Review of Homeland ‘I’ll Fly Away’
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: @thesportsfoxTagged in: Brody, Carrie, CIA, claire danes, Damian Lewis, homeland, Rupert Friend
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter