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Homeland Review: Come To Life

by at . Comments

Carrie: You wait, you lay low and then you come to life.

Those words, uttered by Carrie Mathison in her fit of manic insanity during "The Vest," like most of what she said during that stretch, were absolutely brilliant.

Yes, the plants in the garden are definitely going to live by Carrie's law, but she was also correct in metaphorically comparing said plants to Abu Nazir and his terrorism plot. Ironically, and unfortunately, it also worked to explain Carrie's bi-polar disorder and its effect on her job with the CIA.

Proving Herself to Saul

As sad as it was to watch Carrie spiral out of control, it was just as entertaining to watch her work (mostly the demand for the green pen), and just as interesting to realize that she was nailing Abu Nazir's plan down to a "t."

What she was missing, however, was the "i," as in Issa. The only missing ingredient from Carrie's timeline, which Saul so perfectly organized on the wall, was the period of mourning after Nazir had lost his son. If she could have only put the pieces together that Brody was just as heart-broken as Nazir, maybe this whole thing could have been solved.

But no, Brody put an end to that idea with his phone call to David Estes. The good sergeant is Nazir's plan "coming to life." He waited, he laid low and now he's coming to life... or death, depending on how you look at it.

He went to get the suicide bomb vest, and he made a lot of heartfelt speeches to Chris and Dana, but I'm not convinced that he retrieved the vest for himself.

  1. It's a little too obvious at this point. They kind of hit us over the head with the idea that he was making his last moments with the family count, and if we've learned anything from Homeland so far, it is that it doesn't enjoy being obvious.
  2. Where does this show go without Brody? If he murders himself in an attempt to get back at America, what does Homeland's second season look like? Even if he attempts to go through with it and fails, is there a place for a character like that? He would most likely be put away forever.

I still hold out hope that Brody was just getting the vest for someone else to blow themselves up in, and all of his speeches to the kids were just because he was heading off to Congress for awhile.

Similarly, Carrie's disease has also played itself out like the pulled quote at the top. She has managed to keep her problem hidden from everyone in the CIA for a very long time. After the bomb, and everything going on with Nazir, she had to finally come to life.

Her mania begets brilliance at times, as was exemplified by the colorful timeline of Nazir, but it also causes Carrie to do stupid, stupid things. Allowing her civilian family members to see classified documents, and calling Brody for a secret rendezvous were the acts of stupidity in question here.

Yes, she was right. Brody could have helped Carrie fill in the blanks of the yellow part of the timeline. Unfortunately, he didn't want her to do so, and turned her in for their affair and her illegal surveillance work at the beginning of the season. She seems to be out.

Which brings up a question not unlike the one posed about Brody: where does this show go without Carrie working at the CIA? Sure, it's much more plausible than a Homeland without Damian Lewis, as Carrie could still do her job as a rogue agent, but it's definitely a much more difficult series to make.

For now, we have to come to grips with the fact that there is only one episode remaining in this fantastic first season of Homeland. The obvious questions still exist - Will Brody use the vest? What will Carrie do now? Will Tom Walker succeed? - and here are a few more: Will Dana figure out anything because of how weird Brody has been acting? What did Brody and the bomb maker say to each other in Arabic?

What have you, TV Fanatics? Did you enjoy "The Vest" as much as I did? What are your predictions for the season finale? And what will season two look like?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (123 Votes)

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

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"We are not the keepers of some sacred flame we adapt we are pragmatised"and "the other line the CIA(circus) is a weak child still" are from John LeCarre's Smiley's People. Really?

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@ Nancy

Thanks goodness someone else has noticed these Le Carre quotes. Was beginning to think I imagined them.

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Just picking this series up in the UK, episode 7 tonight I think( Sun 1st April) and Its gripping,
So much is going on- sheer brilliance!

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Great season finale....bomb malfunction...Now Brody is in a better position to help Nazir, but a more precarious one for himself because his love and connection to his own family will continue to take root and weaken the connection to Nazir. Although his shooting Walker without a drop of remorse was pretty damn cold. Poor Carrie thinks she's crazy, but she is the sanest one of all...can't wait until next season. Great Cast- each role is superbly cast and played.

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There's no way he would go through with this. "HOMELAND" is notorious for giving one impression, then snatching it away at the last second:
1. Brody is running for public office. That's a much better weapon then using him as a weapon. The longer Nazir keeps him in there, the more power and terror he can exert over the American people
2. He has complete trust of Brody. Heeven trusted Brody, the foreign stranger, to tutor his own son.
3. Shotime would never purposely kill Brody (and Walker?); they've already signed on for another season, and that would completely cripple the plot line.

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I cant imagine the suicide bombing being executed, but I dont doubt that Brody is ready and willing to do it. I wonder if Abu Nassir has ensured that the vest given to Brody is a dud and doesnt intend for Brody to actually carry out the suicide bombing but rather needs to prove that Brody is still loyal to him and their mission. I dont see why Nassir would want to kill the best asset he has before he has even taken political office.

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I don't agree at all that there should be new actors on next season, that is a crazy idea. This season was great because of these actors, this was a fantastic ensemble. Why would you change it if it isn't broken? Of course the writers can write new stories for them, there is lots more that can happen to these wonderful characters. First of all, if Saul & Carrie open their own covert agency, it could be very interesting. I just don't want Carrie to turn into a "Manic Jack" (a manic Jack Bauer from "24"). This episode was heading that way, with David the boss not understanding her (I think most of the bosses Jack had were out to get him as well). With Saul being like Jack's only friend at the agency, Chloe. But Damian Lewis will be back (and Brody will not blow himself up). I think the whole point to Dana being suspicious of her dad is that she will tell Carrie about it, and Carrie will stop Brody from killing anyone or himself. Then Brody will be courtmartialled but will be found innocent because of post-traumatic stress disorder. I think he may still run for Congress, they let us know in this episode that people would vote for him. So, the whole family will be back, but I'm afraid the Carrie & Brody romance is not going to happen. He doesn't seem to care if he loses her, and is satisfied with a wife that "is happy".

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Sometimes the better part of valor is to end a show at the top. What ever the writers decide -- Brody the suicide bomber or Brody the redeemed --I think Homeland has gone as far as it should go with these characters. Maybe a whole new cast next season with the underlying theme of terror and defense.

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I also think this series is terrific. My problem, that has incented me to write this, is I just dont see Brody as a suicide bomber. I'm sure he was devastated by the boys death but killing innocents is as bad as the event that killed Issa.

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The writing and acting are masterful. The motives of the characters pale, as the
main ones have serious issues, but it is hard to express how much I am invested
in the past and future of Homeland. Brody's family really came to life in this
last episode, adding even further texture. The series is A+ for me and the last
two episodes are brilliant in my eyes.

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Brody leaving the tailor with the vest, simultaneously a train passing by.....what a great metaphor for the plan has been set in motion and left the station.