[Television Review] Showtime’s Homeland

An American prisoner has been turned.”

Showtime’s Homeland is similar in vein to Sleeper Cell except it takes more cues from The Manchurian Candidate than anything else.

Claire Daines is a CIA Case Officer Carrie Mathison trying to get a man out of an Iraqi jail before he is rushed be executed. His final words are simple: An American prisoner of war has been turned.

After Daines is put in the dog house for her little indiscretion, her bosses are happy to report that an American POW, Nicholas Brody played by Damien Lewis (fans of Life rejoice with me) was uncovered during a raid and is returning home after eight years.

Nicholas is brought in to debrief and explains he and his Delta Force partner were captured, his partner was later killed while the chief insurgent that everyone is after continued to move Brody around safe houses until he re-patriation.

Carrie calls bullshit and tries to get Mandy Pitinkin playing her mentor/Middle-East Division Chief Saul Berenson o connect the dots. At first he’s hesitant about all of this since the man was about to die, people will say anything to get out of the noose. And, she needs to stop making a mess of things, her personal demons are starting to run her life.

While Brody played musical safe houses Brody’s family had moved on. His wife, Jessica played by Morena Baccarin has been dating his best friend and was about to tell the kids when the call comes in.

Carrie is not beyond bending the rules a wee bit and with some help wires Brody’s house like the Big Brother House.

For a one hour pilot, the series establishes much of it’s cast and the idea behind the series including leaving the foreboding question: Now, what’s Nicholas going to do?

There are a few nagging questions which I assume the series will delve into: I would assume visits to a shrink are on the list of things to do.

With Showtime ordering twelve episodes, I hope the rest of the series is as well thought out as the pilot. It will make a great addition to Sunday Night since Boardwalk Empire isn’t my bag.

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