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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Rachel says:

    Holy woah, that episode

  2. Zomo says:

    I was laying in bed watching this episode, and literally sat up and gasped at the last scene. This show continues to impress me and I just can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Another episode of stellar performances all around as well.

    • dw says:

      I did the exact same thing! Only my gasp was accompanied by a loud :”Oh My God!” to no one in particular….such a great surprise!

  3. JuniorTV says:

    Wow, I mean… WOW! I was at the edge of my seat the entire episode. What an hour! They easily could’ve stretched the episode into an hour, but maybe it was for the best to keep it shorter, that way viewers would be relentlessly glued to the TV (although that’s not too difficult when watching Homeland). Make no mistake, it was one of the finest hours of television I’ve ever seen.

  4. Irishgirl says:

    The moment Saul felt something in the lining of the bag, I started yelling “OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!” That was a stellar episode!

  5. DanielleZ says:

    Woah for me too. What an episode. I can’t see Saul revealing too much too soon as there wouldn’t be a story for the rest of the season ? But how about Brody’s “Walker broke…. He stopped being a Marine when he became a traitor.” Yeah, right. Look who’s talking.

    • Irishgirl says:

      Yes…but remember, Brody doesn’t see himself as a terrorist. In his mind, he’s righting a wrong and making America a better place. That’s why he keeps telling the reporter that he’s not a terrorist, and isn’t going to do what she’s asking. Although, now that he’s warned Nazir, he’s got one hell of a conflict within himself that he’s got to deal with.

      • Marteen says:

        My thoughts exactly, but you worded them better :)

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Exactly, he sees the Vice President as a terrorist for purposely ordering a drone strike that would kill a bunch of schoolchildren. In a way, he’s not wrong. That’s why I love this show, it doesn’t pull punches and it’s not afraid to ask the question of what true terrorism is.

      • Jos says:

        I agree… I saw this situation as possible way out for Brody, He is clearly not comfortable with stealing intel on US targets and slipping them to Abu Nazir. But he decided to save Abu Nazir’s life. For me, he’s chosen his side..or confirmed it, once again.

  6. Irishgirl says:

    Oh…and side note….Finn Walden isn’t the guy Dana sparred with at school. That was another kid. It was Tad, the Undersecretary of State’s kid that she called a douche. Finn is the one who said “right and my dad’s a Scientologist” when Dana threw out the “my dad’s a Muslim” comment.

  7. Whatever says:

    I’ve been wondering if Saul could be the mole. I guess we will find out now that he has video of Brody.
    What will he do with it…?

    • Maureen says:

      I really hope he’s not the mole. That would lessen my love for this show. That would totally break Carrie.

    • ado4586 says:

      If Saul was the mole, it wouldn’t make sense that he’d approve the Beirut sniper operation…..not knowing on the other side of the world, by happenstance that Brody would be pulled into a highly-secret situation room along with his non-confiscated cell phone where he’d be sitting in a position where no one would see his phone light up or a text go out… all to warn Abu Nazir within the last second. Too much of a stretch for a mole to take.

  8. Marteen says:

    Loved this episode, and just kinda froze during the last minute… And at the same time felt that Carrie was finally vindicated, although Saul is the only one who knows so far. Edge of your seat TV!

  9. Leggo says:

    I guess Saul is going to be the mole. That’s the only logical explanation for him finding Brody’s recording and probably not saying anything about it. How can a show be so frustrating and so phenomenal in the same second?

    • M says:

      I was thinking that too. That’s how Carrie never got to nail Brody. When I saw the video I said “Now we got you you son of b!@ch” but then, if Saul is the mole what happens next?? SUPER GOOD SHOW!!! loved Claire Danes and Damian Lewis!

      • Liz says:

        From the preview of next weeks episode it looks like Carrie is vindicated and walks right into the CIA’s headquarters, so I think Saul tells her.

        • Whatever says:

          Carrie may confuse the success of her operation in Beirut as an invitation to come back to the CIA.
          Saul may never disclose the info on the video file because he’s the mole.

    • splusm says:

      What about that scene from the previews showing Brody burying a body? Could it be Saul?

      • Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

        I think it is his Marine friend that is asking too many questions about the other sniper from last season.

  10. WOW! I absolutely loved this episode (except for Mike and Dana stories). The action sequences were wonderfully tense and that final reveal just makes me want to see the next episode even more to see how Saul reacts.

  11. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Such an intense episode. How will I ever be able to sleep? Great twist at the end, but I have a concern at this point it feels a little too convenient. Like, really? The SD card happened to be hidden inside a bag thousands of miles away in Beirut where Carrie happened to pick up the bag and give it to Saul who happened to notice the SD card hidden inside the bag? Really? While it sets up some great future meaty episodes, I’m not 100% sold on how it all came together. I think in real life anyone with half a brain would have erased that SD card as soon as he didn’t go through with the attack. Sending it to Beirut just makes no sense. I will need more of an explanation next week on how it got there, and I hope it’s super plausible. I don’t want to think the writing on my favorite show is starting to get lazy.
    But overall the whole thing was really intense and exciting. Applause to the show’s editor and director for setting up such a thrilling chase scene, and Claire Danes’s panic attack felt so real I nearly had a panic attack just watching it. And I think I am less convinced now that Saul is the mole, because he just seemed so shocked at the contents of the SD card. I think he’s going to use it to get Carrie back in the CIA. Also, could he really be the mole when he’s been working overseas? I think the mole has to be someone in Washington who has access to the CIA building on a daily basis, otherwise there’s just no way you’re managing to get info like David’s safe code. Maybe the mole is just supposed to be that reporter girl with the British accent. (Sorry if it’s not really British and I offend anyone by saying it is. I suck at IDing accents.)

