Monday, 21 November 2011

S01E09 "Crossfire" Promo

Carrie will do anything to get the Intel she needs. Walker is somewhere helping Abu Nazir. Brody is accepting his mission.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

S01E08 "Achilles Heel" Clips

Brody and Jessica attend to Elizabeth's party and are introduced as "The perfect couple".

Helen Walker is at the CIA and is questioned about Thomas Walker.

Monday, 14 November 2011

1x07 The Weekend Review [SPOILERS]

Line of the episode: “I just wanna live here”. –Brody.

Aileen - Saul - Estes
Aileen was captured right away when she got to Mexico, and Saul was taking her back to the US, he convinced Estes so he could be there and bring her back.

On the way, he used all kind of tricks to make her talk about her childhood, parents, Faizel, Abu Nazir and everything that was going on with this matter, and only until the very end she did, and wow she had a lot to say…

Saul called Estes and told him that the house she was living in near to the airport was supposed to be used to kill a target, so an agent is sent over to search the area, pointing out different parts of the airport, specially “Reserve M1”, meaning Marine 1, and revealing that an expert military sniper can actually shoot from the house to the airport.

Brody’s picture is shown to Aileen, but she describes the guy she talked to looking like Thomas Walker… So yes, he is alive and introduced like the possible turned POW, making this gigantic change of plans for all of us that might have thought that Brody was the one. Still I’m not confident enough as to erase his name though…

Jessica - Mike
After an episode of Dana and her friends smoking and drinking, she walks through the glass door, then taken to the hospital to get stitches. When they head back home, Mike is there fixing the door and Dana tells him that he needs to go for good.

Jessica then walked in and, after Dana was gone, told Mike that she misses him, kissed and are interrupted when Jessica is called by. Interesting thing about this couple is that they love each other but the circumstances are keeping them apart, and they probably won’t have the chance to be together any time soon.

Brody and Carrie
In this episode we had the chance to see a side we’ve never seen before. Carrie is in fact human and she discovers that she actually might need someone to share things with, someone to be herself and feel free… Problem is the person that she’s having those feelings with, Brody. There is a new window now, Carrie was walking straight ahead and Brody met her in the middle, and I shall say it was a very good view.

Another thing that marked this moment: It’s amazing how different it was Carrie’s reaction to his scars, because if you think back, Jessica was shocked and started to cry, which was something painful to watch; in this case, Carrie kissed him, because  she understands what that is, and Brody is more than pleased with that.

The connection between them was so fond and deep that even when they slept together and Brody was having a nightmare, Carrie calmed him down and embraced him even harder so he could fall asleep again. They were playing the part as the couple in the honeymoon and we were there in the front seat… It’s in these scenes that we actually see the real Carrie and the real Brody. He is himself and finds another one just like him.

The moment we thought that this honeymoon could last forever, Carrie tells him that there might not be the kind of tea that he likes, so he has doubts, confronts her and Carrie just says everything she’s been doing and even has the nerve to tell Brody that she thinks that he is the turned POW.

Brody, acting very hurt and upset, invites her to ask him everything… And oh she does. Funny thing about this scene is that she is constantly trying to find the flaw, the exact sign that she’s so desperately seeking, and all the while he’s sitting there answering all her questions.

It was indeed amazing how you feel that their relationship (if there was any) is falling apart to the ashes while she asks and gets this kind of honesty that is absolutely making her angry at herself; she is confronting him just the way she wanted since the very beginning of the show and she gets nothing on him. On the other hand, he could be lying; we do know that Brody can be a hell of a good liar… But if we give him the credit, he sounded so awfully honest.

In the middle of all of that going on, Carrie was phoned by Saul and was told that Thomas Walker is (might be) the turned POW, but we all know it was all too little too late since Brody was all hurt, so he just takes off, but before that, Carrie tries to apologize, even begs, which is something I never thought she’d do.

And there she is… lonely, crying and hurt, realizing that he might be telling the truth of who he is all the while, and that she might be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Brody goes home, checks everybody’s room, then just sits on the sofa and starts to cry. I have two ideas: 1) he realized that the person that may have understood him and with whom he made this great connection with was lying all the time and now he is miserable, or 2) he knows that all his life is upside down; Jessica, Carrie, all the years in captivity, his children… it all seems too real.

