Homeland: Season 2: Characters Who Fight Their Corner

Spoiler Alert: This blog post is for those of you watching Season 2 of Homeland.  It’s taken me nine episodes of this second series to decide whether or not I can swallow the premise of Homeland:  Take two damaged flakes – make one a CIA agent and the other, a soon to be vice-president.  The way Carrie and Brody behave, they’d be lucky to hold down a job in a call-centre – so how these two ended up in the nerve centre of the US government security service and the highest office in the land, is beyond belief.

Then there is Brody’s daughter Dana who is just an annoying sulky teenager – with her monosyllabic, inarticulate delivery. Doesn’t she go to an eye-wateringly expensive school?  Because if I was Jessica, I’d be asking some questions about what sort of education that child is getting.  Along with the Vice-President’s son, Finn, these two are going to go down in history as the two kids who make Mr Bean seem like a fine orator.

There’s Dana asking her father if he is a spy, then there is Jessica asking what they’re going to do next and whether or not they can go home.  She tells him that the kids are going stir crazy and so is she.  Here she goes again, trying to guilt-trip him.  Brody has spent eight years locked up by a terrorist group and all Jessica can do is be mean and sleep with his friend Mike.

Perhaps I stuck with Homeland because Sunday night telly was so dire that there really wasn’t much to choose between a soap where the best character was a dumb blonde Labrador/retriever called Pharoah, (Downton Abbey ) or a soapy drama with another blonde character, brighter than Pharoah, but who spends all her time disobeying her boss, Saul.

But in Episode 10, “Broken Hearts” something changed: I began to feel sorry for Brody and Carrie.  There was Brody, shaking with fear and disbelief, when he saw that Nazir had kidnapped the terrified Carrie.  And then there was Nazir – who, for the first time, is allowed to reveal what drives him to commit acts of terrorism. For Nazir is perhaps the most dangerous of all – as his motivation is personal and political.  His beloved child, an innocent boy, was killed in a drone strike ordered by the Vice President and Nazir is prepared to die to avenge that death.  And all Carrie can do is call him a terrorist – when Nazir is so much more.  He though, scoffs at the vacuous, empty lifestyles in the west that Carrie is so desperate to defend – the sort of corrupt lives that the Vice President’s son, Finn, leads – where two drunken teenagers kill an innocent woman in a hit-and-run and the woman’s family are paid off to keep quiet.  In a corrupt world of greed and power, nothing gets in the way of ambition.

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