TV Recaps

Homeland Season 2 Premiere Recap: "The Smile"

The pressure was on Homelands season premiere after the series won big at the Emmys, including Outstanding Drama, and after an action-filled first season, so let’s see what Season 2 brings us. At the end of last season, Carrie decided to go for electroshock therapy, to help with the bipolar even though she knew it could mean memory loss.

ICYMI: Emmy’s Big Winner: ‘Homeland’ Season 2 Preview Trailer

The first time we see her, she’s gardening, her dad and sister are there and her dad is watching news on protests in Israel. Her sister tells him to turn it off, that Carrie doesn’t need to be reminded what is going on. According to her sister, she’s doing better, but her dad thinks her lithium levels are too high and apparently, he went through something similar to Carrie before. She’s living with her dad again and she has exams to grade, but she turns to her laptop instead. She thinks twice about it and goes back to the exams. It looks like she’s teaching ESL (English as a Second Language).

Saul is looking at a marked bill, some woman left it for the CIA at the U.S. embassy in Lebanon, but no one knows who she is. There are protesters outside and the woman requested a face-to-face. He leaves the embassy with another agent and they are followed, but Saul manages to get to the meeting location.

Back to the U.S., Brody is all set up in his congressman position and the vice president is there to see him. He wants Brody to be his running mate when his campaign launches. There are some trust issues still there, but the VP doesn’t seem too worried about that.

Carrie is at her class, handing back the essays she corrected, when a guy she knew from the CIA knocks and tells her she needs to come in. She tells him to say she never belonged in the CIA in the first place and heads back to work.

Brody is home and his wife is pretty excited about the VP position he was offered, his daughter doesn’t seem as thrilled.

When Carrie makes it back to her dad’s, she feels like she’s being watched. Her sister tells her that Saul has been calling her and she calls him back and he tells her David Estes, her former boss, is outside and needs to talk to her. She recognizes the woman Saul went to see as the first wife of a Hezbollah district commander. Carrie recruited her off book for her protection. The woman will only talk to Carrie about the information she has on a possible attack against the U.S., so Carrie is heading back to Beirut.

The following day, Brody is back in his office and Roya Hammad wants to do a story on him. She comes in and surprisingly asks to talk to him off the record. She has a message from Abu Nazir, says she’s a friend of his family. Brody wants her to leave, but she brings up Issa Nazir, his 13th birthday would have been on Thursday if he had survived the bombing. Nazir wants his help, Estes, Carrie’s boss, is briefing him on homeland security. Nazir wants Brody to get into his office and steal an encrypted list of potential targets. Brody says he told Nazir he would influence people through his access, not killing. She tells him he needs to pick a side, and to contact her when he has the target list.

Dana, Brody’s daughter, is at her new school with the children of other government people. They are having a discussion about war and how little sense it makes to bomb one another for peace. In the middle of a discussion with her classmates, she spills out Brody’s secret: that her dad is a Muslim. No one really believes her and the other kids laugh it off.

Carrie is already in a CIA safe house, brown hair, brown eyes. She is setting up a fake ID and fake background, which she is having a hard time remembering.

Back at Brody’s home, Dana is in trouble. Her mom is yelling at her because the dean called about Dana misbehaving and saying her dad was a Muslim. Brody is suddenly uncomfortable and he finally tells Jessica, his wife, that it is true. She freaks out and starts going through everything in the garage. She can’t understand why he was lying to her about it or why he is following the religion of the people who tortured him. She wants to know if Carrie knows about this and instead of giving her an answer, Brody tell her Carrie was fired and locked up in a mental institution.

Brody is ready for his debriefing with Estes the next day, he makes his way to the CIA. Meanwhile, Estes is on the phone with Saul, who thinks Carrie isn’t up to make contact with Fatima but they don’t really have another option.

Estes and Brody meet, he tells Brody the VP must be really serious about having him run if he’s so interested in prepping him like this. The only reason Estes has this job is because the VP pulled him in. The distraction Brody needed to get into Estes’ safe comes in the form of Roya Hammad herself, she’s running a story and needs to see Estes as it is a time sensitive matter. Brody gets into the safe, finds the files and copies down the target list to a little notepad. Meanwhile, even though Roya doesn’t get any information, she gets a date with Estes.

Carrie is in the Beirut airport with a Canadian passport. She is distracted as she tries to get through security, but she makes it through and to the hotel. There is a fruit basket waiting for her and a cell phone and instructions are hidden there.

She is headed to a café to meet Saul, but he is being followed so he tells her to head to the safe house and he will meet her there when he’s alone, but the men following Saul notice Carrie and one of them follows her through a market. She almost gets caught, but she manages to disarm him, knock him down and get away. She looks pretty pleased with herself.

Back in the U.S., Brody can’t sleep. He heads to the garage, grabs his copy of the Quran and prays, Dana finds him and he explains that her mom threw the Quran on the ground and tore pages, so he is burying it out of respect. She helps him.

This started up a little slower than I expected, but I guess it’s just building up all the plots for this season, still pretty interesting though, especially with Brody starting to struggle between what he chose to do and what he is being told to do. Did it live up to the hype?