Oh my God bless America, did “Homeland” really go there already? If you just watched “Beirut Is Back,” take a moment to retrieve your jaw from the floor. If not, then run like the Hezbollah is after you, because major spoilers follow…
Holla, Saul (Mandy Patinkin)! Carrie’s (Claire Danes) mentor finally found the proof that she was right all along. Examining evidence Carrie retrieved from the Hamas commander’s apartment after their wildly successful Beirut mission, Saul finds an incriminating memory chip. How incriminating? Well, when he inserts it into his computer, it launches the video Brody (Damian Lewis) made before he planned to detonate a suicide vest and kill the vice president (and other top military officials).
“My name is Nicholas Brody and I’m a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. I have a wife, and two kids, who I love. By the time you’ve watched this, you’ll have a read a lot of things about me. About what I’ve done. That’s why I wanted to explain myself. So that you’ll know the truth…”
Anyone else’s head explode? This is only episode two, people! Where will they go from here? Only a bold show like “Homeland” would dare this reveal so early in its sophomore season. They should give this show an Emmy (or six).
Even before this bombshell, the whole episode was another taut nail biter. Even though Carrie’s contact, Fatima, revealed that her husband is meeting Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), Saul chastises her for meeting with her alone. In fact, he believes the whole thing is a sham to lure the U.S. military into a neighborhood controlled by Hezbollah.
And when CIA chief David Estes (David Harewood hears that Fatima’s only proof is an overheard phone call between her husband and someone she only assumes was Abu Nazir, he shares Saul’s skepticism and worries about a “Blackhawk Down” situation. In a private phone call later, however, he tells Saul to make the call about whether to proceed.
Carrie overhears their conversation — including Saul telling Estes, “For the record, now that we’re covering our asses, I didn’t want her here in the first place” — and completely falls apart.
“It’s not lost on me why people don’t trust my judgment,” she tells Saul when he finds her distraught on the roof, adding that being “so sure and so wrong” about Brody completely effed her up. But even though that makes her “unable to trust [her] own thoughts” and that “the way I am now I wouldn’t trust me either,” she concludes: “But the Carrie who recruited [Fatima], that one I believe.”
Apparently Saul trusts that Carrie enough to authorize the mission, which Carrie, Saul, the CIA and the joint chiefs of staff monitor in real time. Vice President Walden invites a special guest to join him in the Pentagon war room: his chosen presidential running mate, Nick Brody.
As the action enfolds and we bite our nails to the quick, the CIA realizes that their team is way outnumbered, and must switch their target from “capture to kill.” When Brody asks who the Hamas militants are clearing the street for, Walden cackles: “Abu f***ing Nazir, God willing. Yeah, I thought you’d be interested.”
“Interested”? Try panicked. If ever a scene was more tense than Brody planning to detonate his suicide vest, this is it. Brody is absolutely twitching with apprehension, but somehow manages to hide his emotion — and the fact that he is texting a warning, “May 1,” when Nazir himself arrives on the scene. He’s just in time to alert the world’s greatest terrorist, who escapes while the CIA kill a few of his top aides.
Carrie should be celebrating her vindication and victory, but she is devastated that Nazir got away. So much so that she risks not only her life but the lives of Saul, Fatima and extraction team to search Fatima’s apartment for more intel. While militants rock their vehicle and bash in the windshield, Carrie snatches up a knapsack, stuffs it with files, evades gunmen in the apartment building — smashing one on head with brick — Mr. Handsome grabs her and gets her safely in the getaway car.
Back in D.C., Brody irately tells Roya (Zuleikha Robinson) he wants out. But she’s not letting him
go. “Your role is more important than ever now,” she says. “He needs you.”
But poor Brody’s day isn’t over yet. Now he must confront his Marine buddies, who are suspicious about the circumstances of Tom Walker’s death and the fact that the marksman intentionally missed his targets to provide a distraction.
“If that was the distraction, what was the main event?” retorts Brody, who would’ve been the main event himself if his daughter hadn’t changed his mind.
When he finally arrives home, he pops into say goodnight to Dana (Morgan Saylor, who is chatting with her new BFF, Finn Walden, her classmate formerly known as “the moron.”
“I guess I was wrong about him,” she admits. “I made a mistake.”
She’s not the only one, as Saul is discovering to his horror at that very moment.
If you enjoyed the nerve-wracking experience provided by the good folks at Showtime, we have great news. Next week’s installment of “Homeland” is the most disturbing yet.
You’ve been warned.