Claire Danes and Damian Lewis on "Homeland." (Showtime)
"Homeland" swept the Emmy Awards last Sunday, and for good reason: Season 1 saw outstanding performances by Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and left viewers in shock following its shattering finale. With the drama's second season set to debut this Sunday, you may not have time to get caught up on the show so far -- or maybe your memory's a little fuzzy on what happened in Season 1. Either way, here are ten things you should know before Season 2 starts.
Warning: 'Homeland' Season 1 spoilers to follow.
1) On assignment in Iraq, Agent Carrie Mathison (Danes) learned an American prisoner of war "had been turned." Ten months later, Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Lewis) returned home after eight years as an Al Qaeda prisoner, piquing the interest of Carrie, who believed he was POW in question.
2) After 24-hour surveillance on Brody leads nowhere, Carrie is ordered by her boss and mentor Saul (Mandy Patinkin) to move on. And boy, does she ever: obsessed with her theory, she begins an affair with Brody, who eventually learns of her actual intentions.
3) Sadly for Carrie, she finds out too late that it wasn't Brody who had actually turned: not only was he telling her the truth (cue: a heartbreaking affair-ending scene), but his former Marine comrade and fellow POW, Tom Walker (Chris Chalk), was the aforementioned traitor. And he was planning to take down the president.
4) This was especially surprising because Brody was under the impression that he had killed Walker while in captivity, after being given no other choice by Al Qaeda leader Abu Nazir.
5) Eventually, Carrie and Saul use a Saudi diplomat (and known Abu Nazir ally) as bait to capture Walker. Unfortunately, Walker gets wise and uses a homeless man to deliver a bomb to the diplomat, who's waiting for a rendezvous. Carrie and several dozen innocents are caught in the blast, and Carrie's bi-polar disorder goes into hyperdrive.
6) Still obsessed with tying Brody to the terrorists, Carrie's symptoms lead to piecing together a timeline for Abu Nazir: according to the confidential documents she'd brought home from work, there had been a period of time in which he was dormant. With the help of Saul, they realize he was in mourning.
7) During the time Brody was in capture, Abu Nazir used the Sergeant as an English tutor for his ten-year-old son, Issa, who started treating the American sergeant like a dad. However, after a U.S. bombing leaves Issa dead, Nazir and Brody become bonded in avenging the boy.
8) Unfortunately, Carrie isn't aware of the truth, and believing Brody is still on her side, she calls him at home to ask for help in filling the timeline. Fearing he'll be found out, Brody calls the police, who send over the C.I.A. They fire her, destroy her work, and leave her in a deep depression (also a symptom of bi-polar disorder).
9) Meanwhile, Brody has been selected to run for office in return for his war efforts. He and Nazir use this opportunity to stage a suicide bonding, which is sparked by Walker's attempted assassination of the vice president. However, the bomb fails, and Brody decides he'll do better work in a higher political ranking. Nazir agrees, but tells him to shoot Walker to prove his loyalty. And... Brody does it.
10) Carrie finally pieces it all together, but too late. After confronting Brody's daughter at their home, Carrie is arrested and taken to the hospital. Despite Saul's urgings, she agrees to undergo electroshock treatment, and seconds before she succumbs to the anesthetic, she remembers Brody screaming Isa's name during a nightmare. "Don't let me forget," she mumbles, before falling asleep.
And that's where Season 1 left off. According to Lewis, season two will be even more "accelerated," and will see Nazir playing an even more prominent role than he did before. As Brody climbs the ladder of American politics, viewers will undoubtedly be urging the C.I.A. to out-maneuver him -- or, at least, to listen to Carrie, despite her wiped memory from the shock treatment.
The second season of "Homeland" premieres on Super Channel on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET. Hold on to your hats, folks.