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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.

Review

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.

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Good news - the series is signed on for another season. I love reading the comments. The show is so good. I have to watch it all week on my DVR. Let's start the Homeland Series Non-Book Book Club!!

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I watch plenty of TV, and this is easily the best of the bunch. Last night's episode was outstanding.

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I don't understand why Brody lied about being unfaithful to his wife. If he knew that Carrie was there then why would he lie about it knowing that the needle wouldn't jump? Wouldn't that create more suspicion? Good epsiode though!

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I really like this show and I saw the intimate relationship coming between Brody and Carrie. Who's playing who? Or does at least one of them have real feelings for the other? Apparently next week, their relationship escalates. Also, I found it a little odd how angry Brody's wife seemed when he showed back up at their house after being out all night. She knows without a doubt now that he knows she was sleeping with his best friend while he was being tortured by terrorists. You would think she would feel guilt, shame, etc. not anger at that moment for the angusih he must be feeling. Why was she apparently so mad at HIM? Despite the fact that she and Mike had assumed he would never show up alive, shouldn't she have expected him to be angry at her?

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@Codex - thank you! That's great news. I saw a review of the 6th episode, which said there were only two episodes left, but that wasn't an official source or anything. Twelve episodes sounds great.

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there is no doubt: best new series of this autumn and by far in my top 3 for this year.
great acting, great writing, great characters, fine quality seance, good story... and I can go on. nice nice indeed. is it Sunday already?

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Also, hands down best show of 2011

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@ Lynn Dee, there are 12 episodes this season, this was only episode 7

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Obviously Brody is capable of lying and having the polygraph not catch it. Whether that means he was lying with regard to the razor blade is another story. Obviously too he was toying with Carrie in some of his polygraph answers. After all, he could've acknowledged having cheated on his wife -- it's not like that would've hurt him any or gotten back to his wife. Instead he lied and thereby taunted Carrie: "Okay, now you know I can beat this thing, and you can't even tell anybody about it. What now, babe?" Another thing: Assuming for the moment that Brody did slip Wallid the razor blade, he could've done so for reasons of his own, from the personal to the political. Anyway, great episode. Is there really only one more this season? Waahhh!

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I just love his show! Each episode gets better and better. I too think something is up with saul.I had a feeling that brody & carrie were going to get together, hell, I wanted them to! Incredible acting,fabulous show. Damian lewis is one sexy red head! I can't wait till the next episode.