The weekend is tracing the line between now and what we thought before. We had the precious opportunity to see Carrie and Brody together and found out that without all the problems surrounding them they can actually be a very functional couple, but that might have to wait, because if they finally can get along, the show is obviously finished.

The turned POW might be Thomas Walker and not Brody, which is an interesting plot line twist, because it proves once more that the writers are making us think what they want and not what might actually be the obvious, the very same promo that appears everywhere: Brody is the turned POW.

Saul. Still an enigma. In the previous episode he desperately tried to be transferred and now he was out of the blue so interested on Aileen and there must be a reason… I know there is something weird about him, I just haven’t figured out what that is just yet.

We still don't know who handled the razor blade to Hamid, nor even if he actually killed himself or was killed. (Second guess is my choice).

On the other hand, we saw Carrie in a more relaxed and human mood and Brody as this gorgeous prom king so desperately seeking for his queen. You have to love these two together; at times they were so ridiculously beautiful that grinning and smirking was just so unavoidable.

This episode definitely leaves you with all these mixed feelings regarding the future…

S01E08 "Achilles Heel" Promo

Thomas Walker’s sketch is made and they discover that he is alive and in town, so the CIA is going after him. He might be a threat. Carrie goes to Brody’s house to talk to him. Brody and Jessica play the perfect couple.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Statement to all Homelanders

Dear Homelanders:
The most common replies I get on mondays right before Homeland is aired, are:

“Please don’t talk about Homeland yet”
“I won’t be able to watch the episode”
“I’m going to DVR it and watch it later”
“Don’t write about the new episode please”
“No spoilers please”

Because of that, I've decided not to tweet nor write about the new episode the same day, so, I’m thinking that none of us has the right to spoil anyone’s chance to see the episode without finding out  before what’s going to happen, and for that, we all should pick a day of the week to talk about the episode aired on monday, and probably that day could be a middle one...? 

So what do you think? I’m wide opened to ideas…

Thursday, 10 November 2011

S01E07 "The Weekend" Clips

Brody and Carrie are talking while heading somewhere together...

Jessica came home with Dana... Mike is there and start talking to Jessica about themselves.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

S01E07 "The Weekend" Promo

Carrie and Brody spend a weekend together... Mike and Jessica talk about feelings. Saul is behind Aileen.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Homeland: Opening Title

Opening Title of Homeland (Showtime)

When I think of an opening title review, I do it two ways, the conscious and the unconscious, to say the least, the cinematic and the information that’s coming along the way with that, meaning reading between the lines and not just literally watching, but going underneath and thinking about the metaphor.

The cinematic of Homeland’s opening title is undeniable. In it you can see a sequence of photographs and short videos, between 55 and 65 shots of plenty information of the show. On one side, you have Claire Danes’s character since she was a child in front of the tv, probably listening to the radio, perhaps reading papers, hearing her parents talk about the news, whatever it is, you mention it, you just get to see how we are constantly bombarded from all of these mass communication medias that are trying to control our lives and define what we should think, she is just standing there in the middle of all that happening around her, to grow old with the idea of stopping anything bad from happening.

You see many representative characters that whisper in her ears what’s going on, talking about terrorism and adding adjectives to it and implying that it must be stopped at any cost; buildings blowing up; chaos all around; people running and screaming; how the Army, National Guard, all the Intelligence Agencies are constantly watching…

On the other side, we have this massive labyrinth which could literally mean the world we live in, and then inside it we have the two main characters, Carrie and Brody, that somehow will meet up, that somehow their choices in life will make them turn over and confront each other in one, two, three, countless opportunities; and could probably mean that they are going to be playing cat and mouse, so one of them is going to be chasing the another one, or they both will play cat a the same time without knowing it.

