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Homeland' episode 6 recap: The Brody equation: -1 + 1? = 0

[This post contains spoilers about the sixth episode of 'Homeland' season three.]

(Photo courtesy of Showtime / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation}

"Homeland" continued Nicholas Brody-free in episode six, with a major focus turned to this season's main antagonist, Javadi - who had the tables turned on him by Carrie Mathison only to flip the table over before anyone could stop him.

But one of the more intriguing aspects of the episode took place over a two minute-stretch right in the middle of the action, and it involved the title of the episode: "Still Positive."

Carrie heads to the bathroom, but suddenly she's pulling out a home pregnancy test...and yes, the pink plus sign shows up confirming she's pregnant. But that's not it - she takes the test and puts it in a drawer, with a couple dozen other tests, all showing the same thing: "still positive."

What does this mean? There are three options. 1) The guy from the liquor store is the dad, thanks to either rendezvous #1 on the stairs from episode one or the encore in episode four. 2) She was impregnated off-screen by some character we know or don't know, which would not be outlandish thanks to the wild, sometimes incomprehensible tricks this show pulls. 3) It's Brody's.

Looking at the timeline, #3 is possible but not likely. The seasons picked up nearly three months after we last saw Brody and Carrie together, with the then-Congressman fleeing the country. Since that first episode, at least several weeks have gone by, as we found out when Carrie was denied release from the hospital. We're sometime around the 16-18 week mark. According to the great medical resource WebMD, women don't usually start showing until just after the first trimester. So, possible. Of course, there's also the question of all that tequila she's been drinking...

If the Tower of David resident really is the dad - which would be a fascinating twist with major implications - that means there'll be one more Brody. But as we found out this episode, there's also one less Brody. Dana was back home, but told her mom she wanted to change her name to Jessica's maiden name. And it was done - Dana Lazaro, in 3-6 weeks. We also may have seen the last of Dana for awhile, as she was swooped up by her friend, and announced she was moving out, to tears but ultimately support from her mother and brother.

The rest of the episode largely focused on the cat-and-mouse game with Javadi. "If we are to have a relationship that has any real meaning, we must first establish the most important ingredient: trust," he tells Carrie at the beginning of the episode. But trust is in short supply this episode and on "Homeland" in general - minutes later Carrie reveals Javadi will be working for her and Saul instead, insisting "it's time we talk about Nasser Hejazi," the Iranian goalkeeper. (Hejazi is a real person - it will be interesting to see how the "Homeland" creators craft a situation that dovetails, or not, with his real story.)

Saul explains his backstory with Javadi: they were working together in May 1979 during the revolution - that is, until Javadi double-crossed him, killing those Saul was working to help out of Iran. It was "his ticket into the new regime." As retaliation, Saul helped Javadi's now ex-wife and son escape to the U.S. a couple years later.

Before Javadi agrees to work with Carrie and Saul, he makes a pitstop at a house in a quiet neighborhood. It's where Javadi's grandson now lives, with his ex-wife and daughter-in-law. Javadi kills Susan Roberts, his daughter-in-law with a shot to the head, and follows with a gruesome stabbing of his ex-wife, while screaming "You betrayed us."

Carrie and Quinn arrive as the second murder is taking place, and a bloody Javadi is taken away by the pair. With elements of "24" once again creeping back in, Javadi is hustled into an interrogation room and handcuffed to a chair. Saul wastes no time in clocking him in the face...setting the stage for another interrogation episode like the excellent "Q&A" last year.

Brody is still missing, but his presence continues to be felt. But will his presence enter the "positive" picture? We've reached the halfway point in the season, and everything in the pre-season trailer has been covered - what comes next will begin to answer the Brody equation.

One last thing…
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