Homeland Recap: Returning to a Higher Calling

Is there any doubt Homeland deserved all those Emmys after its riveting second season premiere?

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Tierney: I am glad you brought up Brody's daughter. First of all, Morgan Saylor is killing it as Dana Brody. The scene in the Season 1 finale when she called her dad and (unknowingly) convinced him not to flip the switch on the bomb will stick with me for a while. But in this episode, she nailed the rotten teenage attitude, down to the smirk. But she melts at all the right moments, as in the final scene when she helped her dad bury the Koran. Their relationship is one of my favorite aspects of the show. As much as you want to hate Brody for what he has done to Carrie and the whole terrorist thing, the bond he has with his daughter makes it super difficult.

And a small detail I picked up on when Jessica confronted her husband about the Muslim thing that I think speaks to your point about her "image consciousness": she called him "Brody," not "Nick" when she was yelling at him. If there is anyone who should be calling Brody by his first name, it's his wife, especially in such a tense moment. But I think you're right. She's really bought into this whole Sgt. Brody/Congressman Brody/possible Vice President Brody—she doesn't see him as "Nick, the man" any more, at least not in that moment.

Greg: And as much as her character bothers me, I can feel for how Jessica is behaving. Six months ago, Brody was a distant memory, and now she's been shoved into multiple messy relationships, plus become a puppet in the eyes of the Beltway Elite. I don't think she is adjusting well to everything that has been thrown her way, but I can't imagine most people would handle that well.

One thing I couldn't understand is how Carrie was so eager to dive back into the world of the CIA, especially with the history between her and Estes. If your employer cut you loose in that fashion, wouldn't you have a little more reservation about diving head-first into the very environment that landed you on hospital gurney waiting for an ECT session?

Tierney: I got kind of a Hurt Locker feel from this episode, in that Carrie is almost addicted to the spy stuff. Her bitterness towards Estes is one thing. But the excuses she made at first? "I make dinner for the family on Thursdays." Please! How happy is she really in her post-CIA world? I find it interesting that it is her father, who also suffers from the same mental condition she does, that says she should go if she wants to. And that smile when she ditches her tail in the Beirut market: pure euphoria. I think aside from the addictive quality of it all, it's also a pride thing. I think Carrie will make sure that she continues to be indispensable to the CIA.

Greg: It goes back to the whole Carrie/Jack dynamic. Bauer lost a wife, nearly lost a child (multiple times), and spent time being horrifically tortured. Yet he always came back for the greater good. It's the same thing in Carrie. The institution turned its back on her, ultimately ending in (literally) a shock to her brain, and yet now she's on her way to Lebanon to work for the same people without very much resistance. Carrie needs the CIA as much as the CIA needs her.

Tierney: And considering that she is the only one (as far as we know) who's figured out Brody's true colors, the whole country needs her. You have to wonder how long this show can pull it off: Can it keep going once Brody is finally revealed to have terrorist intentions—either by Carrie, or by successfully pulling off an attack (which seem to be our two most viable options)?

Greg: If you watched the Season 2 trailer at the end of the episode, there is no doubt that Brody's secret circle is starting to close in on him (I spent a good 15 minutes tinkering with my DVR to figure out who Brody buries in the woods), and we clearly aren't done with the Carrie/Brody romance. So it's going to be interesting to see how the web of deceit is woven and if it can still lead to compelling seasons down the road. I hope so, otherwise I'm stuck watching Michael C. Hall make the same tired, brooding face that he has been making for seven seasons. Pass.