I posted my review of “Homeland” on Friday, and I mostly want to use this post as an excuse to let the rest of you discuss the first episode, but I have a couple of specific thoughts on it that I’ll give just as soon as I take off my engagement ring…
Specifically, what I was pleased about (and couldn’t discuss in the earlier review) was that the pilot seems to – seems to, and this is important – give away the game by the end in showing us what really happened to Brody’s partner right before he stops in front of the Capitol. It would have been very easy for Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa to say that they wanted to keep the audience guessing about whether Bordy had turned for at least a few episodes, if not the majority of the season. And I think that not only would have gotten annoying very quickly, but would have put them into a corner in terms of what they could do with the Brody character. Now, because we know – or think we know – what he’s up to, they can delve much deeper into his head and let all his interactions with his family and friends be colored by that knowledge.(*)
(*) In hindsight, I think “The Killing” would have been very wise to reveal the murderer’s identity quickly and set up a parallel narrative where the cops don’t know whodunnit but we do.
And yet it’s entirely possible that what we think we know isn’t right: that Brody cracked in captivity but didn’t turn, that he’s somehow convinced himself that he killed his buddy, or actually did it but for justifiable reasons, that he only seems to have turned but is playing triple agent here, etc. I imagine the Occam’s Razor explanation will be the real one, but there’s enough ambiguity here that they could reveal something different about Brody in the final episodes without it automatically feeling like a cheat.
For now, though, I’ll assume he’s in cahoots with Nazir, and I look forward to seeing how all this plays out, particularly with Claire Danes and Damian Lewis at the center of it.
What did everybody else think?