Homeland: 106 “The Good Soldier” Review
“The Good Soldier” (Season 1 | Episode 6)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
Despite it’s irony, this episode should have really been called “the great liar” because it’s a much more accurate description of Brody. Have you ever seen someone fake the truth with such style and unhinged execution? Looking straight into the monitor and retuning Carrie’s question straight back into her face like that was just too cool. Things really went from bad to worse this week for her, besides the polygraph, she’s managed to show her hand (and plenty more) to Brody and expose her drug addiction.
This week’s Homeland was forced to deal with the aftermath of Afsal Hamid’s suspicious suicide. Knowing that Brody had spent time in the room with Hamid before his death had reignited Carrie’s burning desire to prove that Brody has turned to Islamic extremism. After watching the footage from the interrogation over and over, Carrie came up with a cunning way to test Brody’s allegiance via a polygraph interview. This was a great decision and it really injected some more tension into the series. Too bad for Carrie then that the actual outcome of all this couldn’t have been much worse. She’s now cleared Brody of any wrongdoing, exposed to the CIA that she’s taking illegal drugs and possibly implemented Saul as a suspect.
I’ve had my suspicions about Saul for a while now but this episode was so obvious about pushing the light onto him that I’m starting to think it’s just there as a distraction from Brody. His polygraph was ‘inconclusive’ at best and no doubt the results of the first one he took will be brought up again at some point, if any other evidence puts him in the frame. He did separate from his wife after all, that’s more than enough to put anyone under so much stress that it’d make a polygraph test look bad. If on the other hand it turns out he is involved, then it’ll be interesting to see if he will be presented in the same ”is he/isn’t he” dynamic that surrounds Brody.
Looking back at this episode, one moment really stood out as quite peculiar – when the wounded soldier dropped his crutches in church. This came across as quite odd and I can only think for one of two reasons. Firstly, as a simple way of introducing this obnoxious character that loathed everything that Brody stood for, making the fight at the wake more significant or as a way to subliminally communicate with Brody.
Although this might sound farfetched it could make sense, if you listen to Brody he starts his speech speaking about his time at war, then the crutches hit the floor, then he completely stops his speech and does the military role call tribute. It’s possible that somehow this soldier is connected with Brody and by knocking the crutches over it was the only way for him to warn Brody that his speech might reveal something. Maybe I’m being a bit too Sherlock about this but it just stood out as a moment that didn’t really add anything at the time. After all, Brody didn’t bother to fight him; he just used it as the perfect excuse to face-off against Mike. The appalling rap beforehand would’ve been enough to get anyone pumped up – don’t give up your day job boys.
As far as one-night stands go, Carrie and Brody’s was something special. Obviously, not special in any romantic way, how much romance can their truly be in a 30 second romp in the back of a Dodge Challenger, but in the sense of an utter screw up. I’m sure everyone has had a night or two they want to forget, however, telling the guy you suspect of being an undercover terrorist that he’s going to be questioned by the CIA about his involvement in another extremist’s death, is something else.
Meanwhile, Faisal and Aileen, the world’s most unobvious terrorist couple, took a road trip that ended quite badly. Faisal’s dead and it looks like she’s the one who’s been orchestrating things from their end. Interestingly enough she didn’t reveal anything about who else they might be connected to but what she did demonstrate was that this girl’s got skills. Saving Faisal at the, Walking Dead inspired, farm house was a good spot and getting herself out of that motel was another bit of quick thinking. Where she’s going to go next will be fascinating to find out.
As the episode closed with Carrie getting in Brody’s car following the interview, it’s great to see that we’re at the halfway point of the season and already these two lead character’s lives have started to become impossibly intertwined. Although, it’s been quite a slow burner so far this show is really starting to turn the heat up and signifying why it’s been so well received on the other side of the pond.
Scene of the Episode | Brody’s polygraph – Now he’s just showing off. This was quite a defining moment in the season so far – Brody obviously knows Carrie orchestrated the whole thing and now the cat’s out of the bag.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.