As of starting to write this post around two weeks ago, I have watched the first season of Homeland. And this post will contain my unbridled thoughts about it so yes, tons of spoilers will be here. I need to let all of these crazy-making brain vomit out of my system and it would make this supposed comeback in my blog seem real-er. Haha! But as of publishing this post, I’ve already watched half of the second season but my thoughts on that would be on a separate post, if time permits. Feel free to comment later but for now, here I am!
When people ask me about Homeland, here’s what I say. “Homeland is fucking amazing. But honestly, it’s also quite boring. And I think in there lies its brilliance.” Of course, I say that in Filipino when asked in Filipino. Heh.
Picture this: I had dinner with a friend the day I finished the first season and he kept on having to tell me to focus and listen because yes, I was so lost in my thoughts about Homeland. I was staring off into space with so many ideas. So why is it both amazing and boring?
Going into the pilot episode, I already knew that Carrie will watch Brody via surveillance and that it will make you crazy at the end that Brody is lying his ass off to everyone. So I wasn’t all that surprised and hooked with the first episode, in all honesty. Because I was expecting it. It also didn’t help that I hate Jessica and Mike right from the start, those cheating asses. But two things kept me watching yet another episode (and another and another) and those are:
1. When will Brody break and show his hand that he’s a terrorist? He was lying during his interrogation because we see that he killed his sniper partner, Tom Walker, back when they were in captivity and torture. WHEN WHEN WHEN?
2. When will Carrie break and show that she has a psychological disorder (schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, I was not sure yet)? We see her take Clozapine and while it’s mostly used for schizophrenia, it’s also used as an off-label treatment for bipolar disorder. WHEN WHEN WHEN?
I realized I was hooked when in the second episode (Grace), it was revealed that Brody is now a Muslim. OH HOLY SHIT I WAS SHOUTING AT MY SCREEN. Yes, I did that. I was cussing (in whispers of course, folks are home) oh shit oh shit oh shit he’s a Muslim oh shit oh shit oh shit. Because of course, this is the proof that Brody is an effing terrorist!!!! He even converted! Which of course was very wrong for me to think at that time because in that episode where Dana catches Brody praying, he admits that he converted to Islam because he had nothing. And there was God, there was Allah. I pretty much swallowed my previous thoughts in there. It was also at this point where I wondered if Brody is really a terrorist. I mean, sure, he killed Tom Walker, but he did it thinking it’s his only way to survive. To obey the people taking him prisoner. He hasn’t made any action yet that is a direct act of terrorism, or an acts toward one.
But, I was wrong again. Because in the episode with all the devastating flashback to Issa, we see how Abu Nazir got Brody out of this hole he now treats his home for the last five years and made him Issa’s English teacher. Issa was so cute and so it broke my heart when the monster that is VICE PRESIDENT FUCKING WALDEN ordered a drone strike that killed 83 children in their madrassa, including Issa. Here we see what tipped Brody to go work for Abu Nazir. They are not in it for terrorism per se but for revenge.
Wow, Homeland. Way to fuck with my mind. In all the chaos that is terrorism and homeland security, you’re geared to root for the USA. You’re geared to think and act against the terrorists. But in here, Homeland gave Abu Nazir HUMANITY. He loves his son dearly, and Brody too. The Vice President killed him. Here’s revenge. Because anyway you look at it, that drone strike should not have happened. They bombed a school. Sure, Abu Nazir has killed thousands of people too but it begs the question: was it all retaliation? It begs the question: who fired the first shot? It begs the question: WHY ARE WE EVEN AT WAR? WHY ARE THERE WARS?
This show demonstrates sides to this shit that is the war. And terrorism.
Another example is Raqim and Aileen’s relationship. Everyone thought Raqim was the terrorist who got Aileen, the sweet, rich American girl who lived in Saudi Arabia, to their side. But it was the other way around. Raqim loved Aileen and so he went with it. Aileen loved Raqim that’s why she hates the USA. Homeland shows so much humanity in every character, even the guest characters, that you can’t help but see all the shades of gray.
Let’s backtrack a bit and talk about the fourth episode, Semper I. Knowing that Carrie will be watching Brody via surveillance even prior to starting the show, I thought she’ll just do that forever. Of course I was wrong. In Semper I, Carrie’s FISA warrant expires and so her illegal-at-first surveillance on Brody’s house needs to end. (Oh and by the way, I loved how the one room where Brody prays, his garage, wasn’t included in the tapped rooms. Haha!) So, Carrie takes matters into her own hands and MEETS BRODY.