    • Jen says:

      My thought was that they had the sd card as a means to control & threaten Brody. Yes it was convenient though. But they need something big to bring Carrie back in.

    • Brigitte says:

      Brody went back to get the SD card after he decided not to use the bomb and it was gone, so he couldn’t erase it. And though I agree frinding THAT bag was a bit convenient, the only person that could have found the card would have been in Abu Nazir’s network.

    • lc says:

      I’ve thought that Galvez is the mole, especially in the first episode when he came in to tell Estes that the reporter was there unless the mole is someone we haven’t met but when Saul told the guy to go to sleep I did think for a moment that Saul was the mole.

    • Amanda says:

      Nazir is Brody’s boss and whoever picked up the SD card also worked with Nazir. Nazir would have wanted that card or for someone up high on his team to possess the SD card. So that’s believable that it was in Beirut. There is no way Nazir or anyone working him with would delete it because that was part of their insurance that Brody would remain loyal. It is the only evidence…maybe… that Brody is a terrorist. Nazir’s organization owns Brody with that SD card.

    • Saul is not the mole. He would have to be the most evil, cruel person if he was. If he was the mole, he would not have let Carrie get electroshock therapy based on the fallacy that Brody is not a terrorist. He would not have let her do that to herself. Also, wouldn’t he have given the order to leave immediately when Carrie dashed into the informant’s apartment. He was adamant about waiting to get her back in safety’s arms. He can’t be the mole. The mole is probably the young guy that was sent to the school Carried teaches at to tell Carrie that Estes wanted to see her.
      BTW – did anyone else scream WTF Carrie at the same time as Saul?? LOL

  12. adam says:

    Saul Is Most Likely Going To Die Now…..

    • chibi says:

      that was my first thought-that he was going to die (hence Brody bloody in the woods) it never crossed my
      mind that he may be the

      • Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

        It’s not Saul he is killing in the woods. My money is on his ex-Marine buddy that just won’t let what happened to the other guy go. Asking too many questions…

    • ben says:

      Saul cannot die and he cannot be the mole. He just can’t!

    • Mike says:

      Remember Brody went back to retrieve the SD card after the vest attack was aborted
      It was missing picked up by someone else (Walker?) So it is not that surprising that it would wind up in Fatima’s house. The mole can’t be Saul as he passesthe second lie detector test.

    • Jane says:

      I hope they don’t kill off Saul cause I love the actor Mandy Patankin. The show is wonderfully suspenseful but after I watch it I think, come on, a US congressman is a terrorist? These days they have to be bible thumping wrap yourself in the American flag to get elected, oh I forgot, yes they tell lies too (some of them). Well, that sounds like Brody. I know it’s TV but there are some rather unrealistic plot lines. I guess you just have to watch and enjoy the fantastic acting, etc.

  13. Jen says:

    The mole has to be the guy working w Estes played by the actor Tim Guinee. He’s way too big an actor to have such a bit part. At first I didn’t recognize him but then I realized it was him. Now,I forgot all about the whole mole issue, but now it becomes clear who it could be. Question is though wouldn’t he have been the one to warn Nazir since he knew of the meet? Now I completely doubting myself… Wow what an episode. Had to fast forward when Carrie ran into Fatima’s apt… couldn’t handle it on the first watch!

  14. Cathy says:

    Nice touch, recap of unusual size, Princess Bride reference, and Mandy Patikin, all in one article. :)

  15. Carriesfan says:

    This is their next year’s Emmy right here! What a great episode. Glad to see that Homeland hasn’t lost its edge.

  16. EJ says:

    Totally amazing series….this episode one of the best yet. Love Claire Danes…

  17. JL says:

    Did we see Carrie switch back to blonde? Fatima and Carrie had a conversation about her hair/eye color, then we saw Carrie specifically mention the contacts and take them out when she first got to Saul. But then as soon as Carrie was having her panic attack in bed/on the roof, she was back to blonde. I honestly thought all the scenes when the mission got OK-d were going to be a dream sequence.

  18. showmemary says:

    I think Brody will be turned as a re-doubled agent, and Carrie will be his (mis)handler.

  19. carriewasright says:

    mole: that other agent in the room…forgot his name…he got to his cell phone as he lifts up his notebook during the meeting…watch it…he stands next to estes…

  20. TP says:

    Saul is the mole. Remember in Season 1 he failed the one question (about being the mole) during the first lie detector session. He made it look like he was very busy and under a lot of stress and didn’t have time to take the test. He came back later and passed it.

