Homeland, Season 1, Episode 10: “Representative Body”
Written by Henry Bromell
Directed by Guy Ferland
Airs Sundays at 10pm ET on Showtime
That point in the first season of Homeland has come in which not much is actually advancing, but all the pieces are being put into place for something big to go down. That’s not to say that nothing happened in “Representative Body”. Plenty happened, but aside from one fairly shocking everything was foretold. It was an episode that needed to happen, though it’s questionable whether an entire episode was needed.
Let’s take a look at everything we got in this episode in broad terms. Carrie and Saul followed the lead on the Saudi diplomat, discovered he was highly in debt and also gay. Carrie used this, as well as a threat to deport his daughter, in order to get him to cooperate and set up a meeting with Tom Walker. Walker somehow finds out about the meeting and sends a homeless man with a bomb in a briefcase, the bomb explodes, the diplomat and four others are killed, and Carrie is injured. On the Brody side of things, the Vice President asked Brody to run for congress; Brody agreed and said he would ask his wife. Jessica initially doesn’t want him to do it, but Brody goes and talks to Mike and gets him to try and convince Jessica. She figures out that Brody sent Mike to talk to her and gets upset, but ultimately the plan works and Jessica agrees. And then, in a tiny side story, Brody asks to meet Carrie. She gets excited, thinking their affair might continue. He’s really just there to say it needs to be over and it needs to be a secret. She’s crushed.
Okay, that was the episode. The truth is, the story with the Saudi diplomat, despite ending with a bang, really only served one purpose: to remind and confirm for the audience that there is a mole in the government. Hello, 24. We also got to see Carrie do her interrogation job really well, but honestly, the show has given us that enough times by now. Jessica not allowing her husband to run for congress led to some great character work, particularly with Brody apologizing to Mike and actually thanking him for looking after the kids all these years. But in the end, it was obvious that Brody would end up running for congress and this episode was just a way of stretching that decision out.
It would be easy to say that this episode was something of a waste. Five minutes of plot stretched to almost an hour. That, of course, would be ridiculous. What makes Homeland so good isn’t the movement of the plot, which at times is quite cliché. Homeland lives and dies by its characters. This episode provided some great character moments, and for that it was worth it. At the same time, though, the plot machinations beneath the surface can be felt quite strongly. The writers are putting everything into position. There are only two episodes left in Season 1. Knowing how Showtime series are usually structured, I imagine some crazy stuff will go down in the next episode. If that’s the case, then it’s hard to complain about a “calm before the storm” episode in which a bomb went off in public and killed several people.
What did you think of this episode? Is the mole plot starting to bother you? What do you the game plan is for the campaign plot? Leave a comment below!