After the show aired last night, John said that the Season 2 Homeland premiere was just like any action movie sequel -- bigger and fancier and just trying to get everybody back to status quo.
I don't disagree, but I also don't begrudge it that. All of this was inevitable. Carrie was going to have to get drawn back into the CIA. Brody was going to have to launch a meteoric rise through the ranks of national government. Jessica was going to have to...keep being Jessica.
The titular smile of this episode belongs to Ms. Matheson. Carrie was fine living at home with her father and sister. She was gardening. She was making vegetable lasagna with those vegetables she gardened. She was teaching ESL to Arabic speakers. Her life was on even keel. But all was not well. Even her dad could see that. He thought maybe her lithium levels were low. Maybe he was right, or maybe it wasn't a chemical thing after all. Maybe her life just lacked purpose. And for Carrie, that purpose has always been finding the bad guys and protecting the country.
Brody, on the other hand, has all of his ducks in a row. He's a fancy new congressman. He's being vetted for a possible fancy new job as vice president. His kids are at a fancy new school and his wife is fancy new best friends with the current vice president's wife. Everything's coming up Brody.
Except for that little matter of Abu Nazir.
Brody promised Nazir that he would use his place within the government to influence policy and whatnot, like that would be enough. But of course it's not. A friend of Nazir's, a reporter named Roia (who's really just a plot device at this point and does whatever the scene needs her to do), gets Brody alone in his office and tells him that he needs to break into David Estes safe to find a list of...something...? Why did Brody have to do this? Couldn't he have had his mole inside the CIA who gave him the safe combination do it? Was this just to test Brody's loyalty?
Because Brody's ties to Nazir are probably the weakest part of the show right now. If Brody is going to keep doing things for Nazir, believably, that situation is going to have to get a lot stickier beyond "a little boy was killed and that was sad." I have a feeling Brody is going to give a Nazir a little push back soon, and Nazir will counter by taking something away from Brody that he loves -- namely, Dana.
Dana is definitely the Walt Jr. of Brody's life (Breaking Bad reference, sorry). She's the one tie he had to his life before he was captured, the one person who loves and understands him for who he is. Dana is what makes Brody human, and no doubt Nazir will find a way to exploit that.
Bits and Pieces:
- Saul has a giant beard in Beirut. It's good to know some things never change.
- Carrie taking down the guy following her in Lebanon was a thing of beauty. It's nice to see Carrie allowed to be totally, unquestioningly competent once in a while.
- I'm predicting that the Vice President Walden's son will seduce Dana to find out more about her family/give her up to Abu Nazir. That kid is shifty.
- After his father was tapped as the VP's running mate, Christopher got 300 friend requests on Facebook. That brings him up to 302. Aw.
- Regarding the whole "Brody's a Muslim" reaction thing. The kids at school thought Dana was joking...or did they? Dana remains totally cool about her dad's religion. And Jessica was more freaked out by this than the fact that Brody was banging Carrie. I kind of get why she would be unsettled by it -- that's a fairly big thing to be keeping from your spouse. But she could've handled the situation with more respect. Although, she probably equates "Muslim" with "the people who held her husband captive for 8 years," so maybe her little freak out was warranted?
- What's to come? Now that Jessica knows that Brody's a Muslim, will she start paying closer attention to what he does? Will she try to hide the things that come to light so that it doesn't affect her bright and shiny future as Second Lady?
What did you think of Homeland's premiere?