Homeland recap: Trust Issues

Brody launches a major CIA operation, the Peter Quinn mystery deepens, and a new power player emerges
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 25, 2012

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? After spending roughly 12 hours under the thumb of Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), Brody (Damian Lewis) makes a series of phone calls that launches a major CIA effort to take down Abu Nazir. But is that actually just part of Nazir's plan?

Kent Smith/SHOWTIME

At first, Saul, Estes, and Quinn already believed Brody was likely dead, if not bodily, at least operationally — but only Carrie was brave enough to say it out loud. (This episode appeared to be the first under the Claire Danes pregnancy regime; homegirl did a lot of sitting and standing behind large objects.) They were all ready to roll on Roya Hammad — with Quinn notably the only one willing to entertain the notion that Brody was still alive and in play — when Brody phoned in from a borrowed Baltimore cell-phone, asking for his family's safety. He appeared to be writing something down on a piece of paper, but oddly, we never got to see what it was.

Later, Brody had Carrie pick him up outside the church where they "first met." (I loved Carrie's quiet smile when she said "in the rain?" It was one of the very few grace notes to what was otherwise a relentless episode.). After a brief moment to acknowledge how happy they both were that he was still alive, Brody dropped the major bombshell: Abu Nazir was in the United States.

Back at HQ, Brody debriefed Carrie, Saul, Quinn, and Estes with the full tale of his time with the most wanted terrorist in the world. And it was, indeed, some tale — it's just not clear if it was a completely true one. Initially, I thought the show was going to deny us outright any scenes with Nazir other than the one we saw at the opening of the show: Nazir telling Brody, "This is where we say goodbye, Nicholas — forever, if all goes well," then embracing him warmly and driving off. That alone would have been a bold move, forcing us to decide whether or not to trust Brody based purely on his word, just like Carrie and her colleagues. Instead, the show did something more sly, or confusing, depending on your perspective: It showed us some of Brody's answers to his CIA minder's questions, but not all of them.

We did see Brody tell Nazir he only ever wanted to avenge Issa's death, not kill innocent civilians. We did see Brody and Nazir debate the will of Allah, Brody saying, "Each of us must decide what we can and cannot do," and Nazir responding, "So now you must decide what is your will, Nicholas." We did see Nazir tell Brody with a stern, cold gaze that his family would be safe so long as he stayed true to himself. And we did see Nazir say he came to the U.S. so he could die "taking the fight to the enemy" instead of hiding "like a cowering animal, like bin Laden." (Nazir also diverged from bin Laden in that he's willing to shave his beard, put in contacts, and wear modern, western clothing to better blend into the American populace, and also in that he's a fictional character with the apparently ability to teleport over international borders.)

But there were a few pieces of crucial information that Brody claimed happened that we did not see first hand. We did not see Brody tell Nazir's men to kill him immediately. We did not see Brody speak about his overwhelming love for his family. And, most notably, we did not see Nazir tell Brody about his plan to attack a homecoming of 300 special operations soldiers returning from Afghanistan, nor did we see Nazir ask Brody to convince the vice president to let Roya Hammad cover said event.

NEXT PAGE: So, can Brody be trusted?

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