What I liked:
- How the flashbacks Brody has are threaded throughout the season and between scenes.
- Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. I was thrilled to see him, and see that he is a permanent cast member. He’s a pretty intense charatcter who is very commanding on screen, someone you root for. I like him.
- Damian Lewis was incredibly well cast to play Nicholas Brody. He handles the role of broken and defeated very well, and he seamlessly manages to play the role of the tortured, as well as the liar.
- Brody’s psyche is pretty damaged, and they work really well with the scenes to play with this (such as sitting in the corner, sleeping on the floor, etc).
- The family dynamics after Brody’s miraculous return home. After eight years life had been moving along with the idea that Brody wasn’t coming home. Just because he is back now, does not mean that Dana and Jessica are going to get along any different, or that Chris isn’t going to continue to rely on Mike for all the things that Brody had missed. Basically just the way that he is transitioning back in and how his family takes it is interesting.
- Nicholas Brody is such a layered character, which is refreshing. You never quite get a handle on him or anything he has been through.
- The way the reveals are slowly but surely sprinkled throughout the season. It’s continually changing the way you look at things.
- Two sides of the story are being shown – constantly at odds. You hear about the American side, and you can judge it right or wrong if you please. But then you hear the side of the “terrorists”, and again you are left to judge right from wrong, and it soon becomes evident how murky the whole thing is.
- The wheeling and dealing and ulterior motives and the way everything is so calculated.
- The way things come up, get resolved, and then 360 about to Brody again. I cannot explain that, but if you have seen Homeland, you will understand what I am talking about here (like the whole Tom thing).
What I didn’t like:
- Carrie gets on my absolute last nerve. Not because Claire Danes sucked, because she didn’t, she’s very good, but Carrie as a character is a waste of life and screen time and she’s weak and aggravating. I know she is central and all that but hell, could the character just have been a little less annoying?! As I said to Natasha, whenever that blonde bitch comes up on the screen, I want to take her out on a boat into the middle of a shark infested ocean and throw her overboard with a gash in her leg. Extreme, I know, but she is irritating as hell.
- I was so over everything always being about Carrie, and how everyone must drop everything to be there for her and she doesn’t care about anyone else. She takes everyone for granted, as though she is entitled to have people like that in her life.
- Any time Damian Lewis had a screen kiss. It just looked like he was eating someone. Eeeeew.
- Carrie is nowhere near as smart as she thinks she is. I did tell you she annoyed me.
- There were times where I wished the psychology was explored just a little bit more. Not saying it isn’t, but I would just have liked to know a little bit more. They give you the reasons for everything happening, and why the people are doing what they are doing, but nothing really in depth, just enough to identify and explain things to the viewer.
So Natasha hounded me to watch this. Literally, wouldn’t let up for weeks until I got up. I am still suffering (and it’s been months) from a Sherlock hangover. Not like I haven’t watched a hell of a lot of series in between it, it’s just that after Sherlock, everything seems so bland. Anyway, at the rate she was going on, it sounded like she had hit paydirt. But then again, Natasha has a serious penchant for soldiers… Homeland is a captivating and a slow burn kind of show. I thought it was great, layered, detailed, and came together well. Just as I was about to call bullshit on something, like the way Nicholas Brody seems a little bit overly calm after his return, you see him cowering in a corner when he has no one to be brave for. Just as you want to cuss out about the fact that he is lying, there are little reveals that come up to show what is going on. Carrie is chasing Brody, burning all her bridges as she goes (and it’s not like she has ten million to burn, either), just because she is insistent that Brody is working for Al-Qaeda. As much as you can sort of see the way she is thinking and understand her logic, Carrie’s character is so grating that you don’t root for her at all – not to find terrorists, not to save people or help anyone, nothing. And for me that is terrible, because you are supposed to support them all, but I can’t. Saul, on the other hand, is a great character, and the whole bit with his wife was a bit heavy to go through, because it was really sad. I loved the way this was a very well constructed political thriller, and you never really get a handle on what is going on. There are some intense scenes, and some that leave you wondering what the hell, but not ever in a bad way. The series was shot well, too, and there are plenty characters to enjoy. The cast did a wonderful job bringing them all to life, and each delivered really well. I think that the whole friendship between Mike and Brody has been really underdeveloped, because he has returned and because Mike was sleeping with Jessica, it gets to the place where some work needs to be done there to bring the audience in to what will happen. I just feel it is a little underdeveloped. The whole time I was watching this, I was wondering what Brody was doing. Some things looked so suspicious and don’t mean much in the big scheme of things, and other minor things turn out to be pretty darned important. Then tension escalated progressively throughout the season, and I think that it was done really well. Never overkill, but ever-present. I can’t understand how I missed this show for so long. It just seems crazy. Overall, Homeland is well worth the watch if you enjoy political thrillers and a chase, thrown in with a good measure of intrigue and a cast to carry it well.