#18 – Homeland Season 2– Score: 25
Say what you will about Homeland the series as a whole, the first two season’s stand apart. Season 2 is its best because while Season 1 introduced us to something that was very current with the time in 2011; an internal threat from radical Muslim extremists. Homeland’s second rendition built upon everything Season 1 accomplished but really outdid themselves in terms of pure drama. Season 2 was by far their finest hour.
There were many landmark moments. The mission to capture Abu Nazir really opens a Pandora’s Box as Brody compromises the CIA’s attempt at the leader of al-Queda. The cat and mouse game of the CIA, Nazir and Brody is riveting as we don’t know for sure who is going to get caught, and with what, and what does that mean going forward. Throw in the fact that Carrie is spear-heading all of this and is as emotionally unstable as anyone in television history just adds to the constant theatrics. Saul finding Brody’s confession tape, and then showing it to Carrie and Estes. The arrival of Peter Quinn and the threat of Estes using Quinn to pull the trigger to kill Brody is a constant through the entire season. I’d say more but we got to leave room for the meat and potatoes of what made Homeland S2 so memorable.
Acting Performances: 7
This is probably its strongest category. Both Damien Leiws (Nicholas Brody) and Claire Danes (Carrie Mathison) were nominated for the Emmy for their performances in the lead drama role. With Danes taking home her second consecutive Emmy win for the role of Carrie Mathison. The show also garnered the Emmy win for Best Writing in 2013. But what wait, there’s more lol. Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berenson) also received an Emmy nod in for Best Supporting Actor, his second in a row. We also saw Navid Negahban (Abu Nazir) have a lot more screen time than in the first season, and as the chief antagonist and the show’s symbol of evil, he portrayed a man unequivocal in his believe that he was just in his actions. His scene with then captured Carrie Mathison was simply memorizing as he delivered perhaps the show’s best monologue as he described the obstinate unbreakable will of his peoples cause.
Season 2 Plot Arc: 5
Season 1 was about Brody turn and Carrie’s suspicion. Season 2 the cat is out of the bag, everyone knows, and Brody decides to turn yet again and become a double agent for the CIA in their ultimate pursuit of capturing Abu Nazir. Brody is continually torn between the right path; whether that means his loyalty to Nazir and his country, or Carrie and his family. But what makes this season remarkable is Nazir himself. He is planning an attack on the US as he finally lands stateside during the middle of the season. While capturing Carrie, he threatens to kill her unless Brody gets Nazir the serial number to the Vice President’s pace maker. Brody does and his actions lead to the VP’s death. Nazir is eventually shot by snipers and the CIA lands an important victory. But what to do about the former traitor Brody? As the main character, we all find it hard to have a show without him but he is constantly in the crosshairs of the Estes and the CIA, more than once there is an attempt on his life. But each time, mostly by outside forces, he escapes clean. Until….
The Finale/Cliffhanger: 8
Nazir is dead. Brody’s life is safe for now. He has made the decision to leave his family and continue on with Carrie. All that is left is a memorial at the CIA headquarters in Langley for the death of Vice President Walden. Saul is in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere to oversee the water-burial of Abu Nazir. Everything is tying up neatly. And what happens next is one of the greatest out-of-leftfield/where do we go from here moments! As Estes gives the eulogy to the near 300 mourners in attendance, Carrie and Brody sneak off to Saul’s office to speak. Brody looks out the window and sees his car has been moved and parked right outside the doors to the memorial hall, EXPLOSION!!!! The building is leveled! Carrie and Brody escape the brunt on the blow but are still knocked unconscious. As they come to, Brody pleads with Carrie as he had nothing to do with it. They flee and will try to leave the country as it looks really bad for Brody. As they fill up with the necessary supplies, they see a news report that Al-Queda has taken responsibility for the attack and play Brody’s confession video from Season 1. Brody is now public enemy #1. Carrie leads Brody to the Canadian border where he must make it to Montreal on foot, Carrie leaves him, promising to clear his name. Carrie meets up later with Saul at Langley as he stands among the rows and rows bodies. The death toll is 200 and rising; Estes, Walden’s family, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, all dead. Saul is now acting director of the CIA and Carrie must clear Brody’s name.
Unfortunately there is not one single YouTube clip on the Season 2 ending (I know, shitty). But I will leave you with a still of the explosion.