Homeland Season 2: New Car Smell And A Preview Of Episode 5, Q&A

Homeland raised a few eyebrows last week. The series is normally praised for its intensely realistic depiction of the war on terror but "State of Independence," the third episode of the second season, left some scratching their heads. Why would Abu Nazir risk his most valuable asset by sending Brody on a job that a trusted taxi driver could handle? And probably without the bloodshed. On top of everything, the 'tailor' storyline doesn't even seem to matter in the grand scheme of things, leaving a blemish on the otherwise great season for no reason.

There are a few similar head-scratchers in "New Car Smell" but the fourth episode also features a few scenes between the leads and it's always fireworks when Claire Danes and Damien Lewis get together. Carrie's vindicated and brought back into the fold. Well, a side project that only Saul and Estes officially know about that's being led by a new hard ass named Quinn. I'm not sure what to make of this guy. Is his crude honesty covering up something else? Or is he just a dick because he's one of Estes' guys? Either way, I still find it hard to believe that the CIA would bring someone as unstable as Carrie, right about Brody or not, back in to do work critical to National Security. Look how easy she goes off-book?

The Brodys have a pretty eventful episode as well, starting with an eviction or sorts for Nicolas since he cannot tell his wife why he missed the fundraiser. As for Jessica, she gets stuck with the drunk Marine (Lauder) who's constantly spouting conspiracy theories and it would serve him well to stop jumping to every conclusion (CIA mission, that's it!) because he's got some of the facts right. Not to worry, boy scout Mike's on the case now too... late. It was probably just to win Jess back anyway. As for Dana, she's busy with a fling of her own, cheating on her doobie smoking boyfriend to hand out with the Veep's son Finn in the Washington Monument. Is it just me or did Finn get douche-ier this week?

Brody goes about his terrorist business while simultaneously performing Congressional duties because neither he nor his reporter contact think it unwise to talk in government buildings. As it happens, they are only being watched so Carrie and the company aren't able to hear about Roya's involvement. For some reason the play was to spook him in hopes he goes running to his handlers, which sounds backwards but (as usual) what do I know about spy tactics. I figure you let him get comfortable, kill another tailor and then lead you to Abu Nazir's summer house in Miami but that's not the case on Homeland.

The final confrontation was great, especially seeing him hauled off bag-headed but again, wasn't the idea to watch him until he leads them somewhere? She's very much still involved in the case according to the preview for next week, so it doesn't seem to matter that Carrie is ruining missions and doing whatever she wants. Here's a look at "Q&A"...

Homeland returns with Episode 5, “Q&A,” Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime. It stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin. It was adapted for American television by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon from the Israeli series Prisoners of War (or Hatufim) by Gideon Raff.