While "The Clearing" was a bit slower in pace - there were no explosions or deaths for a change - the seventh episode of Homeland Season 2 reaffirmed its place as one of the best dramas on television.
Last Sunday, after "Gettysburg Address," I was worried that Dana and Finn's story line was a waste of time and a distraction to the story. I was pleasantly pleased that it quickly acted as a major problem for many of our key players.
I can't believe I doubted Homeland's abilities; this is not 24. Dana blurting out what happened, which in itself was hilarious because of the speed she did it at, severely fractured her relationship with Finn. That was a given.
It also caused major issues between the Brodys and the Waldens, which again, wasn't too surprising. he political veterans decided to brush it under the rug, while the newbies wanted to bring the information to the cops. That makes sense.
The genius part of it all was bringing Carrie into the fold. If they somehow intertwine Carrie, Brody and Dana more than they just did in that scene near the end of the hour, things could get really interesting.
Unlike what I thought might be the case with this story, it turned out that Finn running over that lady with his car might have changed the paths of numerous characters on Homeland. In other words, it was extremely important to the show's success. This was not Kim Bauer.
And then there's always Damian Lewis, of course. There were a few Brody scenes in a row that proved how just great this guy is.
I loved watching Brody shrug off the ridiculous questions from the Newpsie-esque woman by the pool. As he began to take his shirt off for a swim, I wondered if he seriously forgot what his body would look like to the rest of the guests, or if was making a statement to that idiot of a woman. What do you think?
Lewis backed that up with the great "I'm not that man" comments to the head fundraiser. Brody did everything but say "Sorry, I'm a terrorist," and the frustration Lewis portrayed was just shy of brilliant.
Finally, there was the wide range of emotions he showed off with Carrie in the woods. Like the two characters making out, I didn't know which actions and emotions were real, which were manufactured, and which were somewhere in between because of the circumstances they were in. The subtle introspection, as he backed away from her lips, was fantastic. Well done, sir.
Brody also got pretty heated in the final moments at the jailhouse when Carrie stopped him and Dana from turning the young girl in. But in that case, I was angry at him more than anything else. "None of this is okay!" he screamed at Carrie. Yeah, sure pal, but it is all happening because you are a terrorist, so you have no right to get made about anything. Shut up, and do what you're told.
It ended up being a dead end, because Aileen was just playing him for a day of sunlight and the chance to kill herself, but it was fun watching Saul work her for information when I thought she was buying it. Then again, maybe it was because I kept thinking of Bill Hader's impression from SNL the other night.
I thought it was slower than most of the hours we've watched this fall, but "The Clearing" was just as intriguing as ever. What did you all think of this week's Homeland? What were your favorite moments? Did any stories miss the mark?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.