Homeland - “Two Hats” (season 2, episode 9)
Many things were wrapped up in last night’s episode of Homeland. “Two Hats” almost seemed like a mid-season finale in terms of everything that has been established in the last eight episodes is now out of the way while a new story line is lingering around it.
Let’s start with Roya. Throughout this season she’s been pegged as an antagonist that, quite frankly, is just on the side of things. In “Two Hats” she has been apprehended and taken into custody along with the other terrorists we’ve gotten to know earlier in the season. Just like that, the hat has fallen.
Brody’s intel gives Carrie and her team a heads-up on Abu Nazir’s terrorist attack on America. This leads to the capture of Roya and the terrorists, but not Nazir himself. There’s a feeling of being a little underwhelmed in terms of this attack that has been talked about for episodes now being thwarted this quickly in terms of the episode’s short time. That underwhelming feeling also gets points from Roya being captured so suddenly. It all seemed so…easy.
Is it possible that this is just a trick from Nazir to test his loyalty on Brody? A test, perhaps?
Homeland wouldn’t do that unless it stated it within dialogue. Granted, there could be something that hints at the lack-of-resolution from someone like Saul early next episode, but it’s still doubtful. “Two Hats” is way more concerned with starting up the next thread before it collapses the older one. That next thread, of course, is Peter Quinn.
When we first met Quinn, Carrie had her suspicions on where his loyalty lies along with how she’s never heard of him before. Since then though, he’s gained our trust as a character and become a more likable guy to watch. Those suspicions finally got around to Saul and he and Virgil seek out the man’s whereabouts. A lot of things found in his apartment raise more questions than answers, among them is a photograph of his apparent wife and child. Saul goes to question the woman and she very quickly picks up what he’s trying to get from her. He gives up on her but knows that she’ll call Quinn wondering what’s going on.
Quinn ends up on a bus talking to a man named Dar Adul (played by the great F. Murray Abraham). Saul says Adul is an ex-CIA operative who “ran company missions we don’t talk about into Somalia.” Estes ends up knowing a little about this and even instructs Quinn to not kill Brody that day like originally planned (if Nazir had been captured). What’s going on here within the CIA seems to be the show’s direction for the next three episodes. Estes, Quinn, and the newly introduced Adul could be up for the show’s next big twist that will turn everything all around.
There’s a beautiful sequence in the middle of “Two Hats” that is very calming. No dialogue, just ambient music to aid watching our characters’ choices. To me, it’s a calm before the storm moment. Screeners for the next three episodes will not be sent out to critics in the next few weeks to avoid spoiler-talk. It’s a standard procedure when it comes to highly regarded serialized dramas, but it could also mean something big is about to happen beyond the corner.