Homeland: The Most Addictive TV Show of All Time

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Will there be a Brody-Carrie encounter in today’s episode?

That’s one question that keeps me excited, looking forward to each episode of Homeland. It’s practically a simple question that makes a week worth of waiting feels longer than it should have. It’s a single question that tickles my fingers to Google the topic every now and then and does a YouTube search for a sneak peak to the upcoming scenario.

Yet somehow, despite not having any Carrie-Brody scene in a particular episode, I’ve always left feeling completely satisfied and thrilled with my one-hour Homeland treat. Highlighting a mixture of themes — mainly terrorism, patriotism, politics, and espionage, with insertion of family and love life — Homeland has been so well crafted that missing a single scene would give me a huge regret. Sit tight, no advertisement break. Nothing. I’m pretty much glued to the screen for the whole one hour.

Carrie met her asset in Beirut for some Intel on Abu Nazir’s visit to the city. (Photo credit: ondemand.tv3.co.nz)

Not only the intriguing intricacy of the story presented in a medium to fast pace transition between scenes, Homeland also showcases in-depth character development. It delivers contradictions in its main characters so strongly that you’d sometimes sympathise the villains and develops animosity towards the supposedly heroes. The character Carrie for example, regardless of how pitiful you may be towards her state of mind — being unwelcomed in the CIA and constantly doubting her bipolar comprehension — you may occasionally despise her for her stubbornness, taking matters at her own hands while endangering her assets and other agents. Brody, on the other hand, despite being deceptive to everyone around him, may just invite your empathy witnessing his inner dilemma whether or not to stay true to himself or to his loyalty with Abu Nazir, the terrorist leader. Which one is he true self anyway?

Moreover, you may even find Abu Nazir’s bigger agenda of eliminating corrupted U.S. Government officials is justifiable because if none does so, irresponsible arrogant personnel of the Government will continue to support  massive attacks to Arab streets without much consideration to the casualties among the civilians.

The composed Abu Nazir may just outperform some of the heartless Government officials in popularity among Homeland’s audience. While the latter, e.g. the current VP, could speak about supplying bigger bombs to Israel without showing a degree of conscience, Nazir could at least show reminiscence of sadness and compassion towards humanity in general. While arrogant acts of certain U.S. Government officials may cause the loss of numerous civilian lives in Arab countries, Nazir’s targeting of only devious Government officials may only make his intention considerably nobler than the former.

(In some high-class, Government gala)

Brody: You know who’s hosting this party, Jess? They make bombs. You really wanna help the veterans? You take out everybody in this room here.”

This strong contradiction in each character’s motives and intentions has interestingly incapacitated audience’s ability to take sides, which is one of the coolest things a TV show could ever bring to the table. At one moment we may defend the U.S. Government; on another, we’d praise Abu Nazir’s good judgement and wisdom of action. At one moment, we’d feel hatred towards Brody’s deceit, while another time, we’d emphatise his struggle of conscience.

Fortunately, Homeland also has additional advantages of having first class actors, who play the characters so well that you’d dive into a jar full of emotions by simply seeing a stoned expression of Brody or frantic anxiety of Carrie. Damian Lewis and Claire Danes really deserve their best actor and actress awards!

Damian Lewis excellently portrayed problematic Brody in dilemma of how to maintain his wife’s trust while at the same time sneaking behind her back to  execute Abu Nazir’s instructions. (Photo credit: edgecastcdn.net)

Last week, Episode 2 (of Season 2) was concluded by discovery of Brody’s video confession, created when he had intended to do a suicide bombing in a room full of Government’s high level officials — the Vice President, the Ministers, the Secretary General, etc. — in the finale of Season 1. The finding of this video by Saul, who was Carrie’s handler in the CIA, has only confirmed Carrie’s sanity. She has been right about Brody all this while!

I’d expect that Carrie would get the chance to get to know Brody further in future, regardless of her reinstatement to the CIA and her motive to investigate his under-the-radar activities. I do hope that Carrie may come to understand the dilemma Brody has to go through and eventually lend her courage and intelligence to help Brody get out of this mess. How sweet would it be?! But then again, things would most probably deviate from the ideals. Carrie may approach Brody to dig deeper into his hostile activities, while Brody may have similar intention towards Carrie — stealing Intel from the CIA. Let’s just see how the story between them unfolds.

I guess the same question will keep resounding in my mind before each episode, “How will Carrie-Brody relationship evolve this time around?”

After throwing up her suicidal pills, Carrie was visited by Saul, who showed her Brody’s confession video, confirming she had been right all this while and that she wasn’t crazy or delusional. (Photo credit: seat42f.com)

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