I look at this Opening Title and I think about as a group of images that summarize the entire show. Claire being molded and programmed into this perfect  counterterrorism machine (whom in fact is far from perfection in her private life and makes decisions based on her judgment and listens to nobody) that will protect her homeland and Brody being labeled as a POW that will remain living behind that and could probably be lying at some point… Who knows? And there exactly is the beauty, you have hints everywhere but you will never be sure of any of that because they have managed to keep us thinking and not making up our minds about anything.

The most intriguing line that I find interesting in the title and line of which completely matches Carrie’s goal is: “I’m just making sure we don’t get hit again”. The point of the title is so we can get to know more of the show, and yet again we are introduced to tons of Carrie’s info, her growing up and her intentions, but we do not know of Brody, he is a big, massive, gigantic question mark. We know nothing about his previous life (previous life I mean before he was captured), how he was, why did he become a Marine, his interests… We know nothing! And there is revealed nothing! Nothing! It is somehow disturbing that he is so likeable and so dangerous at the same time, which makes him so appealing to Carrie and to us, because we get to know him as soon as she is discovering his game.

Carrie and Brody: opening title (Showtime)

Opening titles are and will always mean the world to a tv show and you can immediately like or dislike forever a series by it, and in the case of Homeland, it’s exactly the same, so if you think that it’s disturbing, well it is; if you think that it’s lame, well I tell you: look at it again and again…

Monday, 31 October 2011

S01E06 "The Good Soldier" Clips

Clips of "The Good Soldier"
Helen is talking on his ex-husband Corporal Thomas Walker's Memorial, and she invites Brody to come on over and talk, meanwhile he's having flashbacks form when he was in captivity and was told to torture Thomas.

Carrie and Saul talk about having Brody in the list of the people who is going to be tested by the polygraph.

S01E06 "The Good Soldier" Promo

CIA orders that everyone that went down to see Brody's torturer should be polygraphed, even himself, so Carrie will use this opportunity to question him.

Favourite Promo of Homeland

This simple and at the same time so intriguing video, is my favourite promo ever. There you have, in just a few seconds, what the tv show is about. You have two main characters, Carrie (left) and Brody (right), both swearing, looking at you in the eye and telling you honestly that they are going to protect the Nation, the constitution at any cost and yet, one of them is lying... Or not...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Carrie Vs. Brody

Carrie (left) and Brody (right) [Showtime]

The two main characters of Homeland, Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison, share more than this description, simply because both of them are playing pretend, toying with the idea of being somebody else so they can be classified as “normal”.

So next question is: what is Normal?

Normal: Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment; free from any mental disorder; sane; free from any disease or from experimental therapy or manipulation.

In order to understand, how many of those do actually fit our characters? Can you see what I mean? Most of the qualities that we love about Carrie and Brody are exactly out of normal, out of the ordinary, and that’s what we find so appealing about them, otherwise they would fit right in the mind of the average population, and if that happens, why would we watch Homeland?

Some people find Carrie annoying, but she’s exactly the opposite; Carrie is chasing her goal: see that nothing happens, and that just ironically leads to Brody, because she honestly believes that he is a threat to the Nation’s safety.

In terms of projecting her persona, Carrie is pretending to fit into this huge normal society box, why? I can think about a good reason: Pills and psychotic disorder, we know nothing about her illness, just that her father has the same, and that if it’s known, she’s out of the CIA, so it’s a bad idea to go around and scream out loud about it.

Another interesting aspect about Carrie is that she never talks about herself, and that’s pretty much because she has nobody to talk to, she is not surrounded with people that can understand her nor even match her insane way of resolving things; she’s got followers (Virgil) or Boss (Estes). Not even Saul knows the worst of her; meaning that Carrie has this secret and very dark whole that needs to be kept buried… All I’m wondering is what happens if she stops taking the pills? Can she be worse and fill into the black spot of unknowing her true self?

Carrie is a mystery. I don’t know if what she is portraying is real.

All I can think about is: 8 years in captivity… Al-Qaeda… 8 years…  Al-Qaeda… 8 years… Al-Qaeda…

Next is: How can somebody act that normal after going through that? Answer is: Nobody can.

We are starting to see this character’s erratic behavior cracking up but very slowly, he is a smart guy and knows how to blend in.

