Day 80 - Homeland season 1 - episodes 1 to 8 - a COMPLETE RE-WATCH

I rewatched the first 8 episodes of Homeland season 1. The character development of Carrie, Saul, Brody and David Estes (whom I totally ignored when I first watched it) is mind blowing.

Specifically, the relationship between Carrie and Brody. After their first meeting, leaving each of them smiling and mystified by the other in the rain, they go for the weekend to her cabin. Here, one of her dialogues makes you really doubt if this time was real or she was still just doing her job. My guess is that, Carrie Mathison was confused. Carrie has always been bipolar, this kind of thing would have been the perfect, subtle hint at how she would be if she didn’t take her meds.

Of course, there’s the reveal of Brody’s meeting with Walker’s rather sinister, but generally harmless, diplomatic contact. Even though I am watching it for the second time, I didn’t remember this scene and I was waiting with bated breath to see who was in the chair as the diplomat walks into his house. It was still exactly as jarring as watching it the first time, when Brody jumps out of the chair and lunges for the guy.

Another thing to look at and wonder about, was Mandy Patinkin’s acting and his character, Saul Berenson’s STYLE. The one interrogation scene that he has with Brody’s guard is enough to convince anyone of his prowess as an intelligence officer. Carrie, through all the seasons, has always used her eyes, her earnestness and oft-times her confused state of mind about whether or not she loves an asset / source to get intel. Saul used a standard set of negotiation tactics that he probably devised(?). The fact that the guard gives up the information that gets the professor is enough proof for his effectiveness.

Oh and: Saul and Carrie. Saul has a major major sweet spot for Carrie in the first season. She goes around him and through him several times just in the first 8 episodes. She begins with the bugging of Brody’s house, then she oversteps her boundaries at the Brody debriefing, then she goes and MEETS Brody despite knowing that that is the worst thing she could have done and she would irrevocably lose an unbiased boss after doing something like that. She keeps doing it and Saul keeps believing and forgiving her, hoping for something better.

The way they have come together again in Season 6 to work together has never happenned before. This time, she abides by the rules (except in that small Sekou Bah case where she overstepped, as usual), with Saul she is being a lot more careful. The indications for this are non-existent and I think they just come out of the writer’s psyche and don’t manifest themselves in season 6, but the treatment is clear.

The same set of writers has been writing and producing Homeland for the past 6 seasons, that has been one of the most important points in maintaining a consistent character profile for each character. Especially characters as complex as Carrie and Saul.

P.S. I spent (8 * 40) = 320 ~ 4.5-5 hours watching the 8 episodes. Atleast, I could write this post. I am going to do just this from now to create content.

POST #80 is OVER