Homeland: 108 “Achilles Heel” Review
“Achilles Heel” (Season 1 | Episode 8)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
After finding out last week that Tom Walker is still alive, I was wondering if it would be one of those quick reveals half way through a season that wouldn’t be touch upon until the end. It’s a trick so often used in TV that can be very effective but can also be overused. That’s why I was amazed to see the episode start with Walker doing his homeless routine in the shadow of capital hill. They got straight into it, yes he’s alive and this is where he is and what he’s been doing. There’s a lot we still don’t know about him, he’s obviously been turned but to what degree and whether he and Brody are on the same page or not, we don’t know.
Achilles Heel was the perfect title for this episode, it seems everyone in Homeland has a weakness both good and bad. For Walker it was his family, the only way he can interact with them is by listening to a voicemail greeting, now that there’s a new man at home. For Saul and Carrie it was work. Carrie’s question to Saul, “I’m going to be alone my whole life, aren’t I?” I thought was quite fitting and significant. The CIA has cost Saul a happy marriage and it’s played havoc with Carrie’s mental state and attitude. It’s great that the series explores this rather than simply focusing on Brody, these people are individuals as well as spies and the impact that their work has on their personal life is remarkable.
Oh and as for Saul’s typing skills, well he must be an extremely good analyst because when he hacks away at the keyboard it looks like he’s playing a game of whack attack – probably best sticking with a pen and paper, eh Saul.
One thing I found slight odd about this episode, and similarly in “The Weekend” with regards to the polygraph, was how the fallout from Brody and Carrie’s Q&A session was barely touched upon. The continuity of the season so far has been good but there’s definitely room for improvement when dealing with events week to week. Like when Carrie inadvertently revealed that she’s been taking heavy-duty medication in the polygraph, no one has said a thing since. It’s probably going to be dealt with at some point but I figured the polygraph guy would have gone straight to Estes with his discovery.
Yes, finally we have a solid piece of evidence linking Brody to Nazir. The final scene confirmed that Brody is somehow still involved with this terrorist, which means that his character isn’t going to turn out to be an innocent straight up hero. I had feared that this might be a path that the show would take but fortunately it isn’t, therefore Brody should just keep getting better and better as we learn about his alter ego. Brody left the room saying, “Tell him it’s over!” – What’s over? What’s he been doing so far for Nazir?
Brody had a quieter episode, bar the finale, which I’m kind of glad about because it gave him and Jess time to patch things up at home. Sorting out what happened with Jess and Mike while Brody was away has dragged on a bit, so I’m glad it’s all water under the bridge and they can move on. Actually, maybe I should rephrase that and say move up, because the swanky party they were chauffeured to felt like a test of their ability to rub shoulders with the political community.
Going suited and booted in the marine kit and Jess dressed to impress was a good combo, the two did look like the new Mr and Mrs Kennedy. Elizabeth Gaines is going to play a big part in Brody’s future if he chooses to run for office, the door to which has been deviously opened by Gaines. If that’s where the show is heading then what will Nazir’s involvement be? What will his reaction be to Brody’s decision to quit doing whatever it is that he’s been doing for him?
Roll on next week…
Scene of the Episode | Sitting comfortably – With everyone thinking those boots belonged to Walker it was a brilliant turn to see the ginger hair of Brody peek out from behind the leather. This finally confirms that he is, if nothing else, in contact with Nazir.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.