So a crapload of stuff went down last season on Homeland. Before Season 3 begins on Sunday, Sept. 29, here is everything you need to know:
At the beginning of Season 2, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) was out of the CIA (thanks to the whole major-bipolar-episode-leading-to-seriously-erratic-behavior thing), and her old boss Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) was stationed in Beirut.
But a vital CIA contact in Beirut would only talk with Carrie, so off she went to the Middle East. And at first, she was happy!
But then she wasn't.
That is some epic Claire Danes Cry Face right there.
Meanwhile, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) had become a U.S. congressman…
…but he was also still an al-Qaeda mole, with a new contact — Roya Hammad (Zuleikha Robinson), a respected TV journalist who we learned almost nothing about for the rest of the season.
Also, Brody's wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) finally learned her husband is a Muslim, thanks to an outburst from their daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) at school.
In Beirut, Carrie risked her life to snag important intel from her contact's apartment…
…intel that finally revealed Brody's suicide bomber video, and outed Brody as a terrorist! Whoa!
And if there was any doubt that Brody was still a threat, while transporting the tailor of his suicide vest to a safe house, he fucked it up so royally that he ended up killing the man, in the woods, in the rain, while on the phone with his wife.
Saul and David Estes (David Harewood) agreed to surveil Brody for the time being, bringing Carrie on the team. But Estes insisted that an "analyst" named Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) should run the op.
Some fans spent the rest of the reason secretly shipping Quinn and Carrie, or Quinn and Saul. Basically, wishing Quinn was shirtless more often. These fans are just human. Don't judge them.
Other shows would have spent the rest of the season hunting Brody. Instead, after one encounter with Brody in a hotel bar, Carrie blew the mission, and brought Brody in. Holy crap!
Other shows would have spent at least a few episodes breaking Brody down. Instead, in the best episode of the season, Carrie quietly dismantled all of Brody's defenses, and turned him into a double agent.
This was in the fifth episode of the season, y'all.
Some other big things that went down in Season 2: Quinn and CIA operative Danny Galvez (Hrach Titizian) were almost killed in an ambush…
…Carrie and Brody boinked like jackrabbits while Saul and Quinn listened in…
…and Brody discovered the show's Big Bad, Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), was miraculously in the United States! Holy shit!
Meanwhile, Saul met with Quinn's real boss, a hard bitten CIA spook named Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), who revealed Quinn is really a black ops assassin.
Despite Abu Nazir threatening his family, Brody stayed loyal to the U.S., and helped the CIA to bag Roya Hammad and thwart Nazir's plan to set off a bomb at an event where 300 soldiers were to be reunited with their families.
In retaliation, Nazir kidnapped Carrie, somehow Skyped with Brody on his Blackberry…
…and forced Brody to give Nazir the code to Vice President Walden's pacemaker. As Brody watched, Nazir used the code to murder Walden remotely.
It's science, you guys.
Nazir let Carrie go, Carrie called in the cavalry, there was some wheel-spinning confusion about where Nazir was, Carrie found him, and Nazir was killed. It was finally over!
As was Nicholas and Jessica Brody's marriage!
Wow! Dana! Way to be relevant!
So Carrie and Brody celebrated finally being able to be together, while Quinn decided not to kill Brody!
Everyone was happy! (Not really. Like, at all. But for Homeland, it's happy adjacent!)
And then BOOM!
Estes, dead. The vice president's family, dead. The CIA, destroyed.
And Brody is suspect No. 1.
But Carrie still believes Brody is innocent, and she helped him escape into Canada.
So now Brody is at large, Saul is in charge of the CIA, Carrie is without the love of her life, Brody's family is devastated, and we still don't know who the "mole" in the CIA is!
Homeland Season 2, everybody!