Monday, October 29, 2012

'Homeland' Review - 2.05 Q&A

        On the newest episode of Showtime's Homeland, Brody finds himself as a prisoner again, but this time it is on American soil; Carrie is forced to play second fiddle after her rash judgment call at the hotel; and Estes is kept busy by keeping Jessica off their trail.

        Homeland in its second season has been going through creative reinvention after creative reinvention. At the start of the season, it has how to get Carrie back working for CIA. Episode 2 was the attempt to capture Abu Nazir learning that Brody was a terrorist. Episode 3 was the crippling effects everything had on Carrie. Episode 4 was the surveillance of and gather evidence to take down Brody. Here in episode 5, we spend a hell of a lot of time with Carrie and Brody as they face in an interrogation to learn the truth. From how episode 4 ended, we had no clue how the rest of the season's narrative would be shaped or if the series would keep reinventing itself and driving through plot as quickly. There was definitely strong suspicious that Brody would crack and turn on Nazir and aid the CIA but everyone was up in the air because of the style of pacing from the first four episodes.
        This episode was an acting tour de force from both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. That scene in the middle was just so brilliant written and directed and allowed for both characters to really impress the viewer with their reaction shots. As that scene goes on and Carrie keeps on monologuing, Lewis is able to captivate the audience gorgeously with how he sinks into submission through the slide of subtle nuance after subtle nuance. We physically see him break which is perhaps more important than the facts and words that Carrie is telling him. She is still heavily crucial to the scene as she is able to hit at this extremely personal and intimate note that just allows the scene to be one of the most rawest sequences this series has ever produced.
        Dana and Finn Walden are endearing as a couple and especially after episode four I rooted for them to work together. Which is why it pains me to see them suddenly dropped into a plot of them hitting a person with his car while trying to escape his Secret Service detail. These two characters have fantastic interactions that hit at my soft side and that bounce nicely off the heavily dramatic main material. Perhaps I just wanted more of that simple stuff for them. But I will reserve harsher judgment until I know exactly where they are taking this plot. And also, this plot development doesn't decrease the value of this episode much to me. It's probable tied for "The Weekend" as the best episode of the entire series and is completely deserving of every single award it is nominated for.
        This episode may brake down everything that the series has built up in the first season (and renders most of the thrilling finale teases moot) but it also does a wonderfully job of setting up an equally as compelling main story. Plus, all the pain and tension from the four main characters - Carrie, Brody, Saul and Jess - is wonderfully drawn and should make things amazingly compelling to watch throughout the next seven episodes (as well as the just announced third season renewal). I have no clue where the series is going but I am so eager for to take the ride and find out.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Should this be Danes and Lewis' Emmy submission episode (I feel like I ask that question every week)? Still like Peter Quinn? Share your thoughts in the comments.