State Of Independence

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 6 USERS: B+
A Real Human Being

That girl in the mirror gives her the nod, as she counts out her pills and washes them down. She curls up on that girl's bed, wearing her dress; still wearing her earrings, even. She breathes. David Estes, Virgil and Max. Maggie and Dad. Fatima Ali and Lynne Reed. September 11, 2001. Saul Berenson. Nicholas Brody. Abu Nazir. Some she saved, some she wasn't allowed to save. She sees the world burning, and she says goodbye.

She rests. She needs it. Perhaps hours. Extremities getting cold and then numb. But here's the thing about that: You are not defined by the things you are, any more than you're defined by the things you are not. If you spent ten years writing down everything that you are, every label you can think of, the amount that's not on the list would still dwarf it. You were not designed to fit into containers. It's a basic move in every religion and philosophy: In accepting the nothing that you have been given, you receive everything.

It isn't hope that shakes her from a sound sleep; from death. And it's not providence or grace, as much as I would like to say that it is. What gets her to the bathroom is gratitude for the knowledge that nothing means anything at all. What she vomits up is hope, and paralysis, and the comfort of a place where she can rot. Every Carrie she's hated and every Carrie she loves. It isn't panic, it's emptiness. It's preparation for what happens next, in the silence. It's a funeral for a girl who never really lived.

There are parts of you that live in the past. There are parts of you that live in the future; some of them beautiful and some of them terrifying. There are parts of you that live in other people, or among the dead, or in a different world's 9/11 where nothing special happened that day. There are parts of you that want to live up to your parents' expectations, or your handlers. There are parts of you that dwell their days in silent rooms, dreaming of Nick Brody and the infinite lives you could have had. There are parts of you that live in an unreachable future where science has relieved you of your disability and you can contain them all. Where these disparate parts of you all come together, in one beautiful girl who is absolutely on fire without purpose.

Rock bottom is the only safe place to stand; build there and nobody can ever knock it down again. It isn't hope that shakes her from a sound sleep, or grace or providence or anything particularly special. It's just Carrie. It always was.

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