After last week’s off-kilter and strangely poor episode, Homeland gets back to its very best with episode 4. The entire episode reminds you of how brilliant Homeland can be at times. From the get-go we have Saul showing David Estes Brody’s tape and the pair of them setting up a new surveillance operation on Brody, albeit a more advanced and hi-tech one compared to Carrie’s two monitor set up from season 1.
We are then introduced to a new character, Peter Quinn, who Carrie instantly has a verbal clash with, a scene which is brilliantly delivered and very funny, hopefully that’s a relationship which will carry on being full of sarcasm if it continues. The storyline between Brody and his wife is quite well played and has enough emotional pull to keep us interested although the scenes between them in this episode are brief because of Brody’s banishment from his house.
This is the episode where Carrie and Brody meet for the first time since season 1 and it’s compelling and absorbing every time they are both simultaneously on screen. Carrie has to lock up so many different feelings for Brody whilst he is under surveillance and at the climax of the episode she even tells him that she loved him.
Lauder showing up at the Brody household drunk and wanting answers from Brody about Tom Walker is an odd story-line as it coincides with Brody’s capture; you’d expect that storyline to run if Brody hadn’t been captured, allowing Lauder and Mike to join the dots and confront Brody. Also the storyline of Dana hanging around with Finn is odd because it feels like it has to head somewhere but at the moment it’s hard to say where. Surely we’re not that interested if Dana chooses Finn or Xander to date are we?
The ending to the episode is fantastic, completely riveting television and the tension between the two characters is so high that it’s hard not to get sweaty palms just watching it. The end shot of Carrie stood alone is brilliant, once again she’s pushed away another person who got close to her, yet she’s managed to win against the man who led her to self-destruction. It reminds us what Homeland is, beneath the bravado of a political or war-culture thriller, it’s a character drama and with characters like Carrie and Brody at the forefront, long may that continue.