Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Dark Side - Homeland Season 2 Episode 5 REVIEW

This week's episode served up another series of unexpected twists and turns - how will Brody get out of this one? 

Find out after the jump! 

This week's episode was another powerful hour of television, and perhaps the most disturbing of the season to date. 

Carrie gave a particularly chilling speech in this week's episode, one that made me realise something about Homeland and what it has to say about the way people function. 

She finally has Brody sat in front of her. Here is the man that has driven her insane, a man she slept with and spied on, loved and hated and everything in-between. They seemed to experience moments of tender bliss in their time at the cabin in season one, but it's unlikely they will ever hit such high notes again. Brody has been forced to admit his involvement with Nazir. 

The speech she gives Brody is life-changing for him, a real moment of transformation for his character and a radical shift in the direction of the series as a whole. In the speech she explains how Abu Nazir, rather than offering Brody love and kindness, actually systematically took him apart and then put him back together again - but he didn't put Brody back together as he was, but rather as his own sculpted formation. He made Brody in His Own Image.

Brody leaves that interrogation room with Carrie's speech still echoing in his ears. He leaves under the agreement that he will help the CIA obtain further information of Nazir's plans. 

But are Carrie's tactics any different from Nazir's? Immediately prior to her confrontation with Brody,  the volatile Peter Quinn slams his knife into Brody's hand during his interrogation. Quickly escorted from the room, he later confesses to Saul that he is only playing 'bad cop' to Carrie's 'good cop'. 

The techniques that are used by Nazir and the CIA are uncomfortably similar: they play on his love for his family, his conviction that he is not a monster but a man engaged in a Manichean struggle with monsters. And they offer him hope. Hope that he can escape the consequences of his choices, or at least delay the pain and tragedy that will come from them. 

Thinking across the series so far, similar techniques of manipulation have been employed and used against Carrie. If there's one thing that Homeland has repeatedly revealed, it is that emotions leave one open to manipulation and in that manipulation lies power.

'Why kill a man when you can kill an idea?' Nazir mused at the end of season one. We are beginning to see the cracks in the ice beneath both Carrie and Brody, as they engage in their War of Ideas. 

What are your thoughts on the episode? Leave your comments and thoughts below!

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