Carrie and Brody's twisted relationship takes further unexpected turns and Dana's secret is out in this week's return to form for Homeland...
Carrie and Brody continue to tiptoe around each other, their mutual attraction seemingly a symptom of each character's love affair with self destruction. Danes has performed 'Romeo and Juliet' before, but I don't think modern US cinema has thrown up a set of star-crossed lovers quite as unexpected and enthralling as these two.
'Are you just handling me? Keeping me close?' Brody asks Carrie during their discussion in the woods during this week's ep. It's the perfect location for their heart to heart, and I was struck with the reality that it's a motif throughout the series as a whole - as in season one, the irony is that the only time that they're able to be honest with each other, to acknowledge the pain at the heart of their relationship, is when they're alone out in the wilderness.
|Seclusion is as close to Eden as Carrie and Brody (above) can get.|
There was a running theme that worked to hold all of this week's story strands together, and it was introduced subtly enough that many a viewer might not have noticed it. Across each story arc, there was an exploration of how many of the Homeland characters have ended up becoming people they wished they weren't. Through a series of choices, they had become people that they didn't necessarily like. That's particularly true for the men of Homeland - best illustrated through Brody himself, but also Saul (due to his failed marriage) and young Finn Walden, who is well on the way to becoming a man he doesn't want to be.
Dana remains my favourite character on the show - she reveals to Finn this week that she attended the funeral of the woman who was killed in the hit and run a few weeks back, reminiscing on the fact that only a measly twelve dollars was donated in the collection plate. This deeply disturbs her - the reality that the value of a woman's life can equal a dollar amount that barely breaks double figures. She then spends the rest of the episode fighting to tell the truth - but due to those around her who are desperate to hold on to power at all costs (including, in a surprising turn of events, the CIA) Dana learns how difficult the world can make it to uphold the truth.
The other major plot of the episode follows Saul, and the reintroduction of Aileen, who we learn has slipped into darkness in captivity since we last saw her in series one. For me this was the real joy of the episode - for Saul, Aileen is very much the Anti-Carrie; his connection and paternal obligations to both characters leads him to overlook their flaws. Aileen's death packs a real punch, but feels inevitable once you've had a moment to think it over. There was never going to be a happy end for her, not in a world where second chances aren't offered for mistakes like the ones she made.
We're now past the halfway point for Homeland's second season. I can't say what we'll witness in the next few weeks, but I suspect we all have much more time to suffer in the wilderness before season's end.
What did you think of this week's 'Homeland'? Do you think Dana and Finn will be able to live with their guilt? Leave your thoughts below!