Why I Love Homeland

Why I Love Homeland

If there is suspicion that a person might be a terrorist, are you okay with the government spying on him? Are you okay with the CIA tapping his phone, setting up tiny cameras all over his house, and even hauling him in for forced interrogation?

Before 9/11, I would have said heck no! That sounds like East German secret police tactics. That’s not the way we are supposed to do things here in the land of the free.

Well, after 9/11 I am not sure anymore.

Part of me still sides with the ACLU and wants to protect liberty at all costs.

But now part of me sides with Dick Cheney. I suppose that’s the same part of me that does not like the idea of being on the 100th floor of a burning skyscraper and being compelled to jump out the window because some monster just flew a plane into the building.

“Homeland” is a brave, original, and suspenseful drama series about terrorists who are committed to attacking the United States and the CIA agents who are working tirelessly to stop them.

Most TV shows center around a likable lead character who the audience can relate to. “Homeland” doesn’t.

The star of “Homeland” is Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis): a US Marine who was captured in Iraq and tortured. At some point during his time as prisoner, Brody converted to Islam and befriended Abu-Nazir – the world’s most notorious terrorist mastermind.

When a Drone strike kills Abu-Nazir’s young son, Brody vows to exact bloody revenge.

But revenge is best served cold. Brody returns home an American hero, reunites with his wife and children, and quietly bides his time before Abu-Nazir calls on him to strike.

The only one who recognizes the truth about Brody is CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). Nobody in the CIA shares her suspicions. So Carrie goes it alone, flouts the Constitution, and plants cameras in the Marine’s house so she can obsessively watch him 24/7.

Carrie is literally crazy. When she is tracking down terrorists, she is focused and insightful. When Carrie is off-duty, she’s manic and miserable.

The only thing Carrie enjoys doing is – get this! – hanging out with Brody.

Carrie truly thinks Brody is a terrorist. And she truly is falling in love with him.

And the feeling is mutual. Brody is nearly as messed up as Carrie. His family is falling apart, he has terribly mixed feelings about America, and the stress of being a double agent is eating him alive.

The only thing that brings him peace is hanging out with Carrie.

Carrie is simultaneously saving Brody and destroying him. It’s a unique love story. Completely preposterous, but utterly compelling.

The writers of “Homeland” are so good at crafting addictively suspenseful plot-lines that you hardly notice the controversial observations that they make about politics along the way.

“Homeland” is a true American original. It’s not the best show on TV (that’s still “Mad Men”), but it’s the most entertaining.