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Old 05-03-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
Hcour
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Homeland - Season 2

I'm about 2/3 through it, probably wrap it up this wknd. I liked the first season but then was so disappointed when Brody copped out of the suicide bombing that I almost passed on watching it this year. But, as with the "The Killing", the writers have more than redeemed themselves with this second season, which is absolutely superb, even better than the first season. If they maintain this high standard this could be one of the great tv series - up there with The Wire and the first four seasons of The West Wing. Rarefied company indeed.

Highly recommended!
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #2
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There are several other threads here on Homeland, where we've discussed S2 at length.

Please report back your thoughts when you're done with Season 2 (so we don't spoil anything for you ).
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Lemme be a little more specific: The complexity of the relationships is just so remarkable, as are the conflicts both within each character and between each character. Consider: Carrie and Brody, former lovers - Brody, married, in conflict with his ideals, his family, his profession; Carrie, in turmoil from her mental disease, her firing from a career for which she lives, her love for a man she believes to be an enemy - Brody in reluctant hiding from Carrie, Carrie in reluctant pursuit of Brody. When Carries lays her hand on Brody's shoulder, is she playing him? Is he playing her? Do either of them actually know for sure?

More complexity: The whole bit with the daughter's hit-and-run. Other series would have left this as a separate story, a sub-plot, the familiar conflict between parents and teens. But here it becomes something so much more, as the juxtaposition between what Brody must do to save his family - keep the double-agent thing going - vs what Brody must to to save his relationship with his daughter - go to the cops - has no real resolution, either practically or morally. Damned if he does...

These kinds of conflicts, this complexity, run throughout the entire story. Carrie is, for all intents and purposes, now an agent, sanctioned by her betters. Yet she is obviously unstable, she can never be anything but. Yet again, she is also one of the best at what she does.

One of the central political themes of the show, one of the main questions it asks - and a daring question it is for an American series post-9/11 - is "What is terrorism?" As Brody sees it, terrorism is not "terrorism", it is an act of war taking place within a war, and the bomb that is planted or worn is no different than the bomb that is shot or dropped. OTOH, he has come to question the practice of purposeful targeting of civilians vs a practice of "collateral damage". IMO, the show doesn't purport to answer this question and its greater implications one way or the other, but simply presents it in circumstances which are familiar to an American audience, almost in a soap-opera fashion, but with depth and intricacy.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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A few more thoughts: The hit-and-run. Way, way beyond what most American series are able to pull off. Quite amazing, in fact, the way they managed to tie typical teenage rebellion in with the central story and make it all so morally ambiguous and emotionally effective. I don't know about anyone else but I was very moved at the scene when Brody refused Dana at the police station. They had been pretty close up to then and this was a significant break. And, as an added bonus, Dana saw Carrie, which she'll most certainly mention to her mother at some point. Another conflict - Brody needs Carrie but risks his marriage, not because he's a potential terrorist but because he slept with the one woman who is really on his side and whom he needs to survive. Great writing.

Something else - Dana's relationship with the VP's son. Again, there's a typical soap-opera, melodramatic feel, but then it goes further, it takes it somewhere else. This isn't just the employee's daughter dating the boss's son, in this the case the boss is the vice-president on a bid for the presidency with her father as his running mate. This introduces a completely different perspective into the relationship on the part of all parties involved. The hit-and-run sub-plot explores those relationships and how each of the characters reacts to such a difficult moral dilemma.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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I watched all of season one and season two in a marathon, over a month or two, a few months ago. I really enjoyed it, and I'm also really enjoying your commentary. Thanks for posting!
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Same here, very good post. Thanks
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