|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?