Homeland Review: The Lie Detector

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After many insightful theories in the comment section of last week's review, I came into "The Good Soldier" on board with the idea that Brody could still be innocent and Saul might in fact be the turned prisoner of war mentioned in the premiere.

Homeland changed my mind in regards to that theory, then changed it back, and then turned things around once more... all within the hour. That is what has been so good about this show thus far. You are never quite sure what to think about any situation, and I don't know about you, but I still could be convinced that either Brody or Saul have been turned, both have, or neither have. It is just THAT complicated.

Saul on Homeland

I began watching "The Good Soldier" on the prowl for clues that Saul was indeed the culprit in this whole mess. I came to terms with the fact that being in a prison camp, making things difficult for Carrie, and chatting with the terrorist - where he could have slipped him the razor blade - was enough to put him on our watch list.

The idea that Brody did what he could to survive while a prisoner, and then turned to Muslim prayer as a way of getting through such a tragic time of his life, started to make more sense.

But then during this episode, Saul seemed to be trying way too hard to help the CIA catch Professor Faisel and his blonde friend. I was back on Team Saul for a brief moment, that was, until his first polygraph test.

Every lie detector test that these individuals went through seemed to be just as difficult on us as it was on them, none more than Saul Berenson's. He seemed to have beaten the polygraph in the most textbook of manners, acting as nervous as possible throughout so that they can't get a good reading on your truths or your lies. When he answered the question about handing off a razor blade with no and the needle jumped all over the place, I was immediately back on board with the idea that he was guilty.

Oh the twists and turns were not over yet though. Brody finally made his way in to take his polygraph, and boy was that a joy to watch. The dude is as cool a customer as there is, and he absolutely murdered this lie detector test just like he murdered his buddy Tom Walker. What? Too soon?

Every answer he gave created no movements in the needle. Did you hand a razor blade to the terrorist? No. Carrie demands they ask the question over and over again.  No. No. No. She thought this was going to be it - her way of finally getting Brody.  So she asked a question she knew he would lie about, and that she knew the correct answer to.

Have you ever been unfaithful to you wife?  He stared right into the camera, as if he knew Carrie was looking straight back at him, answered with a calm No, and the needle did nothing. Brody knew he was lying, Carrie knew he was lying, and we knew he was lying - because we had to watch that awkward drunken sex scene from the night before - but nobody else knew.  Carrie couldn't say why she knew he was lying.

That seemed like a big EFF YOU to Carrie though right? It could have been that he has turned, is lying, and wants Carrie to know that he knows that she knows. Confusing, right? Or he could be innocent, could have been telling the truth during the entire polygraph, and then lied on the last one because he knew Carrie was coming after him. As if to say, you really think I'm a terrorist?

That is why this show has been so unbelievably good thus far. Sure, there have been fantastic performances by a number of actors in the cast, and there have been a multitude of interesting stories so far, but their ability to keep us guessing both within episodes and between episodes puts Homeland over the top as the best new show on television. "The Good Soldier" was a perfect example of what the series does best.

What did you think of this week's episode? What does Aileen do now that her friend was shot up in the hotel? What are Brody's intentions with Carrie after inviting her into his car? Who has been turned? And who hasn't? There are so many questions to ponder as we wait another week before heading down the back half of Homeland's first season.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (118 Votes)

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


The special style and design will just take the burden on the shoulder off, and make your trip more funny.
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I am a fan of the show but i am also a former marine please have a marine consultant on set in one ep you have him as a gunnery sgt then in another ep you have him as a sgt we take our image very series.


LOVE LOVE LOVE this show,,,friend told me to watch it,,,watched from 1-5 in one night,,can't wait till Sunday,,,usually dont have the patience for television series,,,this one although is worth it....


@Alex Except I mentioned Walker 2 comments ahead of you. So why are you accepting plaudits?


@Holly Thanks for the praise, but I actually feel let down that I was right. I like being SHOCKED. Seeing that it was Tom Walker just like I said is kinda boring...


Well, we're going to know something soon because tomorrow Saul tells them to draw a sketch of the POW. So, we'll know tomorrow if they are hunting for someone else. He says, "Tell them to draw Brody" or something. I can't wait until tomorrow's show! I do have a life. Small children. Work as a volunteer. Freelance from home. But Homeland is soo great. I'm obsessed.


@ MOMINTEXAS (sorry I mistyped your screen name before). I can definitely see the CIA killing one of their assets in such a way as to make it seem like someone else did it. Good point.


I think it's brilliant whoever was the one who thought the "turned POW" might be Tom Walker. We never actually saw him dead, and maybe that was another prisoner that Brody was punching. Remember this was done a long time ago in Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians", or the politically correct version "And Then There were None". Remember in that famous movie the killer is one of the ten, and you think he was killed, but he was not. He returns at the end of the movie. Or else it's Saul, I just don't think it's Brody. He & Carrie will be back next year to find terrorists together, I'm sure of it! They also have great sexual chemistry, and she's falling for him, I don't believe she's doing it for info, sorry. They're attracted to each other, but Brody will probably go back to his wife because of the kids. Love this show!!!!!


I agree...Somehow Aileen is connected with the CIA in some way. I got the same feeling. Why would the terrorist rig the safe house? THey would just have some guys there ready to shoot them. And how 'bout those machine guns or whatever blowing the crap out of the motel wall? Terrorists would be more silent and deadly killing their own. The CIA did that to make it seem like a huge terrorist or drug related killing and not some covert sneak under the covers slit your throat kind of bye bye. And yes, somebody told the lie detector guy to ask Carrie that question. Maybe Saul put that in there. The lie detector guy is his buddy and Saul sure has been to her apartment without her there. Remember when he was sitting on her sofa waiting for her? Maybe Saul wants to remind her that she's on record lying about it. He's had one too many of her slip ups. Or maybe he needs this for leverage later. I also think Saul's wife is cheating on him and perhaps with someone at the New Dehli station. Something is up with the wife. She's back, but she's back only to say goodbye. One of my favorite moments was the episode before when Carrie trips on the rug in Saul's office and he seems bent out of shape that she didn't correct it...he immediately leans down and fixes it. It is a prayer rug? I don't think he has been turned, I think he has a deep respect for the culture and even if a terrorist is the dead Muslim, he's still going to say the appropriate prayer. Remember when Carrie or somebody pointed out that his Arabic is better than anybody else on staff?


MORNING TEXAS stole my thunder with his last question. Estes WAS in the interrogation room during the scuffle between Brody and his former guard and his hand was on the table several times. Also, remember how upset he was with Carrie for suggesting the polygraph tests in the first place. Another possible mole? @MARINA It is difficult to explain why Brody would deliberately lie about cheating during his polygraph. It's not like his marriage is of concern to national security. But I don't think it's some kind of challenge he's throwing out there as has been suggested by some comments. It could be a warning of sorts. He's telling her, "Look how easily I fooled the polygraph. If I can do it, so can anyone else." Just like Dan said in his review. I think someone with something to hide had the polygraph administrator ask Carrie the drug question so she can be discredited later on. Like an insurance policy. From the "it came out of right field" theory files: I'm not convinced that Faisel and Aileen are running from the CIA. Aileen may have infiltrated a terrorist cell and has some valuble information not only about terrorist activities but also about someone in the CIA who is a traitor. They're actually running from the terrorist cell she infiltrated and someone in the CIA. This would explain why she kept refusing Faisel's suggestion that they turn themselves in and why their safe house was trapped.

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