The Homeland Bandwagon

I am on it, with the zeal of a convert.*

If you haven’t watched Homeland yet, you must. I’m new to it, having used Showtime’s Homeland marathons to get caught up in time for Season 2.

*Yes, that’s on purpose given the Brody storyline.

Homeland in a nutshell:

CIA agent Carrie Mathison and her colleagues in the counterterrorism unit investigate Marine Nicholas Brody in order to determine if he was turned during his eight years as a prisoner of war and is now working on behalf of Al Qaeda.

There’s a twist, though. Quite a few twists really.

First of all, Homeland dared make a ginger a sex object AND IT WORKED! Damian Lewis‘ Brody is very, very hot. He’s also British, but his American accent is perfect.

A more significant twist: Carrie has a history of mental health issues. Serious ones in the form of bipolar disorder with evidence of psychotic breaks. In most, if not all, episodes, the viewer is challenged to ponder Carrie’s judgment, reliability and capabilities, in addition to the honesty and trustworthiness of her spook coworkers. Is Carrie our heroine or just the main protagonist? Do we root for her or shake our heads in dismay?

My favorite episode to date is “The Weekend” excerpts of which can be viewed here:

Homeland’s characters are complex, nuanced and well-developed. In one scene, Mandy Patinkin’s character Saul hears a major confession from Carrie, but he’s so consumed by his own collapsing marriage that it barely registers.

Brody’s daughter Dana, an angst-filled teen, is, by turns, angry with her mother Jessica for moving on when Brody was presumed dead, hopeful that her parents might reconnect, shocked by the secrets she learns about her father and also somewhat arrogant about the fact that she, not her mother, holds them.

In one of my creative writing classes, devising plot elements was summarized thusly:

Throw obstacle after obstacle in front of your characters. Et voila.

I swear, at least one of Homeland’s writers must have heard the same advice. Episodes seem to be going in one direction and then…no. I love it. Sundays are awesome again.

After the premiere of season 2, Lainey (!!) chimed in with a terrific recap. You should read it.

Haven’t watched Homeland yet?

Showtime subscribers can watch on demand here. Surely more crafty, less law-abiding citizens can find the episodes elsewhere.

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