Homeland Review: The Lie Detector
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.
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.
Homeland: "The Good Soldier"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.