There was no escaping the central theme of episode five of Homeland, and it wasn’t the one suggested by the title, Blind Spot. The blind spot metaphor itself was beautifully worked throughout: into the centrepiece action – had Brody (Damian Lewis) exploited a camera blind spot to pass a razor blade to an Al-Qaida prisoner? – and into each of the main characters’ lives. Brody’s blind spot, for instance, was how his jealousy of Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) was obscuring what a great father his best friend had been to his son in his absence; Carrie's (Claire Danes) was her trust in her mentor Saul (Mandy Patinkin), who continued to block her attempts to go public with her fears about Brody. But the episode turned on something much harder to miss: torture.
It began with the capture in Islamabad of a survivor from the safe house where Brody had been found, and the man’s extraordinary rendition from Pakistan for interrogation in the US at Langley.
David Harewood’s CIA director Estes had a plan. Brody should be present at the “interview” with the suspect, to provide information that could be used against him, which sent Carrie apoplectic, again, at the thought that Brody might be in a position to tip off his terrorist handlers - should he have them. Nevertheless, she and Brody shared a little moment after his arrival – I’m beginning to think they may fancy each other, no, really, I am - before Brody brought up the killer question about the CIA’s prisoner.
“Will he be tortured?”
Carrie smiled. “We don’t do that here,” she said, to which Brody having been held hostage throughout the Abu Ghraib scandal, declined to add the traditional panto rejoinder: “Oh yes we do.”