Brody is reflecting some of his experiences during captivity through his relationship with Jessica, so what is she doing? She is trying to be there for the sake of her family, giving him space; working on reunite the Brody’s, and even cut off her relationship with Mike, which I’m not sure if Brody knows for certain or not.

Brody is a big question mark. He is a freaking POW and he is like rejecting that status, somehow fighting it; he shows nothing, talks to nobody, opens up to anybody… And that leads me to believe that he is indeed hiding something, what that is I don’t know.

We’ve had glimpses of something going wrong when he shot the reindeer, and because he is surely not comfortable around too many people, and not to mention his sexual encounters with Jessica.

So the thing is, Carrie is pretending, Brody is pretending… When are we going to see what’s behind?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Season 2 of Homeland is on the way!

Very good news! Homeland Fans we are getting a season 2 of our great show! Showtime has picked up Homeland for another season of 12 new episodes of one hour.

We are going to have the chance to see more of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) and find out whis is the hero and the threat!

Showtime says that the show is getting more are more viewers every week which demonstrates that the audience  is clearly interested, so we are confident they will return to watch a next season.

News on Twitter:
@SHO_Liz So excited to announce that #Homeland has been picked up for Season 2!! (Showtime PR)

Homeland is currently Showtime's highest  rated freshman series ever! So we are delighted to get another season!

Want to congratulate Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa and Gideon Raff for creating such fantastic show and interesting characters.

S01E05 "Blind Spot" Clips

Clips of "Blind Spot"
Carrie shows Brody the single guy who survived and he says that was his torturer.

Carrie makes Saul to let her break into the house of the guy who bought it with the stolen necklace.

S01E05 "Blind Spot" Promo

Brody gets to confront his torturer and the CIA is urged by Carrie to find the guy who bought the house with the stolen necklace.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Meet the characters: Nicholas Brody

Nicholas Brody (Showtime)

Name: Nicholas Brody.
Age: UKN.
Date of birth: UKN.
Town and Country: UKN, United States.
Status: Married to Jessica Brody.
Children: Dana and Chris Brody.

Affiliation: United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper. Actual rank is Sergeant.

Current Work: Brody is not working as a military at the moment because he was recently brought back home from captivity.

Work experience: It’s unknown when Sergeant Brody joined the Marines, but it is believed that he’s been serving for quite some time.

Brody served as a Scout Sniper USMC in Iraq when he was captured in early 2003 near the Syrian border along with his partner Corporal Thomas Walker. He was taken to a facility outside Damascus where he was help prisoner for eight years.

During those eight years, Brody was tortured, mistreated, beaten up, burned up, and clearly suffered from undernourishment.

Profile: Brody, as a former Prisoner of War held in custody by an enemy power during an armed conflict, hides everything away from people, locking up behind doors all his feelings to his closest persons, his family.

He is been having harsh flashbacks from when he was held prisoner, which makes him struggle with reality sometimes and cause him to do specific methods in order to be or feel more comfortable with his current position. A perfect example is when he needs to sit in the corner of the room to feel some sort of safety; or when he embraced Islamic customs and practices them in secrecy.

POWs try to act normal, so he is not the exception. He tries very hard to keep an outdoor face so nobody ever asks him ‘how are you’.  This is extraordinary to watch because he let go in the shape of mistreating his family, specially his wife Jessica, as if he was punishing them at every opportunity that he has. Yet again, nobody said it was going to be easy…

In order to know more about Brody, there needs to be a comparison of how he is before he was captured and how he is now. Pre POW is happy, distressful, enjoying his life as a married couple with Jessica, living with his children, going to school plays and so on; meaning that they were at their best as a young married couple. Post POW is what we are watching now, complex character, hard to read, unconventional behavior, erratic decisions… All answers that he is not what he’s showing us and is hiding something, or on the contrary he is just another POW trying to survive, trying to adapt.

Perceptions of Environment and People: Nick, very clearly, doesn’t feel safe anywhere. He is always with his guard up and studies everything without exception.

Family: Spouse is Jessica Brody. Children are Dana and Chris Brody. There has been no mention to other family members.

