Plausibility in Homeland. Discuss. Go on – everyone’s doing it. People getting mad this season because the completely plausible show about the ginger avenging angel Vice Presidential candidate terrorist and the bipolar CIA agent who loved him turned into a show where unlikely things happened. It’s like Scientologists who were fine with Xenu and the volcano then going “whoa, back the fuck up” when they get to stuff about Sea Org. Consistency is the thing. There’s a level of crazy we are all comfortable with. The show has to establish that and once they do there is an implicit contract with the audience that they won’t go beyond that. So how does the series 2 finale do on plausibility? Oh you know – pushes its luck horribly.
We pick up where we left off last week with Agent Quim stalking Brody to do the killing to him. Brody pays a booty call to Carrie who is as receptive as you would expect. In the morning they decide it would be a wonderful time to get cabin fever – an emotional return to the cabin of truth and Yorkshire Gold product placement. That’s fair enough. Who among us hasn’t pulled a gun on a lover and revealed we were secretly illegally surveilling them upon suspicion of treason and then gone back to revisit the scene to revive that heartbreak and mistrust?
“People getting mad this season because the completely plausible show about the ginger avenging angel Vice Presidential candidate terrorist and the bipolar CIA agent who loved him turned into a show where unlikely things happened. “
It certainly seems to work for Carrie and Brody. They open up, talk about a future together but you know how that life-work balance thing is. There’s no way Carrie can be with Brody and still be an agent. “I wish I could have both” she tells him “You and the job”. She’s a really good agent and really good lay. But which is she better at? There’s only one way to find out. Have lots of cabin sex. And that’s exactly what they do.
In the morning a chipper postcoital Carrie goes for a drive, promising to return with croissants and Nick takes the opportunity to go for a lakeside pray. He hasn’t a care in the world except for Agent Quim who has followed them to the cabin with a sniper rifle to take Brody out. But one glimpse of the prayer mat and Quinn starts getting all shaky. You’ll recall Saul not wanting to kill terrorists because they were praying and while that was a bit of eyeroll moment it was sort of conceivable given Saul’s character but ruthless dead eyed assassin Quim? What the ever living fuck? So it’s OK to burn their children alive in night-time attacks but you don’t shoot a man when he’s praying? Quim gives the soulless ginger parasite a pass because he believes in some medieval savagery. I guess impaling his hand with a knife that time must have forged a strong connection between them. There’s a lot of that on the show.
“Quim gives Brody a pass because he believes in some medieval savagery. Impaling his hand with a knife must have forged a strong connection between them.”
Anyway, as love’s young dream continue their cabin outing unmolested we’re left to wonder what happened to Quim. We don’t have long to wait. He surprises David Testes in his bedroom and not in a good way. Testes is testy but Quim won’t be silenced. The Vice President is dead, he tells his paymaster, the only reason now to kill Brody would be to cover Testes’ ass and he didn’t sign up for that. “The collateral damage would be to wreck a woman you’ve already wrecked once before”. If anything happens to Brody, he tells him he’ll come for him “because I’m the guy who kills bad guys”. Well get you, Quim – all pucker, principled and shit.
As a result of the smackdown Testes releases Saul the Bear from captivity who’s like a bear with a sore head about it and as a result is somehow able to wrangle a promotion for Carrie to Station Chief. I’m not sure what that is but it’s definitely a promotion. He announces this to her and while she’s flattered she’s not exactly overjoyed. “Maybe I want other things” she says. “Like a terrorist in your bed?” he snarks. Wouldn’t any woman like a terrorist in her bed? Am I right girls? Eh? Eh??
“‘Maybe I want other things’ she says. ‘Like a terrorist in your bed?’ He asks. Wouldn’t any woman like a terrorist in her bed? Am I right girls? Eh? Eh??”
In other news Chris isn’t eating very much which isn’t really news but when is anything ever new with that motherfucker? Who cares if he starves? Not Brody that’s for sure although he does have the forbearance to tell Uncle Mike that now he and Jess have split up “you can keep taking care of them”. I think he means take care of them in the way that Jools in Pulp Fiction means when he asks Vincent if he’s going to be ‘taking care’ of Marcellus’s wife. Mike is not one to look a gift horse in the mouth particularly when it looks like Mrs Brody. He’s on it (and soon, in it).
