Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blind Spot - Homeland Episode Summary 1.5

Blind Spot Homeland episode
Synopsis: Pakistani Intelligence abducts Afsal Hamid, the sole terrorist that survived the U.S. military attack on the safe house that served as Sergeant Nicholas Brody’s prison for eight years, and hands him to the C.I.A.  C.I.A. Deputy Director David Estes assigns Saul Berenson and Carrie Mathison the task of interrogating the terrorist and includes Sergeant Brody in the team much to Carrie’s shock.  Brody did prove to be helpful with the interrogation for Saul was able to convince Hamid of the agency’s power to help keep his family from harm in exchange for information about Abu Nazir’s plans.  Brody, however, raises alarms when he insists on meeting with Hamid, the prison guard who tortured him, face-to-face.

Episode Summary: Carrie Mathison pays a visit to her sister’s house, and finds her father ranting at a baseball game on the television.  A call from Agent Danny Galvez interrupts her visit.  Danny informs her that Pakistani Intelligence abducted the one surviving terrorist from the compound in Afghanistan where they found Sergeant Nicholas Brody.  The terrorist was taken from his house in the middle of the night.  Pakistani agents are now on their way to the States to hand over the terrorist to the C.I.A.  Carrie, sharing the same mental illness as her father, filches some of her father’s prescription medication before heading to the office.  Saul Berenson, flowers in hand, enthusiastically welcomes his wife Mira at the airport.  The couple has not even reached the parking lot before Saul receives a call with orders from C.I.A. Deputy Director David Estes for agents to clear their schedules and to come to the office for the briefing.  His very understanding wife knows all too well what the call demands and takes it upon herself to get herself to their house.Continue reading...

The agents including Carrie and Saul attend the briefing where David apprises them of Afsal Hamid, a member of Abu Nazir’s group.  Saul believes that the man is likely to be knowledgeable of Abu Nazir’s plan to carry out a terrorist attack in U.S. soil.  Moreover, he might have information about where the money from the hawala went and what it bought.  David assigns Carrie and Saul as Hamid’s interrogators.  Moreover, much to Carrie’s shock, David adds that Sergeant Brody will be helping with the interrogation.  David believes that Brody will be able to help establish a baseline, a strategy that Saul supports.  Carrie privately relays her concerns about Brody witnessing the interrogation to Saul.  She finds that Brody taking part in the interrogation equates to handing the playbook to the enemy.  With Carrie unable to produce any proof linking Sergeant Brody to Abu Nazir, Saul disapproves of Carrie’s plan to disclose her suspicions to David.  Carrie insists that Brody’s presence in the interrogation is an operational security concern.  Saul is at his wit’s end with Carrie’s incessant pleas, and so dares the young agent to go ahead and inform David of her belief that Abu Nazir leaked the information of the compound in Afghanistan for the sole purpose of the U.S. Army rescuing an American prisoner of war turned terrorist.  Saul believes that Carrie will be able to serve her role of preventing a terrorist attack on American soil if she continues to work for the agency, one she will not be able to do if she pursues her plan of divulging her unfounded belief to David.  He sees a positive aspect in having Brody in their midst.  It will allow them to observe him in a high-stress environment that they are able to control.  Moreover, he would rather focus on the job at hand for the success of it might lead to the imprisoned terrorist divulging Abu Nazir’s plans including Sergeant Brody’s role in it if he is truly involved.

Captain Mike Faber interrupts Brody’s run to inform him that he is expected at Langley.  The details of the directive were not divulged and were said to be classified.  Jessica learns that Brody is expected at Langley; she becomes curious of their intentions.  Seeing that Brody is concerned about it as well, she asks about the well-being of her husband, and receives a riled answer from him.  Chris’ arrival to ask his father to attend his karate class where he is to take a test in order to get his blue belt pacifies their brewing argument.  Brody accepts the invitation and expresses his desire to be there.  Soon after, Danny and other agents drive Sergeant Brody to the safe house where the abducted terrorist is imprisoned.  Brody, recognizing that the agents are not bringing him to Langley, becomes uneasy.

David and Saul watch as agents haul a heavily chained and masked prisoner from a private plane to an unmarked van.  Carrie is already at the safe house preparing for the interrogation.  David, on the other hand, has opted to watch the interrogation through a live feed in his office.  Brody remains nervous even after Carrie welcomes him to the safe house, but has mixed feelings when the young agent shows him a feed of a prisoner being led to an interrogation room.  The man is finally unmasked, and Brody recognizes him as Affie, the prison guard who urinated on him when he was a prisoner of war in Afghanistan.  Carrie informs him that the man goes by the name of Afsal Hamid, and he was the sole survivor in the attack on the safe house where Brody was rescued.  Saul arrives, takes a pair of earpiece from Carrie, and without saying a word to anyone enters the interrogation room.  Saul greets the prisoner in Arabic, holds both his hands, and kisses him on both cheeks.  Learning from Carrie that Pakistani Intelligence already interrogated Hamid, Brody is curious to know the details of their interrogation.  Carrie, however, informs him that she cannot share any operational details with Brody.  Brody becomes even more curious of the purpose of his presence in the safe house.  He learns that the agency had summoned him to confirm the identity of Hamid, and to provide them with any information they can use to unsettle the terrorist.  The success of the interrogation lies on their ability to prove their control and demonstrate omnipotence.

