"Homeland," Season 2, Episode 5

Season 2, Episode 5


If I didn’t love “Homeland” already, this week’s episode delivers one of my favorite narrative devices: the hour-long interrogation. I think the only way I would’ve enjoyed “Q&A” more if the story had been entirely confined to the dungeon-like interview room. Interrogations — either from secret police or the more overt kind — are charged situations by their very nature, boiling drama down to its essentials: a couple of actors, a table and some chairs. Two of my all-time favorite episodes are the Emmy-winning “Three Men and Adena” from “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Intersections in Real Time” from “Babylon 5” (no kidding), each of which restricts the action almost entirely to an interview room, what “Homicide” called “The box.”

“Q&A” opens with Brody’s hood coming off: he’s handcuffed to a table and manacled to the floor, probably having the most awful form of déjà vu that harks back to his time as a POW. Carrie paces outside the surveillance room in a corridor with a floor stained a red color that’s probably not blood. (Probably.) Estes shows up, shooting daggers at her with her eyes. He and Quinn want to keep her away from the interrogation, but Saul argues, “She’s forgotten more about Brody than we’ll ever know.” Thanks to her electroconvulsive therapy, that might be literally true.