Homeland Recap: Befriend It Like Beckham

How much do you need to like Nicholas Brody in order to stay invested in Homeland? It's not a question I've considered much, both because since episode one I've been hoping that the story would ultimately lead to Brody in fact being a terrorist, and also because I really don't need to like Brody to stay invested in the show. But if this week's episode is any indication, the folks behind the scenes at Homeland are quite concerned about viewers being able to like Nick Brody, even if he's a terrorist. And so we got an episode's worth of youth soccer, adorable moppets, and one hell of an emotionally bulletproof justification for turning on one's own country.

With Jess and Dana at home trying to wrap their heads around the idea of Tom Walker still being alive, Brody heads to the grocery store for a seminar on the ascendance of Vitaminwater in American consumption since 2003. It's doubtful he'll remember anything he learned about our favorite source of Dragonfruit, though, since he gets assaulted in the parking garage and abducted to some kind of sleeper-cell safe house. And that's where the episode takes a turn for the gauzy. Via an extended series of flashbacks to three years prior, we get to see the first meeting between Brody and Abu Nazir. Just as the earlier flashbacks had alluded to, Nazir showed Brody kindness, cleaned him up, and introduced him to Islam. What we didn't know was that Nazir's method of emotional manipulation involved him entrusting his adorable little son — Issa — to Brody's mentorship. Issa teaches Brody Muslim prayer rituals; Brody helps Issa learn English and practice soccer in the yard. By the time Brody's teaching the boy the words to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," it's painfully obvious that the kid isn't going to survive the hour. And it comes at the hands of U.S. forces, in a bombing intended to take out Nazir. Is Brody the one to pull Issa's lifeless body from the rubble, cradle him in his arms, and cry out to the heavens? Oh, you bet! Read More...



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