Although they’re more than 2,000 miles apart on different continents, suspected terrorist Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) and scapegoated CIA case officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) endure similar ordeals in “Tower of David,” Episode 303 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
The star-crossed lovers are both confined against their wills: Brody in a Venezuelan slum and Carrie in a Washington area hospital. And both are heavily drugged: Brody on heroin to keep him docile and Carrie on Ritalin to control her bipolar disorder.
In Brody’s first appearance of Season 3, he’s near death after being ambushed in Colombia and shot twice in the stomach. In shock, bleeding and wracked with pain, Brody is rescued by Caracas-based rebels.
Their hideout, nicknamed the Tower of David, doesn’t refer to Jerusalem’s ancient citadel. It refers instead to an egomaniacal banker who commissioned the skyscraper then abandoned it half-completed when the economy crashed.
Operating on Brody in the dimly lit building is mysterious Dr. Graham (Erik Todd Dellums), who muses that he could simply let this American fugitive die and collect a $10-million reward.
“Maybe someone did you a favor once,” says rebel leader El Nino (Manny Perez).
“Must have been some favor,” the doctor replies.
Why protect Brody? Turns out El Nino knows Carrie from her CIA work. And he’s determined to keep Brody alive, even if it means he can never leave that hot, prison-like tower.
“This is it for you. End of the line,” El Nino tells Brody when he attempts to flee.
Compelled to keep moving, Brody enlists the aid of El Nino’s daughter Esmé (Martina Garcia) in escaping to a nearby mosque. The imam (Rafael Fuentes) initially provides sanctuary to Brody but soon calls the police.
“You’re not a Muslim,” the imam exclaims. “You’re a terrorist!”
As Brody is led away, El Nino and his men come to the rescue once more, gunning down the cops, the imam and his panicked wife (Iliana Garcia). Brody survives another day but his cover is blown.
Carrie, meanwhile, also tries to escape confinement by convincing her psychiatrist (Stephen Schnetzer) that a “sea change” in behavior occurred. After just three weeks of hospitalization, Carrie claims she’s lucid, re-acclimated to her medication and ready to go home.
“So Saul did you a favor?” the psychiatrist asks, referring to CIA Acting Director Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) obtaining medical treatment for Carrie against her will.
Saul wants Carrie’s jarring mood swings to diminish along with her feelings for Brody, the world’s most-wanted terrorist because he supposedly masterminded the CIA headquarters bombing that killed over 200 people.
As a longtime mentor, Saul cares deeply for unstable Carrie. That’s why he’s guilt-ridden for making her a scapegoat to fend off hostile senators pressing hard to dismantle the decimated spy agency.
“Will you please tell Saul that I’m better?” Carrie asks the doctor, begging to resume her “normal” life.
But Carrie is far from normal. She’s prone to emotional outbursts and even commits an act of self-harm by banging her head against a restroom mirror.
Carrie’s hope of liberation is raised briefly when she thinks Saul has come to see her at the psych ward. However, the visitor is actually an attorney (Jason Butler Harner) who offers to help win Carrie’s release if she shares information with a law firm partner.
“I know you don’t belong here,” the attorney says, trying to win her confidence. “Carrie, I’m on your side,” he adds.
But Carrie angrily rejects the offer, saying she’s heard that line before.
After all the turmoil she’s been through since the Langley bombing, Carrie doesn’t believe anyone is on her side.