Sunday, October 27, 2013

Achilles’ Heel - Homeland Episode Summary 1.8

Tom Walker finds sniper rifle in storage room
Synopsis: The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. work together to draw Tom Walker out of the shadows, but their plans quickly go awry.  Brody and Jessica deal with their marriage problems, and begin to make peace with each other.  Their reconciliation could not have come in a more propitious time for Elizabeth Gaines has grand plans for Brody.

Episode Summary: Tom Walker poses as a homeless veteran panhandling in the streets of Washington D.C.  Soon he recognizes a car with a diplomatic license plate, and runs up to.  The diplomat hands him a dollar bill, but taped inside it is a key to a storage room in Wicker Avenue.Continue reading...

Saul Berenson questions Nicholas Brody about his statement regarding Walkers’ death.  Brody is anxious to know why the C.I.A. suddenly found a need to reconfirm his story.  Unaware that Walker is alive, Brody suspects that Carrie had divulged to the agency his confession of beating Walker to death.  Brody returns home to confront his marriage problems, one he had run away from for two full days.  Jessica Brody admits guilt for giving up on him six years after the Marine Corps had officially considered Brody dead and had decided to start paying death benefits to his family.  Inopportunely, just when Jessica had decided to move on, Brody turns up alive and reenters their lives.  His return has made Jessica an unfaithful wife despite her years of loyalty to him just because she had finally accepted her husband’s death and had decided to move on with her life.  Brody lifts the burden of guilt from his wife’s shoulders telling her that she is not at fault.

Deputy Director David Estes shows Tom Walker’s son, Lucas, a cartographic sketch of his father in an attempt to have the child identify him as the man lurking around his school.  Helen Walker is in disbelief that the story her son has been telling her about seeing his father at his school is true.  Moreover, she is shocked to learn that her husband whom she thought dead is in fact alive, and is now planning an attack on the country he once served.  This, however, is easier for her to accept than the fact that her husband had made his family believe that he is dead.  For Helen, Walker turning into a terrorist explains why he kept his distance, and why he had not made contact.  Saul, however, believes that Walker did attempt to make contact.  The man has been calling his house when they are not around just to hear his wife and son’s voices on the answering machine.  His family is his Achilles’ heel.  Carrie’s plan is for Helen to pick up the phone, and have her draw him out.  However, the F.B.I. is now involved in the hunt, and Special Agent Hall is in disagreement with her plan for his lack of confidence in Helen.  He recommends enlisting the public’s help instead, a strategy they used to catch Whitey Bulger.  Carrie was quick to point out that it took the F.B.I. twenty years to catch the criminal Hall was so proud to mention using the method he had recommended.

Elizabeth Gaines calls on the Brodys to verify their attendance at her party.  Jessica and Brody are hesitant to accept the invitation, but Dana aware of the woman’s social status urges his parents to accept.  Meanwhile, Saul urges Mira to come with him to the party in an attempt to postpone his wife’s departure or, at the very least, to distract him from the fact that she is indeed leaving him.  Mira agrees to go to the party, but makes it plain that her plans have not changed.  Carrie once again disrupts their serious conversation with her intrusion at their home.  She has come to thank Saul for recommending her to head the task force set to apprehend Tom Walker.  The decision was based on the strategy she presented, which was born out of Saul’s idea.  Seeing the amount of undeserved trust Saul had placed on her, Carrie found the need to come clean with him about her relationship with Brody.  Although Saul disapproves of Carrie’s actions, he barely reproaches her for what she has done, and sends her home.  He is hopeful that their strategy will be a success.

Carrie is at Helen’s house to be with her when Walker makes his call.  Helen is hesitant about helping the C.I.A. apprehend her husband.  Carrie explains to her that Walker has not yet committed a crime, and it is best that he is caught before he does something he will regret.  Soon the phone rings, but Helen is still reluctant to oblige forcing Carrie to pick up the phone before it goes to voicemail.  A petrified Helen answers the call only to learn that it is a telemarketer.  Realizing the gravity of the situation, Helen breaks down in tears as the guilt of giving up on her husband weighs on her.  Carrie, however, sees it differently, and tells the woman that she had done well by keeping his memory alive enough for her son to recognize him.  Soon, the phone rings again, but the person on the other line hangs up the second after Helen answers it.  The C.I.A., however, still managed to trace the call in Ivy City in Northeast D.C.  Saul’s team scours through the street camera feeds in the hope of finding Walker.

Chris Brody is anxious to see the car Elizabeth Gaines had sent to fetch his parents, and is ecstatic to see the limousine park in front of their house.  He is even more delighted at noticing that their parents have made peace with each other.  Both Chris and Dana are stunned to see their parents well dressed.  Meanwhile, Saul could not stop admiring his wife, and she pays him a compliment as well.  However, the thought of her departure has not left his mind.  He apprises his wife of the task set upon his team, and the strategy of using his Achilles’ heel to catch him.  Mira asks what the man’s Achilles’ heel is, and finds that the man shares the same weakness Saul claims to have.  The man loves his wife.  They arrive at the party.  Saul and Mira are at once confronted with the troubles at home with Elizabeth’s comment. Mira evades the insinuation from Elizabeth who confesses to have heard rumors of her departure.  The Brodys arrive, and Elizabeth is thrilled to see the lovely couple so genuinely delighted that Saul could not help but notice and say something about it.  Saul suspects that Elizabeth has grand plans for Brody, something that the woman does not deny and hints of revealing by the end of the evening.

