Showtime premiered the fourth season of its much lauded series, Homeland, last Sunday. A follower of the series from its first season, I was fascinated to see where it would go this year.
Season 3 ended with the death of its tortured hero, Sgt. Brody, held by Muslim extremists for years, turned and sent back to his homeland to commit acts of violence. It has always been a fascinating, convoluted storyline, which you have to follow closely.
Actually, I slept through part of it Sunday night, so I watched it again on demand this morning. My sleeping through it had little to do with the episode and more to do with my current stressers which tend to make me tired.
In season 4, we find Carrie Mathieson (played by Claire Danes) in Kabul as the CIA station chief. She orders a strike on what she thinks is good intel, which results in disaster for the US. Yes, they took out the terrorist leader, but he was at a wedding with many guests in attendance, most of whom were killed. Thus, pictures of dead women and children were laid out in the media and on YouTube.
Somehow the American source of the intel is outed on television, attacked by an angry mob in Pakistan and murdered - also posted on YouTube. Thus, Carrie has another cause, another obsession which she will not let go. That has been her character's mode of operation for the duration of the series. She has a mental disorder which makes her dangerous if not medicated, but also makes her able to focus so much that she can ferret out the situation with relative ease.
Trouble is, she is socially inept as well as the world's worst mother. She was pregnant by Sgt. Brody when he was executed by the Muslim radicals who once held him prisoner. In season 4, she is the mother of a cute red-headed, blue-eyed baby girl. She cannot cope with motherhood - doesn't even want to hold her baby and farms her out to her sister - a busy physician with two children of her own. The infant in the part looks a bit like Damian Lewis, the British actor who played Brody. Carrie cannot seem to make a connection to her own child, even though she admits she loved her father. There was a tense scene in which she is bathing her child and almost drowns her, looking on dispassionately until she comes to her senses.
This show has NEVER been for the faint of heart.
It is a dark, intelligent, compelling story, most relevant with today's issues in the middle East.
If you like a fascinating story, this one is for you.
It airs on Showtime at 9:00 Eastern time on Sunday nights. Check it out.
Until next time...