There are plot-changing moments that TV showrunners and producers know they need to hit before the "endgame" of a long-running show can begin. Sometimes, they come way, way too late (like Deb picking the wrong time to see her brother on Dexter) and other times, they come at what feels like the right time (like with Hank on the toilet on Breaking Bad).
On tonight's episode of Homeland, one of those moments comes in the final two minutes of only the second episode of season 2. It feels early -- way early -- but yet so, so right. Now, someone on the side of the good guys knows that Brody is a terrorist. More importantly, they have the proof.
"You were right."
When Saul tells Carrie those words after a seemingly disaster of a mission that allowed Abu Nazir to escape a United States operation to assassinate him -- saved only by a daring text message Brody sent him while surrounded by no less than the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- it does not seem like it's enough for her.
As she told Saul earlier in the episode, she had been "so sure" and "so wrong" about Brody that she could not conceivably get past it. That guilt manifests in the form of what appears to be a panic attack Carrie suffers early in the episode.
And while she's right that Abu Nazir was going to be exactly where her informant said he was going to be, that's not enough for Carrie. So she risks her own life, and the life of her friends and her informant, to go back and find more evidence.
That risk, of course, winds up changing the course of Homeland, as Saul discovers a memory card hidden inside some clothing amongst the evidence Carrie brings back. That memory card has Brody's confession, which went missing at the end of season 1, when he decided not to blow himself up with Vice President Walden and his staff.
And now it has come back, and Saul has it. Which begs one question: is Brody going to be arrested or is Saul going to die?
Those really appear to be the only two options. (Given what Brody has done in the last two episodes, my theory last season that he could eventually become a double agent for the US government seems highly implausible at this point.)
The rest of the episode, meanwhile, seems designed to start in motion other plot twists. Brody's friend Mike and his old buddies from the Marines are questioning the circumstances surrounding Walker's death and what he was up to last year. Dana, meanwhile, is becoming close friends (and likely, something more) with Walden's own son. And Jessica seems quite happy with her life now as she becomes more politically connected.
All of that seems like it's setting up the rest of the season to be heavily focused on Brody and his family. And we may be saying goodbye to Saul next week. Of course, that would be the obvious choice.
proved tonight ... it never goes with the obvious choice.
(Image courtesy of Showtime)