Homeland: When in Doubt, Speedmetal Works

  • 21comments

Showtime's new series Homeland just keeps getting better and better, and I keep getting more and more paranoid, almost as if someone was constantly alternating between flashing bright lights in my face and blasting thrashmetalcore in my ears. "Blind Spot" hit all its marks perfectly, simultaneously delivering fantastic tension through plot and emotional depth through characters, so that it was impossible to look away. On multiple occasions I actually sat up on my couch and leaned in toward the screen, something TV reviewers will tell you doesn't happen that often beyond the first day on the job. Point is, Homeland is fantastic and a must-watch. Quick, someone at Showtime put that quote in a commercial!

The episode-long interrogation of the lone survivor from the compound where Brody was held captive was absolutely enthralling, and more than enough to carry the weight of the entire episode. It's not often we see interrogation scenes that actually follow the rules of the Geneva Convention. Usually, we see some cowboy agent slam a prisoner's head into the table and mutter something stupid like, "That's for Bobby! He was a firefighter in da Towers! Now his boy can't go to Yankees games!" Instead we saw government-approved psychological warfare, and it was nasty. It also offered a great parallel for Homeland's strength as a psychological drama and a showcase of how the War on Terror is about intelligence acquisition and not Black Ops clearing rooms with a flashbang.

The device of not letting us into Brody's head but giving us plenty of time with him is working spectacularly for the show. We all suspect Brody of being a terrorist, but we also still harbor an ounce of doubt in the back of our minds. So when he got to see his old guard, a man who once forced him to take a Golden Shower, not only did we not know how he was going to react, but we couldn't trust his reaction because it could have been a ruse. All we got was what we saw on the surface, the same thing Carrie saw. And we can't totally trust Carrie, either, because she's a nutcase. So can we even trust our own perception of what's going on? I know I've said as much before, but it bears repeating, because it's what really stands out about Homeland and makes it such a fascinating show. It's messing with our minds, and that's awesome.

Estes is the one who let Brody into the room with the guard, and while it seems stupid in hindsight, Brody is such a valuable asset from a political standpoint that bending the rules for him is something that will pay off tenfold if Estes ever needs it down the line. It was a questionable decision, but one that made sense for Estes. Once Brody got into the room, he and the guard either orchestrated an elaborate charade or scrapped like an old guard and prisoner should (how many bodily fluids was the guard going to leave on Brody's face?). After the guard-turned-prisoner slit his wrists with a smuggled razor blade, we were left to believe Brody provided it, and it's the most damning evidence we've seen yet that he's a good guy gone bad. Carrie sure believes it. But don't forget that Carrie is taking little green pills to keep her brain between her ears. We just don't know what happened. Heck, I'm almost beginning to believe Saul had something to do with it.

Carrie used the suicide as proof to get Saul to tighten the screws, leading to a difficult confrontation between the two. Saul was in the dumps, his job negatively impacting his personal life as his wife, just back from visiting family in India, said goodbye to him. He was completely crushed and not willing to fight. Carrie came into his home like a tornado, making demands left and right, and it really wasn't appropriate. She called him a pussy, then stormed out raining a cloud of expletives. To quote Sex and the City fans, that's so Carrie!

Carrie sought refuge at her sister's place to let off a bit of steam and a few liters of tears. Sis, fully aware that Carrie's a bit of a headcase, took care of her because Carrie really didn't have anyone else to turn to. It seems like this is a semi-regular occurrence; Carrie has a dustup, ends up staying at her sister's house, and things go back to normal. Eventually, while surrounded by her nieces, Carrie realized that the job that troubles also helps keep her family (especially those nieces) alive, and that it's her place in the world to do it. The episode ended with Carrie alone on the stairs, accepting the fact that she can't leave the CIA. Or maybe deciding whether or not she wanted a ham sandwich. Who knows what is really going on in that bizarre head of hers.

Notes:
Claire Danes is at her sexiest when she's cursing. "Fuck this shit!" You melt my heart, Siren from the heavens!

– Damien Lewis was marrrrrvelous in this episode. He's played Brody perfectly from the get-go, but he's only now able to layer the character with nuances as Brody gets out into the world more. Same goes for Mandy Patinkin, who wears grief with such pain. And, of course, Claire Danes, who continues to be fantastic. I loved the non-verbal exchange between her and Brody when they saw each other at the interrogation spot.

Morena Baccarin looked like she was about to eat a hamster! Her new 'do really makes her look like Queen Anna from V. I'm still trying to decide with style I like better.

– "I'd say you owe me dinner, Carrie. Possibly even sex." Keep trying, dude. It shouldn't be too hard.

– The tension between Mike and Brody is getting pretty uncomfortable to watch. It's pretty clear Brody knows about Mike and Jessica. How long 'til those two have it out?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 8:00 pm
    Dateline NBC
    NEW
    NBC
  • 9:00 pm
    What Would You Do?
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    Crossbones Beggarman
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    20/20
    NEW
    ABC