Saul waits for the man to speak first, but the prisoner remains silent.  Saul begins the interrogation addressing the man in English, but the man would not say a word.  Having spent years with Hamid, Brody provides some answers to Saul’s questions.  Saul makes it sound that they already are aware of the answers to these questions.  He is merely displaying the agency’s omnipotence.  He shows Hamid photos of Sergeant Brody.  With the help of Brody, Saul conveys to the man his knowledge of Hamid first meeting Brody in Damascus.  This is where Sergeant Brody was interrogated and was tortured with a stick wrapped in barbed wire.  Brody also shares the fact that Hamid urinated on him.  This prompts Hamid to look at the camera, and when Saul speaks of the fate of Hamid’s wife and sons, Hamid shows a glimmer of interest.  The man has hinted through his eyes that he would want to know what became of his family.  Saul, having expertly conveyed that he already knows the answers to his questions, is coaxing the man to ask for some information about his family.  He reaffirms his omnipotence with a summary of his abduction.  Five days have passed since Hamid’s abduction from Islamabad where he was in hiding.  Saul informs Hamid that his mysterious disappearance has stirred Abu Nazir.  He tells the story of Yasser Akram, one of Abu Nazir’s former terrorists whom British Intelligence captured in a villa in Lebanon in August 2006.  Soon after his disappearance, Abu Nazir kills Yasser’s brother with a car bomb.  Moreover, Saul shows Hamid horrid photos of Yasser’s parents, wives, and children all victims of Abu Nazir’s wrath.  Saul then offers protection for Hamid’s family, up to eight members of it.  He, however, grows impatient conveying the urgency of Hamid’s cooperation; his reluctance could mean the massacre of his family.  Saul calls on Joelle, another agent, who brings with her a cup of water for Hamid, some paper and a crayon.  Saul tells Hamid that when he is ready, he is to write the names and addresses of the members of his family he would like the C.I.A. to protect.  Saul ends the interrogation with the reiteration of the urgency of Hamid coming to a decision.  The fate of his family rests on his hands.  Unbeknownst to Hamid, his wife and his children are already in the protective custody of the C.I.A.

With the interrogation completed, Carrie thanks Brody for his help and instructs the agents to bring him home.  Brody, however, requests that he speak to his former prison guard.  He would very much like to show retribution for the suffering he endured in the hands of Hamid.  Carrie turns down his request for obvious reasons, but does give Brody her card in case he needs a confidant.  As soon as Brody leaves and Estes turns off the feed from his laptop, Carrie informs Saul that Brody stopped breathing for a few seconds when he showed Hamid a picture of Abu Nazir.

Carrie volunteers to watch over the prisoner so Saul can be with Mira.  Saul finally arrives home, but his wife is already fast asleep.  Hours have passed, and Hamid still has not made a move not even to take a sip of water.  Hamid begins to fall asleep, and Carrie plays a deafening heavy metal rock music combined with blinding lights that are switched on and off.  This happens intermittently, and Hamid finally drinks the cup of water.  Later, Hamid, with only a towel wrapped around his waist, shivers as the air conditioner is turned on blowing strong, cold air in the room.  It is morning when Hamid finally picks up the crayon and writes eight names.  Saul and Carrie speak with Hamid with Carrie requiring a show of faith from him before they can provide protection to the eight individuals he had indicated.  Hamid finally utters a word, but only to say that he does not know anything.  He informs them that the success of Abu Nazir’s mission relies on his men not knowing anything of his plans.  Saul then refuses to provide protection for Hamid’s family.  Hamid decides to write down an e-mail address in Pakistan.  He swears not to know whose e-mail address it is, and that his only task is to forward messages to the address.  Carrie then goes to ask Hamid if the location of the safe house in Afghanistan was deliberately leaked for the sole purpose of rescuing Sergeant Brody.  She continues with her questions, but Saul stops her.  Hamid hints of providing the answers to those questions, but demands that they first fulfill their promise of keeping his family from harm.

