Homeland: 104 “Semper I” Review
“Semper I” (Season 1 | Episode 4)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
Homeland continued to impress this week as the tension between Brody and Mike increased. We also got to see Brody and Carrie cross paths on a second occasion, this time not in a briefing room but out in the open. There was also the introduction of Elizabeth Gaines, a close advisor of the Vice President, who also has her suspicions about Brody and his behaviour.
Fans of The Walking Dead could be forgiven for thinking that Homeland is from the same writers. First there is the love triangle of Brody, Jessica and Mike being similar in style to that of Rick, Lori and Shane and in this episode there was the image of the hero’s son being fascinated by the sight of a wandering deer. Chris didn’t get shot in this episode but I have to admit I was half expecting a bullet to burst through the deer’s forehead at any moment.
The episode began with Carrie glued to her monitors reading Brody’s actions. It’s been three weeks and she’s come up with very little to support her theories. It was interesting that he performs the same actions when getting ready for a military rally so often that Carrie could predict his every move, it all seems practiced and habitual, like he’s performing the same act every time to seem normal. Brody seeing Nazir in the mirror was an unexpected moment that suggests this man still in some way still terrorizes him. Carrie in the first episode felt very awkward when watching Jessica and Brody in bed together, now it seems she can’t peel her eyes away from Brody when he steps out of the shower. Does this mean she’s just become immune to the sight of him naked or that she enjoys watching him, as he gets dry? Given what happened at the end of the episode I’d be inclined to think the latter.
The addition of Ms Gaines to the cast looks promising, she’s got big connections to the oval office and it’s good to see that it’s not only Carrie that sees something off with Brody. The scene at the Church where Brody didn’t sing was worthy of note, he’s obviously lost all faith in his original religious beliefs and isn’t afraid to show it when key figures may be watching. Gaines’ invitation to lunch next week could be enjoyable, how much does she suspect of him and what will her attitude be to the former P.O.W?
Whilst Brody was busy not exercising his lungs in church, Carrie and Virgil were hard at work striping the house of cameras. Carrie took a tentative look around the garage and found Brody’s cleaning bowl. This didn’t seem to mean anything to her at the time but I get the feeling that somewhere down the line she’ll see this or one like it somewhere (possibly in a Mosque) and it’ll come bounding back to her that Brody is using it for Islamic worship.
Last week’s ending showed a couple moving into a house near the airport and this week we found confirmation that it was made using the profits of Lynne’s necklace sale. Raqim Faisel is the proud owner and what’s more is he’s also a professor of mechanical engineering. Carrie and Danny following him was a great part of the episode, mainly because we now know that he’s got friends following him as well. The call that came to his wife had an American accent on the other end, I don’t know about you but I’m starting to feel that there’s a double agent in the CIA. Show creator Howard Gordon was never afraid to write a double agent into 24 (*cough*, Nina Myers, *cough*) and my gut says he’s not afraid to do the same here. If this were the case then you’ve got a handful of suspects in Danny, Estes and Saul; Saul in particular is keen to get Carrie off this case and onto other leads, is this because she’s getting too close to discovering something?
One huge question that I found myself asking after watching Faisel’s wife place the, truly-ironic, American flag out as a warning signal was – if people are protecting Faisel from afar are there people also protecting Brody? If so, then this would explain why he appears to know everything that’s going on. Why he uses the garage for prayer, because he knows there’s no cameras, and why he performs the same routine when getting ready for a military speech.
The tension between Brody and Mike went up a further notch, the interaction in the car, the offhand comment to Jessica that “maybe Mike could do it” and of course the scene where he shoots the deer, all show that Jessica and Mike’s relationship is the one thing that appears to unhinge him. As if he had planned all of his actions upon his return to a tee but this was the part that he didn’t expect or plan for.
The climax of the episode contained a key moment between Brody and Carrie. The two seem to have made an informal connection and even flirted as they stood outside the church in the rain. The smirk on Brody’s face as Carrie left was very devious. To me it just seems that he’s easily aware of what’s going on and the fact that Carrie entered the church to see Brody just played directly into his plans.
This interaction has put the idea of a relationship between the two opposing leads firmly on the cards, which would definitely add a lot of complications to the story and make for some great entertainment.
Scene of the Episode | Oh dear, oh deer – For a second most of us probably thought Mike had caught a bullet, but there’s no way that Brody would blow his cover so early on. Instead, that poor deer became Brody’s target practice. The question is did he shoot the animal out of frustration or because he is mentally unstable or because he wants to appear unstable?
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.