Homeland Recap: A Very Close Call

This week on Showtime’s Homeland, Brody resurfaced after his unexpected tete-a-tete with Abu Nazir, Jessica fell back into an old habit and one CIA staffer was seen in a new light.

ADIEU, NAZIR? | The action starts some 12 hours after Brody was picked up by helicopter from the countryside clearing and whisked off to, unbeknownst to anyone, a meeting with Abu Nazir. As such, Carrie fears that their asset is dead — if not physically, then operationally. Estes suggests they move in on Roya, though if Brody is alive, that will burn him in a jiffy.

But their strategizing is moot. That morning, Brody parts ways with Nazir outside a loading dock. “This is where we say goodbye — forever, if all goes well,” Nazir tells his padawan. “I could not have done this without you…. Pray for me.” As soon as the terror lord drives off, Brody races to the nearest storefront and bums a gal’s cell phone to call Carrie and ask that his family be taken somewhere safe, ASAP. Estes warns that, working off the word of a would-be terrorist who’s been off the grid for a half a day, “We need to be extra-f–king-vigilant,” but they agree to pull off Roya for now and get the Brody bunch into a posh safe house that has so many big-screen TVs, son Chris actually gets dialogue (as Dana scoffs, sulks and uses “bulls–t” every other word, until Mike shuts the lass down).

Then, we get our first peek at an interesting wrinkle — that Saul has enlisted Virgil and Max to keep tabs on Quinn. To that end, they sneak into the analyst’s thread-bare apartment where they find a sniper rifle cleaning kit and a picture of a woman with a baby.

TV’S NEW QUINNSPIRACY! | Carrie meets up with Brody, who himself believed he was dead given recent events and last night’s abduction of sorts. Then debriefing with the whole gang, Brody relates his sit-down with Nazir, who decided to “take the fight to the enemy” by sneaking into the States versus “run, hide and be hunted like an animal like Bin Laden.” (Reer!) Brody says Nazir’s new mission is to target a homecoming reunion for 300 soldiers and their families, provided Brody can convince the VP to let Roya cover the press-free event. When pressed for more details, Brody says nothing else happened between the men, though in flashback we see they did pray together. Odd detail to omit.

Estes debriefs Walden (and Brody, for appearance’s sake) on this new threat, says they have a Plan A to grab Roya’s crew before they hit the event; Plan B is to cancel the gathering. As a stakeout of Roya’s place gets underway the night before, Saul tracks down the woman in Quinn’s photo, a cop in Philly, if only to spook her into calling her babydaddy “John” aka Quinn. Quinn then sneaks out of the base camp to meet up with Dar Adul, a legendary black ops chief (played by F. Murray Abraham). Virgil thus deduces that Quinn is “no more a CIA analyst than I’m in the Hair Club for Men.”

Cut back, again, to the mod safe house, where Jessica sneaks out of bed during the night to strip for and canoodle with Mike in the guest room. She slinks back out in time for a morning call from Brody, with whom Dana refuses to speak. Brody promises his wife that the threat will “be over soon” and “we will go back to the way we were.”

BOMBS & BOMBSHELLS | As the surveillance team follows Roya from her apartment building to meet her camera crew at a diner — and after Estes suspiciously sends Quinn off to “liaison with the FBI” — Saul out loud questions, “Who is running this op, you or Dar Adul?” Outside the diner, Nazir’s munitions guy is spied swapping the CBN crew’s camera batteries with (presumably) bombs, so Estes’ team moves in, shots are fired, bad guys felled. But when the man inside the terrorists’ dark SUV is revealed not to be Nazir, Estes radios Quinn to “stand down, we still need him” — just as the “analyst,” posing as Brody’s driver, is about to pop the VIP congressman. Twist! (Is anyone on TV named Quinn who they say they are?!)

What did you think of this week’s episode, “Two Hats”? Since Quinn’s duty, as Estes says, is to kill terrorists, was their plan to simply execute Brody as one, if Nazir had been captured? Is this Estes’ way of covering his behind in the wake of so many questionable calls — including but not limited to keeping a traitor in the veep’s midst? Lastly, is this Quinn twist related to the Season 1 mole, because if so, it doesn’t seem to track. If Estes or Quinn was the mole, why was it up to Brody to foil the Beirut take-out earlier this season?