Episode 5 - Blind Spot
6 March 2012
News that Homeland has been renewed for a second season inevitably colour my viewing of this one. Suddenly my head is full of questions about whether the story will be stretched to allow Brody to stay with us. However you have to ignore those questions right now and focus on what we are seeing and so far it remains very good.
The interrogation of Hamid was fascinating and unsettling. The use of intelligence and emotional pressure was far more believable and entertaining than seeing Jack Bauer yell at someone. Even better though was the heavy metal music used in short bursts to keep him awake. The music was so unpleasant that it made you, the viewer, want it to stop. That was such an effective way of allowing us to feel what Hamid was feeling. He would have had this intense desire to just give the CIA what they wanted so that he wouldn't have to endure this noise anymore.
Then we had Brody insisting that he be given the chance to stick it to Hamid. This was the big moment. It was the first chance that Brody had to come face to face with a known terrorist. Naturally it led to a scuffle and a few scenes later Hamid is dead. Someone slipped him a razor blade and if it was Brody then Carrie and Saul are directly responsible. I would like to see the writers deal with that incident thoroughly by having an investigation next week into who could have slipped it to him. I certainly don't want convenient moments like that to go un-scrutinised.
For now though the results were strong because they threw a light on Carrie and Saul's personalities. She is so driven and furious and hurls the blame for Hamid's death at her mentor. Meanwhile we see how good he is at his job (in the interrogation) and the damage that it has done to his marriage. His wife is leaving him because of his dedication and without bitterness. It draws a clear line between Saul and Carrie. He knows he is doing valuable work and clearly wants to do it. She became his disciple because they share the same work ethic and the same belief that they are doing good. Carrie curls up in bed with her nieces reassuring them that she protects them from bad people. It was valuable to get this insight into their motivations and it's hard not to sympathise with them both. Although no show can match Rubicon for thoroughness, Homeland is doing a great job of showing the personal sacrifice needed to work in intelligence.
The torture scene also allowed us to see some more Carrie-Brody flirtation which was a nice calm way to continue that angle. Meanwhile Brody remains pissy with Mike but still won't say anything about what he clearly knows has been going on.
Right now the show remains a pleasure to watch. The personalities of the characters are well constructed and the plot is far from predictable. I can't help but harbour thoughts of The Killing or Dexter and wonder how the creative team can keep the show strong. So far however, it hasn't been a problem.
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