Sneaking Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) into Iran was supposed to be a quiet, bloodless mission. But the CIA operation quickly deteriorates into a loud, bloody fiasco on “Good Night,” Episode 310 of Showtime’s “Homeland.”
The scheme calls for Navy SEALs to drop off Brody at the Iraq-Iran border so he can seek asylum in Tehran by falsely claiming responsibility for the CIA headquarters bombing.
While being exploited for his propaganda value, Brody would kill the leader of Iran’s spy agency. Consequently, Deputy Intelligence Chief Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub) -- who’s covertly working for the CIA -- would rise to the top.
What could go wrong with a plan like that? Everything!
The first crisis occurs when Iraqi police happen upon Brody and the SEALS. Suspecting they’ve intercepted Al Qaeda terrorists, the officers pull out their guns.
“They should say ‘good night’ before the cops see Brody,” CIA case officer Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) points out, remotely observing the mission on a drone feed. “Good night” is code for “kill them,” and that’s what the SEALS do.
“This isn’t something the president needs to know,” CIA black ops expert Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) assures White House Chief of Staff Mike Higgins (William Sadler), who’s anxious that an international incident is unfolding.
Higgins goes from edgy to panic-stricken when the truck carrying Brody and a SEAL hits an explosive device and an Iraqi military patrol rushes to the scene and opens fire.
“That drone is armed, correct?” Higgins asks nervously, figuring air-to-surface Hellfire missiles would destroy evidence of the mission -- along with Brody and the SEALs.
“I will not order a strike on our own men,” insists CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). But Saul does order a halt to the ill-fated op.
“I’m not going back,” vows Brody, who’s only 300 yards from the Iranian border.
“You can’t do this by yourself,” pleads CIA case officer Carrie Mathison, fearing the father of her unborn child is embarking on a suicide mission.
With the elaborate Iran plan in tatters, how would Brody escape Tehran after assassinating the intelligence chief?
“You’ll find a way,” Brody tells Carrie over a satellite phone. “I have faith.”
Hastily devising Plan B, Carrie asks CIA analyst Fara Sherazi (Nazanin Boniadi) if her uncle in Iran could arrange a safe house for Brody.
“You’re asking me to put my family at extreme risk,” Fara protests, emphasizing that her uncle is “a member of a moderate opposition group -- not a bomb thrower.”
“Fara,” Carrie replies softly. “We have a brother agent in the field, soon to be in mortal danger. Don’t we owe him every chance to get out alive?”
But Brody, dodging automatic weapons fire, might not even make it into the country alive. He and one of his SEAL escorts, Yousef Terani (Jared Ward), are soon captured by an Iranian military unit.
Locked together in a cell, Brody and Yousef psychologically brace themselves for torture, knowing the Iranians will assume they’re interrogating Israeli agents.
When Brody was a Marine scout held prisoner by terrorists, he broke down after a week of torture. But he held out long enough to protect his comrades.
“I just I hope I can give you seven days to get the job done in Tehran,” Yousef says stoically.
Sadly, he has far less time than that. Javadi enters the cell and shoots Yousef in the head.
“Calm down,” Javadi tells a furious Brody. The presence of a SEAL would have complicated Brody’s mission. And Javadi’s bullet removed that complication.
“Now we go to Tehran,” the ruthless spymaster announces.
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