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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homeland 1.8: Surprises

I last reviewed Homeland, Showtime's new domestic terrorist/spy series, after I'd previewed the first three episodes.  I figured it was time to check in with a review again, especially in view of the excellent twists and surprises we've seen in the last few episodes of this thoughtful series.

The surprises begin when Carrie, seeing her investigation of Brody cut off, decides to pursue him personally.   This turns out to be literally, when she sleeps with him in the car in episode 1.6.  This progresses in 1.7 to the best episode in the series.

Carrie takes Brody to her cabin.  The two make love - and Carrie really enjoys it.  In the afterglow of the next early morning, she slips up and apologizes to Brody for not having his favorite tea in the boondocks, Yukon Gold.  This triggers Brody's realization that Carrie has been spying on him, and a no-holds-barred conversation (for Carrie) in which she confronts Brody about his being a terrorist.

Brody's explanation and behavior seemed believable - to Carrie and well as me - and the confirmation that Walker was checking out the premises near the airfield certainly confirm that Walker is up to no good.  Brody, it seems, was also set up by Nazir - to believe Brody had killed Walker.  And the secret Brody was keeping was not that he is on a mission of terror here in the homeland, but that he killed a fellow POW.

One part of Brody's explanation which struck me as a little week at the time - in episode 1.7 - is that he adopted Islam as the only mode of spiritual comfort available to him.   And at some point it also occurred to me that Brody as well as Walker could be here on a terrorist mission.

And that's pretty much the big reveal at the end of 1.8 - which was a good smack in the face, even though I somewhat saw it coming.  Brody, apparently, was still lied to by Nazir, who managed to not only turn Walker but Brody, too.  And that's why Brody's been praying with the Koran.

Carrie's job has now gotten much more difficult.  Having doubted Brody - falsely, she thinks - and feeling bad about that, she will be that much more resistant to seeing that Brody is a terrorist, after all.   Perhaps Saul, unencumbered by such guilt and now fully focused on this case, can be of help.  I suppose there's also still a chance that Brody may be some kind of triple agent - playing Nazir, not following him - but his comfort with the Koran, which he takes in private, argues strongly against that.

See also Homeland on Showtime

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