Homeland Recap: The Trump Card

The following recap, by the very definition of the word “recap,” contains spoilers — including one of unusual size.

When I spoke to Homeland star Damian Lewis for this pre-Emmys profile, I capped our conversation by seeking out early intel on Season 2, specifically: Will two of the big questions coming out of the finale — the whereabouts of the MIA memory card containing Brody’s confession, and the identity of the CIA mole — be addressed sooner rather than later? He answered: “Any trails which were left open … none of them are touched on in the first episode.” True that. Exec producer Alex Gansa meanwhile told me those two loose ends would be “addressed in their own way… in their own time.”

Well, this Sunday at 10:50 pm was the time for one bombshell to drop. But before that would happen….

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The episode opens in Beirut, where Carrie rendezvoused with her asset, Fatima, at a prayer session. Fatima reveals that her husband is due to meet with Abu Nazir the next day — providing the CIA an opportunity to kill them both. When Carrie tells Saul that she had made contact with Fatima by her lonesome, her mentor was not happy. Skyping with Estes, they relay what Carrie learned, but since Saul was not on hand to further vet the intel, both he and Estes have their reservations. Could it all be a trap?

Back in D.C. at a fundraiser, as the vice president recruits Brody to help convince the Secretary of Defense to approve a bunkerbuster assault on Iran, Mrs. Walden courts Jessica to host a fundraiser for wounded war veterans. Upon hearing his wife’s news, Nick, noting that their hosts for the evening are military contractors, coldly says: “You really want to help vets? Take out everybody in this room.” Ouch.

The next day, at the Walden home, Jess meets with D.C.’s women of influence, while Dana gets to better know the veep’s son Finn. Nicholas, meanwhile, is approached by his best bed(/Jess’ onetime lover) Mike, who says the subcommission’s report on Tom Walker, that he was a “lone sniper,” doesn’t add up. When the two later convene with other members of their unit, loud-mouthed Lauder leans into Brody hard about what he perceives to be a cover-up. Nick claims he dug around some classified reports, at Mike’s suggestion, but they revealed nothing. What really went wrong, he argues, is, “Walker broke…. He stopped being a Marine when he became a traitor.”

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In Beirut, when Carrie overhears Saul and Estes discuss her unreliable state, she freaks and races to the roof, where Saul tries to soothe her. “It f–ked me up, Saul, being wrong about Brody,” she admits. “It makes me unable to trust my own thoughts.” That said, she avows, “The Carrie who recruited [Fatima], that woman I believe.” Saul greenlights the mission, and a team takes position to ideally capture Nazir, but at the very least take him out — and in doing either, hopefully not get pinned down during escape and trigger an international incident.

Back home, Walden loops in Brody on the unfolding plan to nail “Abu f–king’ Nazir, god willing,” adding: “I thought you’d be interested.” (And how!) While watching a live feed of the op, Brody manages to text out the code “MAY 1,” and an instant later, just as the sniper takes his shot, Nazir is whisked away to safety. Later, Brody vents to Roya the news reporter/his handler, “I cannot be texting secret messages while surrounded by the f–king joint chiefs!”

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In the midst of hightailing it out of Beirut, Carrie insists on rummaging through Fatima’s apartment, looking for intel. After doing so, she is fervently chased by trigger-happy neighborhood watchdogs, while her team’s vehicle is almost compromised by violent locals. Carrie just barely is rescued mid-foot chase, having snatched a satchel and filled it with this-and-that from Fatima’s home.

Alas, the contents of the satchel are benign. But in private, Saul feels something sewn into the bag’s lining. He fishes out a memory card. Popping it into a reader, he presses play on the video file within: My name is Nicholas Brody. By the time you’ve watched this, you will have read a lot of things about me….

And there you have it. Saul is in possession of the most damning intel thus far against Brody. But what will he do with it? Share your theories and weigh in on all of Episode 2 in comments!