Homeland Blog: Episode 11, In Memoriam

Homeland Blog

Episode 11, In Memoriam

Woo-hoo! Homeland went all Dukes of Hazzard for a moment with the pursuit of Galvez. Roadblocks, grassy skids and county police in their funny hats. Looks like them Mathison boys better grow some wings or learn-a fly! Shame the suspect was someone we’d barely seen before and the intrigue extinguished a scene after it was lit.

Roija’s calling out of Carrie was interesting. In their desire to explore the psychology of terrorism, TV shows and movies can over-simplify, wrap themselves up in faux liberal platitudes and pat their enemies on the head. It’s just another way of diffusing their threat.

It also reminds us of the effect Brody’s actions have. Dana throwing tantrums is one thing, but it’s another to pick apart the show’s central assumptions. Knowing how he has played and been played, it’s easy to sympathise with Brody by default. But this is the man who left Carrie strapped to a table, receiving electro-shock therapy for realising the
truth at the end of season one.

Speaking of Dana, remember when she was likeable? Her rejection of Brody in this episode should’ve meant a lot more. She was the reason he didn’t detonate that bomb a series ago. She used to be the show’s clear heart, but she’s done nothing but moan for so long it’s hard to remember how much you once loved her.

The sweep of the tunnels is straight out of Aliens. Nazir might as well have dropped from the ceiling and cocooned his victims for the ease and speed with which he dispatched them. It’s another sign of Homeland moving away from the believable (if not realistic) portrayal of terrorism it set out with.

There was no way to understand Nazir by the end: he was Jason Voorhees with a fatwa;. Things looked like they might’ve been heading for a Hannibal Lecter-style showdown in next week’s finale until they shot him. There were obvious echoes of the killing of Osama bin Laden, but none that felt meaningful.

The cliff-hanger has already been much-discussed, but if they do kill Brody where will the series go? The second season has felt unfocused enough without losing that putative focal point. On the other hand, it might give the show the freedom it needs: freedom from having to string out an already-resolved plotline. It could be the new Skins, with a new generation of terrorists with fresh new ideas and a love of dubstep.