With a near perfect season under its belt, Homeland returns this Fall – hopefully with a few Emmys to brag over – for the much anticipated second season. In case you missed the first season, Homeland stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent, and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a prisoner of war who was rescued after being held captive for eight years. Having received information from one of her sources, Mathison suspects Brody of being turned by Al-Qaeda, who has now been made the poster boy for the war against terrorism.
With raving reviews, captivating actors, and dialogue that would make Shakespeare jealous, Homeland has a lot to prove. With so much at stake, I break down what I want and don’t want as we anticipate the coming of the second season.
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What We Want
After all the suspense, thrills, twists, and excruciating anxiety, the audience is left off in an area very similar to the beginning of the series: Mathison has a lingering suspicion on whether or not Brody has actually turned. The only big difference being the audience knowing that Brody has indeed turned, a piece of knowledge that could prove to be very dangerous to the show’s credibility and lifespan. In the best case scenario possible, Homeland would continue to surprise us with every episode, but with the premise of the show revealed, it would take a large deal of convincing to pull off another twist.
A huge part of what made the first season so successful was not the amount of twists, but the quality of them. In fact, there were only two real shockers: one being Brody’s true agenda and the other being Tom Walker. Both were pulled off so perfectly that it gave the audience not just an initial shock, but a lingering one (something that the creators need to desperately hang onto for the second season). At this point, the shock factor would be very difficult to top, but with Homeland, there’s always something amidst – especially with the addition of new characters.
In terms of character development, it would be very rewarding to have another main character know about Brody. Not necessarily through Mathison, but perhaps on their own accord – making their own puzzles and their own investigations. It would definitely set up suspense from all angles as the audience screams for said character and Mathison to finally meet up and team up. Imagine Brody’s daughter, Dana, taking this role. She would act on her suspicions, but keep things to herself so as to not harm her father’s trust. It would be magnificent.
With Mathison and Brody on the other hand, I’m more focused on what would be detrimental to them for character development purposes as will be explained next.
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What We Don’t Want
With such complex character personalities and the irks that come with them, Homeland has so far done a brilliant job with constructing believable characters. With a show like this, the line between sanity and psychosis is dangerously thin. Though technically a psychological thriller series, Homeland falls perfectly in the drama category. One of the worst things that could be done to Homeland is to turn it into a freak show. Don’t get me wrong, Mathison’s psychotic breakdowns were thrilling to watch, but mostly because they were paced so evenly.
Now with her going under electroconvulsive therapy, she could very well end up being an unstable mess (true she was one before) but at least she had it under control. The last thing I want is for Mathison to give up her credibility as an investigator. I can only hope that her bipolar disorder remains as part of her character instead of a mere plot device. I would also love for Carrie to rejoin the CIA, but it doesn’t take precedence.
As for Brody, please oh please don’t have him switching back and forth. The whole premise of the show was determining Brody’s allegiance and when that was revealed, as stated earlier, it brought the show to somewhat of a halt. Homeland could have easily ended with just one perfect season, but as television shows go, its longevity was lengthened. Had Brody actually pulled off what he was set to do, the outcome would have been terrifying to behold. That wasn’t the case.
The way I see it, Brody can only turn once more (and only once more) to support the United States. Sure, the show wouldn’t be about the chase anymore, but it would also save itself from becoming stale. If Brody keeps turning over and over, it would end up being a gimmick – much like Mathison’s bipolar disorder. It’s inevitable that the show will end up being about the capture of Abu Nazir. The only question being which side for which Brody will ultimately fight. I believe that he can (and should) stick to his agenda for the upcoming season as he milks the American hero card dry.
Finally, I would love to see progress more than anything else. The first season gave more than anyone could ask for, but time after time, this usually means a gradual dragging out in order to meet the demand of upcoming seasons. If we’re left in the same boat as we started out on, there will be rage. Hopefully, the creators have a plan set up where there is a clear end goal and a clear final season. I would hate for this show to end up going in circles just for the sake of going in circles. You’ve spoiled us with the first season Homeland, keep doing so.
The second season of Homeland will premiere on September 30, 2012 on Showtime.Previous