'Homeland': Brody Switches Sides Again... and Again
Damian Lewis as Nicholas 'Nick' Brody in Homeland (Season 3, Episode 10). - Photo: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME
SPOILER ALERT: This recap contains storyline and character spoilers.
Phew! It was almost like being back in those final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad” with “Big Man in Tehran,” the penultimate “Homeland” episode of Season 3.
All those installments that were completely sans Brody earlier this season were well worth the wait for this, in which the former American hero and politician finally chose which side he’s on. A twisty, turn-filled adventure that found him seemingly flip-flopping between the plan the CIA set out for him and a newfound hero status in Tehran ended with Brody doing exactly what he’d been ordered to do: kill Iranian intelligence head Danesh Akbari, so Akbari’s number two, Javadi, could be installed as the new head of the IRGC and puppeted by the CIA.
But Brody isn’t out of the woods yet. An initial planned rendezvous with Akbari — egged on and facilitated by Javadi — didn’t get him close enough to carry out the killing. To keep his cover, Brody had to continue playing the political asylum card, and Saul, Dar Adal, and Sen. Lockhart believed he may have actually switched his allegiance again once the people of Tehran became aware of his presence and started praising him as a hero (hence the episode title, when a guard tells Brody he’s a “big man in Tehran” now).
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson and F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal in the 'Homeland' Season 3 episode, 'Big Man in Tehran.'
Carrie, in Tehran to help the risky plot succeed, became aware that Saul and company had lost faith in Brody and had ordered two hit men to pick him up. Brody ignored her pleas to flee the city with her and ran to his friend, Abu Nazir’s widow, begging for a face-to-face with Akbari. He had important information about Javadi, he said, and Akbari needed to hear it.
At this point, we were as uncertain as the CIA what Brody planned to do, but since he’d already destroyed the cyanide needle he’d been given as a murder weapon earlier, an assassination attempt on Akbari seemed unlikely. But we, like Saul and company (and probably even Carrie), underestimated Brody. He did go to Akbari, he did tell the general Javadi had been blackmailed into working against Akbari, and he told Akbari he had originally been sent to Tehran as part of the CIA plan to kill him.