Review of Homeland ‘A Gettysburg Address’
SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 6, series 2 of ‘Homeland’
If anyone was concerned that Homeland was going to have lost some of its dramatic edge following Brody’s switching of sides, then this week’s episode will have gone a long way to allaying those fears.
This episode marked the halfway point in the current series and it seemed to me a crucial turning point. There had been a sense so far in the series that despite there being plenty of action, it was ultimately fairly inconsequential.
That’s not to say that Carrie being chased in Beirut, the failed assassination of Abu Nazir and Brody’s disastrous road trip weren’t all exciting, it’s just that they felt like they were setting the background to the real story.
Before this week things seemed a bit all over the place, with new and different storylines being introduced every week, it was difficult to see where things were going. Now it feels as if the key plotlines have been established and that the scene is firmly set for a blistering second half of the series.
The main action this week was obviously centred around the chasing up of intelligence and the attempt to thwart the planned terrorist attack on America. While the episode may have begun in somewhat predictable fashion, with the CIA’s tailing of marked woman Roya Hammad not going entirely to plan, its ending in a bloody massacre was practically as much of a surprise for the viewers as it was for the unfortunate agents in Gettysburg.
Before we’d even had time to stop finding it weird that Carver from The Wire was now working for the CIA, he’d been gunned down by masked terrorists who then ominously made off with what looked like, but presumably wasn’t, a filing cabinet.
Elsewhere other threads of the story gathered pace, with Dana’s slightly distracting hit and run drama ending as badly as possible for all concerned, although it has to be said in particular for the woman who died. Few things end romances or political careers faster than running down and killing single mothers in expensive cars, so things are not looking good on either of those fronts for the respective male members of the Walden family.
While seeing the vice-president get his comeuppance would be a welcome sight, you do feel a certain degree of sympathy for his son who is paying a heavy price for botching a classic ‘showing off to impress a girl’ manoeuvre, albeit one that got someone killed. Up till that point he had actually seemed quite decent.
Another part of the plot that looks to be developing interestingly is Mike and Lauder’s private investigation into the death of their ‘brother marine’ Tom Walker. The combination of Lauder’s drunken conspiracy theories and Mike’s naïve earnestness in ignoring CIA warnings to get to the bottom of things is enjoyable, particularly when it ensures a hint of the Brody/Jessica/Mike love triangle resurfaces.
The final plotline that featured prominently in this episode and now looks like being crucial to the rest of the series is another love triangle of sorts, this time between Brody, his wife Jessica and Carrie. Something that was pointed out to me last week is that Jessica calls her husband Brody, which is quite strange given that it is his surname and therefore hers as well.
However this can hardly be blamed for the strain their marriage is under and although a fragile truce has been forged, it seems certain that Brody’s lie to her about not working with Carrie is going to come back to haunt him. With the two of them working closely together and under stressful conditions, a re-kindling of their troubled relationship looks to be on the cards.
Saying this, all of these different parts of the story do eventually play out. One thing that now seems certain is that after the (at times) slightly haphazard nature of the first half of the series, Homeland has rediscovered its focus and now looks to be on course for a thrilling climax.
You can follow the writer on twitter: @thesportsfoxTagged in: Brody, Carrie, CIA, claire danes, Damian Lewis, homeland, Roya Hammad, Rupert Friend, The Wire
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