Homeland Review: “Tower Of David” (Season 3, Episode 3)


Homeland Review: "Tower Of David" (Season 3, Episode 3)

Well, this is it. This is the one. Brody’s back. When we first see him he’s big, bald, and full of bullets, breathing heavily and being rescued by Venezuelan mercenaries.  From that lovely opener, “Tower of David” gets bleaker, and bleaker, and bleaker. But at least Brody’s back, right? In a warm climate at least? The humidity will be good for him. Clear out the lungs a little bit, get him back to fighting fitness.

Quite where he’s been, nobody knows, but that’s not the point. The point is that he’s back. “Tower of David” is a quick decompression from the intensity surrounding Carrie, and a reminder of the real lynchpin of the show. Carrie still appears, but this is very much a Brody episode. Thank God.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that nobody is enjoying Homeland at this point. One doesn’t sit down to watch “Tower of David” for fun: we’re riding the story out. We want to see how all these threads are going to tie together. We want to know just what the link is between the CIA and Venezuela.

Is it any coincidence that Quinn was hunting a target at the start of this season, and now Brody is holed up there? And the guy in charge of the mercenaries, one El Nino, knows Carrie? No. Way. That’s not to say that the show is bad, or unwatchable, it just beggars belief. Brody should be dead by now. He should have killed himself by now, or have been killed by the CIA. Death follows him, and as far as he knows, he has nothing left to live for. Carrie doesn’t want to see him (from his perspective), his life is in ruins, but he remains unable to kill himself. Just what is driving him at this point? Is he running on love alone?

Brody is a dead man walking, and much of “Tower of David” goes towards establishing this fact in grim, repetitive detail. He arrives at the eponymous tower, a giant skyscraper now gone to ruin and inhabited by squatters after being abandoned during the Venezuelan banking crisis in 1994. He is unable to move, medicated with heroin (a necessity in the beginning, but later on is used to sedate and control him) by an unbelievably seedy doctor.

To really lay on just how villainous the band of mercenaries keeping Brody prisoner in the Venezuelan squat are, they give huge, face slapping hints that the seedy doctor is a paedophile, giving him an underage “friend” who accompanies him everywhere, holding hands. I understand that this is Homeland we’re dealing with, never ones for subtlety, but I really found this to be too much. The fact that the doctor is operating in an underground bunker, bereft of the proper equipment, working for the mercenaries, is enough to tell me he’s a dodgy character. Why make him a paedophile too?

In fact, it would have been interesting if the unnamed doctor wasn’t a dodgy character at all. Maybe he owes money, maybe he too is being held prisoner by the mercenaries? Maybe they have his family? But no, such mercies are not bestowed upon Brody. He has lost everything, MIA in Caracas, living in a squat with murderous mercenaries and paedophile doctors. What a fall from grace.

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