Brody assimilates well with the distinguished men at the party, but Jessica is not as comfortable with the company of women surrounding her.  Both, however, does find that everybody at the party have been strangely warm with them including people of high social status.  Elizabeth sees Saul brooding on the couch, probably the only guest who is not enjoying the party.  She is very much aware of the upheaval at home and of Mira’s departure the very next day.  Having gone through the same situation several times, Elizabeth offers herself to be his confidant.  Moreover, she announces that it is almost time to reveal her plans for Brody, and tasks Saul to bring the couple to the library.  The guests gather at the library to watch news of the licentious scandal surrounding Virginia’s 8th District Congressman Richard Johnson.  Although the congressman vows to remain in office, Elizabeth is aware that the congressman will be out of the office in two days, and has already found a replacement for him.  Brody and Jessica make their way home laughing at the sexting scandal involving Dick Johnson.  They arrive home to find their children up way past their bedtime watching Ice Age.  Still in good spirits, husband and wife decide to watch the movie with their children, and for the first time since Brody returned home, they display some semblance of a normal, happy, American family.

Evening came, and Walker has not called again.  Carrie stays at Helen’s house in case he makes another attempt.  She finds that despite what Helen had gone through, the woman has moved on, and was even lucky enough to find a dedicated husband who loves Lucas like his own son.  Later that evening, the phone rings again, but this time Helen picks it up without hesitation.  Moreover, she asks the caller if he is her husband, Walker.  The caller just listens, and she tries her best to keep him on the line speaking of their son telling her of seeing him at his school.  Agent Manny Galvez’ is woken from a stupor when the system begins tracing the call.  Carrie has fallen asleep on the couch, and is awaken by Galvez’ call.  She runs upstairs, but finds Helen outside her house still on the phone.  The team pinpoints the location of the call, and Galvez instructs the tac team with G.P.S. directions that will lead them to Walker.  Helen continues to speak, and explains to him of her decision to remarry and how she had done it for Lucas.  She adds that she has not stopped loving him, and just the thought of him being alive brought her joy.  Helen who initially believed that her husband has become a terrorist has a change of heart.  Hearing him speak her name confirming that he is indeed alive, and seeing Carrie made her realize of her betrayal.  She warns her husband about the trace, and tells him to flee.

The tac team arrives at the alley where Walker has been sitting, and sees him climbing up the wall.  The F.B.I. pursues Walker, and reports of him making his way to the rail yard.  Carrie sees this as a diversion, because the man is trained to run for cover.  Walker attacks one of the FBI agents, and takes his gun.  Galvez reports to Carrie that Walker has entered a building, and that the agents are in pursuit.  Carrie advises against following him inside, and instead instructs them to flank him on the next street.  Her instructions, however, came too late for the F.B.I. agents are in hot pursuit of Walker inside the building.  The F.B.I. enters a room, and open fires killing two men, part of a group of Muslims in the room for morning prayer.  The accidental shooting of two innocent Muslim men has stirred outrage among the Muslims in the neighborhood.  Hall argues that Walker was the first to fire, which Carrie disputes.  After all that, the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. have lost Walker, and have no idea where he is.  Little did they know, Walker had gone to the storage room on Wicker Avenue.  The storage room is empty except for a case containing a sniper rifle.  With Walker’s whereabouts unknown, and blood in their hands, the two agencies are under tremendous heat for their incompetence.  Hall suggests that they move on to his plan of enlisting the public’s help, and to branding Walker as a terrorist.  His hope is that the civilian casualties will be drowned out by the fact that there is a terrorist lurking in the neighborhood.  Left with no other options, Saul agrees to the F.B.I.’s recommendation.

Brody receives a text from Carrie early in the morning to meet her in front of his house.  Just when peace has come in his family, Brody could not risk his affair with Carrie surfacing.  Although enraged, he meets with her in front of his house, and finds that the woman has come to inform him that Tom Walker is alive.  Brody is in disbelief, because he is certain that he had killed him with his bare hands.  Carrie explains that Abu Nazir only made him think that he had killed his friend.  Carrie is trying to make amends, which is why she has come to tell him the news before it goes public.  Moreover, she has done so in order to regain Brody’s trust for the man had believed that she had divulged to the agency his confession. Carrie adds that she is unaware that Walker is alive, which is why she was convinced that Brody was the prisoner of war that was turned.  Brody accepts that the woman was only doing her job, but somehow Carrie wanted to convey that not everything she did was for work.  Jessica turning up on the front steps interrupts their conversation, and Brody leaves her at once to be with his wife.

Saul rushes home to catch Mira before she leaves for her flight.  He is apologetic for he had promised to make her breakfast and offered to bring her to the airport, but the events of the previous night required him to be on the job.  Mira, however, has already called a cab.  He does manage to see her before she leaves.  Saul pleads for her to stay, but his absence that morning only highlighted the reason why his wife is leaving him.  Mira has grown tired of being less important than Saul’s job.  Saul realizes that his Achilles’ heel is not his wife, but his job.  Saul and Carrie return to the office.  Having agreed to the F.B.I.’s recommendation, they now face thousands of tips that detract them from the goal.  To add, both are distracted with issues in their personal lives, realizing that their jobs prevent them from having a meaningful relationship with another person.  As the two agencies are busy pursuing Walker, they fail to realize that Brody might still be involved.  In fact, Brody had snuck into the house of the diplomat that gave Walker the address of the storage room that contains a sniper rifle.  Brody genuinely believed that he had killed Walker.  He is filled with rage at finding out about the lie that consumed his conscience.  He attacks the diplomat, and strangles him close to death.  The man pleads for his life declaring that he is unaware of the lie Brody was made to believe, and offers to have Abu Nazir speak with him.  Brody, however, severs his connection with Nazir.

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