Her disease practically has wrecked any chance at a normal personal and professional life, though at the start of the second season of Homeland, it appears like Carrie is closer than ever to having both. She's teaching and, since it's Thursday, she's cooking dinner for the family (with vegetables from their vegetable garden).
There's something more potentially damaging to both of her lives than her bi-polar disorder, however, and that's her past job at the CIA.
Sure, part of Carrie's reluctance to go back on a mission was anger and spite for how she was drummed out. But the main reason is because she felt since she was so, so very wrong about Brody that she had no business being there.
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And yet, she does have business being there. She's actually good at it -- when she's not going crazy. She knows it too. As she's getting the gun away from her near-kidnapper in Beirut while on her mission, she smiles ... and smiles wide. She's happy she is back. But for how long?
Saul knows all too well what their job does to a person -- even a normal person. His marriage is over because of it. But he knows he needs Carrie, and while David Estes is the one to approach her (the very man that fired her), it's Saul's presence on the ground in Beirut that likely gets Carrie to re-commit.
Brody also re-commits to his own cause in the season premiere, and unfortunately, it's with the bad guys. Not content with waiting possibly years for Brody to change the US policy from the inside, Abu Nazir, through a corrupt journalist, orders Brody to steal secrets from Estes' safe, which he does.
As he gets deeper into Nazir's pocket -- he's already got Tom Walker's blood on his hands and it's likely that what he turned over to Nazir will result in more deaths -- he simultaneously is closer to being found out for what he really is.
An innocent mistake by Dana leads to Jessica learning an important truth about her husband: he's now Muslim.
"That's not supposed to touch the floor," Brody says after Jessica throws his Koran on the ground. "Did you actually just say that?" replies Jessica.
Homeland certainly doesn't shy away from discussing controversial and volatile discussions that people all over the world are currently having by giving us an honest, confrontational conversation about what it means to be Muslim on American soil. (Plus, it's a bit eerie seeing the protests outside the American embassy in Beirut after all we've seen on the news lately.)
When Brody buries his Koran at the end of the episode, for a brief moment, it looks like he might be stepping away from that religion and possibly Nazir, despite what he did in Estes' office.
But no, he's burying it because that's what he's supposed to do after Jessica "desecrated" it. And Dana is the one there to help him ... hopefully not the first of a long "partnership" with her father.
A lot of things happen before the premiere of Homeland season 2 even begins, and while we're caught up to nearly all of it in the opening minutes, even more seems to happen fast and furiously before the episode is over.
As opposed to the slow, thought-provoking early episodes of season 1, this second season appears like it may take a more 24-like approach.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, it makes me smile.
Alan DanzisContributing Writer(Image courtesy of Showtime)