Homeland Episode 4 “Semper I”

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Carrie Mathison has run out of time.  She almost lost her job after setting up illegal surveillance on Nicholas Brody, but got a last-minute reprieve after spotting what appeared to be Brody sending a code to someone.  Although that proved to be a dead-end, it was enough of a red flag to lead to her friend and mentor Saul Berenson pulling some strings to get the surveillance approved without anyone else knowing that it had been set up without going through the proper channels.

But she was only given four weeks to find something about Brody, and although some of his behaviour and actions have strengthened her suspicions, she’s found nothing that proves he has been turned by Al-Qaeda.  So despite her protestations to Saul, she is ordered to remove all the surveillance devices from Brody’s house, and instead concentrate on the lead given to her by her asset.  That is something more tangible, as the CIA now has evidence to suggest that Al-Qaeda are bringing expensive items of jewellery into the country in order to sell them and fund their plans.

The CIA form a list of possible suspects who have visited a laundrette which is a front for the trade of the jewellery, and start to work through them, hoping to find an Al-Qaeda agent.  During this process, Carrie’s boss, David Estes, persuades another operative, Danny Galvez, to watch Carrie’s movement for him.  He is worried about the way she acted during Brody’s debriefing, and believes she may be hiding something.  After doing their research, the team decides that Raqim Faisel is the most likely suspect.  But when Danny and Carrie are tailing him, he gets tipped off about their tail and avoids contact with someone who the CIA doesn’t know about.

While this is going on, Brody seems to be testing his wife Jessica, and his best friend, Mike.  The two had an affair while Brody was missing, and it seems like Brody might have figured this out, as he seems to taunt and push Mike towards a confession.  Later, as the family attend a church service, Jessica and Mike discuss telling Brody about the affair, but are unsure if it is the right thing to do, or the right time.  Jessica decides to invite Mike to a party at the Brody house, but a fun night is most certainly not had by all, when Nicholas decides to take matters into his own hands when a deer is roaming around in the garden.

His actions ruin the party, and Jessica begs him to seek help, or even just find someone to talk to, or there may be no future in their marriage.  This leads Nick to a support group for ex-troops, and Carrie, who is now following Brody, decides to literally bump into him.  She’s playing a dangerous game, as her bosses are less than likely to be impressed by her decision, and if Nick truly has been turned by Al-Qaeda, she may be placing her life in danger, instead of just her career.

It’s another strong, enjoyable episode of Homeland.  The show feels very realistic, portraying a world where things don’t just happen overnight, where a lot of work has to be done to get results.  It’s not the most gripping episode so far, but there’s more than enough to keep drawing the audience in and to keep them coming back for more.

David Dougan

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