Homeland Review: Managing Assets
It was a good run for Lynn Reed with two E's. Briana Brown's arc on Homeland only lasted two episodes, but Lynn's story in last week's "Grace" and in tonight's "Clean Skin" was so emotional - and impactful on Carrie - that it will surely linger throughout the season.
Between her suspenseful and successful attempt at recovering the Prince's phone logs, her parents' awkward interaction with Carrie following Lynn's death, and, of course the murder sequence itself, Lynn helped move a lot of the puzzle pieces around in the early stages of Homeland. For that, we should be thankful.
In terms of suspense, the only thing on television this fall that matched the gut-wrenching moments leading up to Lynn's murder was the last few episodes of Breaking Bad. I know many predicated she'd meet her demise, but I didn't expect it to take place when it did.
The show's ability to create those moments of fright and surprise is what has made it so good here in the early going. I noticed that Lynn might have been spotted playing with the Prince's phone, and I realized the Prince's henchman was giving her the stink eye, but it was still a punch to the stomach when the unnamed assassin put Lynn down like she was a nobody.
Again, that's one of the aspects that separates Homeland from most of the mundane dramas on TV right now. The fact that we care that Lynn Reed was killed makes the drama more exciting. Not only because we got to know the character over the past two episodes, but because her death is directly related to Carrie's well-being.
That is a well-being that is not in good shape at this point. Let's face it, she wasn't allowed to protect her asset because she's not allowed to say that it has to do with Abu Nazir; her own mentor torpedoes her briefing about the Prince coming to the States to fund terrorism because he said it happens every year; and then her asset gets murdered immediately following Carrie telling her that she had the aforementioned protection watching her.
Everything fell apart. Her woman on the inside was killed and the Prince did not look like he was guilty of jaywalking, let alone funding terrorism. But then there was a glimmer of hope. There was the realization that it was the henchman running the show. Whew, what a roller coaster for this girl.
"Clean Skin" focused a lot less on the mind frame of Nick Brody, but what we did see was just as interesting as ever. The guy is obviously still messed up - as evidenced by the bizarre sex scene between him and his wife - but he took the time to make nice with daughter Dana.
Teen angst is not something new to television, nor is it something enjoyed by most viewers, but here it seems to work. Dana's problems are proven to be justified when she reveals that she knew her mom was in a relationship with Mike. Honestly, it was refreshing to see her speak so straight with her mom when she told her she knew.
It made things much clearer for the viewer as to why Dana was a brat to her mother, but it definitely muddied the waters of the Brody family. There are certainly a lot of issues to deal with, and that is without any of them knowing that their father is a terrorist.
Homeland put out another gem of an episode this week, and with the Prince's henchman selling that necklace in order to finance that random dude's new home in the United States, I would say some of the best is yet to come. I'm extremely excited to see what happens next. What did you all think of "Clean Skin?" And where do you see it going from here?
Homeland: "Clean Skin"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.