“As Testes eulogises The Drone Strike King Brody eye codes Carrie and they both GTFO of the ceremony and into Saul’s office to laugh and make out while all the squares grieve.”
Before we go happily into the sunset there’s the small matter of a memorial at Langley for Vice President Baby Killer with most of the great and the good present and many inbetween. As Testes eulogises The Drone Strike King Brody eye codes Carrie and they both GTFO of the ceremony and into Saul’s office to laugh and make out while all the squares downstairs grieve. Carrie tells him she’s decided: fuck the career, she wants to stay with him and make bipolar ginger babies. Brody is overjoyed. It’s a funny thing Nick notices out of the window though. Someone has moved his car, almost as if a terrorist might to move a car bomb closer to its intended tar- GAAAH!
Just as the penny drops, the bomb detonates. The terrorists have targeted a memorial and blitzed it to shit – it’s America’s Enniskillen. As Carrie and Nick come round she pulls a gun on him thinking it’s all down to him. He repeats “It wasn’t me” like Shaggy and reasons that Nazir brilliantly sacrificed himself to make security forces drop their guard and get the bomb in Nick’s car right where he wanted it. Carrie buys this because, what the hell, it’s as good as an explanation as any. She’s got a plan to get him out of the country – a few hundred pesos and a fake passport for the world’s most famous man. Carrie’s going to stick around and clear his name which will at least give her something to do in season 3.
“Testes is wormfood (sadface), all is carnage, the smell of scorched flesh and C4 fill the air Everyone is thinking the same thing: please Christ don’t let that little bastard Finn survive. Seriously, fuck him. Let him join his baby killing father in hell.”
Meanwhile back at Langley they are counting the dead – 200 so far give or take and 27 survivors looking in seriously ropey shape. Testes is wormfood (sadface), all is carnage, the smell of scorched flesh and C4 fill the air and everyone is thinking the same thing: please Christ don’t let that little bastard Finn survive. Seriously, fuck him. Let him join his baby killing father in hell. The Bear gets told that the teen Latina mom murderer is indeed dead along with his cold bitch Latina mom murderer cover-up queen of a mom and it’s all Saul can do not to punch the air upon receiving the news. His day gets even better when Goldilocks Carrie shows up alive and he gets a phone call from Mommy Bear Mira saying she’s coming back, back for good. Saul is practically tap dancing his way through the bodies he’s that elated.
“Lewis and Danes both plainly want to fuck this shit out of each other so badly you could legitimately show scenes from the show as grounds for divorce.”
In less high spirits are the Brody family who have counter-terrorism goons bark questions at them as they watch the “I’m an American Marine” video Nick made last season which has been leaked to the news. Luckily, he didn’t get specific with his terrorist spiel and it applies equally to the Langley attack. The terrorists have neatly framed him. You’ve got to give it to Nazir: when he set his mind to something…
So there we are. That winning mixture of brilliant and ridiculous the show excels at. If you have issues with a big frigging bomb getting past security at FBI headquarters and a vehicle being moved with no one noticing you’re not alone. Likewise Agent Quim’s sudden change of heart seemed driven more by convenience than character but despite all of this I’m still on board with Homeland. The emotional truth of Brody and Carrie’s relationship still resonates because i) they are both psychologically as fucked and sexually attractive as each other; ii) they are powered by two performances as compelling as anything on TV; iii) Lewis and Danes both plainly want to fuck this shit out of each other so badly you could legitimately show scenes from the show as grounds for divorce. The never-ending machinations of super resourceful terrorists can get a bit 24 but do I need to remind you that 24 was a very, very good show? I hope not.
It will produce ridiculous moments like the tailor in the woods but it will also produce episodes like Beirut is Back. It will test credibility, try your patience – acting the goat is in its DNA and you are naive if you ever thought otherwise. But it will stay one of the best things on TV as, much like Lost, it handles its big episodes well. Season 3 is required viewing if only to see the payoff of all those karate lessons Chris has been taking. With Finn the mom killer out of the way there’s a vacancy for the world’s most dangerous teenager. About time you earned your corn around here, Junior.
The verdict on Homeland series 2 finale: Muslimmer of the year.
Marks out of 10: 8
Imagined: Monday 17th December 2012