Homeland – “Pilot”

Homeland – “Pilot

Homeland has the potential to be one of the most interesting new shows of the season. That’s not to say it will be, but the pilot looks promising. Claire Danes plays CIA agent Carrie Mathison. Carrie is in the doghouse after a disastrous attempt to spring an informant from an Iraqi prison. She failed but not before the man told her that an American prisoner of war has been turned to Al-Queda. There are no P.O.W.s in Iraq so she doesn’t think much of it. Then a raid on a compound reveals Sgt. Nicolas Brody (Damian Lewis from the too-short-lived NBC series Life), who has been held captive since 2003. Everyone, including Carrie’s superiors at the CIA want to hail this man as a hero. Carrie knows she can’t go to them with this. Instead she just goes to her mentor (Mandy Patinkin) and a private surveillance consultant (David Marciano). Carrie is not quite a simple character. She’s been known to take things too far and is revealed at the end of the episode to have been on anti-psychotic medication since her early twenties. By the end of the episode she thinks she has uncovered some proof that Brody is contacting someone but her credibility isn’t exactly rock solid.

The other side of this show focuses on Brody and his family. His wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin from V) has moved on and was in a moderately serious relationship with Brody’s friend Mike. She’s overjoyed that Brody is back but is not sure how to deal with him. In the first episode, she’s already starting to notice that Brody isn’t the same. Does that back up Carrie’s theory? Or is it just the after-effects of being a P.O.W. for eight years? Well, Carrie’s theory is starting to look pretty right-on after a flashback reveals that Brody was made to beat his spotter to death by a terrorist who he denies having met during his debriefing. Through complex characterizations and well-crafted plot, Homeland has the potential to be one of the best new shows of the 2011 season…

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