Homeland Episodes 9-12

The Growth and Questions of Homeland.

Episodes 9-12 of Homeland were climatic, powerful, question filled, and in my opinion showed a potential growth in how Muslims are portrayed.  These episodes really focused on a group of German-Iranian terrorists who attempted a sarin gas attack in Berlin.  Homeland once again focuses on Muslim terrorists who were regarded as extremists, however, Qasim is separated from this group.  Although Qasim is at first regarded as a terrorist, his role causes a chain reaction of events that leads to his brother (Bibi’s) demise.  From the beginning that the audience comes in contact with Qasim, it is clear that he is hesitant to go along with the group and at various instances even appears as an outsider.



Qasim even appears apprehensive in front of the other men (terrorists) about harming Peter and even gives him the drug that saves his life.


Later, in” Our Man in Damascus” Qasim is sent to see Dr. Aziz, a professor who is helping the group accomplish their attack by showing him the remote which is not operating correctly.  Qasim learns about the effects of the gas and that is must be triggered manually which will result in their death.   It is clear that Qasim becomes even more hesitant and reluctant to go along with this plan.


Finally, “In a False Glimmer” Bibi’s plan is put into action and as the men work to contain the passengers by blocking off the exits and locking the gates.  Qasim is about to close the gate when a young Arab woman approaches him looks at him and he opens the door for her.  She is then followed by a white family with a young child who Qasim allows to pass.  (Was anyone else surprised that no one seemed alarmed by these men trying to lock them in?)  Qasim then simply abandons the plan and seeks out Bibi.  Miraculously Carrie spots him and he leads her to Bibi.  Carrie convinces Qasum to stop Bibi, however, his attempt fails and Bibi shoots him which gives Carrie an opportunity to kill Bibi.

Qasim’s death is slightly different because Carrie tells Saul to thank Qasim for the failed attack.  In my opinion this implies a significant turning point in a show that has been highly criticized in its portrayal of Muslims.  I’m not sure how season six portrays Muslims, but the fact that although Carrie killed Bibi, she takes very little credit and in fact calls Qasim the real hero.



Key Questions. 

Season five also left with two significant questions: first is Peter really gone? And secondly, what will Carrie do?

I was confused by the ending because although Dar seems to call it quits with Peter seeing as to how his boy is useless, and the audience hears Peter’s voice reading his letter, his heart monitor is still functioning, so is he alive or dead? The season ending on Peter’s voice makes for a solid closing to his character, but I thought he was dead in that chamber so are we going to be fooled once again?


My other questions revolve around Carrie and where her character will go.  Although Carrie and Jonas are officially over, Otto’s proposition to Carrie seems rather odd and creepish.  However, she rejects Saul’s offer and even turns him down when he says, “I need you.”  Saul and Carrie’s relationship was clearly distant and he even failed to back her up when she told him the train station was the intended target, so I wonder if Saul’s actions finally terminated their relationship.  However, I can’t see Carrie and Otto really going anywhere and I think working at the During Foundation with Jonas and Laura would also be tenuous at best. It will be interesting to see how season six brings Carrie back into the agency.



Episodes 5-8

What’s the deal with credits?

“TV is an Ideological State Apparatus which portrays the reality by images and myths” (Gungor, 2010, p.151).  Today, audiences rely on a film’s or show’s credits to outline its premise.   Traditionally, credits have been featured throughout the history in television and films (Corrigan, 2010,).   In the broadest sense, “The most important thing that the opening of a film must accomplish is to establish a tone so that the audience fall into the same mood as the film they are watching. It doesn’t have to be a big budget explosive opening in order to grab the audience’s attention and sometimes an over the top opening like this risks upending the structure of the film with a sense of where do we go from here?” http://whatculture.com/film/the-importance-of-film-openings  Credits were highly significant in one of television’s most popular shows Seinfeld, which opens with a jazzy- jingle with Jerry providing a thirty-second standup which serves as the focal point to the entire episode.  In instances like Seinfeld, credits provide the viewer with an outline about the show or film.


