Homeland Review: The Razor's Edge

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"Blind Spot" proved to be a wonderful piece of Homeland's first season, importantly moving around a few of pieces of the story while delving deeper into the character of someone we knew so well already - Carrie - and one we didn't, Saul.

Because it spent so much time performing the aforementioned tasks, it lost the smallest bit of the giant ball of steam it had going from its first four episodes. But were there still a couple of fantastic scenes that had me itching for more? Absolutely.

Brody and Jessica

As soon as Carrie asked Brody to come into the interrogation of the terrorist, I knew we were in for something good. The way they set up the question was just so interesting to watch. Couple that with the intermittent flashbacks to what actually happened between Brody and the terrorist, and we had one awesome scene on our hands.

Do you know this man? Brody was asked. After witnessing his memory of one of the days he was tortured, I'm surprised he didn't respond with Yeah, he pissed in my face.

The original interrogation led to another intriguing moment: Sergeant Brody practically begging Estes to get into the interrogation room to go face to face with his torturer. Could he have been making it any clearer to the audience that he needed to get in there to send the man a message? Of course Estes didn't pick up on it, but if he had made that same plea to Carrie or Saul, things would have been different... very different.

Thankfully, we got to witness him fake a fight so that he could hand off a razor blade to the terrorist, essentially saying Have a nice after life, pal. Sure, like Carrie and Saul, we can't prove that Brody handed him the blade or alerted the professor, but we know it happened.

Both before and after this short spurt of action packed drama, we watched as Homeland continued to develop its characters into extremely complex individuals. We finally met Carrie's crazy father, we saw her breakdown to tears, and we witnessed her softer side as she attempted to cuddle with her nieces. She's a hard-nosed agent that will stop at nothing to get the job done, but she needs to be loved just like anybody else.

The same goes for Saul Berenson, as we meet his wife for the first time after she returned from her month long trip in India with family. I'm not sure if it was mentioned before or not, but I assumed Saul was divorced.  That's not the case, but it might be soon, as his work continues to drive a wedge in his marriage. It's not the most unique story we've seen on television, but at least it gives the man some depth.

Between some of the important character development and everything involving Brody's torturer leading to Carrie being even more certain about Brody's role in all this, "Blind Spot" was still a very interesting hour of television.

It might not have lived up to the sheer excitement of the first four episodes of Homeland, but those were some of the best starts to a television series I've seen in a while. I am still very much excited to see what happens next. What about you?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Saul is defintely the villain of the piece. He knows everything that is going on. He hands the AQ prisoner the razor. He pulls out of the lie-detector test.
He is able to warn the assassin about the Arab diplomat (Brody doesn't know that the diploat has been black-mailed)He prevents Carrie from entering the building where Brody is the set off a bomb. He too is upset about the Drone incident which set the evemts rolling.


Saul praying the Kadish (Jewish prayer for the dead) was a clue. I believe he's the POW that's been turned.


Never considered the Saul theory. Interesting. What I find so infuriating about this show (not in a bad way) is that any character's behavior can be interpreted in such a way as to make them seem innocent OR guilty of being a traitor.
For example, consider Brody's apparent conversion to Islam. One could say it's proof that he's been turned. I can argue that while being kept as a prisoner he figured out that by praying in the Muslim style he was granted a reprieve from the constant torture he endured. In other words, he found solace in the ritual and maybe even a way to maintain his sanity. Why does he continue to pray in such a way? For the same reason. Just because he's home doesn't mean part of his mind isn't still in captivity. He's not so much praying as he is performing a ritual to help him cope with the PTS he obviously suffers from.
I feel the same as Maartje when it comes to comments and reviews. It's not about right or wrong, it's about sharing.


What if Saul and Brody are part of a cell of turned Americans? It could be both of them, not just one.


Totally think it's Saul. Not only because of Malaysia prison and the interogation, but because Carrie messes up the rug in Sauls office and they give you a shot of it. It looks like the corner of a prayer rug. Also, Carrie can't understand Saul's anger in the first few episodes or the way he is constantly pushing back on her ideas especially in front of other CIA. Because of Carrie's questionable mental state, we are led to believe it is her and her poor judgement that sets Saul off. But I wonder if it's because she's on to something and he's buying time.


You know what would be a real twist? Not only is Saul the terrorist, but Brody was acting as a double agent to find a mole in the CIA because you know that most people who are turned in the cells, doesn't know one another until the very end so the Military used Brody and the other guy to get captured and pretend to turn but only to come back and investigate the real moles.... It's a stretch I know but, tell me that wouldn't be AWESOME....


Oh I love the theory that Saul could actually be the turned POW. Great insight. This show keeps getting better.


I was going to point out the Malaysian prison argument, but poppy beat me to it. I felt like the whole episode was just trying to create another suspect in Saul and I actually said to myself that all there needs to be is a "prisoner of war" background and he's definitely the new suspect. And that chilling end gave us the big conclusion. It would make sense too. When Carrie wanted to go into the Professor's house, Saul kept telling her to stay back until she finally got in. Then when she said the Professor had run away, he angrily spoke in Hebrew. He probably wasn't angry at the professor, but he could have been angry that Carrie is putting the pieces together. Then again, he could have given the prisoner the razor blade, but why would he let him divulge the email? My theory is that the professor is a diversion. He wants the whole agency to go after this guy when in reality he means nothing. This explains why he divulged the email AND why he divulged the fact that they are transferring money through jewelry. Same thing with Brody. He was probably kept alive for so long so he can draw away the attention off Saul once those "Prisoner of War beng turned" rumors begun. Brody might be the actual scapegoat. Once the attack is finalized, Saul probably is going to pin it all on Brody. And eventually Carrie would have to pick a side. This also explains why Saul was so angry that Carrie went behind his back and investigated Brody. He knew she would eventually find nothing which would affect the eventual "pin it all on Brody". By keeping Carrie away from Brody, he's been giving Brody a mysterious aura. Due to Brody's mysteriousness, Saul can make Brody seem capable of anything. Including terrorism. Hell, Carrie is already believing it. Now the only problem I have with this series is that if there is going to be a twist and Brody is not the terrorist, then there are way too much coincidences. He NEEDED to speak to the terrorist? And he coincidentally fell in a blind spot? And he also "played the hero card" only a day after Saul said that was what a terrorist would do? And he speaks Arab? And he converted to Islam during his time as a PoW? These are WAY too many coincidences.


I also agree with Poppy, I think this episode was a clue about Saul. I suspected it before especially because of his role in the show and Carrie's life, but after seeing the episode I'm more convinced. Intrigue! Although we still don't have a clue where to place Brody, of course, but that's what keeps the show going. They wouldn't give that up so soon. Would love for things to unravel a bit more though, very excited for next weeks episode. [I never read reviews or comments on shows' episodes, but I feel that with Homeland it really adds something. There are so many layers and details, it's interesting to get others perspectives and read the things they noticed. Thanks for the review.]


John and poppy, I completely agree that it would be a bit too obvious for Brody to simply be the traitor and everything poppy is saying about Saul is extremely interesting. If Saul turns out to be the actual traitor, THAT would be great television!

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Homeland Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Let's go close that door, Sergeant.


When did you become such a pussy Saul?