‘Homeland’ Season 2 premiere recap: Carrie shows us ‘The Smile’

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After winning multiple awards at the 2012 Emmys (including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for Claire Danes and Outstanding Lead Actor for Damien Lewis), Showtime's "Homeland" is back on the air with a whole new season of intrigue and espionage.

In Beirut, Saul has received a bank note with a code written on it in invisible ink. The woman who sent the message refuses to talk to anyone but Carrie, but Carrie is no longer with the agency; she's growing vegetables, teaching English as a second language, and trying to get her mental balance back.

The woman who sent the message to Saul is Fatima Ali, the wife of a Hezbollah commander. Carrie turned her toward the agency back in 2005, but kept it off the books to protect Fatima's life. Now, Fatima says that she has information about a planned attack on American soil, but she won't say anything more unless she can tell Carrie, the only person she trusts.

Estes and Saul uproot Carrie (who is still vulnerable and not at her peak because of her new medication) and send her to Beirut on a 72-hour mission to speak with Fatima.

Meanwhile, things are going well for Brody. He has now been elected to Congress and has been tapped as a running mate for the vice president's campaign. Things are mostly okay for him at home, with his wife being very happy with her new role in life as a congressman's wife.

However, a reporter named Roya Hammad walks into Brody's office and turns his life upside down. She has a message from Abu Nazir: Brody must help them steal vital information about targets from David Estes at the CIA. Brody balks at the idea because he doesn't want to kill innocent civilians. However, he does end up stealing the information by the end of the episode.

Back at his home, his wife learns that Brody is a Muslim and freaks out. Brody and his daughter Dana bury Brody's Koran in the backyard. He tells Dana that they are burying the book because it touched the floor when Brody's wife threw it, and it has been desecrated.

Back in the Middle East, Carrie has dyed her hair and is pretending to be Canadian to gain access to Beirut during the anti-American riots. She is on her way to meet with Saul, but two men start to pursue her. She is able to lose them by hiding in a small market, and as she makes her escape, she flashes the first true smile of the entire episode.

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