Homeland Season 3 recap: Episode 3 – “Tower of David”
After not seeing Brody (Damian Lewis) in the first two episodes of Homeland Season 3, we finally got a big dose of him in last night’s third episode of the season, “Tower of David.” The episode was a fairly claustrophobic one for the show, keeping us, for the most part, in Brody’s new location, while occasionally interspersing this with Carrie’s (Claire Danes) similar predicament still a resident of the psychiatric hospital.
We see Brody first, and he’s been through hell. He’s in Venezuela, the next leg of his escape journey, but things have clearly gone wrong, as Brody is brought — bleeding and in shock — to El Nino (Manny Perez) after being unexpectedly assaulted by a Colombian gang near the border and found by members of El Nino’s gang. Brody is brought to the basement of a building in a Caracas slum, where the mysterious and fairly creepy Dr. Graham (played with calm but menacing smoothness by Erik Dellums) patches him up. (“Are you a doctor?” Brody asks him. “Interesting question,” replies the doctor before working on him.) As Brody is fading out from the questionable medicine (including heroin to dull his pain) given to him by the doctor, he notices, through a haze, someone stealing his wallet, which contains his passport. After Brody is out, a conversation among the doctor and other men makes it seem clear that they know who Brody is, and that he has a $10 million bounty on his head, but what is unclear is what they plan to do with that information, and with Brody, if anything.
As Brody continues to mend during his stay in the building, thanks in large part to El Nino’s daughter, Esme (Martina Garcia), he attempts to stand and walk on his own, with much pain. During the day, Brody is able to look out from his room over Caracas, and as he gazes over the city, he notices the golden dome of a mosque among the sordidness. The sight of this symbol of his faith seems to relax him, and give him some hope, and whenever he takes these glimpses we hear some holy chants on the soundtrack, as if Brody is recalling his faith.
At one point, El Nino talks to Brody and cautions him about trying to do so much before he is healed. “Why are you trying to help me?” Brody asks him. “You know Carrie Mathison,” responds El Nino. “So do I.” When the man who took Brody’s passport is discovered, El Nino has the man thrown off the building to his death, to Brody’s shock and outcry. El Nino explains to Brody that the man knows who he is and may have turned him in, but Brody still seems more and more uncomfortable in his new surroundings and anxious to get out, especially after a walk through some of the floors and a bit outside with Esme, where Brody takes in the daily life of the poverty-stricken area, including drug dealers and prostitutes.
In a later conversation with Dr. Graham, Brody learns that Graham refers to the building they are in as the “Tower of David.” Not referring to the Bibilical David, Graham is quick to point out, but to an “egomaniacal” banker named David who built the edifice. After the banker died, says Graham, the local economy died, squatters moved into the building, and that’s how it got into its present state.
“We’re here because the world outside can be judgmental and cruel,” Graham tells Brody, about his impending stay at the Tower of David. “We’re here because they [in the building] accept us.”
But Brody does not want to stay in the Tower any more, especially as he continues to catch glimpses of the city’s mosque. Brody tells El Nino that he appreciates their help but wants to make it on his own and “get to the next place.”
“There’s no next place,” El Nino assures Brody. “This is it for you, the end of the line. Where you are, Carrie doesn’t want to know.” Shortly after that, Dr. Graham comes in to administer heroin to Brody, to calm him and help him accept his fate. Brody throws him out of his room.
We then finally cut to Carrie and her predicament, which features striking similarities to Brody’s. She is trapped in a depressing environment, unable to get out, administered by doctors and often forced to take medication. As we first see Carrie, she is trying to act nicely and convince a doctor that she is better. Her meeting with the doctor doesn’t go so well when she keeps implying that she believes he is working for and answering back to Saul about her condition. She doesn’t have any more luck talking herself out of her own “Tower of David” than Brody had trying to convince his “hosts” to let him leave.
“I’m here because they don’t know where else to put me,” Carrie tells her doctor, and the same could be said of Brody. “Please tell Saul that I’m better,” Carrie begs the doctor. “Tell Saul I’m sorry. I fucked up. It won’t happen again.” As the doctor continues writing in his notebook, it’s clear he will not be letting her go, and in fact, Carrie does not currently even have visitor privileges.
