|Story by:||Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon|
|Teleplay by:||Alex Gansa & Chip Johannessen|
|Directed by:||Michael Cuesta|
|Running time:||84 minutes|
|Original airdate:||December 18, 2011|
The extended 84-minute episode sees the culmination of Abu Nazir's terrorist plot at the Vice President's summit, while Carrie's downward spiral continues.
Brody records a videotape of himself, explaining his future actions as an attack against a domestic threat, namely Vice President Walden and his advisors who were responsible for the deaths of 82 children. He leaves the camera's memory card at a drop-off point. Carrie, who is in a deep depression following her manic episode and dismissal from the CIA, gets a visit from Saul. Carrie implores him to follow up on her insights into Abu Nazir, and wonders aloud why Brody betrayed her by turning her in. Saul recoils as he realizes Carrie is in love with Brody.
That night, Tom Walker commandeers an apartment overlooking the State Department, which is the site of the Vice President's summit. He ties up the woman resident, and sets up a vantage point at the window for his sniper attack. In his garage, Brody is discovered by Dana in the middle of an Islam prayer ritual. Brody admits to Dana that he did indeed convert to Islam while he was in captivity, and asks her to keep it a secret from the rest of the family.
Saul presents Estes with a heavily redacted internal CIA document. He believes it to be in regards to a drone strike which possibly had some impact on Abu Nazir, as it correlates with the time that Nazir went silent. Estes dismisses it and tells Saul to focus on protecting the Vice President.
Brody gets dressed for the event, with his explosive vest concealed under his Marine uniform. Dana, well aware of her father's recent bizarre behavior, is very uneasy and asks Brody not to go. Carrie hears about the summit on the radio and, as there will be many high-ranking government officials there, recognizes it as a possible target for Tom Walker and Abu Nazir. She asks Virgil to drive her there. At the summit, Carrie is outside in the crowd of spectators and witnesses Brody's arrival.
As the politicians are milling around in front of the State Department, Walker opens fire. He shoots Elizabeth Gaines, VP Walden's chief aide, in the back, killing her instantly. As Walker continues to fire into the crowd, Walden, Brody and the other VIPs are rushed into the State Department building by Secret Service agents, into a secure bunker area inside. Brody successfully gets past the blaring metal detectors which are ignored as the crowd of people rushes through them. The plan so far has gone perfectly; Brody finds himself in the bunker with VP Walden, CIA Director David Estes, the Secretary of Defense, and many other high-ranking officials.
As chaos ensues outside, Carrie calls Saul who is upstairs in the State Department. Already believing that a lone sniper attack would merely be a diversion to a larger scaled siege, she now sees what has unfolded and puts together the scheme. She explains to Saul that now all the high-value targets have been sequestered into a confined space, and an attack on that room is the true goal, and that Brody must be the agent to deliver the attack. Saul dismisses this theory as a resurfacing of Carrie's obsession with Brody. He sends some Secret Service agents out to contain Carrie, but she realizes what's happening and escapes in Virgil's car.
Inside the bunker, Brody slowly approaches the Vice President, preparing to detonate himself and kill everyone in the room. He hits the switch inside his sleeve and nothing happens. He retreats into a bathroom stall inside the bunker, takes off the vest and inspects it, finding that some wiring has become disconnected (likely from a Secret Service agent tackling him when gunfire rang out). He works on repairing the vest. While this is happening, Carrie arrives at Brody's house. She tells Dana that her father is in league with Tom Walker, and is involved in the attack on the State Department as they speak. Dana reacts with hostility. Carrie hands over her cell phone and asks Dana to call her dad and "talk him down" because "he'll listen to you". Dana instead dials 911 and reports that there's a crazy woman in her house. The confrontation escalates, Jessica gets involved, and the police soon arrive to arrest Carrie. After Carrie is taken away in handcuffs, Dana takes a long look at the cell phone that is still there.
Brody has repaired the vest, and is back among the politicians, trying to gather up the nerve to hit the switch for a second time. As he appears to be about to do it, he gets the call from Dana. Brody says he's busy and tries to get Dana off the phone, but she won't let him go. She tells him that Carrie was at their house, accusing Brody of being a terrorist. Dana insists that her father tell her that he is coming home tonight. After much agonizing, he says the words and, at least momentarily, he no longer seems ready to trigger the explosion. The 'all clear' is given, and everyone starts filing out of the bunker.
Saul meets with Vice President Walden. He demands to know the story behind the covered-up drone strike, and has brought along a big bargaining chip in the form of evidence of Walden authorizing torture when he was head of the CIA. As Walden cannot allow that to be publicized, Saul is shown footage of Walden and Estes ordering the drone strike that killed 82 children, which was deemed to be acceptable collateral damage in their attempt to kill Abu Nazir.
Carrie is released from police custody. Her sister Maggie is there to pick her up, but Brody is also there to confront her. He reiterates to Carrie that he is not a terrorist, and berates her for terrifying his family and continuing to harass him. This conversation is Carrie's breaking point. With her life and career in shambles, she now even doubts her own sanity as nothing came out of her theory about Brody (she has no idea she actually stopped his attack). Clearly in distress, she stumbles into her sister's car and asks to be taken to the hospital.
That night, Brody goes to retrieve the recording he dropped off, but it is gone. He goes home, gets his gun, and goes to meet Walker, who doesn't believe the vest didn't work and is hostile towards Brody. Walker has Abu Nazir on his cell phone, who wants to talk to Brody. Brody explains to Nazir that his vest malfunctioned, but that maybe it's a good thing that it did, as he's now a trusted ally of the man who's going to be the next President, and will be able to influence him. Nazir seems amenable but tells Brody that he must eliminate the "wild card". Brody shoots Walker in the head.
Two days later
Saul barges into Carrie's hospital room, where she is being prepared for electroconvulsive therapy in hopes of treating her bipolar disorder. Saul tries to put a stop to the procedure, but Carrie is undeterred, feeling that she has no choice with her life in ruin. She mentions that short term memory loss is a side effect, but it's usually temporary. Saul tells her she was wrong about Brody but right about Abu Nazir; Walden ordered a drone strike that killed 82 children, including Abu Nazir's youngest son. Carrie is anesthetized before beginning the ECT. As she begins to fall asleep, she recalls the moment where Brody was shouting Issa's name in his sleep. She now realizes that Brody had a connection with Abu Nazir's son who was killed. The thoughts are fleeting as she falls asleep and the doctors begin the ECT, which induces a seizure in Carrie.