  21. Laura says:

    Amazing episode! Definitely on the edge of your seat tv. And as for the preview for next week it’s totally the tailor who made the vest that Brody kills. Watch the preview on YouTube

  22. curt says:

    Saul is not the mole they already said Its no one frond season 1

  23. Doug says:

    Loved the episode, as well as the behind the scenes piece at the end. However, I can’t help thinking that no way would Brody’s Blackberry work in that room. Willing suspense of disbelief is one thing, but a Blackberry? In that room?

    • angela says:

      This. I loved episode 2 except for that one unbelievable detail. Unless, the Pentagon is not as strict as the CIA with handheld devices.

    • Nick says:

      Plus, every time Brody needed to contact Nazir he had to go through a middle man. Now he has direct access to Abu Nazir’s cell phone? It wasn’t as if he had time to text a random person and then they contacted Nazir, plus the message was coded with a message that only Nazir would probably know the meaning of.

  24. thomas becker says:

    so now you get to use your phone in a situation room and no one notices…well i’d though one was smart enough to put jammers in such sensitive areas or at least monitor all communications in case there is leak or something……………..

  25. Jkub says:

    I think Brody kills Saul. Brody is very bloody in the previews and there are no further scenes of Saul. There is a man be manhadled by Brody wearing Saul-like clothing in one of the previews. Perhaps the mole informed Brody that Saul had the card.

  26. Casper says:

    I think Saul flies back to Washington D.C. without telling anyone he has the disk. He then sets up a meeting with one of his contacts in the U.S. that used to have ties with Abu Nazir to ask questions. Someone else in Abu Nazir’s network tips Brody that Saul is back, maybe the female reporter, and has a mysterious disk with him. Brody knows exactly what the contents of the disk are and goes to the meet. Saul realizes he has been setup and flees on foot through the back door of a diner he is sitting in waiting for the meeting. He couldn’t take his car because it is in the parking lot and Brody parked next to it. Saul seems much more prone to wear an overcoat (which in the preview for next week shows a man in a tan overcoat being jumped by Brody in the woods) than Brody’s marine buddy. Saul gets beaten and killed by Brody, but does not give up the whereabouts of the disk. Carrie gets home from Saul’s funeral and sees that there is a package on her bed. She opens the package and finds the disk. End of episode.

  27. Alienate says:

    It took me a good 20 minutes to “de-stimulate” after watching this episode. My whole body was tensed up. Damn. Best show on TV. EVERY expression on Carrie’s face is exquisite.

  28. sadcanadian says:

    My thoughts on what comes next.

    Saul comes back home without telling anyone about the card because he wants to verify that it wasn’t done under duress or while he was still a prisoner. He realizes that the card is a suicide note – so tries to find out who could have made a bomb vest in the states. He finds the guy who made the vest for Brody and puts that guy (the tailor) on the watchlist. Brody is warned that the tailor is being watched and goes to kill him. Bloody Brody is from killing the tailor guy who made the vest.

    And, I don’t think it makes sense that Saul is the mole either. It just doesn’t fit with his character or actions.

  29. Mapleweave says:

    I don’t think Saul is the mole. I think he may use that to blackmail Brody to be a double agent. Once Nazir is killed, he will destroy the SD card. In the previews, the reporter with the British accent tells Brodt the one person has ahold of the card. Something like that. Also, I thought maybe Brody killed Mike because I though I saw a scene

  30. Mapleweave says:

    Oops. Fast fingers.

    I saw a scene of Jessica with Mike before the bloody scene.

  31. mikefromTO says:

    People – you do realize where this story is going? Brody, in some future episode, will become the President of the United States when Walden dies in an assassination. Carrie, Saul, and others at the CIA will know he’s a terrorist, but the powers that be will thwart his exposure. Bank it.

  32. Friend says:

    am i the ONLY one out here that sincerely believes that ESTES is the mole?
    Seems sooo OBVIOUS to me! even when brody was in office going thru the files, i believe it was all planned that way to be a cover-up for ESTES… badabing badabang!

  33. Beeku says:

    How would it justify Saul and Estes being the mole because both knew about the strike taking place. If either of them are moles they would have tipped Abu Nazir off. Any answers?

  34. Lee says:

    Thought. What if Nazir’s son was killed by his own, or never died at all? And what if eventually Brody finds this out?

  35. Jane says:

    GALVEZ is the MOLE for sure!!! It’s not Saul, they wouldn’t do it to us, I love Mandy’s character. And that comment about the CIA making Brody a assets to catch Nasir I think is very likely! I think Nasir tricked Brody about Isa, I think he wasn’t his real son or he didn’t die in the drone and it was a set up to get Brody to hate the US, Nasir lied about Walker, so he would have no hesitation lying about Isa! Can’t wait to see what Saul does with the video!!! FINALY SOME VINDICATION FOR CARRIE!! Woohah!

  36. Abu Nazir says:

    Anyone else notice they made the call from Beirut using SKYPE?