Homeland Review: “The Clearing” (Season 2, Episode 7)

What seemed like a filler episode with close to nothing being solved, Homeland might have just spoiled the turn of events that will bring it through to season 3. With the lagging thread of Dana’s story finally rejoining the main plot, we see what the effect of her relationship with Finn has given us: a reason for Brody to turn once again. In arguably the most experimental episode yet, “The Clearing” is the start of Homeland’s answer to the question of Brody’s allegiance.

What you might ask is what am I getting at here? I’ll explain. The initial premise of the show was determining whether or not Brody had turned. When it was revealed he had in the middle of last season, the premise was still relevant as no one but the viewers knew. We also learned of the reason Brody had decided to work for al-Qaeda; because a little boy named Issa gave him a reason to live and a reason to believe the enemy he was fighting was no more than human. He also gave Brody a reason to hate: corruption in the land of the free so vile that a former Marine would betray his county.

In this episode, history is repeating itself. Instead of working for the Marines, he now works for the CIA and instead of the covering up by Walden of the drone strike on innocent children, Walden is now covering up the killing of an innocent woman. Everything is happening yet again, but in a smaller scale. In case it isn’t obvious yet, my assumption is that Brody will turn yet again in this season’s finale, effectively restarting the whole cycle.

Of course I could be totally wrong – and I might be – but how could it not turn the way I imagine it would? After seven episodes of Dana frolicking with her boyfriend while a terrorist attack was on the horizon, we finally see just what the showrunners had planned for her all along. The whole point of Dana’s story was the eventual reveal of deep corruption on the American side. Brody turned before because of the same corruption, what makes you think he won’t turn again?

As a U.S. Marine Sergeant, Brody’s life had always been about what is right, not what is loyal. With that in mind, it isn’t a surprise that Dana feels the same way as her secret was eating her up from the inside just like Brody was when he was trying to hide his own secret. With Dana’s storyline this season coming to an end, we understand how masterful Homeland is made.

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