December 10th, 2012
12:35 PM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the December 9 episode of Showtime's "Homeland."]
Season two’s penultimate episode picked up with Carrie searching for Abu Nazir in the tunnels under the abandoned mill, where just hours before the man dubbed “Sandman” held her hostage. Carrie saw Nazir, but lost him in the maze of pipes and darkness.
Back above ground, Quinn asked Carrie how she escaped Nazir’s clutches. She said she was “lucky” and feigned being “freezing” in order to keep Quinn’s suspicions at bay. Carrie purposely didn't tell Quinn that the reason she was alive was because Walden was dead, and she played dumb when he explained that VP Walden died at home due to a pacemaker malfunction.
Forced to submit to a polygraph against his will, Saul first answered some basic questions to get the test rolling. My favorite exchange – which I rewound twice and howled with laughter – was:
Polygraph honcho: “Is your name Saul Berenson?"
Polygraph honcho: “Are you sometimes called ‘The Bear’?”
Saul: “F-in’ hope not.”
The polygraph muckety-muck’s more serious questions revolved around Aileen Morgan. Estes, who arranged the polygraph, was trying to frame Saul for providing Aileen with the weapon she used to kill herself. Saul proclaimed that he was on to Estes and his plan to kill a U.S. Congressman (Brody) once Nazir was out of the picture.
Back at the mill, Carrie tried to piece together all who were involved in the search for Nazir in the tunnels. When Quinn said that Galvez was directing the search, it dawned on Carrie that Galvez could have been leaking information to Nazir throughout the past year. When they tracked down his vehicle, believing Nazir to be inside, the trail turned cold again. Galvez was simply rushing to the hospital with popped stitches from the bullet wound he got in Gettysburg.
At the Brody family condo hideout, the underlying issues that have been at the heart of “Homeland” since the pilot episode finally came to a head. After Dana literally cried over spilled milk, she delivered a rant to Brody that was a long time coming.
“Why do you not just go live with that crazy woman and leave us alone?” wailed Dana, who went on to say that Mike “has been a better father to us than you ever were.”
Jessica, meanwhile, said they’d figure it all out when they got home.
In the interrogation chamber, Carrie showed Roya her Nazir war wounds and tried to get her to admit that she was partly relieved that the Naval base attack was thwarted.
“Have you ever had someone who, somehow, takes over your life,” Roya asked, “pulls you in, gets you to do things that aren’t really you; that you know are wrong but you can’t help yourself? Do you have anyone like that?”
“Yes,” said a teary-eyed Carrie.
Just when we thought Roya might quite possibly pull a Brody and curl up on the concrete floor and sleep while the CIA worked out a sweet plea deal, she threw down the gauntlet in an amazing twist.
“Well I’ve never been that stupid,” Roya said.
Roya insisted that Carrie didn’t understand her or her family’s suffering. She said it was not a game and clutched Carrie’s badly mangled wrists and made it clear that she and Nazir weren’t afraid of her. She even gnashed her teeth a bit as Quinn restrained her and hustled Carrie out of the interrogation room.
In Estes’ office, the polygraph honcho delivered the de-brief on Saul’s questioning. Apparently Saul’s rant about an assassination plot against a Congressman registered as true.
When Saul and Estes met face-to-face, Saul told Estes he knew there was a hit on Brody.
“How are you gonna do on the polygraph when they ask you if you ever executed a member of Congress,” asked Saul.
“We both know what Brody is, and Congressman is the least of it,” said Estes, who - when Saul brought up Brody’s arrangement with the CIA - reiterated that the U.S. doesn’t make deals with terrorists. Estes fired Saul and threatened to cripple him with legal woes for the remainder of his life.
Something Roya said about Nazir not backing down stuck with Carrie, so she went back to the mill on the hunch that Nazir was still milling around the tunnels. He was.
When Carrie turned away from the FBI agent accompanying her to fetch backup, Nazir slit his throat and then went after Carrie.
The scene was reminiscent of the part in “The Silence of the Lambs” where Clarice Starling chased Buffalo Bill around his dungeon labyrinth of a basement - except here the night vision goggles were replaced by flashlights.
When the FBI agents closed in on Nazir, he reached for what was presumably a gun and was promptly fatally gunned down.
After he congratulated Carrie on a job well done, Estes had a talk with Quinn about how he should carry out the hit on Brody ASAP.
When Brody got word of Nazir’s death, he sobbed - in front of his family, who didn’t quite know what to make of it. The family was cleared to return home, but in a scene that was a long time coming and yet heartbreaking all the same, Jessica and Brody came to the realization that their marriage was over.
Parked in the driveway, Brody came close to telling Jessica about the suicide vest in the bunker but she stopped him. Jessica essentially gave Brody her blessing to be with Carrie. She understood that Carrie got Brody in a way that she never would.
At her own home, Carrie finally got to wash the Nazir beating blood off her face after two days. Her doorbell rang - it was Brody. It was like the ending of an '80s romantic comedy. Brody should have been holding up a boom box playing “In Your Eyes.”
Brody told Carrie that his decision between letting her or Walden live “wasn’t even close.”
The episode closed with Quinn parked outside, staking out Brody.
What did you think of last night’s episode? How do you think season two will shake out next week?
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