut.
Lewis: If you go to Audible.com, coming out right after Sunday's episode is this very cool additional piece that we've done — an additional creative piece, where Claire and myself have read short stories. My short story tells exactly what happened between Canada and Caracas. It's actually very cool. It's about 10 minutes long; it's really easy to listen to.
We obviously meet Brody in a pretty bad spot.
Lewis: [Executive producer Alex Gansa] became interested in Brody surviving one experience of abuse after another. It's a particularly bleak world view, but on a broad political level, Brody is the living embodiment of what happens when you go to war. This is the logical conclusion for someone who becomes a victim from the moment he goes to war. Here you see him being a pawn again, finding himself in an impossible situation being a captor, being abused again.
Is it the memory of all that's happened to him in the past that makes him so adamant about escaping this place?
Lewis: Because Brody was tortured and brutalized so much by Abu Nazir, whenever he's put in a situation like this, his chances of holding up are slim. He knows that he is fragile. He can't always rely on a Marine's strength because he was broken and he knows that he can break again. So, time is of the essence that he gets out before they break his spirit again.
But where does he want to go from here? Does he still hope to clear his name?
Lewis: He knows he didn't do it, and I think he wants to prove that to everybody. He wants to stand up and say to his family in particular, "I am not the guy who blew up 280 people at Langley. I don't want to live in shame, and I don't want you to live in shame with me being your father and your husband." Of course, he's got no idea how he's going to do it because he can't step foot on U.S. soil. So, it's a predicament.
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Brody seems surprised when one of his captors mentions Carrie's name.
Lewis: It is a big surprise to him. He experiences the episode mostly through a fog of pain killers and pain. It must feel like a dream or a waking nightmare, but then to hear Carrie's name is unexpected because it's out of context. Whenever he hears Carrie's name, it gives him hope. But he feels a certain amount of betrayal by her as well. He's not entirely sure whether she knows where he is or not because he's been sent so deep into the escape network. He's been like a baby passed from one pair of hands to the next. No one has too much information, and no one will be able to tell him where he's come from or where he's going.
Brody finally escapes to the mosque where he thinks he will be safe, but it just leads to more pain. Given Brody's religious beliefs, does that betrayal sting more?
Lewis: The Imam, you think, will be a stereotypical Muslim who will be corrupt and will take him under his wing even though he knows this is the guy that blew up the CIA. It's a brilliant twist actually. We're presented with an responsible Muslim who takes the moral position that it was wrong to commit this act of terrorism ... and he turns Brody in. But I don't think it makes him lose faith. I think his faith and his belief in Allah is sincere, is personal, and is intimate to him.
But is that faith enough to get him through? When he finally takes the heroin at the end, it seems like Brody has given up.
Lewis: His spirit is broken. I think he's exhausted from the turns that his life has taken. ... He's a man who's constantly being whacked over the head and sent in a different direction. It's an exhausting life that he has led in the last seven or eight years of his life. Brody is coming to a point that he just wants peace. He certainly lacks a bit of fight. He fights to get out for most of the episode, but that final betrayal takes a lot of wind out of him.
Will we see him fight his way back? Does he still want to clear his name or does he now think that's not an option?
Lewis: With Homeland, I think it always gets worse before it gets better. Everyone achieves their small triumphs, but their small successes come at great personal cost. Brody's no different. I think he does have that impulse but, this isHomeland, and the best-laid plans for every single character in this show are foundered on the rocks every single time. He might set out to do that, but I'd be very surprised if he fulfills that.
Will he die trying? Brody's death has been the topic of much discussion since the first season. Given Brody's current dire situation, how much do you think about when you might get the final script?
Lewis: I think about it all the time. In my view, Brody has been the show's biggest conundrum. He has been the most surprising and most unpredictable of all the characters, and I think he has surprised and confounded the writers at times. Often they haven't quite known who Brody was going to be and they haven't quite known how the [Carrie-Brody] relationship was going to pan out. It's been a constant source of surprise and mystery, and I think Brody will continue to be that. I think the argument will go on and on. It's exciting whenever Brody is in the story, but when he wasn't there in the first two episodes, the series was equally brilliant. So, as you guys would say, it's a high-class problem.
Homeland airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime. What did you think of Brody's return?
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)