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Second episode of 'Homeland' Season 2 vindicates Carrie

Telecommunication ServiceCentral Intelligence AgencyHomeland (tv program)

Nicholas Brody is in deep trouble. Not just because Episode 2 of Homeland's second season ends with a damning piece of evidence against him, but because Carrie Mathison's about to be back on his trail.

Even as Brody is pulled in different directions by his family, his country and his faith, he's also going to have to deal with Carrie. She was right about him all along, and she's about to figure that out.

The action in the episode centers on a covert operation in Beirut, designed to take out big target Abu Nazir -- Brody's friend and Carrie's obsession. As the plot unfolds, Carrie is vindicated on a big intelligence gambit, while Brody is revealed to be more than just a war hero.

Carrie had been sent to Lebanon to work out a tip from a former source with information about a planed attack on Americans. The source, a woman married to a Hezbollah leader, says her husband will be meeting with Abu Nazir. Carrie wants to develop that intel into an opportunity to capture or kill the big guy.

Sadly, Carrie has botched the intelligence gathering phase of the operation. She's not working as an agent anymore after last season's breakdown, and she wasn't supposed to interview the source on her own. She was expected to bring her back to her one-time mentor Sol so he could do the work.

After she overhears a conversation between Sol and headquarters that betrays a lack of faith in her ability to gather reliable information, we see Carrie sitting anxiously on her bed opposite a mirrored wall (probably not doing much to help the anxiety). She hurries to the roof for fresh air, and is shortly trailed by Sol. The most revealing conversation of the episode follows.

Carrie tells Sol that her being wrong about Brody last year played a big role in her descent into background jazz music (read: mental illness).

"I have never been so sure and so wrong, and it's that fact that I still can't get my head around," she tells Sol. "Every time I see something clearly now, it disappears."

So would a revelation that she was actually right help bring her back? We can't have a show without a protagonist involved in the main plot line.

Sol talks the CIA into the strike on Abu Nazir, even though nobody has a good read on the layout of the neighborhood they're going into. Even though they don't necessarily trust their intel and think it might be a trap, or maybe just an attempt to make the U.S. look bad. 

After surveillance shows the U.S. operatives in position are outnumbered, the Americans decides that this is now a kill operation. 

What a great time for THE VICE PRESIDENT TO BRING BRODY THE MOLE INTO THE COMMAND CENTER. Smooth move there, fella. Brody shoots a Mayday text message to Abu Nazir, who ducks out of the way of a sniper's bullet at the last second.

The Americans don't kill Abu Nazir, but they get two other guys. And most important, Carrie was right. 

Encouraged, she runs into the apartment of her source, rummages through the husband's desk and grabs a bag of documents. An amazing chase scene ensues in which Carrie uses a rock to disarm a gun-wielding assailant.

But let's go back to the Brody plot for a minute. He's getting pulled toward extremes in all directions. His text message saves Abu Nazir's life, just as he was about to join the vice president for a meeting with the secretary of defense. His goal there? Push for the approval of bunker-busting weapons for sale to Israel. 

On top of that, he's getting big pressure from his fellow veterans to find out more about the circumstances under which his former Marine buddy Walker died. (He was an accomplice of Brody's, until Brody killed him last season.) Good luck with that, folks.

OH AND BY THE WAY: At the end of the episode, Sol is rooting through the documents carrie picked up from the Hezbollah leader's house and finds a video file of Brody. He's explaining that he's done something bad, and wants to explain himself. Cue the credits.

Plenty more to discuss, but we'll watch these plot lines going into next week:

-Dana's getting into a relationship with the vice president's son. We already know she can't keep her mouth shut about her dad, and she might be Brody's biggest confidant right now.

-The relationship between Sol and the operative who helps in the mission with Carrie is something to watch. I'm seeing some of the paternal attention he used to focus on Carrie, and if we see him again I predict a work sibling rivalry.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Telecommunication ServiceCentral Intelligence AgencyHomeland (tv program)
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