Homeland. Season 2 Report Card.
Season 2 had a lot to live up to. Last year, I can’t remember a time I felt more captivated and enthralled by a show’s unpredictability. When the honeymoon (season) ended, I looked optimistically toward the future. What would the second year bring us? Vindication for Carrie? Repercussions for Brody? A sexy new CIA foil? Thankfully, it delivered all of that and more. If only Homeland hadn’t strayed so far from its realistic roots, less action-movie and more psychological thriller, perhaps the naysayers would have had less to bitch about… But I’m committed. I didn’t put in hours, days of my life into this relationship to give up now. So what if the media had dozens of reasons each week to rag on Homeland’s second season. Give in to the soap opera turns and hard-to-fathom plot twists! Year two kept me guessing and the season finale certainly set up next year to be an even bigger puzzle to ponder.
Carrie began the year anew—fresh outta shock treatment, super Zen and ready to move forward… Except that she’s bombarded with her past far too soon. She stumbles a bit, but basically gets reinstated in the CIA because she’s a baller who totally called the whole Brody-is-a-terrorist thing. While her lady boner for Brody is a big ick, Carrie somehow rather brilliantly uses it to her advantage at every single turn. And it pays off because not only does she get the guy but also she gets The Guy, a.k.a. Abu Nazir. Plus, Saul’s got her back. Not only does he put his faith in her, but Saul knows when to dish out the tough love. If the good/greatest/most-badass guy is on your side, you’re doing something right.
Looks like the life of a double agent didn’t really suit Brody. He unraveled so quickly I almost forgot who was the bipolar one on the show. Even after his confession to Carrie and co., I struggled to trust him. It didn’t help that he kept banging Carrie. Brody is at his strongest when showing love and devotion to his family—well, just to Dana really—and at his weakest when spouting weird ex-con pickup lines at his arresting officer (if you will). I went back and forth about whether or not I thought the Brody-Carrie ship was genuine. Each had his own agenda and it didn’t help that those were never crystal clear either…