“Homeland,” Season 2, Episode 3

Season 2, Episode 3

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  • Photo: Bob Leverone/SHOWTIME
  • WE”RE GOING FOR A RIDE: Nasser Faris and Damian Lewis

“State of Independence” provides the official title of this week’s episode of “Homeland,” but it could just as easily been “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Jessica’s improvised, crowd-pleasing speech near the end of the episode explicitly states the theme, which the subplots support in different ways.

It begins with Saul attempting to go home: he’s at the Beirut airport when security pulls him aside, and a taciturn, plainclothes official sorts through his belongings. “Jewish, yes?” the security guy asks. “American,” Saul replies, identifying by nationality, not religion. The security guy uncovers a computer chip in a secret compartment — whoops!— and sends Saul on his way. After the plane takes off, Saul reveals another computer chip in a double-secret compartment — psyche! In your face, mysterious Hezbollah guy!

Back at her dad’s house, Carrie burns the midnight oil trying to finish her official report about her Beirut experiences. She’s in high spirits — “I feel pretty great,” she tells her Dad, who tries to get her to go back to bed, because sleep is the best medicine. That morning Dan from the CIA picks up Carrie’s report and tells her that the official meeting (debriefing? My jargon’s getting rusty) will be later that afternoon. Carrie takes it on faith that she’ll be welcomed back, but given the circumstances of her ouster, she’s setting herself up for disappointment.