Homeland season premiere recap: The Woman Behind the Curtain

Carrie returns with the CIA under investigation, while Saul struggles to run the agency
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 29, 2013

WHEN IN CARACAS... Peter Quinn once dubbed himself the "guy who kills bad guys," but his op in Venezuela goes awry. Though he only had a few lines this episode, I have a feeling the writers have more in store for him.

Kent Smith/Showtime

Before beginning Saul's op, however, the episode spends some time updating us on the Brodys and, simply put, they’re not doing any better than Carrie and Saul. They’re underwater financially -- no income, no insurance -- as well as socially -- the family has received death threats since Brody’s “confession” video went public, and Dana and Chris have had to be pulled out of school.

To top it all off, Dana has spent her time post-bombing at a rehab center after she, as Jessica bluntly puts it, “got in a bathtub and slit her wrists.” It’s a shocking revelation, but what’s more disturbing is how Jessica numbly lists all the trouble the family’s faced, like it's an inconsequential catalogue of events she’s trying to pretend hasn't happened. When the doctor remarks, “She’s doing well” to her, Jessica looks like she doesn’t believe a word he says.

But Dana does look well... well enough, that is. We see her reciting coping mechanisms (“and all that,” she adds) in a group session and, later, secretly making out with a fellow patient (who we hope won’t be in any hit-and-run plot lines anytime soon). She moves back into her old room, quietly removes a picture showing her father, and takes out her phone to snap a nude selfie of herself for her new squeeze.

Wait, what?

Dana. Oh, Dana. I hate to go all big sister on you, but no. Can’t you see how bad of an idea this is? This is worse than all the ideas you had last season put together! You have paparazzi following your family around -- they just accosted you outside the rehab center, for crying out loud. This is going to end badly, isn’t it? Teenagers.

That said, Dana seems to be the only Brody not on edge anymore -- other than Chris, of course. While her mother and grandmother snap at each other, she has no problem posing a completely inappropriate joke to the dinner table. “What did the optimist say as he was jumping off the building?” she asks as everyone is mid-chew. “So far so good.”

And she repeats the punchline for them, until Jessica finally smiles. It’s a winning moment for Dana, until she later walks in on her grandmother telling Jessica, “If she really meant to kill herself, she’d be dead.” Her face falls as she listens to them, and even the (much less scandalous) text back from the boy can’t help her.

NEXT: Saul pulls back the curtain and reveals...

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