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Homeland

Homeland Review: The Briefcase Bomb

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What makes both Abu Nazir's plan of attack against the United States and Homeland's story of deception so successful is that they are both constructed from a number of intricate layers. The thought process that has gone into each has been incredible, and that was never more apparent than in "Representative Brody."

It seems as though Nazir has three Americans working for him that we know of: Tom Walker, Sergeant Brody and the apparent mole inside the government.

Carrie and Brody Photo

Walker is the short-term guy, the one who has been given violent tasks to perform in the States. We witnessed his efforts at their finest when he hired the homeless guy to deliver the briefcase bomb to Al-Zahari this week. His attack was smart, it was destructive and it caught the CIA by surprise. His time is going to run out quickly, I'm sure, but all Abu Nazir seemingly needs him for is to be the shooter at Marine One.

Because Walker knew that the CIA was following said rendezvous with the Saudi diplomat, it became more obvious that there is a mole within the American government. It's another layer to Abu Nazir's plot, and another way for him to complete his tasks. 

Finally, Nazir has the long-term game thanks to Brody. Walker is playing out some of the early goals of Nazir, but he is also distracting higher-ups from Brody, who is now looking to quietly infiltrate the system. It's yet another layer to Nazir's plan, giving the terrorist leader a future whether or not Walker succeeds now.

Not only do all of these layers create for a more successful villain in the way of Nazir, but they also beget a much more interesting and lasting television series.

If there was no Walker, and Brody was the imminent threat - like many of us thought in the early going - Homeland might not have anywhere to go after the first season. It might have turned into another 24 where the plot of each season basically repeated itself year after year.

Instead, by giving us these two American traitors, as well as an unknown mole, this show definitely has places to go. Hopefully, Carrie and the gang can stop Walker from completing his task by the end of this first season. If they do, there is still the threat of the turned Brody inside Congress. They can easily bring in another short-term problem in season two, as Brody continues to be a broad threat. It's pretty fantastic story telling.

Overall, ideas about the season and the series aside, "Representative Brody" also did what Homeland continues to do on a weekly basis: deliver brilliant scene after brilliant scene.

It's so fun watching Damian Lewis as the conflicted Brody. As he attempted to convince Jessica that he wanted to run for office, you could tell that the man didn't really want to. He wants to, in order to go along with the plan, but he wouldn't normally want to pursue this. It was very interesting.

The dude has just become a strategist, as we witnessed when he went straight to Mike in order to help get Jessica on board. It was smart, and what made the scene even better is that you could tell he didn't believe what he was saying when he told Mike that what he and Jessica did was okay.*

*Unlike in a similar situation on The Walking Dead, where I absolutely believed Rick Grimes from the word go.

Meanwhile, Carrie continued her run of impressive feats, this time by calling a perfect audible on Al Zahari. After the diplomat declared that he didn't care if everyone knew he was gay, Carrie pulled the love for his daughter out of left field to hold over him. It's exhilarating watching her do her job.

There are only two episodes remaining in the first season of Homeland. Are they going to stop Tom Walker? Is Carrie going to get out of the hospital in time to help? What about the mole? Who is it? And will we find out before the finale?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (114 Votes)

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

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    After watching the last episode over again, I'm really thinking it's Carrie's assistant, Galvez, who is the mole. I believe he was also the 2nd secret service agent to enter Brody's home. How can you be a CIA agent & a secret service agent at the same time? You can if you're the mole for Nazir. He may have placed some surveillance equipment in Brody's home. Also, I think it was significant when Zahrani said he knew nothing of the "terrorist plot on the roof of Fasiel & Eileen's house", spoken about by Saul in the questioning. Remember that Galvez, alone, went up on the roof. What if he was told by Nazir to throw in a red herring and just say that you could see Marine I's landing strip from the roof, when you can not? Also I believe that Brody may have some kind of metal chip in him, so that Nazir knows where he is at all times, making sure he stays on mission. That would mean Nazir knows where Carrie lives. Our girl is definitely in danger!

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    Saul has got to be the mole. His job has cost him his beloved wife. No other character makes sense. Hope I 'm wrong though.

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    Is it possible that Carrie is the mole? She is bi-polar, told Brody about the lie detector test and has had lapses. She's imbalanced.