Interpersonal Relationships: It is clear that Brody has issues with communicating his true feelings to his closest circle; in fact he tries hard to cover them up, and just sometimes we can actually see him for what he is.

Jessica is his wife, but just by name, because she is backed off when he has needed her; so they have a weird relationship, as if they are some strangers that find themselves living together, and that is normal regarding their special situation, he is a POW and she believed that he was dead, so they have to meet up again, know each other personalities, likes, dislikes, fears, interests…

Brody and Jessica have had a few frustrating sexual encounters, and this has stayed deep in her mind, plus he is not talking about anything to her, only superficial conversations, causing her to believe that he needs serious help.

Apart from his wife, Brody has been dealing with his children. Dana and Chris show different positions. Dana is coping well with the idea of having her dad back home, even changing her relationship with her mother. On the other hand, Chris is scared of Brody, and I believe that it has to do with the fact that he doesn’t remember him at all, so he has nothing to relate with.

Overall Review
There’s a big question mark around this character because we really don’t know what to think about him not to mention we know absolutely nothing about him. We are actually discovering things regarding him in the same way the other characters do on a regular basis, day by day, actions, how he speaks, behave, his tone when he’s talking, way he reacts to people… Meaning it is going to take a while when we get him since he shows very little, which makes him very irresistible to us.

Meet the characters: Carrie Mathison

Carrie Mathison (Showtime)

Name: Carrie Mathison.
Age: 32.
Date of birth: April 5, 1979.
Town and Country: Maryland, United States.
Status: Single.

Academic: Bachelor’s Degree in Near East Studies and Linguistics from Northwestern University. Arabic and Farsi at the American University of Beirut. Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University with a BA in Arabic Languages and Literatures.

Current Work: CIA Agent. Counterterrorism Unit. Status: Active Intelligence Officer.

Work Experience: Carrie Mathison joined the CIA on 1999, being trained by her current mentor Saul Berenson, with whom she is still close.

She worked in Bagdad, Iraq to gather Intel for the CIA. During this period of time, she was trying to find something against Abu Nazir, the worst terrorist in the world, when she caused an international incident by sneaking into a prison to talk to one of her contacts about Nazir, which led her to nothing at that time because Ibrahim only got to tell her: “An American Prisoner of War has been turned”.

For the past 10 months she’s been working behind a desk in the CIA headquarters, and the orders came directly from Estes, because he didn’t want her to cause anymore problems.

She is currently studying Nicholas Brody because she believes that he is a turned Prisoner or War.

Profile: Agent Mathison is, secretly, under medication, specifically antipsychotics which are a tranquilizing med primarily used to manage psychosis, particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Situation of which probably supports the theory that she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies.
Adjustment Level and Major Need: The main concern for Carrie is her surrounding and her obsessive need to control things around her so she knows what’s happening to gain her main goal, incriminate and prove that Brody was in fact turned to attack the US form the inside following abroad instructions. That way she develops a big shield to battle her strong feeling of loneliness and unhappiness that are carefully hidden inside of this complex character.

Perceptions of Environment and People:  Carrie does not view her surrounding as a safe place at all. Doubts everything that comes along and studies every detail of everything before making any decision, knowing in advance that can and will change what’s going on.

Family: Father is Frank Mathison. He has the same disorder of Carrie. Sister is Maggie Mathison. A nurse who illegally provides her with the medication to treat her illness. Nieces Ruby and Josie. Loves them deeply.

Interpersonal Relationships: It is evident that Carrie has problems initiating and, above all, maintaining long term relationships. In addition, she is going through some sort of sexual anxiety which causes her to have sex with total strangers, meaning one night stands.

Overall Review
Very interesting and intriguing character played by the talented Claire Danes. The thing about Carrie is that we can't actually be a step ahead; she is very intuitive and not quite predictable, which is what I love most about this character.

Carrie Mathison is a fascinating woman, not only because she is a kick ass CIA agent, she also speaks her mind, stands for her beliefs, very intelligent, keen senses, accurate skills that make her the owner of some high-class and complex way of seeing things that nobody else can, reason why she not quite loved in the Bureau.

Thursday, 20 October 2011