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Episode 3 - Clean Skin

6 March 2012

This was more solid stuff. When the focus is on the psychological the show really seems to have something.

The scenes where Carrie watches Brody and Jessica have "sex" are so interesting on several levels. One of which is just imagining your own reaction to such unedited voyeurism. Carrie tries to look away, acknowledging the inappropriateness of her vantage point but really, she can't help but keep watching. Those moments of intimacy are when we see Brody at his most damaged. He can't get close to normal sexual relations yet and you really felt for Jessica as he took matters into his own hands.

This episode did a good job of spreading the sympathy around the cast. In that scene you could see the struggle Jessica is going through. Our introduction to her was having loud enjoyable sex with Mike. Now Brody is back and all that warmth and pleasure has gone. She is also getting poorly treated by daughter Dana who also gets fleshed out here.

We hadn't seen the situation from her perspective until now. She is a typically rebellious teenager and now it's her mother's hypocrisy which rubs her the wrong way. Why should she be obedient and dutiful when her mum lied to them all and is now keeping secrets from Brody. The interaction between father and daughter also started to make me like Brody. His mature and peaceful approach to getting reacquainted with Dana was impressive and endearing.

Finally we see Carrie get sympathetic shading after the murder of her asset Lynne. It's only shading though because we know that Carrie would not have stopped pushing for information on Nazir. She desperately needs Saul to play therapist to her but he is understandably angry with her.

So all in all good stuff right? Yes. But then there was the plot part of this. Lynne is murdered, apparently for the grossly expensive necklace which the Prince gave her. The necklace is going to fetch a lot of cash which the Prince's handler is apparently passing on to someone for a sinister purpose. Howard Gordon (and others) who writes this show worked on 24 for years and there was a part of me that felt these plot developments fitted more into that world than Homeland's. My fears may be unfounded but the shots of Nazir's handler came inorganically to reveal the truth to us. They weren't a result of Carrie's investigation and I sort of felt like that was the only way major information would be revealed to us.

We shall see how the plot is handled going forward. The final shot is of a mixed race couple purchasing a house near the airport with cash. It would seem Brody isn't the single point of a plan, assuming he is involved at all.



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