"Homeland," Season 2, Episode 8

Season 2, Episode 8


"Is that somebody turning it around, or is that a stage-five delusional getting laid?" Quinn queries about a Carrie-Brody hook-up on the latest "Homeland" episode. Quinn's openly obnoxious attitude toward Carrie's relationship with Brody raises a question about "Homeland's" gender dynamics. This week even Saul, in his typically non-confrontational way, asks Carrie if her feelings about Brody are under control. But would Carrie's CIA colleagues and supervisors react the same way if the genders were reversed - if Carrie was a man and Brody was a woman? Or, if that conjures a creepy image, if a male agent had involvement with a female source - say, Quinn and Roya Hammad, maybe?

Maybe I'm too influenced by all of this month's James Bond retrospectives and the various "slut-shaming" articles surrounding the General Petraeus scandal. I suspect that Brody isn't the only example of an agent having a relationship with an asset (or a source or a "Joe" or whatever). In big-screen spy fantasies, Bond seduces bad girls over to the side of the angels all the time, with Goldfinger offering just one example. The Carrie-Brody dynamic touches on complicated ethical matters and justifiable concerns over Carrie's objectivity and mental stability. I suspect the long-term double-standard is at play, too. If a male agent turned a female contact by sleeping with her, his colleagues would give each other high fives. A female agent does it, and they treat her with contempt. Haven't these guys ever heard of Mata Hari?

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. "I'll Fly Away" begins with Dana getting off a bus in a strange (to us) neighborhood. Sirens wail in the distance as she knocks on a door. Wait, is she going to the house, where the hit-and-run victim lived? Nope - Mike greets her at the door of his bachelor pad, and lets Dana hang out, once she gets Jessica's permission.