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TV Review: HOMELAND - The Smile 2.1

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Homeland had one of the most successful first seasons of all time, proved even further last Sunday when it pretty much wiped the boards at this years Emmy Awards, the first season was brilliant, not only in story but the characters, direction and writing involved were also brilliant, again like Dexter and Person of Interest, Homeland’s second season premiere is one of the most highly anticipated in the Fall season, and rightly so. “The Smile” followed straight on from the Dexter premiere to massive audiences and I have to say it did not disappoint, it was brilliant and I probably enjoyed it more than both of the shows which I have mentioned above.

A lot has been said in the summer on how they were going to top the mightily impressive first season, the writing and characters were so brilliant along with stellar performances from Clare Danes and Damien Lewis that things looked like they couldn’t get any better. Now we know or at least have an idea of where the show is going following this premiere and a good look as to why season two of Homeland may well be even better than the first. It was finally confirmed in the last episode of season one that Sgt Nick Brody (Damien Lewis) was a terrorist, although he still stands by his words “I’m not a terrorist” which he reiterated to Abu Nazir’s aid during this opening episode, reminding them that yes he may work for them and is conspiring against the US government but he does not consider what he does to be an act of terror.

It really puts things out there for you this show, why does a US Marine who went to war for his country now have such strong beliefs against them? He is willing to work along side them and provide them with information, but just how far is Sgt Brody willing to go? It is his lover of Abu Nazir’s son Issa who was killed during a Drone strike which first got him to start changing his views, but now he has that same pulling effect from home as his daughter Dana who in the first season discovered that her father had converted to Islam, it would seem that she is all for it, and actually wants to learn more about the religion herself.

It really is brilliant story telling, and the development which Dana will have during this season is going to be great, will she be the anchor that stops her father going to far? I guess we will wait and see. We also were left wondering at the end of the first season about how Carrie would become involved this year as last season the CIA sacked her after they found out that she had Bi-polar, pretty sure she would have some sort of employment case there but never mind, it’s by the by. They brought her back into the story brilliantly with a mole recruited by her in Baghdad coming out and wanting to speak with her and only her, the CIA have had no other choice but to bring her back in as the mole is the wife of as high ranking person who’s information may be to good to turn up.

That sparked some great scenes showing that although Carrie is quite prepared to put herself back in the field for the CIA she is nowhere near ready for the level of secrecy and involvement of it all, she really seems on the edge and I’ve no doubt some of her own problems will surface during her time in the field. Clare Danes threw herself back into Emmy spots for next years awards along with Damien Lewis in this opening episode as both where brilliant, the scene with Brody and CIA Director David Estes was very nerve wracking, will he get caught? It’s kind of odd to watch because you want Brody to not get caught. Morrina Baccarin (Brody wife) is also back and learned during this episode that her husband is a Muslim, she went a little mad at that after all her war hero husband is inline to become the next American Vice President, it will be good to see what they do with Jessica’s character this season, all of Carrie’s ranting last year did not go unnoticed and maybe she will start to put the pieces together.

I was really impressed with “The Smile” if you hadn’t guessed that already, I actually was late getting into this show during the first season and found it rather tuff going at first but Homeland has now firmly cemented a place into my weekly TV schedule as a must watch along with Dexter and Person of Interest, only thing left now is to see which one of the new shows will be joining them.
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