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Homeland: 205 “Q&A” Review

Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.

Following Brody’s arrest by the CIA last week, it was difficult to know what Brody would do next – whether he’d lie his way out of the situation, co-operate or ride it out until someone noticed he was missing. The direction that Q&A took was sort of a mixture of all of these avenues with Brody eventually coming clean completely being the final destination of the interview. Now the goal posts have moved and the series has shifted its axis, for now, into a more streamlined approach with Carrie and Brody both batting for the same team

The focus of the episode was of course the interview, with another great performance from Quinn providing the warm up act before the main event between Carrie and Brody. Quinn has been a fantastic addition to Homeland and looks to be in the process of being groomed to be as prominent a supporting character as Saul or Estes. I was so relieved when it turned out that his assault on Brody’s hand with a dagger was part of an extreme good cop/bad cop routine and not just a ridiculous excuse to get Carrie into play.

When it did come to Carrie and Brody in a face-to-face match up you knew it was going to have excitement written all over it and in this scene the show delivered. This wasn’t just in the acting performances, which, as we’ve come to expect, we’re phenomenal, but also in the quality of the script and the intense execution of the cinematography. It was another shining example of why Homeland is more than deserving of its status and accolades.

What gave this interaction added excitement was just how much Brody gave away, for a man who’d spent half a decade being tortured he was pretty quick in dropping Roya and the tailor from Gettysburg into the mix. This just shows the colossal size of the internal clash within Brody, he understands the need to protect his country from another 9/11 but on the contrary he’s seen the damage his government can do when they go after their targets in the Middle East. He has the power to wage war on both sides of the fence yet the devastation of the past 9 years has consumed his ability to justify supporting an extremist cause.

Jess appears to have accepted Brody back into her life under the promise that he stops lying. When he told her the truth about the CIA it was a lie, but then again it wasn’t a full truth either. What’s sure to cause a lot more paranoia for Jess is Brody and Carrie’s new code for contact each other – surely that’s going to cause a disaster when Jess picks up his phone, or overhears him by accident.

In a side plot Dana’s romantic bond with the VP’s son has been growing stronger over the past couple of weeks and now the little brat has gone and put them both at the centre of a hit and run. This is going to have huge political consequences if the truth gets out, which is sure to happen and is going to leave Brody having more to worry about at home than with the CIA or the government.

The main question now is – was this just another lie? Is Brody playing an extremely dangerous game to buy himself immunity? On the surface, probably not but there’s always going to be an element of doubt. Plus, a lot of the excitement between Brody & Carrie will have disappeared if the two are on the same side. It’s difficult to know at this stage if this new paradigm will work out as exciting with no real conflict between the show’s leads.

The closing shot of Saul and Quinn looking at a sparsely populated canvas looks like an indication that the rest of the season is going to focus on connecting the dots and figuring out this new threat to America. This could be a really great approach to the narrative with more enemies sure to appear in the near future, my only fear is if they will prove to be as entertaining to watch as Brody and Carrie facing off against each other.

9/10

Scene of the Episode: “Wouldn’t it be a relief to stop lying?” – Yet another brilliant scene between the show’s two main characters. This was the turning point for the entire series as well as a reboot to the dynamic that exists between Brody and Carrie.

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