Between stray comments about the leaked episode and Showtime’s own promo, some major details were obvious long before Sunday’s episode began. Still, the “Homeland” premiere managed to maintain the show’s signature sense of suspense, paranoia, and uncertainty–all without Brody.
Season 3 opens 58 days after the attack, with Carrie testifying before a closed committee. The CIA is crippled, and someone has to explain how the agency allowed the attack. Carrie blames herself for overlooking Abu Nazir’s grand plan. She endures progressively difficult questions until the committee produces a copy of the attorney general’s immunity deal with Brody. She falls into a rant about Brody being innocent, but her attorney manages to call for a break before she shares even more damning details-including the suicide vest.
Carrie is certain that someone orchestrated a plan to frame Brody while destroying the CIA. She has a chaotic chart detailing the connections and a giant map documenting supposed Brody sightings. The frenzied theories make it obvious that she is off her medication. Her dad confronts her, but she claims she is medicating herself with a doctor-sanctioned regimen of exercise and meditation.
During the second day of testimony, she retracts some of her comments. But the questioning devolves into blatant accusations. She says she was in the ladies room prior to the blast, and rendered unconscious. No one’s buying her story. They want to know where she was during those 14 missing hours. The ambush continues when the committee mentions witnesses who claim they saw her and Brody leave just before the blast.
Carrie is lovelorn, guilty, alone, and poised to take the fall for an unknown mastermind. She “medicates” herself with a booze run, and invites a random stranger, who slightly resembles Brody, into her bedroom, er, staircase.
The next day, her dad tells her the front page of the newspaper alleges a relationship between a CIA agent and the Langley bomber. Livid, she confronts Saul in a restaurant. She thinks Dar Adal is the puppetmaster behind a plan to set her up.
The Brody Bunch
Not even Brody’s family could doubt his guilt when his martyr video leaked after the Langley bombing. Distraught, Dana finally lost it and slit her wrists in the family bathroom. As far as she knows, her dad is a terrorist responsible for killing her boyfriend and 218 other people. The attempt landed her in a treatment facility, where she met a new boyfriend.
Jessica has a contentious meeting with the doctor and wonders how Dana can receive follow-up treatment when her family has no income or insurance coverage thanks to Brody’s apparent treason. She drones on until the doctor explains that Dana’s suicide attempt was a sincere effort to end her life, not a rash decision driven by drugs or alcohol. He is surprised that Jessica missed the cues leading to the incident.
Post-treatment Dana is taking things in stride, even though the family is under FBI surveillance, harassed by reporters, and publicly despised. Unfortunately, Jessica’s mother is staying with the family. She causes tension by dredging up old drama with Brody, and makes Dana’s illness seem like a burden.
Jessica, Chris, and Dana keep a lighthearted attitude as they try to rebuild their lives, but it is the calm before the storm. Dana seems pensive, and sexts her boyfriend, who is still in the treatment facility.
Saul, the Sell-Out?
Nearly two months after the attack, the rubble remains. As Saul’s old buddy, Dar Adal, says that’s a bad sign, considering the government began rebuilding the Pentagon the day after 9/11. Saul knows it is time to go into damage-control mode.
Brody remains elusive, but the government and public want someone held accountable for the blast. Dar Adal pressures Saul to authorize a strike on six targets that are linked to the Langley attack. They must attack all six targets simultaneously, or they will warn each other.
Although Saul feels the CIA’s role is espionage, not assassination, he ultimately approves the operation. The targets, all named after characters from the “Wizard of Oz,” fall into place, but Quinn backs out when he notices a young boy in the car with his mark, Tin Man.
Knowing there may not be another opportunity to fulfill this ambitious operation spanning three continents, Quinn launches Plan B. He detonates a decoy bomb, infiltrates the secure estate, and shoots his way through a security team until he reaches the target. He shoots Tin Man and gathers documents from his desk. He hears another member of security approaching, and shoots through the closed door. As he exits, he realizes he shot the young boy he attempted to avoid earlier.
With the successful mission under his belt, Saul testifies before the committee, complete with a packed gallery and media frenzy. Unimpressed, the committee is suspicious of the operation’s convenient timing, and wonders why he pursued easier targets instead of Brody. Saul stays strong, and sticks to his testimony.
Then the committee asks about the sexual relationship mentioned in the newspaper. Saul pauses briefly before describing the officer in question as an unstable person who hid her bipolar diagnosis and relationship with Brody.
The episode ends with a horrified Carrie watching the testimony live on television.