Frustrated, Carrie at one point bangs her head on a bathroom mirror to the point of bleeding. A hospital worker, Abby, patches her up and doesn’t say anything, and Carrie thinks she may have someone in whom to confide and help her. When Abby mentions to Carrie that she had a visitor come to check up on her, who didn’t give his name, Carrie begs her to let him know the next time he comes, believing it is Saul.
Meanwhile, Brody likewise develops a friendly confidante of sorts in Esme. Despite her little understanding of English, she seems to connect with Brody, perhaps because she seems desperate to leave her bleak surroundings, and Brody may be someone who can get her out. Brody is able to convince her to help him sneak over to the mosque in Caracas. When Esme expresses worry that they will turn him in, Brody assures her, “The imam won’t turn me in. He’ll help me, I’m a muslim.”
Dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, Brody is escorted by Esme through the city streets to the mosque. Once there, Esme asks Brody to take her with. Brody is sorry and tells her he can’t, and she leaves sadly. Brody greets the mosque’s imam at the gate, offering an emotional explanation in Arabic that he is a muslim. The imam takes his hand kindly and leads him into the mosque. There, Brody greets the man’s wife. Looking around the mosque and seeing the symbols of his faith, Brody finally seems relieved, and happy to be back among somewhat familiar surroundings.
As Esme is sneaking Brody to the mosque, so too is Abby helping Carrie sneak down to see her visitor, who has returned. Carrie sees his car pull up to the hospital and believes it is Saul. Abby helps her through an emergency exit and down to the waiting area, where instead of Saul, she meets Paul Franklin (Jason Butler Harner), who introduces himself as an associate at a law firm.
At the mosque, Brody is taking a relaxing shower, and we see the degree of bruising and wounding his body has taken during his time on the run. His brief respite does not last, however, as two men attack him while in the shower, and drag him out. From their badges they appear to be policemen, and they bring Brody before the imam, who has turned Brody in after all. The imam seriously, and somewhat disgustedly, tells Brody: “You’re not a muslim. You’re a terrorist.”
As the guards start to take Brody out, they are met at the door by two of El Nino’s men, who gun down the officers and the imam. The imam’s wife crawls along the floor in panic to get away, and Brody begs the men not to kill her, but they gun her down, as well. They throw Brody’s street clothes on the floor in front of him.
Brought back to the Tower of David, Brody no longer is given free reign. El Nino has him put in a locked, cell-like room. “You will eat here, sleep here, shit here, die here. Carrie won’t save you; no one will,” El Nino tells Brody. He also warns Brody to say away from Esme.
During Carrie’s meeting with Franklin, the man tells her that one of his partners would like to meet her and help her get out of the hospital. “I know you don’t belong here,” Franklin tells Carrie. “I’m on your side.”
Carrie laughs and says, “I’m trying to remember where I’ve heard that before. ‘I’m on your side.'”
Carrie suspects that Franklin may be working for a foreign government that wants her to turn on the CIA, and she tells him that she’d rather die in the hospital, then leaves him as he looks on in puzzlement. She reenters the hospital and asks for her meds.
Back in his Tower of David, Brody tells Dr. Graham that he can’t handle staying in the new cell he’s been put in. “It’s like the hole in Iraq. I can’t do it again.”
Dr. Graham leaves a shot of heroin on the floor next to Brody. Before leaving, Graham tells Brody, “Everywhere you go, other people die. But you always manage to survive. Ever notice that? You’re like a cockroach — still alive after the last nuclear bombs go off. You belong here. Am I right?”
After Graham leaves, locking the door behind him, Brody’s face is filled with despair, perhaps letting Graham’s words sink in even though he never answered the doctor’s question. He looks over to the heroin on the floor, picks it up and injects it into his arm, taking his own “meds.”
Brody’s scene sitting alone in the dark cell slowly dissolves to a shot of Carrie, sitting in her own version of the “Tower of David” at the hospital, also recently drugged and sitting alone in the dark, only her thoughts to keep her company.
Homeland Season 3, Episode 3 – “Tower of David” photos: Kent Smith/Showtime