Could you really kill someone by hacking his pacemaker? An alarmed researcher in Australia thinks so, and really, isn't that enough cause to dial down your "Homeland" disbelief index?
It should be, because -- despite a few head-scratching incongruities -- it would be a shame not to have enjoyed one of the show's most gripping installments yet.
In Episode 10 of Season 2, Abu Nazir kidnaps Carrie, Brody abets the apparent murder of Vice President Walden and Saul tips his hand too far in challenging the motivations behind the CIA's strategy on this terror investigation. We also got a brief check-in with Jessica, Mike, and Brody just in case anyone was wondering if that would be awkward (yes).
The action takes off as Carrie calls Brody from the road to tell him to break to news to Walden that he won't actually be a contender for the vice presidential ticket. They linger on the phone for just a second before hanging up and popping on some jazz tunes. At that moment, Carrie's car is T-boned and she disappears without a trace.
Meanwhile, Saul follows up on his leads acquired in the course of spying on Quinn. He finds the mysterious Dar Adal, who seems to know him well. The black ops leader tells Saul, over a plate of waffles, to mind his own business, but Saul goes to Estes for more information instead. Estes isn't pleased to hear about Saul's intel, and echoes Dar Adal's warning to back off.
Brody gets a call from Nazir, who wants to video chat (on a Blackberry?). Nazir shows Brody that he has kidnapped Carrie and brought her to an abandoned warehouse. With a gun to Carrie's face, Nazir issues an ultimatum: get me the serial number for Walden's pacemaker, or the girl dies.
Nazir says he found out in the New York Times where the pacemaker's manufacturer box is located. Brody gets a little unhinged and starts yelling Nazir's name (he is maybe 50 feet from the federal agents who are hiding his family). He collects himself and makes his way to Walden's office to get the job done.
Waiting for Brody to accomplish his mission, Nazir and Carrie have a moment. Nazir reflects on how they both set out to manipulate Brody, but wound up caring deeply for him. Carrie resents the implication that they have anything in common, and a vaguely political conversation ensues.
We realize how little they understand each other: Nazir wants to both avenge his son's death and see the downfall of America's opulent secular culture, and Carrie is motivated by a vague sense of patriotism and justice that she can't articulate. Nazir reads her incorrectly when he accuses her of not believing in anything bigger than herself; the core of Carrie's character is her total devotion to her work, and her utter lack of any instinct for self-preservation.
Brody sneaks into Walden's office and takes way too long to find the serial number and negotiate Carrie's release with Nazir. Finally, Carrie runs from the warehouse and the number is transmitted.
Brody is still in Walden's office when the vice president walks in. Walden is unalarmed to find him there, but within a few minutes, he starts having chest pains. Brody, who seemed reluctant to help Nazir accomplish the assassination, relishes in telling Walden that this is, in fact, a murder. Walden collapses and Brody waits before running out to find a doctor.
(NOTE: Not having seen Walden dead, we're not conviced that he really is. Especially after he told Walden all that juicy stuff.)
Carrie is running along the highway, covered in blood, not really that weird for her. Finally she hijacks a random trucker's phone and calls Saul, providing the approximate location of Nazir's hideout. Saul tells the gang at Langley to get moving. Rather than wait for back up, Carrie goes right back to the warehouse. Unfortunately, we see that Saul is not coming to help after all –- on his way out the door, he is detained on orders from Estes, and we have a bad feeling about how that might play out.
On a brighter note, Galvez is back! He's been recuperating in Walter Reed since being shot in Gettysburg. They should have told me – I would have sent a card!