Homeland Review: “Q&A” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Can we just hand Homeland, Claire Danes, and Damian Lewis next year’s Emmys already? Seriously. With a flawless episode that will undoubtedly obliterate any competition, it would be a crime to snub them of the recognition they’ve built themselves upon – let’s add in a few supporting wins as well shall we? With only five episodes, Homeland has covered what other television shows only dared to do in twenty-four – and that’s being generous. It’s the lies of those shows that undo them and the truths of this show that makes us feel oh so good.

I really didn’t think it would happen. I really didn’t think that I would enjoy this episode even though I knew of all the acclaim it had already received from various sources. It wasn’t that I had too high expectations or that I didn’t have hope. It was because I watched this episode fresh off of the San Francisco Giants becoming the 2012 World Series Champions – the bar I was in exploded in excitement as I screamed louder than I ever though I could. Don’t worry, I have a point in all this other than the gloating and the San Francisco Bay Area pride. Homeland made me forget about the glorious win for a whole straight hour. When a show makes you ignore a victory that big, you know it’s good. But enough with the Giants. Let’s talk Homeland.

So everything this show has worked on all culminated in this episode. There was no adventure, there was no gimmick, there was only the best dialogue and acting I have ever seen on television – believe me, I’ve watched tons of it. Whether or not you agree with the direction that this show took in terms of Brody’s new role, you can’t deny the brilliance. No one was off: Claire Danes was ever so captivating and Damian Lewis was painfully endearing. Even supporting characters such as Peter, Saul, and Jessica were on their A game as they tore their way into the situation with guns ablaze. It was a perfect episode – well, nothing is perfect if Dana and Finn have anything to say about it.

Really, my only gripe with “Q&A” was the questionable focus on the budding relationship between Dana and Finn. It was a nice break from the stress of the interrogation, but the puppy love mixed in with one of the biggest threats to national security didn’t build a believable contrast. I do not know what the showrunners are doing with Finn in particular, but his bad boy antics are feeling almost cliché in a show that is anything but. How this ties in at the end is anyone’s guess, but I will gladly sit and see where it goes – for now.

As for the actual interrogation, can I just mention how brilliant Rupert Friend’s Peter Quinn is? I’m well aware of the slipping accent, but that aside, his psycho antic was the start of Carrie and Brody’s confrontation. With a big old WTF at the stabbing, I almost forgot how well Peter actually did in his end of the interrogation. No one can deny he’s skilled – thanks Carrie for being vocal about it – and no one can deny his role in the ever expanding story. Oddly enough, he gives Homeland a bit of flair it didn’t have to begin with with his smart ass remarks and unpredictable attitude. Coupled with the mystery of his character’s origins, Peter is one to watch.

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