Sunday, September 28, 2014

Homeland Season 4

The death of Damian Lewis's Nicolas Brody at the end of the last season left Homeland's creators free to reboot, and its fans free to hope that it would ditch the melodrama—from Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody's doomed love affair to the tiresomely detailed travails of his wife and daughter—that had turned the series into a high-class soap opera. Sure enough, like a le CarrĂ© novel once again, Homeland grants what feels like an insider's perspective on espionage and the politics behind it, offering up characters whose often shifting or hidden loyalties make it hard to know who to trust and exploring complicated issues that muddy the morality of the decisions made by Carrie and her colleagues.

Season four takes on drone strikes and the terrible toll they exact on those who order and execute them, not to mention the survivors of those who are killed, raising the troubling question of who's to blame when a strike against a known enemy also hits nearby civilians. Back on her meds, Carrie is painfully aware of her own fallibility. At the start of the first episode, she makes a mistake so serious that it takes all her ingenuity and sheer force of will just to convince Lockhart (Tracy Letts) not to sideline her, and it looks like she may spend the rest of the season finding out who set her up and why. When she slips free of her bodyguards this time, it's not to attempt something as superhuman as singlehandedly extricating Brody from Tehran, as she did last season. Instead, she sneaks off to debrief a couple of allies on a secret mission they're planning—and that plan doesn't work, at least initially.

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  1. Elise, have you checked out THE HONORABLE WOMAN? I like it a lot, and much more than HOMELAND.

  2. Hi. Yes. I watched Honorable Woman too and thought it was excellent, though unnecessarily unclear at times. I wouldn't say I like it better than Homeland, though -- at least, not when Homeland is on its game. What made you like it better?

  3. I find all of the acting in Homeland to be really over-wrought, as is the entire enterprise. What can I tell you? Have not been able to get into Homeland. But I didn't like Madmen or Breaking Bad, so what do I know?