TV Review: HOMELAND Season Two Episode 2, 'Beirut is Back'

The Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning drama series Homeland, which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, is scheduled to air it's next episode Sunday, October 7th, at 10:00 PM ET/PT exclusively on Showtime.

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Developed for American television by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and based on the original Israeli series "Prisoners of War" by Gideon Raff, HOMELAND stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Damian Lewis, and Emmy and Tony® Award winner Mandy Patinkin. The one-hour drama series tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of U.S. soldier Nicholas Brody (Lewis) was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil. As we begin season two, Carrie is no longer with the Agency. The disgraced ex-officer is on the slow path to recovery, after her manic flight in season one nearly crashed Brody's political career. It’s this fragile new existence that Carrie's former colleagues Saul Berenson (Patinkin) and David Estes (David Harewood) threaten to shatter, when they come to her door asking for help. Meanwhile, Brody is several months into his inaugural term as a freshman Congressman, and finds himself buffeted daily by competing agendas. With every lie he tells, the walls around him close in a little tighter, threatening to bring him down, along with his family and everything they’ve achieved since his return.

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If after last week's mild premiere episode you thought Homeland was going to ease slowly into it's second season, you'd be wrong. The second episode was one of the most intense of the entire series and ends with such an amazing cliffhanger that will leave you reeling long after it's over. It was a great change of pace to see the series move overseas and actually show the inner working of a strategic military strike with the CIA's guidance.

The CIA's target is enemy number 1: Abu Nazir -- also known as Brody's secret best buddy, depending how you look at it. We're treated to what goes on behind-the-scenes, in the field and, even better, how it's decided to pull the trigger. Carrie masterminds such an amazing plan, despite her CIA colleagues constantly writing her off as a joke, that I can't imagine her going back home and staying put. More importantly, what Saul Berenson witnesses will change the very landscape of not just this season but the series.

I can't believe they dropped that bomb this early and I'm happy they were brave enough to go through with it. If you're like me, you'll be holding your breath for far too long during the ending sequences. The entire episode was an intense ride and one of the best for the entire series so far.

5 Stars