by Greg Spencer
After Homeland’s return last week, the second episode kicks off with Carrie in Beirut. She meets with her contact who tells her Abu Nazir will be in the country to meet with her husband. Because Carrie was supposed to meet the contact with Saul, doubts about her judgement and the contact’s credibility soon appear. What’s great about this episode is that it becomes clear that the Carrie vs. Brody storyline has now been temporarily put to bed and it’s more of an afterthought, instead each of the characters are really seen as pawns in the long game.
The entire episode pretty much centres around the operation to kill Nazir in Beirut; the scenes of the mission itself are really nail-biting and even though you can see Brody warning Nazir a mile off, it doesn’t matter. It’s becoming a show which is trying to be as realistic as possible but still has a level of contrivance throughout but who’d have it any different? Last week Brody managed to steal secret documents from David Estes’s safe and even though you think “surely there are CCTV cameras in the CIA offices?” it doesn’t matter too much.
It might become apparent that Brody’s actions to stop the CIA and the US government become more and more absurd but at the moment it’s okay. The scene with Carrie and Saul on the rooftop after she has a panic attack is really well done and indicates how fractured their relationship has become, and how desperate Carrie is for Saul to trust her and for her to trust herself. Overall it’s a really well-rounded episode which deals with quite a few overarching and possibly long-running story lines.
The scenes where Brody and the group of US politicians are sat in a dark room watching the Nazir operation brings back memories of the Osama Bin Laden operation and the photographs of Obama and his colleges watching the action like it’s a video game. However, once again Claire Danes steals the show because of her heart-wrenching performances as a woman who has seemingly lost her identity. She was so sure of Brody being guilty and she’s just completely lost, even when she gets dropped off back at her father’s house, she looks out of place and alone.
The ending was both fantastic and 24-esque which may or may not be a good thing. Saul has found Brody’s tape so that means he must finally believe Carrie about everything she said and you’d imagine the investigation into Brody will continue because of that tape being found. Next week’s episode will certainly be interesting and it’s obvious the ramifications of episode two’s climax will be felt.