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Review of Homeland ‘I’ll Fly Away’

homeland episode 8 300x225 Review of Homeland Ill Fly Away

(CHANNEL 4)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 8, series 2 of ‘Homeland’

Following on from the last two gripping and action-packed episodes was always going to be difficult, but even so this week’s serving of Homeland felt like a bit of a let down. After all the good work done in the last two weeks in rapidly moving the story along, as well as condensing several of the loose plotlines, this episode felt like a bit of a cynical and unnecessary ploy by the writers to string things out a bit longer.

The problem that I had with the apparent cynicism of the writers, in trying to stretch things out for as long as possible, was that I found it rubbed off on me. So that by the time the episode reached its conclusion, presumably intended to be a dramatic cliffhanger, it seemed to have lost some of its punch. Although perhaps this was partly to do with its predictability as well as its sheer implausibility – quite how Abu Nazir, seemingly the world’s most wanted man, got into America in the first place is probably a detail best ignored.

However to be honest things went awry for me long before everyone’s most feared bespectacled terrorist was confronting Brody in, what looked like, an industrial estate on the outskirts of Reading. In much the same way as the fairly limited structure of the programme meant that Abu Nazir was never going to actually be assassinated in the second episode of this series, so it was very obvious that for all Brody’s attempts to renege on his deal with the CIA, eventually he would be talked back into it by Carrie.

Ultimately and very predictably this proved to be the case but unfortunately it took practically half the episode. About the only thing this achieved apart from the opportunity for all the main characters to have a good shout at each other was to set up the awkwardly amusing situation where Saul and Peter were listening in to Carrie and Brody’s motel shenanigans.

Another problem with this episode is that it wasn’t just the main storyline that felt as if it was being dragged out for as long as possible. In the last episode Dana’s hit and run storyline was cleverly manoeuvred from just being a clichéd ‘teens in trouble’ plotline to being a way (admittedly not very subtly) of examining the abuse of power by the Waldens.

However most of that seemed to be forgotten this week as instead we were treated to endless shots of Dana trudging around looking morose. Only at the very end did we discover that the daughter of the victim had been paid off to keep quiet, but to be honest by then rather than the outrage I was presumably meant to feel, I experienced a sense of relief that it might be the end of the whole rather interminable saga.

While I stand by my criticism of the unnecessary padding of this episode, it does undeniably leave the series poised at an intriguing point and with many questions still unanswered. Can Brody, master of worming his way out of a crisis, get out of his current predicament? How will the various love triangles play out? Will we get to see Saul looking snappy in a Panama again? With only the final quarter of the series remaining, let’s hope for a return to the gripping drama that has made the programme so popular.

You can follow the writer on Twitter: @thesportsfox

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  • john

    “the Walden’s”. Christ. How hard is it to know when and when not to use an apostrophe?

  • http://twitter.com/gzhebouskyj ash

    “a bit of a cynical and unnecessary ploy by the writers to string things out a bit longer” Sounds a lot like the majority of Series 1

  • Emily Thorne

    ha ha:) really enjoyed your review, thank you:

    “an industrial estate on the outskirts of Reading”!

    add that to your “golf resort in Wales” the other week for the country house/Playboy mansion look-alike for the fundraiser!

    Its these touches of semi-Carry-On Spying that actually endear Homeland to me,

    Finally, i thought, Abu Nazir has taken his identifying i am a Muslim turban off (for the Americans) and we all know how mistaken they get about such things! Plus he has some spiffy new photo-sensitive glasses. “Nicholas”! he growls,seductively, is Brody in for the chop or just a brand new dose of mind manipulation and brainwashing?

    I did start to wonder quite early on in this episode, whether Brody was in fact playing Carrie. When he went and crouched in the corner amongst other things. Just like he lay on the concrete floor of the interrogation room for the longest time. A bit too long perhaps?

    Considering that inexplicably, Brody has never been offered a talking ‘cure’ or counselling for his years of hell then bountiful brain-washing:we cannot really judge his level of real recovery at all. We are meant, somewhat dubiously, to believe that it was Carrie who effected this breakthrough and the resulting breakdown/meltdown of Brody in her i am good cop interrogation.

    This episode reminded me of just how tiresomely shouty and sweary the original series was. Mainly the various men in ‘power’. Here we have the admittedly delectable Estes unnecessarily shouting about Carrie’s activities to Saul.

    However, whilst hat off to the reviewer for avoiding crass jokes over the motel shagathon the whole thing is decidedely icky. The prurience and horror with which it is treated is obviously different than if it had been a male agent. Probably they would have a) turned that one off or b) cheered him on and congratulated him when he returned!

    However i find it rather depressing that we are meant to believe that its perfectly OK for a C.I.A woman agent in this day and age to act as a honeytrap like back in the Cold War days?

    Surely, putting this questionable point aside:this is why Carrie, or an actress rather than an actor is in that role:so she can be perved on whilst she indulges in ear-splitting aural soft-porn which is deemed OK since its for her Country?..

    Surprised they haven’t shown her in the shower yet. Still, they did get her into a hospital gown and nicely writhing whilst supine, receiving E.C.T, twitching satisfactorily all over for our delectation..

    Nb. I see from this week’s episode that the WWII style black tin-hatted Swat but not Swat team that blatted everyone in the Tailor from Gettysburg’s house were indeed terrorists! As Carrie claims:the big beefy guy who they are currently watching was the one (i presume) who took his helmet off and looked around.

    So there really is a practising team of black tin hatters somewhere in the States we are meant to believe. Hanging out in some eponymous warehouse practising Swat tactics and perusing the internet perhaps for more fetching vintage memorabilia that they might wear..

  • Emily Thorne

    gee, yes, it should be a hanging offence, eh?
    and pray, where is this writer’s mistake? there is no apostrophe in his use of the Waldens.

  • Alex

    Calm, down!


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