Homeland TV Wiki
The Smile
Season 2 Episode 1
Season 2, Episode 1
Story by: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon
Directed by: Michael Cuesta
Production number: 2WAH01
Running time: 55 minutes
Original airdate: September 30, 2012
Viewers (millions): 1.73

The Smile is the season premiere of Season 2 of Homeland. It aired on September 30, 2012.


Months after the dramatic events that prompted Carrie to undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy, the former CIA Case Officer has found a modicum of peace in her family’s suburban embrace. But the strides she’s made towards mental health are threatened when an asset from her former life comes in from the cold. Meanwhile, freshman Congressman Nick Brody discovers that Abu Nazir may not be content with his nonviolent approach to affecting change in American foreign policy and Dana lets slip a vital secret.

Episode guide[]

Roughly six months after the killing of Elizabeth Gaines and Thomas Walker, there is news of major unrest in the Middle East as Israel has bombed nuclear facilities in Iran, with Iran vowing retaliation. The Central Intelligence Agency is approached by a former asset, Fatima Ali, who is a wife of a Hezbollah district commander. She says she has information on an imminent attack on America. However, she refuses to talk to anyone but her former handler, Carrie Mathison.

Carrie, now working as an ESL teacher, receives a surprise visit from Galvez while she's teaching a class. Galvez is there on behalf of Estes, who wants to talk with Carrie, but she refuses. The next plea comes from Saul on the phone that night. Unable to say no to Saul, she relents and listens to what Estes has to say. Estes explains to Carrie that one of her assets has resurfaced with vital information, and that he's asking Carrie to briefly go to Lebanon to find out what the asset knows. Carrie is still hostile towards Estes and bitter over how she was drummed out of the CIA, but nonetheless agrees to the trip.

Nicholas Brody, settling into his new role as a Congressman, is approached by Vice President Walden who wants to float Brody's name as a potential running mate for his presidential run. Brody happily accepts the offer. Later on, he meets with Roya Hammad, a journalist who reveals herself to Brody as an ally of Abu Nazir. She relays an assignment that Nazir has passed along to him. Brody is to retrieve a list of potential attack targets from a safe in Estes' office. Brody correctly ascertains that Al-Qaeda intends to hit one of these targets and refuses at first, reluctant to be responsible for deaths of civilians. Roya says that the world is at war and Brody needs to pick a side. If his allegiance is truly with Al-Qaeda, he will retrieve the list. Brody successfully procures the list the next day while Roya distracts Estes.

During a spirited political and religious debate at her school, Dana accidentally blurts out that her dad is a Muslim. It gets laughed off as a joke, but word gets back to Jessica, who confronts Dana about it that night. As Dana struggles to explain herself, Brody admits to Jessica that he is indeed Muslim. Jessica is shocked and angered by the revelation, feeling she'd been lied to by her husband. She also takes issue with Brody embracing the religion of the men that kept him captive and tortured him. In the ensuing argument, Jessica throws Brody's copy of the Quran on the floor. Brody's panicked reaction upsets Jessica even more.

On her way to a rendezvous with Saul in Beirut, Carrie - posing as a Canadian named Kate Morrissey - is followed by a Lebanese policeman who had been surveilling Saul. Speaking via cell phone, Saul advises Carrie to turn herself in. Carrie refuses to do so, as it would compromise her mission. She attempts to evade her pursuer instead. Leading him into a crowded shop, she knees the man in the groin and successfully escapes into the crowd. Carrie can't contain a euphoric smile as she flees the scene.

Dana finds her father in the backyard digging a hole. Brody explains that his Quran was desecrated by Jessica, so he's burying it out of respect. Dana helps with the burial.

Stray observations[]

“Homeland,” the geopolitically astute spy thriller on Showtime, features three bedeviled protagonists: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a brilliant and bipolar C.I.A. agent; Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), her mentor; and Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a former prisoner of war who tried (and failed) to assassinate the vice president. Much of what made “Homeland” successful in its first season was the artful way in which the show plucked from real-time history, a trick that the show’s creators, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, honed while working together on “24.” We talked to them about the challenges of writing a show that so closely mirrors the real-world shadow wars.

What were some of the cultural influences for the creation of the show?

GANSA: “The Lives of Others,” “Parallax View,” “Three Days of the Condor,” Graham Greene’s “Heart of the Matter.” All the Le Carré books —

GORDON: “Rear Window.” I think we really were trying to tell a sophisticated novel for television, we were trying to tell our own little John le Carré play. - Willa Paskin

'Homeland': Where will your favorite characters be in season 2? - Katie McLaughlin

"Her intelligence work, her defense of the country, is from the neck up." - Rich Juzwiak


Brody: “That’s not supposed to touch the floor.”

Jess: “Did you just actually say that?”


It’s an extra on the S1 DVDs: Hospital scene. It was one of the deleted scenes from the show.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]




Season 2
#201 "The Smile" #207 "The Clearing"
#202 "Beirut is Back" #208 "I'll Fly Away"
#203 "State of Independence" #209 "Two Hats"
#204 "New Car Smell" #210 "Broken Hearts"
#205 "Q&A" #211 "In Memoriam"
#206 "A Gettysburg Address" #212 "The Choice"