Sunday, 6 May 2012

Homeland: Series 1 episode 12 - We're quite glad he didn't blow himself up as it goes

So Brody didn't blow himself up in the bunker with the Vice-President and his inner circle in full attendance, and, frankly, tv-ooh is relieved.

During those tense, nail-biting scenes where we waited for Brody's fellow marine and accomplice Walker to carry out what emerged to be his side of a two-stage plan - the assassination of other members of the group gathered for the VP's event, which meant everyone else would be shepherded into a 'safe' room - we almost felt like we were in there with Brody, as he waited until he was close enough to blow him (and everyone else) up.

Fortunately, at least for tv-ooh's nerves and the prospect of a second series, the switch on Brody's vest of explosives failed to ignite, and the slightly skew, extreme close ups of his sweating face and reddening eyes put us right there in the action.

Any one else age about five years?

And Carrie, recovering from a breakdown as a consequence of going without her medication for her secret bipolar disorder after spending time in hospital following an injury from a bomb, and then subsequently getting fired from the CIA for her erratic behaviour, was the only one who realised what was going on.

Her desperate attempts to convince her boss Saul - we're still not sure which side Saul's really working for, by the way - before he sent guards to take her away and so making her realise that even he was no longer listening to her, were just as brilliant as the claustrophobia in the bunker room.

Brody's daughter Dana had become suspicious of his dad's actions before the event, and so when Carrie, who had turned up and barged into their home, tried to convince her to call her father to stop the attack but instead called the police to take Carrie away, the whole thing felt out of control - even though we knew that Brody had to, somehow, survive - if only because there'd been talk of a second series.

As it is, Brody's daughter was able to talk him down and persuade him to come home - and later he realises his survival is actually more beneficial to his cause - avenging the US defense department's decision to carry out a bomb attack that killed 82 children, including Abu Nazir's son Issa - as he can work with the government on the inside. Brody shoots accomplice Walker straight in the head to prove his loyalty to his master, Abu Nazir, and once again we're reminded that this Brody is a very complex man.

But why didn't they decide on this 'non-blowing-people-up' option before?

Even so, this so-called season finale - a term that always makes tv-ooh think of a Victorian troupe of female dancers doing the can-can in big dresses and white bloomers in a theatre, probably because of the word 'finale' and a troubled upbringing - was even more thrilling and exciting as the previous 11 episodes.

And with series two now nicely set up - Brody planning to infiltrate the government, the mystery of the identity of the person who removed the memory disk that Brody hid which contained his suicide video message, and Carrie remembering a name Brody said in his sleep - Abu Nazeer's son, Issa -prior to her having electric-shock therapy to help with her illness but which could cause memory loss - all we have to do now is wait (it's scheduled to begin in the US in September).

Here's the trailer:

Related stories:
- Homeland episode 1: It's all in the finger tapping, probably
- Homeland episode 2: Who can we trust, and is that Lynne doomed or what?
- Homeland: Key points from an interview with its writers and creators Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa
- Homeland: Well that'll teach her to take her men-folk back to the country cabin, won't it

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