Brody pays a visit to David who informs him that Hamid is getting ready to provide them with essential information about Abu Nazir’s terrorist attack.  However, the purpose of the sergeant’s visit is not to get an update on Hamid.  Brody has come to request a face-to-face meeting with Hamid.  David sides with Carrie, but Brody rambles on about needing closure on the ordeal he endured for eight years.  Looking his torturer in the eye to show him that he has triumphed over the suffering inflicted upon him will give him closure.  David speaks with the D.C.I. and soon after receives approval on Brody’s request.  David brings Brody to the safe house where Hamid is currently having his meal.  Much to Hamid’s shock, his former prisoner sits across from him, and gloats at having survived his torture.  Hamid spits at Brody in response causing the sergeant to attack the man.  The men guarding the prisoner break up the fight.  The sergeant makes his way out, while Hamid says something to him in Arabic.  Brody arrives home and finds Mike with Chris.  He has completely forgotten about his son’s karate class, and consequently missed his son earning his blue belt.  Luckily, Mike was there to attend to Jessica’s request to bring Chris to his class, an errand he has done for the past four years.

One of the analysts sends a phantom e-mail to the e-mail address Hamid shared with them.  The owner of the account will never receive the e-mail for the phantom e-mail’s purpose is to trace the location of its owner.  After hours of tracing, the agency locates the account back to the engineering department at Bryden University.  Raquim Faisel, the professor Carrie and Danny personally tailed and cleared ostensibly has links to Abu Nazir.  Danny checks with the university and learns that the professor has not showed up at the university.  Moreover, he is not in his apartment in Truxton Circle.  Carrie calls on Virgil for help, and sends him to Bryden University.  Virgil and Max pose as inspectors surveying Faisel’s office.  Max creates a distraction to allow Virgil to go through the professor’s mail out of the secretary’s sight.  Virgil takes a photo of one of the letters on Faisel’s desk.  He recognizes the address as one close to the airport.  Carrie, Virgil, and Max watch the house near the airport, the same house Faisel led Carrie and Danny past when they were tailing him.  Carrie receives a call from Saul with news that Hamid has committed suicide using a razor blade fragment.  She could not believe that Hamid was able to conceal the blade from them given the numerous body searches he underwent.  She suspects that someone must have passed the blade to Hamid, and that they have a mole in their midst especially since Raquim Faisel is nowhere in sight.  In light of this new development, she asks for authorization to enter Faisel’s house, and Saul approves it despite orders from David to the contrary.  Plainclothes agents enter the house and report that the house is empty, and has signs of having been left in a hurry.

Saul returns home and finally gets a chance to speak to his wife.  The two have not seen each other since he welcomed her at the airport, and left her for work.  Mira had stayed up despite her jetlag in order to speak with Saul.  Having spent time with her family in India and Saul’s suggestion of Mira’s parents passing on their work on the Mumbai slums to someone else, Mira has come to a decision to take over her parents’ work.  Saul, of course, did not count on Mira taking over the job.  She has gotten tired of Saul’s work dictating her life.  Before Saul could even argue to keep his wife from leaving him, Carrie arrives highlighting the point Mira has made.  Saul does not disprove it as well as he entertains Carrie with whatever it was that prompted her to drop by in the middle of the night.  Mira excuses herself and goes to bed.  Carrie then shows Saul a video of Brody’s face-to-face meeting with Hamid that ended with an altercation not caught in video for it happened at a blind spot.  Saul informs Carrie of the working theory that Hamid smuggled the razor blade inside the sole of his shoe.  Carrie is in disagreement of this theory.  She believes that Brody handed Hamid the razor blade and warned Faisel.  She demands that they divulge her suspicion of Brody and escalate her theory to the higher ups.  Saul tells her once again that she cannot do so for she has failed to produce evidence to prove her theory.  She finds that Saul has become diffident; she threatens to apprise David of her suspicions to which Saul warns her that doing so will cost her job.  Carrie believes otherwise and continues to throw insults at Saul prompting him to throw her out of the house.

Still upset and emotional, Carrie packs up her work and makes her way to her sister’s house in the middle of the night.  Her ever-supportive sister welcomes a highly emotional Carrie to her house.  Maggie learns that Carrie somewhat quit her job, and that Saul who used to have her back has turned against her.  Moreover, Carrie feels that she has been on her own for quite a while now.  Maggie appeases her sister and tells her that she really is not quitting her job for she knows that this is not what she wants.  Carrie is merely reacting in the heat of the moment.  Maggie offers her guest room, and tells her sister that her daughters will be ecstatic to see her in the morning.  Moreover, Carrie is welcome to stay for as long as she wants.  The girls having heard her presence have asked to sleep in the guest room with their aunt.  They proved to be a good distraction for Carrie.  Moreover, her niece telling her that they will protect her from terrorists made her assert more to herself that preventing a terrorist attack is her duty.

Seeing Mike being a father to his son, made him realize that he again has failed to be with his family.  Brody pays a visit to his son’s bedroom and finds Chris praying.  He speaks to his son to assure him that he truly was sorry for having missed his earning the blue belt in karate.  He apologizes again to his son and asks for his forgiveness.  Moreover, he tells him that he is proud of him, and that he has no doubt in his mind that Chris was going to earn the blue belt.  Brody then joins Chris in prayer.  For years, Chris has been praying for his father’s return and now has been praying that his father will be okay.

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