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    I stopped speculating who the mole is. Saul twirling his fingers in the mosque with the two dead Muslims. Praying perhaps? Just like he recited the Kaddish in the episode of the dead terrorist/guard that slashed his wrists. I start with the premise that most likely is someone no one suspects. We are led to believe Brody has a mission (telling his kids to be strong) using a suicide best, as shown in next week's episode preview. It would be great if he turns and exposes the mole.

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    @Alex Roggio Homeland is an American remake of an Israeli series. The Walking Dead is based on a comic book, and the entire concept of a wife screwing the husbands best friend because they thought he was dead is as old as Greek drama from 2500 years ago.

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    Oh yeah - how is it they have the entire house surrounded with surveillance and cameras in every tree, but Walker can see the kids picture of a heart in the window and no one thinks about nabbing Walker then? Supposedly, if he puts the picture in the window that night, they know there will be a meeting with Walker the next afternoon. Then Walker must be making regular passes by the house on a nightly basis. Hmm...maybe we should have a few more resources in the woods??? Yes, it's TV and I should let it pass. I'm just really upset about the ambassador getting killed and all we have to look forward to next week are them unsuccessfully chasing more loose ends and watching the press have a field day with exposing the affairs of Brody and his wife. Not much to see here. And we still need to find out who the mole is, but they will probably pull that rabbit out of the hat in the last few minutes of the last episode to tease us for next season. Anyway, my favorite part was when Carrie and Saul were at home alone dealing with their loneliness. And that scene of her reaction after watching Brody on TV. In the midst of all the chaos, a somber moment. Great acting and they didn't drag it out too long where it lost its impact.

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    Why am I the only one frustrated right now??? I'm no TV Fanactic (I don't even own a TV, I just pull it off the web) so I don't' follow this stuff in detail like everyone else and see clues ahead of time. But when I was watching the scene at the top of the bank and ambassador caves in and they say, "You work for the CIA now" I thougt, "Finally, they will have someone who can give them clues and doesn't get killed off right away like all their past informants did. Now the show can be more than just chasing bad leads." Then guess what happens- BOOM the ambassador is dead. Just like everyone else that was going to be a decent informant for them. This is BS and too predictable. So next week when they find someone else to be an informant, how long before he/she gets killed??? I love this show, but this is really frustrating me. Let them get a decent informant, don't kill him, and let them actually make progress on the investigation. Is it just me???

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    do you think Virgil is the mole? Or his brother? Or whomever he introduced when they bugged the house.
    That would make sense to me. A low level person. One other mole possibility is Saul's wife and they bugged his phones.
    Okay, that's stupid. Sorry, I just get so freaked out and paranoid now. HA. It's very possible the mole is the guy that Estes asked to watch Carrie closely. But that was be a bland mole. A more interesting mole is someone who hates the CIA and all it has done to their lives....which would be Saul's wife, someone in the FBI, a spouse of someone, a low level employee....hmm...I don't know. Or somebody who wants to take Estes's job and ruin him in the process. Maybe we haven't met the mole yet. That seems like something they would do. Casually introduce a new player and that person is the mole. I thought Carrie's little sad face she made in the hospital bed after realizing Brody was really gone and back with his wife was so real. That's what super heartbroken people do who don't want to break down in front of someone else but are going to freakin' lose it. They do that sad face thing....she is so talented. Great actress. One of her best scenes is in the CIA briefing room with the monitors and she suddenly stops talking to ask Saul if he's done and that was quick for a polygraph...and the way she says, "A naive girl from a rich family...." She's just a brilliant actress.

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    I can't remember his name, but could the mole possibly be the guy who was the Carrie in the mosque? I know he mentioned that he, or his family I cant remember exactly, practiced islam. He may not be a big player on the show, but I feel like this would leave all the main characters in tact and not effect the long term hope for this show. Another great episode.

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    This was another thrilling episode, and I was really feeling Carrie's pain in several scenes. The sad ending to her anticipated meeting with Brody, and her lying on the ground after the explosion, then lying in her hospital bed watching Brody on TV. As for the mole, I'm really thinking it's David now. Why is he always putting Carrie in charge of different events, and not Saul? Does he think that Carrie wouldn't do as good a job as Saul, or is it because Saul asked for a transfer and David's just trying to see if Carrie can handle Saul's role.