Homeland Recap: “The Smile”

By October 1, 2012

Pumped with lithium to treat her bipolar disorder and her memory fuzzy from electro-shock treatment, Carrie is just getting back on her feet when the CIA recruits her for one final mission. Leaving her little choice in the matter, she is sent to Beirut to talk to an old asset, despite her sister’s protests.

Meanwhile, Brody, now a senator, is being groomed to run for Vice President. His loyalties are compromised when a journalist brings him a message from Abu Nazir. She asks him to steal a list of possible targets from a safe at the CIA during an upcoming meeting. Unwilling to give away information that could result in the loss of innocent lives, Brody is reluctant until the reporter reminds him of Isa’s death and his subsequent promise to Nazir.

At her new school, Dana gets into an argument about the Middle East and, frustrated by the bigoted remarks of her classmates, blurts out the fact that her dad’s a Muslim. No one takes her seriously, but the dean calls Jess, resulting in a showdown at home.

To Jessica’s anger and dismay, Brody reveals that he is, in fact a Muslim. Upset by both this fact, and the fact that he kept it a secret, she goes into the garage where he prays and, in her rage, throws his Qur’an to the floor. Remembering the CIA agent’s crazed speech on her lawn, Jess asks if Carrie knew he was a Muslim. Brody reminds Jess of Carrie’s precarious mental health, but doesn’t answer the question.

During his meeting at the CIA, the reporter summons Director Ellis, giving Brody ample opportunity to break into Ellis’ files and steal the information for Nazir.

Back in Beirut, Carrie is having trouble remembering her cover story. Saul is concerned that she isn’t ready, but Ellis insists that they must go through with their mission. Members of Lebanese law enforcement prevent Carrie from meeting with Saul. When Saul tells her to let herself be arrested, she disobeys, determined to finish the mission. She leads one of the men on a chase through the city, disappearing into the marketplace. He follows her, but she manages to disable him and escape.

His Qur’an desecrated by his wife’s actions, Brody leaves in the middle of the night to bury it in the backyard. In a bittersweet father-daughter moment, Dana helps him.