'Homeland' Recap: 'Big Man in Tehran' Season 3 Episode 11


One episode left in the third season of “Homeland” and the show has yet to answer any of the year’s big questions. We still don’t know if Brody will survive his mission into Iran, what Saul’s fate at the CIA is, or if Carrie will ever reveal her pregnancy to Brody. One thing clear from this episode is that Carrie’s still the best Brody analyst the CIA has. Another lesson from this week’s episode is the danger of cigarette smoking.

Before the Brody plot reached a boil the show kicked off with Saul visiting the Mossad spy who banged his wife. The spy is being kept in a miserable looking prison, but Saul offers him a way out. If he can convince the Mossad to offer two of their agents in Iran for the Brody mission then they could arrange his return to Israel. This was a classic Saul scene. A mixture of his incredible power to hold the spy indefinitely with the weakness of asking the help of the man who slept with his wife. The Mossad is eventually convinced by this plan, and agrees to activate two of their agents for Carrie.

We join Carrie as she steps out of a cab that says “Women Only” wearing a hijab, a veil that covers the head and chest. She’s in Iran to supervise the Brody plot posing as a French tourist. Her french accent is convincing enough to get inside the hotel room. Carrie then goes to visit a cousin of Fara, the hijab wearing CIA Financial Analyst, to pick up a cellphone that was smuggled into the country by diplomatic pouch. She calls Saul who sets her up to meet with the Mossad agents.

The Mossad agents have a plan. They have a cyanide needle for Carrie to pass to Brody. Then right when Brody meets with the Iranian Chief Akbari they’ll set off a motorcycle explosion as diversion giving Brody time to use the needle. Carrie meets in secret with Javadi, and he makes sure to get the needle to Brody. All of this leads up to the first meeting between Brody and Akbari.

Saul and the CIA watch via drone as Brody is driven away from Akbari’s offices, and towards the center of Tehran. Akbari is a notoriously paranoid man, and sets up a meeting where he is in control. Carrie and the two Mossad agents watch from a distance as Brody exits a car in the middle of a tight city square. Brody walks across the square towards a row of dark SUVs. When he’s almost to the first SUV, Akbari steps outside from a building behind the cars. He approaches Brody, but stops right outside his car door. Before Brody can get close to him Akbari hops into his SUV and peels out of the square. Carrie has the Mossad agents stand down, and the mission is called off.

Brody enters the same house Akbari exited, and finds the widow of Abu Nazir. Akbari is using the widow as a final test of Brody’s asylum story. Who better to vouch for him than the widow of the man who originally turned Brody into an agent? After their meeting Brody exits the building, and is greeted like a rock star by the people on the streets. This kicks off a week of Iranian propaganda featuring Brody with the highlight being a face to face interview on state run TV.

Saul, Dar Adal, and Senator Lockhart have a meeting to discuss the Brody issue. The President is livid about the situation, and demanding action. Brody already was a no show for an extraction mission, and Saul has little reason to keep Brody active. Brody already proved his ability to flip sides before, and now it seems he’s done it again. Keeping Javadi operational is the goal no matter what. Saul then gives the go ahead to Dar to end the Brody mission permanently.

Back in Tehran Carrie still believes that Brody is following the plan. She thinks the propaganda stuff is just a cover for him to get a meeting with Akbari. Saul calls her and orders her to be on the next flight out of Iran. Carrie understands that the CIA means to end Brody’s life, and goes to warn him. In a great scene that took place in the courtyard of a mosque Carrie warns Brody via a passed phone that he is in danger. It reminded me a bit of the conversation these two had back at the cabin in season one.

Carrie and Brody stood on opposite sides of the courtyard. She warns him that he is in trouble and begs for him to leave with her now. Carrie doesn’t know where they will go or how, but she can’t leave him behind. Not with her being pregnant and stuff. Carrie’s warning Brody when she spots the two Mossad agents she worked with earlier in the episode. She knows they’re the team who the CIA sent to kill Brody. She warns him, and he flees out into the streets.

Brody eventually makes it back to Abu Nazir’s widow, and he has her place a call to Akbari. Brody has information on Javadi that he must tell him at once. Akbari summons Brody to his office, and sends out his guards so the two men can speak alone. Brody then reveals the entire plan to Akbari. He implicates Javadi as a CIA agent, and apart of the plan to kill him. Akbari thanks Brody for telling him and promises to deal with Javadi. Before Akbari can move back towards his desk Brody grabs a heavy crystal ash tray off the office desk and slams it against the Iranian Chief’s head. Down goes Akbari. Down goes Akbari.

Brody uses absolute silence as he grabs a pillow and suffocates the nearly unconscious Akbari on the floor of his office. If any sound reached the guards outside then Brody would be killed. Akbari’s hands put up a bit of a fight, but eventually Brody finishes the job. With Akbari dead Brody grabs the phone off his desk and calls Carrie. “I killed him. Get me out of here” he says right as the episode ends.

Once again Carrie was right and Saul was wrong. Brody still wants to return home to reclaim the parts of his life he thinks the mission’s success fixed. Carrie is still on the ground in Tehran, but getting Brody out of the country won’t be easy. Once the body of Akbari is found he’ll become the most wanted man in Iran. My prediction is that Brody won’t survive his extraction from the country, but Carrie will reveal her pregnancy to him before he dies. Then we flash forward nine months and Carrie’s got a new son named Brody. Then season four we can still have Carrie fighting terrorism with the CIA, but with new characters for us to focus on. While no one wants to see a character like Brody go, he’s run out of his usefulness for the show. We can’t have a “Homeland” where Carrie and Brody live happily ever after in a Chevy Chase, Maryland ranch house.

Tune in next week for the “Homeland” season three finale for answers to all of this and more.

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