With shows such as The Affair, Masters of Sex, and …
There was a moment during this episode where I questioned whether or not I could continue watching this show. It came at the end, when we were treated to a surprise appearance by Damian Lewis. That’s right, Brody was briefly back, and though I knew better, it still seemed conceivable that he was actually there and not a figment of Carrie’s imagination. She had already thought the guy in the hospital had been Quinn, but it still seemed plausible that Homeland would bring Brody back because it didn’t know what else to do and for the headlines on Monday morning (it’s getting those anyway, of course).
With the return of Brody to Homeland, there’s a lot at stake without even addressing how effective his incorporation into “Tower of David” is. If you look elsewhere on TV, you’ll find another series that begins its new season dealing with the temporary absence of an important character – The Governor on The Walking Dead. In both circumstances, these characters were used well last year at certain points, but were also used rather poorly at other points, culminating in season finale departures that raised a lot of questions (such as “Do we buy into this whole Carrie/Brody relationship?” and “Is Brody even a necessary part of this series? Are any of the Brody family members?” and “Is there any point in letting the The Governor live?” and “Was there a point in building up all that conflict between Woodbury and the prison if it was going to remain unresolved?”).
Homeland is principally discussed and appreciated as a politically-inclined thriller, an action-oriented series that manages to feel vguely relevant despite its obviously heightened nature. The show also often draws praise for its unflinching depiction of mental illness, in the many scenes we’ve gotten with Carrie struggling to keep her head in the game for the sake of national security. As Season 2 rolls along towards its endgame, however, there’s something a little different at work.