9.5

Homeland Review: "State of Independence" (Episode 2.03)

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<i>Homeland</i> Review: "State of Independence" (Episode 2.03)

While “State of Independence” ends with Carrie freeing herself from the mental prison in which she was incarcerated, the bulk of the episode concentrates on Nicholas Brody and the supporting cast.

Just as we feared at the closing of last week, Saul Berenson isn’t walking through Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport without being searched thoroughly for the video clip of Brody. It’s irrelevant that he’s carrying a diplomatic bag; the officials pull him into a private room to inspect his luggage. After just a few moments, the video is found in the suitcase, pocketed by the lead official, and Saul is told to never return to Lebanon. I must admit, my stomach felt as though it dropped to my feet after the evidence had been confiscated.

We must not forget how intelligent a man Saul is. Perhaps with so many episodes circling wildly around Brody and Carrie, we tend to forget how nimble he can be. Saul had created an additional copy of the video with the anticipation of being searched. While waiting for his flight to take off, we see Saul unlock another hidden compartment on his suitcase to make sure the second copy is intact. It is, and what a relief. He gently releases the flash drive into his shirt pocket and stows his suitcase overhead. During his flight back home, the show makes the transition over to Nicholas Brody.

One thing that is worth mentioning is how each assignment from Roya Hammad (the handler) seems to push Brody deeper into service for Abu Nazir. This episode was no different. Brody is tasked with driving the tailor from Gettysburg and delivering him to a safe house nearby. Everything that could go wrong during this mission certainly did. Not only did the tailor not make it to his destination, but an accident in the woods forced Brody to take the man’s life in dramatic fashion.

Much like last season, Brody is back to dangerously straddling both of his identities. With each decision, one side must suffer considerably. In this episode, he stands Jessica up at a veterans’ dinner, which is sure to put his marriage on thin ice.

Speaking of being on thin ice, we were seconds away from losing our favorite ex-CIA agent to a suicidal overdose. Carrie’s work is her life, and when just the little hint of being reinstated into the CIA dissolves, she finally hits rock bottom. She swallows a handful of pills and devours a bottle of wine. Carrie lies down and closes her eyes—this is perhaps the most peaceful state we’ve seen her in. Seconds later, she wakes up startled by her decision and immediately runs to the bathroom to vomit the pills out of her system. How ironic is it that the video that will completely change her life shows up at her doorstep moments later?

And now onto the line that ended the episode:

“I was right.”

“State of Independence” changes everything. The tables are now turned with the main characters, and it appears Carrie will be placed firmly into the driver’s seat. For those of you who were hoping for some sort of conclusion with the Brody video, it didn’t quite happen. One thing is certain though: Brody is about to be exposed. How and when is still a surprise.

For anyone who feared Homeland would experience a sophomore slump, your worries can now vanish.

Here are a few questions that should stimulate conversation:

-Who here thinks that Claire Danes has already won a second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series?

-Who in the CIA is leaking information to Roya?

-Will Brody’s wife leave him?

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