Homeland the television series began five years ago. It is more relevant than ever in today’s crazy world. We have not moved on from what is happening here with the U.S. being a hated nation and the world being a place of inequalities and fear. We have neither learned nor improved things over the past five years. Actually, it might have gotten worse.
That being said, Carrie Mathison (played by Claire Danes) is one of the more interesting characters on television. She is brilliant in way that most aren’t and completely dedicated to her job. The perfect combo for someone working for the CIA’s terrorist branch. Her singlemindedness does not win her many friends though. That combined with the fact that she is hiding the fact that she is bipolar makes it a bit of a mine field. You find yourself continuously holding your breath wondering who she is going to piss off next and if it will be the wrong person.
Carrie is working on the Abu Nazir (played by Navid Negahban) dossier. He is a terrorist who has eluded authorities for years. She is determined to bring him down as she still bears the scars of feeling she missed something a few years prior and someone dying. After a little meltdown in Iraq, Carrie is back in Washington with the information that a U.S. soldier has been turned.
At the same time U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (played by Damian Lewis), who was presumed dead after missing for eight years, is found alive and brought back home. He is settling back into life with his wife Jessica (played by Morena Baccarin), son Chris (played by Jackson Pace) and daughter Dana (played by Morgan Saylor). Carrie believes he is the soldier that has been turned and without anyone’s knowledge at the CIA begins surveilling Brody.
It becomes an obsession. Even when nothing turns up indicating Brody has been turned. Carrie believes something is off with him. Then the two become intimate and things begin to devolve for Carrie. She makes bad choice after poor decision. Even her biggest defender at the CIA, Saul (played by Mandy Patinkin), turns away from her. Is Carrie right or wrong about Brody? Will she lose her job over this dogged pursuit? Stay tuned.
Things move in Season One at a good pace with plenty of intrigue to keep you coming back for more. Claire Danes’ portrayal of her mostly unhinged character is a brave one and demands plenty of the actress. The flawed heroine that is Carrie Mathison is not the only reason to watch the show, however. It is a well written show. Kinda like a page turning thriller novel. High stakes and tension abound. With the cloud of terrorism hanging over everything. Timely, thought-provoking and frightening. Plus the rest of the cast, especially Mandy Pantinkin and Damian Lewis, are great as well. Scarily believable.
-Commentary on Pilot by Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa
-Week 10: Prologue to Season 2
-Homeland Season 1: Under Surveillance