Homeland: “Beirut Is Back”
With spy games, thrills, and a huge surprise, this week's episode is everything Homeland was meant to be.
October 10, 2012 4:49 pmAdam Blackwell
Last week, I mentioned that I thought it would take Homeland a few episodes to really kick into gear and become the Emmy-dominating show it was last season. I was wrong- Christmas came early this season, and boy, did Santa bring an extra special cliffhanger for us...but more about that later.
After escaping her tail last week, Carrie was able to get intel on the location of a meeting with none other than bad-guy extraordinaire Abu Nazir. Trust in Carrie is a huge theme of this episode. Abu Nazir is her big fish; the target that literally drove her crazy, and everyone knows about her obsession with him. When it appears that the meeting might be a trap, Estes decides to cover his ass, handing the decision on whether to go or not over to Saul. Meanwhile, we see that Carrie still is struggling with her bipolar disorder- she's hyperventilating, eyes wide open, freaking out in the other room. She finally runs up to the roof, and what follows is a great testament to Homeland's acting tallent. While Carrie was sobbing, talking about how she had never been so sure about anything as she was with Brody and how much it fucked her up, I was about to break my TV trying to climb into it to tell her “YOU WERE RIGHT!”. On the other side of the conversation, Mandy Patinkin as Saul is a master of his craft. Saul never really says much, but the expressions on his face say it all: He loves Carrie (platonically, of course) and wants so badly to trust her, but he knows she isn't in any position to be trusted. Finally, Carrie convinces Saul to trust her, and it pays off when Abu Nazir actually shows up, only to quite literally dodge a bullet thanks to none other than Congressman Brody.
So, let's talk about Brody then. What the hell, man?! I can't recall a character on television that has ever made me feel so conflicted. Abu Nazir, baddest of the bad guys, is in the sights of a CIA sniper, yet I'm on the edge of my seat, praying for Brody's warning to Nazir to go undetected. Did I...did I just root for the terrorists to escape? Kudos to Homeland for continuing to blur the lines between good and evil. Brody is also starting to be more overt about his closeted radicalism with his wife, especially with his comment about “blowing up everyone in the room” with regards to the party thrown by weapons manufacturers.
Later in the episode, we see that Saul's faith in Carrie is still a little ill-placed when she decides it's a good idea to run into the apartment of a Hezbollah commander while they are deep in enemy territory. The chase scene was great, a dose of fast-paced thrills in a show that usually relies more on building tension rather than straight up action. Carrie fills a bag full of hastily grabbed documents, and makes it out of there, only to immediately be put on a plane back to suburbia. Carrie walks into her dreary suburban living room and takes a seat on the couch next to a stuffed animal, and we instantly get the feeling that she isn't in her element. Sure, she's not getting shot at, but out in the field in the middle of the danger is where she belongs.
Oh yeah, about that bag Carrie took...
Can you say cliffhanger? Saul knows everything now, but let's not forget, he is the only one who has seen Brody's tape, making him the only one with all of the pieces to the puzzle. What is he going to do with the video? And what does this mean for Carrie? She is totally vindicated in Saul's eyes, but this is some highly classified shit and Carrie isn't in the Agency anymore, not to mention that this knowledge would probably send her mental state into a tailspin. On the other hand, Saul knows now that Carrie's hunch was spot on, and that she is way too good at her former job to just stay on the sidelines.
This week's episode reminded me why Homeland was one of my favorite shows last season. The tension, the drama, the deception, the unrivaled talent of the actors, and the constant guessing game make an incredible recipe for something that is more than just another television show. Homeland is an experience, something that can't be watched passively. It forces you to think, to not only consider the very real political issues that the show parallels, but also to consider broader topics, like the meaning of identity, or duty. At the same time, it is as entertaining as television gets.
I'm about to self induce a coma to make next Sunday come sooner.
|FIND YOUR GEEK RATING
out of 10