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Cult Recap

'Homeland' episode 8 'Achilles Heel' review - Did you watch?

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Season 1, episode 8 | Aired Friday, Apr 6 2012 at 7:16am EST on

There's more twists than a supersize bag of pretzels in Homeland. Just when you think you're getting a handle on the characters, the motives and the plot, something or someone throws a spanner in the works.

After the high benchmark and high drama of last week's 'The Weekend', 'Achilles Heel' felt on the whole like a more relaxed and calm affair.

Homeland S01E15

© Channel 4



Following his fling with Carrie, Brody is investing more time with his family (popcorn and movie nights for the Brodys!) and has forgiven his wife for her 'affair' (we use inverted commas, because, to be fair, she did think he was dead). And the duo even have a fun night out together at a Democratic political party, where the guests are gushing with praise and generous with the canapes.

Party hosts Elizabeth Gaines (Linda Purl), the Vice President's chief advisor and a woman we wouldn't trust with our worst enemy has her eye on grooming Brody to be a new congressman. Fellow party guest Saul, as usual, is not impressed. If there had been some balloons, he would have probably popped them.

Carrie has come to the conclusion that she will spend the rest of her life alone, while Saul is starting to grasp that he's spent too much time stroking his beard at work and not enough time with his missus. Jessica confessed all to Brody, Carrie revealed her dodgy dalliances with Brody to Saul. Cards were laid on the table, air was cleared and a new enemy and big bad was established: Sgt Tom Walker (Chris Chalk).

Homeland S01E15

© Channel 4



Walker - a man Brody believed he had killed with his bare hands - is living on the streets of Washington DC. His only contact with his past life is calls to his wife and son's answer phone message. Aside from that, he is now acting suspiciously on street corners and getting passed notes inside dollar bills.

His 'achilles heel' is his temptation and contact with his family's answer machine, as sharp cookie Saul quickly picks up on the regular pattern of calls from mobiles, which only happen when Walker's wife and son are out of the house.

Walker's capture should have been an easy procedure, but a combination of cock-ups mean that the Sgt is still very much at large at the end of the episode. Firstly, his wife can't stop herself from screaming "Run Tom, run" down the phone before the FBI reach him, and secondly, Walker is still pretty nifty with his fists and feet and the FBI are pretty easy to outsmart.

The result? Two innocent Muslim men are shot in a mosque. Walker is free to pick up a hefty, swanky-looking rifle from a garage. And the FBI are forced to launch a national search for the former marine. "Call him a terrorist. What happened here, won't matter much," slimes one agent, while the two dead bodies remain cold on the ground.

But wait, there's five minutes of the episode left. Just long enough for Homeland to pull the rug from under us again.

Homeland S01E15

© Channel 4



Monsour Al-Zahrani (Ramsey Faragallah), the chap who slipped a key and a message to Walker at the start of the episode returns to his lavish home. Shocked to find someone in his front room, he quickly berates Walker for being so stupid to visit him when the FBI are on the hunt. But wait... dum, dum, dum. It's not Walker, it's Brody.

Informed by Carrie that the man he thought was dead is still alive, Brody is out for revenge. Attacking Monsour and dishing out promises about Abu Nazir, Brody seethes: "Tell him it's over". Wait a minute? What's over?

Just when we started to think we'd got Brody all figured, it turns out that he was working with Nazir. But what was Brody doing for Nazir? Why did Nazir lie to Brody about Walker? Are they being played against each other? If Walker and Brody don't know about each other, are they on different missions?

Questions - so, so many questions. If you can wait for next week, you're more patient people than us.

Homeland airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on Channel 4.

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