Homeland: 211 “In Memoriam” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.
After last week’s sub-par build up to the penultimate episode, Homeland regained a lot of its focus for tonight’s episode with some stand out performances coming from a host of characters. Most notably the initial exchange between Roya & Carrie as the deceptive journalist spat Carrie’s naivety back in her face as she tried to pry information from the radical journalist. However, there were some really clumsy & poorly executed scenes in the hunt for Nazir that brought the tempo of the episode down.
The main focus of the episode was of course the death of Nazir and the ripple effect it had on the likes of Carrie & Brody. Brody’s reaction to Nazir’s death was a brilliant piece of acting from both the actor and character. To get a solid read on Brody’s emotion at this point was difficult to do as he switched between a tear and a smile. Given the public history between Brody & Nazir it’s understandable for him to feel both relief and fear at the sound of this news but what are Brody’s real feelings about this?
We still don’t know the truth of what happened during Brody’s meeting with Nazir (if you can call it that), all we know is the sporadic flashbacks that Brody divulged to the CIA. It’s been mentioned by a few that this could all be an elaborate plot between Brody & Nazir that gets Carrie back on board with Brody. Let’s not forget that the real terrorist attack – the death of VP Walden – has happened, what’s more, Carrie inadvertently helped it happen & cover it up.
It’s worth entertaining the theory that Nazir was ready to die after the death of Walden and that he may have people above him in his organisation that Brody can now liaise with, as he possibly makes his way towards the white house. Whatever the case is, Brody’s still unreliable as a lead character for telling the truth, something needs to change before season 3 for the Brody/Carrie dynamic to still be a factor in the show.
Going back to the hunt for Nazir we saw one of the most predictable and unrealistic search and detain missions ever. These were meant to be tactically trained field agents capable of clearing a building such as this effectively and efficiently. Instead they failed to spot a ‘secret’ room through the pipelines and managed to get themselves comically split up – I don’t think Damien Lewis’ former character in Band of Brothers, major Dick Winters, would have been impressed with this headless chicken approach to combat.
Elsewhere, the battle between Saul & Estes kicked up a gear as the likeable Saul faced interrogation from one of Estes’ stooges. This evens the scales when it comes to throwing dirt and you’d have to argue that Estes now has the upper hand if these two are to walk further down this path together. Something must be in store for the final episode for these two – so what is it?
The finale was satisfying to watch, you have to feel for Jessica as she’s been through a lot since Brody’s return and none of it has been her fault, this is simply not the same man that left for Iraq. Theres a lot of undertones to the effect that war has had on their relationship and it’s not surprising to see it finally end this way. Jess will no doubt move on to a possible future with Mike & the kids, whilst Brody is free to play house with Carrie.
One episode to go and there’s still things to be resolved when it comes to the CIA. Saul, Quinn & Estes all have choices to make and whatever they end up being, will surely dictate the way forward for Homeland’s, already commissioned, third outing.
Scene of the Episode: How Could You Know What I Want? – Roya against Carrie was a short but effective scene that set the tone for the rest of the episode. Like with Nazir’s exchange with Carrie last week, this once again threw up many discussions about the agendas of both the CIA & extremists.