OH HOLY SHIT I WAS THROWN IN FOR A LOOP
I didn’t know that was gonna happen. Okay, I know it will happen at some point, that Carrie and Brody will meet, but just in the fourth episode??????!!!!!! Definitely did not expect that. Here’s how Homeland shocks you too, it throws you in for a loop and brings its guns when you least expect it to.
I admit though that there definitely was chemistry between them. I found myself giddy when they interacted! And then it happened so fast because woah, fucking in a parking lot! Then in a cabin. Uhm, okay. But then, just when we think that they’re in lovey-dovey land, it becomes an interrogation and Brody admits stuff to Carrie. MIND STOPPED WORKING…
And while I kinda shipped Brody and Carrie, it was really sad for me to watch Carrie pine over Brody because, believe it or not, I want Brody’s family whole. I actually was able to forgive Jessica for cheating on Brody. Because I understood her and her relationship with Mike. Brody was gone for eight years and he was presumed dead. Tom Walker’s wife already remarried. For six years, Jess waited. But here’s Brody’s best friend, Mike, always being around to help and be the guy of the house. Chris even sees him as his father figure and in the pilot episode, it actually broke my heart a little when Chris couldn’t even recognize his dad (he was 4 when he left) and just shook his hands in greeting. Moreover, it wasn’t as if Jess and Mike were just in it for the fuck. I actually think they have feelings for each other and that, hello, Mike gave her companionship and everything Brody wasn’t there to give. But I still want Brody to have his family back and I loved that Mike backed off, after Brody talked to him, and Jess was 100% into finding their way back into being a family.
WHO KNEW I’LL SYMPATHIZE WITH JESS? Homeland even makes me accept one of my dealbreakers! I think that’s proof that this show is brilliant.
So with that, I still haven’t said why Homeland is actually boring. It’s this: Nothing seems to happen then at the end of each episode, it will blow your mind and make you crave for the next episode. Homeland is a spy show, with not much action. Charlie was asking me if it’s like Chuck and Nikita, and I’m like, no. It’s not flashy with gadgets or its action scenes because it’s really about how you get the intel. Most spy shows ALREADY have intel going into a mission but Homeland actually shows us how they get that intel, which is most of the time, sitting on chairs. Sure, they go to the field but as we saw, Carrie spent so much time just watching Brody. And it can bore you and MAKE YOU CRAZY AT THE SAME TIME, because the audience is waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NOW? WILL WE FINALLY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON? It’s pure agony waiting for something to happen but even if nothing seems to happen, your heart rate is still in overdrive, ANTICIPATING at every corner. And even though you anticipate like it’s your job, Homeland still pulls the rug right under you. And for me, that’s brilliant.
At this point, I’ve written 1500 words in this essay and uhm, I think I need to wrap it up soon. Let’s get to the second reason why I kept watching the show: Carrie going cray. When it happened? HOLYFUCKINGSHITCLAIREDANESWOW. That chin tremble. Those manic episodessss. Wow. Pure acting talent. Damian Lewis is also great as Nicholas Brody and while his role and acting style isn’t flashy or loud like what Claire’s character Carrie needs, he has this raw feel to him that he really imbibed that character. It feels like he’s not acting. I even texted Cel awhile back asking how can Damian Lewis make his muscles have that orgasm tremor. I mean, yeah, right? Just props to Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
So we now know that Carrie has a bipolar disorder and seriously, her manic episodes were such a thing to watch. So good. So cray. Now, it begs the question: Is she just crazy with all her theories??? We know that is not the case but to everyone else, that is the case.
As for the season finale, I was sure that Brody will not blow himself up because Homeland’s fourth season is coming up this year and of course, he’s still alive. That didn’t really made my heart throb in excitement but THAT ENDING THOUGH, UGH. Carrie’s out of the CIA, Brody a Congressman of the United States working with terrorist extraordinaire Abu Nazir, and Carrie resigned that she’s wrong with Brody, undergoes ECT. Then that last scene — Carrie remembering Brody having a nightmare over Issa and Issa being Abu Nazir’s son, which she may forget due to the therapy. OH WHAT THE HELL GAAAAAAAHHHHH HOMELAND YOU SLAY ME
When Abu Nazir said: Why kill a man when you can kill an idea?, I HAD GOOSEBUMPS YOU GUYS.
Because Homeland just took an extraordinary turn because we’re sure as hell that Brody’s gonna be a Congressman and he’ll keep rising up the ladder. THE FUCK!!!!! A politician working with a terrorist. All the good TV that will emerge from that makes me so giddy.
So that’s it for my season one thoughts! I know, they are all over the place but now that I’ve let them all out, I can continue ogling Rupert Friend, oh I mean, continue watching the second season. Haha!
Bottomline: WATCH HOMELAND.