Homeland is an American television drama series. It debuted on September 30, 2012, on Showtime, and ran for 12 episodes before ending on December 16, 2012. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa produced the series for American television, with a loose inspiration from the Gideon Raff-created Israeli television series Hatufim (English: Prisoners of War).
After Season 1 ends, Carrie Mathison is now on leave from the CIA. Nevertheless, mentor Saul Berenson recruits her for an operation in Beirut, which leads to their obtaining unmistakable evidence that Nicholas Brody has been duped by al-Qaeda and is operating against the United States. As Brody ventures into politics, he grows closer and closer to the Vice President.
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Homeland Season 2 Episode 12 Recap
I might as well conclude these recaps where I began, mentioning my relationship to Homeland’s showrunners, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, who once wrote 24. Howard had told me once, back in my heyday as a consultant on 24, that the show had a peculiar quirk. The odd-numbered seasons—1, 3, and notably 5—performed far better than the even-numbered seasons during its first six years of existence.
In Homeland’s second season, Howard and Alex apparently felt it was appropriate to replicate that trend. This is not fun to write and to be honest, I shouldn’t be writing it since I never know when I’ll be asking those guys to come to L.A. again, but Homeland took a sharp turn for the worse this year. With two likable main characters who struggled with each other’s shortcomings as well as their own, season one offered us a meaningful thriller. Following a strong beginning, season two became melodramatic, depending on awkward story turns to do what natural character growth was unable to.
If season one hadn’t ended on such a shocking note and Howard and Alex hadn’t persisted in openly comparing their child to John le Carré’s writings, the flaws might not have been as apparent. However, both they and it did. Emmys come before pride.
The writers’ task was certainly not made easy by the unconventional first-season premise of the show. We were a little nervous at first because of our reservations about Brody. Was Carrie being misled by her anxiety, or was he indeed a terrorist? By the end of the season, Homeland skillfully addressed those issues while maintaining our mild sympathy for Brody.
Nazir had been brainwashed, yet he still had enough compassion left in him to be stopped from blowing himself up by his daughter’s plea. Nevertheless, despite their and his best attempts, he stayed very far away from his family. And in order to preserve himself, he was vicious enough to ruin Carrie, who he knew had fallen deeply in love with him.
The authors of this season made the decision to end Brody and Carrie’s developing romance. They committed a grave error. Brody, played by Damien Lewis, can out as dishonest even when he’s attempting to be truthful. With the squashed-together face of a man struggling to contain his fart in the middle of a bench-pressing session, he expresses his feelings. It hurt more to see him say sweet nothings.
Lewis may have been able to make the adjustment, but even so, sending Brody down that path ruined what little connection he had left with his family. Plus, it made Carrie look like a total moron. Yes, Nicholas, you are the reason I got electroshock treatments, but I just can’t give you up.
Of course, it’s likely that the authors want to disclose at some point in the upcoming season that Brody is still a terrorist and that he was the one behind the recent incident at Langley. However, I fail to see how they could; if they did, Carrie would be guilty of both a criminal offense for aiding his escape and a criminal offense for trusting him. Therefore, I think we have to assume that Brody’s quiet assertions are sincere.
I imagine Howard and Alex thought that Brody’s role as the antagonist couldn’t continue through season two, leaving us to wonder where his sympathies rested. However, considering the alternative they presented, they were incorrect.
The other major source of stress in season one, Carrie’s mental instability, was also ignored at the same time. That was a more reasonable decision. They most likely worried that the plot would leave them with nowhere to go. However, I believe they were in error. When Carrie is insane, she’s far more fascinating, and no one portrays crazy like Claire Danes.
Homeland’s shortcomings—cheaply filmed action scenes, dialogue that was hit or miss, and an occasionally lax approach to the plot—were concealed by the drama of Carrie vs. Brody in the first season. With the show’s fundamental issues so misguided this season, the other issues were quite apparent and appeared to get worse with each new episode. (Incidentally, I’m not just complaining without suggesting alternatives; in the previous recap, I suggested four paths Homeland could have gone to produce a more fulfilling season.)
I believe I’ve expressed my opinions about this episode, so I’ll just leave you with this: whether Homeland runs three seasons or ten, we will never find out how an explosive-filled SUV ended up parked outside a CIA headquarters auditorium that was hosting a meeting between the top brass and the secretary of defense. We won’t receive a response because it is utterly improbable that the agency’s security would ever permit that SUV to be there. If you want to be compared to Le Carré, you must perform significantly better on your major, season-ending reveal.
In this candid critique, the author, with a personal connection to Homeland’s showrunners, laments the decline of the series in its second season. While the first season held promise, the departure from character growth and the romantic arc between Brody and Carrie disappointed. The article highlights missed opportunities for a more fulfilling narrative and criticizes the show’s weaker aspects. Ultimately, it’s a plea for Homeland to live up to its potential and deliver a more compelling season.