It's Citizen Carrie in 'Homeland' season premiere
October 1st, 2012
12:50 PM ET

It's Citizen Carrie in 'Homeland' season premiere

The big winner at this year’s Emmys is back.

Just as she was about to undergo electroconvulsive therapy that would erase her short-term memory at the tail end of season one, it dawned on Carrie that Brody had developed a close bond with Issa, Abu Nazir’s 10-year-old son who was killed during a U.S. drone strike on Iraq.

Brody, whose suicide vest failed to detonate while in a bunker with the vice president, remedied the malfunctioning explosive device and was about to detonate it when when his daughter Dana’s tearful plea to come home stopped him in his tracks just as he was about to flip the switch.

Season two begins six months later.

Carrie has been well taken care of by her sister, Maggie. Carrie is tending to a vegetable garden. That’s right, Carrie “moldy yogurt and rotten tomatoes in the fridge” Mathison is gardening. She’s doing arts and crafts, teaching ESL and actually following doctor’s orders. So in other words, hell has frozen over. Carrie takes her meds daily - and at the right times, no less! She even has a pill organizer. No more stashing Clozapine in an aspirin bottle.

Saul, meanwhile, has been transferred to Beirut but he needs Carrie’s help. One of Carrie’s recruits, Fatima Ali, has news about a terror attack on the U.S. but she only trusts Carrie. Saul tells Carrie that their boss, David Estes, is waiting outside the house to speak with her and that the CIA wants to send Carrie to Beirut to find out what Fatima knows.

Carrie’s response: "I cook dinner for the family on Thursdays. I'm making vegetable lasagna with vegetables I picked this morning from the garden." How un-Carrie! See what I meant about hell having frozen over? Carrie insists that she has put the CIA away and never wants to talk to Estes after the harsh, humiliating way he ran her out of the CIA.

Nevertheless, Carrie meets Estes on the porch. She explains to her former boss that Fatima Ali is the first wife of Hezbolla district commander Abbas Ali. Carrie recruited her as a CIA asset several years earlier by plying her with Julia Roberts movies. Fatima, apparently, has a thing for American cinema. Carrie very reluctantly agrees to go to Beirut. Though grateful, Estes insists that Carrie’s not getting her job back, she’s just "being a good citizen."

Meanwhile, Brody is a freshman Congressman. What’s more, the returned POW who once was baffled by the existence of Vitamin Water and YouTube is being groomed as a potential running mate for Vice President Walden. Walden sees Brody as “the future of the party.” (The show doesn’t specify which party). Dana and Chris are in private school. Jessica is taking to the political wife role like a fish to (vitamin) water.

Walden’s only concern? His team did not discover a single skeleton in Brody’s closet. He wonders if something will surface during his presidential campaign. Oh, Mr. Vice President, if you only knew.

Enter Roya Hamad, a reporter interviewing Brody for a story about the veepstakes. After asking Brody if his office is bugged or if the pair is being recorded, Roya makes it crystal clear that she's a friend of Abu Nazir's. Brody is worried that it's a trap and that he's being recorded, but she tells him that what would have been Issa’s 13th birthday is coming up and asks Brody if he remembers the slingshot he made Issa for his 10th birthday. Roya instructs Brody that as a sign of faith he is to retrieve a list of potential U.S. terror targets out of Estes' safe.

Brody insists that he is only willing to help Nazir by using his access to lawmakers to influence them, like the two men had previously agreed. When Brody insists he’s not a terrorist, Roya tells him that "there's a difference between terrorism and a justifiable act of retaliation.” Nevertheless, Brody states that he won’t help Nazir kill innocent civilians and that he already proved his allegiance when he killed Tom Walker. Roya insists that if Brody’s allegiance is truly with Nazir, he will retrieve the target list.

Carrie, meanwhile, has made the 6,000-mile journey to the Middle East for a short, 72-hour stay. She’s wearing a wig, traveling undercover as Kate Morrissey, a 30-year-old Canadian woman.

When Estes meets Brody in his office, he is called away to comment on a story Roya’s filing about destroyed nuclear facilities, leaving Brody alone to open the safe. Brody feverishly jots down the names of the potential targets; which begs the question: Why didn’t he snap a picture with his cell phone camera? Is he afraid it’ll accidentally show up in his Instagram feed? Is his likely government-issued BlackBerry somehow bugged? Is that even a thing?

In the meantime, Carrie is in Beirut. As she’s walking to meet Saul at a café, the two are talking on cell phones. Saul, who suspects Carrie is not up to the task at hand, notices that Carrie is being followed. He tells Carrie that she should just get arrested and safely taken into custody and that the CIA can fetch her.

"If they arrest me this mission is blown," insists Carrie.

And with that line, the old Carrie snapped back to life. I could almost picture the mold growing on her yogurt. Having sprung back into action, Carrie is able to deter her followers in a nail biter of a Beirut marketplace chase scene.

At the Brody house, life isn’t exactly a piping hot mug of Yorkshire Gold tea. Earlier, Dana accidentally blurted out that her dad was a Muslim during a fight with a classmate. When Jessica angrily asks Dana why she’d do such a thing, Brody admits that he is, in fact, Muslim. A mortified Jessica slams Brody’s Quran on the garage floor in a fit of rage. Brody later buries the holy book out of respect because, according to his faith, Jessica desecrated it by throwing it on the floor. The episode comes to a close as Dana helps Brody bury the Quran.

What did you think of the season premiere? What do you think will happen next? Sound off in the comments below.

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