Forget everything I said last week about Homeland. I was wrong and I take it back. Actually, I still stand by what I said, but this week the writers have redeemed themselves with “Two Hats.” I honestly have no idea where the showrunners plan to take the rest of the season, but with only three episodes left, they have certainly set it up to be quite explosive (pun intended). 

So, we left off after last week’s frustratingly unrealistic episode with Carrie watching as Roya essentially kidnaps Brody and takes him away in a helicopter. As this week’s episode opens, we catch up with Carrie, Peter, Saul and David Estes trying to figure out what to do now that Brody has been gone for over 12 hours. Do they bring in Roya and show their hand that Brody has been working for them? Do they hope for the best and assume Brody is still alive? As they are trying to make a decision, Carrie gets a call from Brody. What?! 

After being interrogated by Abu Nazir outside some town in the middle of nowhere, Brody is released to carry on Allah’s will. He rushes to a phone and tells Carrie to get his family to safety. He’ll explain more later. Carrie orders Mike Faber to take Jessica and the kids to a safe house, telling them only that “there is a threat” and that it is for their own good. When Carrie and Brody finally meet up, he explains what is happening.

According to Brody, Abu Nazir is planning an attack the next day during an event at which Brody and the vice president will be welcoming home 300 troops from the Middle East. Their friends and families will be present and the message will be loud and clear. In a debriefing with Carrie, Peter, Saul and Estes, Brody tells them that he is supposed to convince the VP to allow Roya to cover the event as the only press representative so she and her camera crew can get close enough to detonate the explosives. Knowing this, what is the CIA supposed to do? Let the event take place and hope they are able to stop the disaster or (again) arrest Roya before anything happens and risk exposing Brody? 

There are no easy answers in this episode. The CIA doesn’t want to put American lives at risk, but losing their only connection to Nazir (Brody) would be almost as catastrophic when it comes to future terrorist attacks. Worse, Saul and Estes seem to doubt Brody’s resolve and fear Nazir may have re-convinced him to pledge his loyalty to the attacks he plans to make on America. Carrie, of course, is blind to any of this and trusts Brody wholeheartedly. 

Even more interesting in “Two Hats” is Saul’s investigation into Peter Quinn. He discovers that Peter is not exactly who he says he is and that David Estes is aware of this. Who is really running the operation and who is Peter, really?

The episode ends with Carrie and a SWAT team taking down Roya and her crew at breakfast the morning the event is supposed to take place. While Abu Nazir is not present, they have certainly prevented a terrorist attack on American soil and the certain death of hundreds of Americans.

 Or did they?