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‘Homeland’ shines a new light on terrorism

Jared Christman, Off the Wall Editor
November 27, 2012
Filed under 4Play

From the creators of “24,” “Homeland” successfully portrays America in a modern, post-9/11 world. “Homeland” takes viewers on a psychological roller coaster ride, asking the question, “Is America really safer than it was 11 years ago?”

Hailed as one of the best new shows of 2011, “Homeland” has been riding high since its 2012 Emmy victories. The freshman show nabbed the Best Drama award as well as a pair of Outstanding Actor/Actress awards for its leads, Damian Lewis and Claire Danes.

“Homeland” tells the story of U.S. soldier Nicholas Brody, who returns home after eight years of imprisonment in Iraq, and Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who suspects Brody is involved in a plot to attack the United States.

The first season of the series revolves around Carrie’s obsession with Brody after an informant in the Middle East tells her an American prisoner of war has been turned by al Qaeda. However, Carrie’s fixation on the Marine sergeant begins to raise questions among her colleagues at the CIA, especially when it is revealed that she is bipolar.

The first season of “Homeland” begins and ends with a bang, but one struggle the season faces is its pacing.

In episodes like “Blind Spot,” the show shifts too much focus away from the main characters, almost making it a chore to finish the episode.

But by the finale, “Marine One,” every second of the episode is more exciting than the last. Lewis and Danes are at the precipice of perfection by the conclusion of the season.

The show’s supporting cast is equally top-notch. For instance, relative newcomer Morgan Saylor stars as Brody’s teenage daughter Dana, whose new relationship with her father becomes one of the most intriguing aspects of the show.

The second season of “Homeland” is currently wrapping up on Showtime. Whereas the first season struggled with pacing, the series did not fail to bring the intrigue or excitement into the second. This is due by and large to the people who run the show. The show’s producers take big risks every week, and each episode leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

Lewis does not miss a beat as the conflicted Brody in season two.  The show leaves viewers sympathetic for the former soldier as he juggles new responsibilities as well as keeping his family safe.

Danes’s return is just as solid, as Carrie finds herself in a new place after the events from the end of the first season.

While Lewis and Danes remain in the forefront, supporting characters are focused on as well. Saylor’s Dana becomes more prominent. She learns more about how her father’s captivity changed him and struggles after being involved in a hit-and-run accident.

All in all, the hype surrounding “Homeland” is not without merit. The first season, available on DVD and Blu-Ray, is well worth the purchase.