Homeland – The Clearing

Picking up where last week’s episode ended, surveillance on Brody is constant and episode 7 starts with him meeting Roya Hammad where she tells him to keep the game up as developments are approaching. The main thread of this episode is Saul’s attempts to identify the mystery shooter from last week, he tries to convince captured Aileen Morgan to help him and she plays him throughout the whole episode.

There are some scenes in this episode which are a little odd quite frankly. Quinn gets undressed and casually says “Like you haven’t seen a dick before?” to Carrie, which is slightly peculiar for a CIA agent. Also when Dana and Finn reveal they have run someone over and killed them, there’s not much gravitas or a feeling like Finn’s parents are really bothered, they’re used to Finn acting up but acting so cavalier about their son killing someone is a bit strange.

Carrie ends up getting it on with Brody momentarily in this episode too, which is weirdly irritating considering what has happened to her because of him, surely she isn’t falling for the sly ginger fox again? Brody and family spend the weekend at a fundraiser at some wealthy person’s mansion and oh there’s Brody’s son, a character who seems to have been erased from the plot to give the ever-present and increasingly annoying Dana more airtime.

This episode could be accused of being quite boring, simply because there’s a lot of talking that doesn’t really feel like it’s moving the plot forward enough. It really felt like there was going to be some sort of tragic or exciting climax but the episode just ends, and you just shrug your shoulders. At times you feel like the writers have really mastered the slow game and there doesn’t need to be loads of action to make it enthralling but then again there are times when the show needs a push because it just loses steam.

The storming of the house of the apparent mystery shooter feels so artificial and a segment of action thrown in to pad the episode out because nothing much else is happening. The episode does make rich people look awful as the people Brody has to hang around with at the fundraiser are dreadful human beings. Also the demise of Aileen Morgan is quite sad and touching which gives the episode an emotive end which reminds you how much you invest in characters like Saul and their own battles within the series.

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