But you’re not like him, are you? You’re not a monster.
Are you sure you’re not a monster, Brody?
But Abu Nazir is. His pattern is to target innocent civilians and inflict mass casualties. Kenya, 1998, a busy marketplace. Madrid, 2004, a packed commuter train. Last spring, a department store in Amsterdam. He doesn’t strike soldiers and high-ranking murderers like Walden. He kills wives…and children. Danas and…Chrises and Jessicas. I know that you think that he was kind to you, that he saved you, but the truth is…he systematically pulled you apart, Brody…piece by piece until there was nothing left but pain. And then he relieved the pain and he put you back together again as someone else. He gave you a boy to love, and then that other monster, Walden, took that boy away. Between the two of them, they made your life a misery. Wouldn’t it be a relief to stop lying? For instance, if I stopped lying, I could say to you, “Brody…I want you to leave your wife and children and be with me.” There, I said it. I’m still alive. It feels good. Try it. You’re a good man, Brody. You’re a good man…
"And why does it work? It works because Carrie is brilliant and brave, a woman who is willing to put herself out there and who knows what questions need to be asked, what fears need to be played on — “Are you a monster Brody?” — but also because she’s not just pretending to love him. Carrie’s not trying to get the truth out of Brody with a lie of her own. And it works because Brody is not just a monster. He’s a wreck of a guy who still gets comfort from curling up on a cement floor, who still thinks his torture cell is home, and who actually does take succor from Carrie’s generous comprehension of him. This is what’s so radical about “Homeland”: In some profoundly non-cheesy way, it’s Carrie’s heart — in conjunction with her head — that is sorting this mess out. Her emotional IQ is smarter than everyone and everything else on this series" [x]
To say that the questioning between Brody and Carrie was an emotionally affecting piece of acting almost goes without saying at this point. What I was especially impressed with, though, is what remarkable physical performances both Damian Lewis and Claire Danes turned in. For his part, you can see the effort it takes to maintain his facade under questioning—even before he is stabbed through the hand in an effectively shocking moment—and his exhaustion after being stripped bare of his cover. By the time he gets up, panting and drained, from the interrogation table only to drop to the floor, he looks like the same beaten, broken soldier-prisoner that he was in his flashbacks to 2003. Which, for Brody, may be a step forward at this point.
As for Danes, she has the less showy part here, but it’s impressively complicated. She demonstrates Carrie in control (her shutting off the cameras shows both sympathy and power), leading Brody through his cover story, taking it apart and then bringing down the hammer—Dana—before walking him to a place where it’s OK for him to confess, telling him that she knows he’s a good man. At the same time, she shows Carrie’s delicate state in the moment, drawing on the feelings for Brody that she has, or at least once had. If she’s fooling Brody with her sympathy now, she’s fooling me too. There’s an almost sexual intimacy to the way these one-time lovers work through the confession: one tear rolling down Brody’s face, a drip of moisture from Carrie’s nose—her nose!—as Brody lies down like he wants to sleep forever. [x]
I really do think the “Q&A” episode is great because it’s such unusual television. It was so brave of the creators to have one scene play out for as long as it did. It was like a one-act play. It was just really unconventional and interesting. … [Damian and I] tackled it like we do every other episode. You don’t have time to do too much prep work; you got to just lay it down, which I appreciate actually. It makes it fun. [x]