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Homeland

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Episode 4 - Semper I

6 March 2012

It's still not clear what Homeland will become as a show. It's still not clear if Sgt Brody is a terrorist. I really like both those facts.

Right now it's still fascinating to watch and wonder what is going on. The final scene was very unexpected and intriguing. Saul points out that Carrie is addicted to Brody. She has been watching him for weeks now and that's become her social life. When the monitors are gone she feels the need to sit outside his house and watch the windows.

Finally she decides that she needs to make some actual connection with him. So she follows him into a veterans support group and manages to lure him into a conversation. It wasn't clear what she was expecting to happen. What did happen was some very surprising flirtation. For her part it's funny to think that part of it could be genuine. It seemed like she was responding to his interest and she was probably thrilled to get as much contact with him as she did. She certainly had every reason to encourage him. On his part he was clearly looking for a way out of his group meeting but it sure looked like he wouldn't mind something else coming out of their chat.

It was such an interesting choice for the plot. Could the two of them start a bizarre affair where he seeks comfort with someone who knows what Iraq was like while she tries to trip him up? I'm assuming it won't get that far but it was an intriguing escalation of their relationship and it put their emotional situations right in front of the spy stuff which is absolutely what the writers should be doing.

The episode planted seeds for Carrie to be capable of flirtation. In the first episode we saw her boss David tell Saul that it was thanks to her that he never saw his kids. Now we understand why and suddenly the edge to their relationship becomes clearer. David lives up to her description of being super smart by spotting the Nazir connection in Carrie's recent behaviour and setting a poor junior agent (Galvez) on her trail.

Brody's behaviour was conflicted. On the one hand he was out making charismatic public appearance and on the other he hid from party guests in his garage cleaning his gun. The idea that he is isolated and doesn't know how to communicate makes sense. However it was a slight contradiction with his behaviour last episode where he bonded with his daughter. However three weeks have passed since then so it's not unbelievable. His pissiness around Mike is immature but again plausible.

The mixed race couple got a little more screen time and are both under surveillance and under instruction. Without their involvement I might have believed the show was about to become a weird relationship story about our two main characters. Instead the terrorism angle seems very much alive in them but we don't know a lot yet.

I like that the political vultures are already circling and seeing Brody as fund raising material. And I loved Virgil's response as Carrie reached for someone to support her theories and asked what Max thought about Brody: "He thinks the wife is hot."

 

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