This series is based around Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes. Carrie has the responsibility to infiltrate in muslim terrorist networks to prevent mass attacks from happening and so on. She is like a pitbull in a way; if she’s convinced something is going on, she won’t stop until she finds proof that supports her suspicions. She is the kind of brilliant that let’s her get away with a lot of it, but not so convincing that she gets away with it ALL.
It starts with an American sergeant, Nicholas Bordy (played by Damian Lewis) who is found back after eight years of being missing.
This is, of course, a huge victory for America and for the CIA and FBI etcetera. He is welcomed with a massive amount of cameras, journalists, gets to meet the vice president and….his own family. Which means his wife and his two children who were both very young when he went on his mission. The children are teenagers now and have adjustment problems with their dad returning, especially as a good friend and colleague of their dad has more or less taken up that place. And if that’s not enough, Carrie Mathison is so convinced Nicholas Brody has a lot more to offer than just the tortured soldier that he is, she decides to bug his house with cameras and microphones all over the place.
The first season is based on Carrie Mathison basically bugging Nicholas Brody to find information about a terrorist who she believes he spend a lot of time with. Brody denies every alligation and Carrie doesn’t seem able to find any evidence to support her suspicions.
Suspicions that keep her from taking her medication against bipolar disorder at times. A condition she suffers from and that’s not general knowledge at her employer. Something she gets in trouble with once she decides her medications are keeping her from seeing ‘the real thing’.
First season and the second one are good, thanks to a storyline that surprises, actors who can properly act and get the chance to develop that sinister little bit of selfishness that every human suffers from. You want to push those pills down Carries’ throat, you want Brody to stop lying to his wife, you want his daughter to stop acting like a bastard, you want everyone to be honest etc. And aside that: none of the characters are stupid. You see them being torn at times (‘why would s/he do that?’ then the penny drops) but able to think and act smart on it.
Unfortunately, after a few seasons, things turn around.
In current times, it doesn’t seem like such a good plan to depict muslims as solely bad people, which is exactly what happens after those seasons. Basically, every single one of them is secretly bad, because working or sympathising for the wrong side, wanting to kill those who don’t want to join IS etc. I did find myself thinking: what did the actors playing these characters, think about their parts? I mean I know it’s work, but a lot of them are probably muslim in real life too and the good people of their faith are barely shown in this show. It shows the ugly side of people misusing their faith just to kill. I mean I know this series is based on preventing attacks from happening, but it can’t be easy to have to play such a negative depictation of what’s already believed by so many: that every single muslim has a shadow side.
To me it made the other seasons quite problematic to watch entirely. So I didn’t. I skiphopped through episodes.
In a way, sure, Homeland shows how the brainwashing works from within any faith, I suppose. How you’re not allowed to think for yourself, how you’re supposed to think of everyone as your brother (or sister) and how it, apparently, doesn’t matter if you get one of those killed, because that’s, again apparently, what your god/Allah/whomever had intended for you.
Carrie Mathison is the most likeable character in all this, since she doesn’t seem to judge people by their appearance, but solely by the information they (could) have. She’s also the surprising element, given that she’s bipolar and has periods where she has no problem with taking her meds, versus periods where she hates to do this and actually has to be convinced that meds are the only way to cope with her.
She’s also the queen, no, the empress, of the pout. My god, when she’s on her way to cry, or to get empathy, her entire face comes along. After a few of those actions, I was getting tired with it a bit. Realising I have seen her doing it in every part I know her from (Little Women, My So Called Life, etc) I’m guessing that’s how she gets her parts. Because this is so characteristic for her.