NotLinda and JaniaJania Talk Brody and Carrie

No question that in this spell of not seeing Damian on screen, I’ve been phoning it in a bit on this blog. (But, hey, what else is writing for the internet but phoning it in … literally?) During these “dry spells” as we like to call them, there always seems to be room to keep talking about Brody. So here we are, sharing a bit of the exchange between me and NotLinda in the comments on my “Was it Love” series.

You know what it was about these exchanges that made them particularly special to me? The fact that I learned something new and that my mind was changed a bit. Frankly I went into Homeland from Day One as a fan of Claire Danes. The guy playing against her was a new face to me, as he was to a lot of us. Of course that new face drew me in, marked his place in the Homeland world and all the various worlds he ever inhabited and will inhabit…grabbed a hold of all attention, never to let it go ever again. Still, I was always willing to talk for days about Carrie, and not so much about Brody, who, as I’ve always said and thought, was a dead man walking.

Exchanges with NotLinda were the first time, it pains me to say, that I saw more in Brody than a poor lost soul. I loved him, who didn’t, but, still, I knew he was gone before he ever even got here. NotLinda saw some light there though. Not necessarily hope, but, definitely some light. And I’m grateful for her showing me some of that light too!


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Brody for NotLinda

Writing for a fan blog, you meet a lot of fans. We all know that Damian is one of the rare breed of actor who is able to convincingly straddle multiple genres of storytelling: thriller, romance, shakespearean drama, war drama, the list goes on. Thus he has fans from all over the place too. Lucky to be in a field where constancy is both something you want so folks know what they’re about to get when they see you on screen, as well as something you want to fight against to lesson the risk of pigeonholing yourself in one kind of role. Damian has resisted pigeonholing at every turn.

And, so, we meet Band of Brothers fans, and Forsyte fans, and Homeland fans. Most times we fans intersect over their one intersecting quality: Damian. I met one such true fan recently on my posts about Brody and Carrie’s love story. I’ve always liked the idea of having a sort of call and response in written form, fans interviewing each other, arguing respectfully, like we’re lawyers for the defense of our favorites. And it’s a lovely thing when something comes along to make you think deeper, maybe even change your mind a bit about the stuff you think you know inside and out. NotLinda did that for me, and, I’m happy to say, I for her. We had incredibly rich discussions in the comments sections. So much so that I’m gathering them together into a post or two of their own. For now, you can hear from her first. This is a response she wrote to something I said in one of my “Was it Love” posts. Enjoy!

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Homeland, Carrie and Brody, Was it Love?: Part VI

In the tail end of Homeland S1, we see very little of Carrie and Brody in the same room. So, if I’m to focus on the love story, must needs abbreviate all the cloak and dagger stuff that happens in those last few episodes. Here you have my final installment of the Was it Love series.

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Homeland, Carrie and Brody, Was it Love?: Part V

After the short bucolic break from reality, both Brody and Carrie have melded back into a plot prancing along apace.
Brody is called into Langley to tell Saul about Tom Walker. He’s tense and frustrated having to answer the same questions again. He sees Carrie and he cringes. True, he believes that he’s been called in because Carrie shared his confession to her that he killed Walker. It’s a “dammit, there she is” wince. He wants to ignore her, and maybe he was hoping he wouldn’t run into her there. But, maybe he was hoping he would, and he’s recoiling at his own stupidity over still wanting to see her after what she did (i.e. what he thinks she did). “Dammit, there she is” can mean a variety of things, can’t it? Whatever the case may be, his eyes keep going back to her.
No, Carrie and Brody are not a couple you will ever see making googly eyes at each other across a room. No one’s buying anyone flowers. No one’s sending cute texts and personal “just between us” gifts. What you get instead are curious glares. Eyelocks and frowns at the pain of connection and non-connection. Wincing when it hurts. This was not supposed to happen. Neither of them want it to happen. The eyelocks and frowns tell you this, and they also tell you that they are both powerless against it happening. The fact that this isn’t a dinner and roses sort of love story makes it no less real a love story.

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Homeland, Carrie and Brody, Was it Love?: Part IV

Continuing my series of all Brody Carrie scenes, we reach “The Weekend.” If you didn’t believe the love story with this episode, you were probably just meant to never believe it.

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Homeland, Carrie and Brody, Was it Love?: Part III

Last we left our star-crossed duo, Brody and Carrie were standing outside a church and there was rain. Now, we’re continuing trying to get an answer for the question: Was it love?

Till this point in Homeland, we already know enough about Carrie Mathison to know that she uses sex, the same way she uses wine and music, as an escape from the restlessness, the constant spinning in her head. She wears a wedding ring when she goes out so there’s no confusion by either party about what the sex is about. Just sex, nothing more. We know she’s had a life full of risk-taking. We know she dated Estes and broke up his marriage. All of these tidbits of her back story are meant to establish the fact that Carrie believes in her soul that a life of coupledom, marriage, and children is not in her future. She can’t even dream about it, because of her illness, because of her job, or because she finds herself incapable of doing the work a real relationship would require, or withstanding the inevitable boredom of it. So she uses men for sex. And she uses sex for control. And then she gets back to work. It’s an arithmetic that’s worked brilliantly for her.

With Brody, it’s different. She’s working. But she’s also attracted to him. And it’s all very confusing and also quite intoxicating.

Is it obsession? Yes, okay. The magnet pull of a self-destructive force? Sure. But it’s real. Palpable, relentless, and necessary.
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