Monday, September 24, 2012

Showtime Homeland Season 2 Preview

I'm naming this review "Returning Home(land)."

Season 2 of “Homeland” will begin on Sunday, September 30th, 2012 on Showtime. Episode 1 is named “The Smile.” “Homeland” has plenty to smile about today. The show and cast won four Emmys.  The show won in every category in which it was nominated.

·       Homeland was voted the “Outstanding Drama Series.”  Both of the lead actors and the writers also won Emmys

·       Damian Lewis who plays Nicholas Brody (ex marine, current Congressman, and secret terrorist involved in plots against America) won “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.”

·       Claire Danes who plays Carrie Mathison, CIA agent with a bi-polar disorder) won for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.”

·       Homeland also won in the “Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series” category for the pilot episode.
There is a 20 minute preview of the first episode of season 2 available online on the Showtime website. It looks like we are all set for an exciting season of this psychological thriller.

Carrie Mathison is a CIA agent who suspected Nicholas Brody of having been “turned” during the eight years he spent as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan. Everyone considers Nick to be a hero, but Carrie will not let go of her suspicions. She becomes his lover to get closer to him and the relationship turns serious for both of them when they go away together for a weekend. Nick discovers that she is a CIA agent, Carrie confesses her suspicions, but says she was wrong about him. Nick breaks it off with her.

We, the audience, know that Carrie is right about Nick. During his captivity he was chosen by a prominent al Qaeda leader, Abu Nazir, to tutor Nazir’s young son in English. Nick becomes very fond of the boy, and is devastated when the boy is liked in a U.S. drone strike. Nick is now primed to get revenge for the boy’s death. His particular target is Vice President William Walden, the former director of the CIA, who played a prominent role in ordering the drone strikes.  

Nick, after some initial difficulties, has resumed his relationship with his family and his country. He is hailed as a hero, and Vice President Walden recruits him to run for Congress. He wins. He had attempted a suicide mission to kill Walden and other top government officials, but his suicide vest malfunctioned. He then convinced Nazir that he could be a more effective agent if he worked from the inside. In the season 2 premier, Walden, who plans to run for president, approaches Congressman Brody and asks him to be on his short list of possible VP picks. Nick accepts.

While Nick is leading a charmed life, Carrie’s life is unraveling. She enters into a manic state trying to prove Nick is a terrorist. We know that Carrie actually saved Walden’s life by storming into Nick’s home and convincing Nick’s teen-aged daughter to call him. The pleas of his daughter moved Nick not to carry out his mission. Nick admits to having had a brief affair with Carrie, and everyone believes she is the spurned-lover turned crazy woman who is stalking and harassing Nick. The CIA learns that she is bi-polar, and she is fired from the agency.

In the season 1 finale, Carrie is about to undergo shock treatment. One of the side effects is short term memory loss. Just as she is being sedated for the procedure she remembers that Nick had called out the name of Nazir’s son in his sleep. She realizes that this connects him to Nazir. Her CIA mentor and friend, Saul Berenson (played by Mandy Patinkin) is present, but she loses consciousness before she can tell him anything.

In the season 2 premier, Carrie is a happy woman. She is living with her parents, taking her meds, gardening, and teaching English as a Second Language adult education class. Her calm ordered life is about to change. An “asset” that Carrie had recruited, a woman in Beirut Lebanon, has warned of an attack on America, but she will not speak to anyone but Carrie. Carrie is asked to fly to Beirut to speak with this woman. Carrie no longer wants to be part of the CIA (and has obviously forgotten the clue she understood just before her shock treatments), but she sees this trip as her patriotic duty. She reluctantly agrees.  This is the Girl,-you-don't-know-what-you-are-in-for moment of the preview.  

Carrie gets into the car that will take her to the airport as the end of the 20-minute preview of season 2 episode 1.  She thinks she will be gone for only three days, but we, the audience, know it won’t happen that way. There will be complications, and Carrie will continue in her crusade to protect America from terrorists and one terrorist, Nick Body, in particular.  I hope she packed her meds.

I found this poster at