Credits are also highly significant in Showtime’s Homeland.  Like Seinfeld, Homeland opens with jazz music and throughout each season the credits change.  In addition,  opening credits serve to provide the audience with a first impression of what the audience is going to watch.  However, unlike Seinfeld, “Homeland’s title sequence compresses an impressive variety of devices, both visual and musical, in a scant 90 seconds.  The shots follow one another by way of cuts and fades.  Sometimes, in the interval of fading, a third image is interspersed and over imposed that, before dissolving, produces an almost holographic effect” (p.156).   In addition, the credits open with darker jazz music and uses gritty black and white images to create a more compelling atmosphere.  In addition, the show uses real audio and footage from traumatic and important political events such as 9/11, to Edward Snowden.

In season one of Homeland the credits open with a blonde-haired child sleeping.  One could believe this is a young Carrie Mathison.  She is then watching TV while Ronald Reagan addresses terrorism.  Louis Armstrong’s jazz music becomes more apparent and a maze begins to appear as George H. W Bush addresses terrorism.  An adult Carrie with her eyes closed is then placed in the maze.  I focus on the eyes because it not only offers a period of reflection, but also serves as insight into Carrie’s confused psyche.



There are several quick images that emerge while Bill Clinton addresses terrorism and several images focus on Carrie’s eyes.  The shutting of the eye reinforces the notion that while many Americans were able to turn a blind eye to previous attacks on America, the events of 9/11 changed American’s attitude toward terrorism and could no longer ignore it.


When the credits get to Barack Obama although his voice is clear, he is suddenly flipped upside down. This creates the impression of the imbalanced and difficult nature of battling domestic terrorism.


The viewer is then given a series of quick jumpy images of the events associated with 9/11.  This creates the feeling of chaos and bewilderment, and terror Americans experienced on this day.

images (1)

Due to the fact that nonfictional elements are associated with the credits of Homeland, one could argue that Homeland takes an almost scientific approach to addressing terrorism in that science fiction blends nonfiction with fictional elements to not only tell a story, but pose a warning to society.  Therefore, in order to understand the nature of Homeland, it is important to separate the facts from the fansy.

During the credits, viewers see “Carrie walking down a crowded Middle Eastern street (complete with headscarf) looking back over her shoulder anxiously at the camera.



However, what makes this significant is that this “is not the actual one because the movie is produced in Israel and US.  So, the images are not the exact images of the city” (p.157).  Although this can be taken as a minute point, these scenes not only provides viewers with inaccurate information, but represent the Middle East as negative, a modern wilderness or a concrete jungle (Gungor, 2015).


The maze that is also featured in the opening credits is also paradoxical in that at first viewers can see Carrie standing in the maze.



However, viewers are then given an aerial view (long-shot) and they can see Carrie and Brody rather close, but very far away.  “The ironic distance between these two characters creates a diegetic reality” (p.158).  The maze is also highly important in that it moves the viewer away from the reality and pulls them into the plot-line (fantasy) aspect of the show.


The maze is also highly complicated because after Brody’s death, the credits added a child (Carrie) wearing a strange Minotaur-like mask in the maze.   The Minotaur is then subtly placed throughout the opening credits while issues of ISIS and terrorist bombings are addressed.  While this opening in my opinion is more intense than previous seasons, it still follows the pattern of blending reality with fantasy.  In addition, I argue that because no one not even Clare Danes can explain the presence of the Minotaur https://youtu.be/OqvL6Ils_sk  and having not yet finished season five, the  Minotaur at best highlights the danger and invisibility of extremist terrorists as this season deals with a mole inside the CIA.

While some viewers may find to Homeland a fantasy drama, I argue in that based on examining the credits, Homeland is unique because it balances on a fine line between nonfiction, fiction and in some areas can be classified science fiction.


Episodes 1-4

Joelle Rouleau’s article addresses several arguments associated with Homeland, however, the focus of this blog is on Rouleau’s notion of articulation in that articulation is “just a thing, but a process of creating connections, much the same way hegemony is not domination but the process of creating and maintaining consensus or of co-ordinating interests” (Rouleau, 2014, p.18).   Carrie then serves as Rouleau argues a “moral gatekeeper of American white supremacist and cultural hegemony, deployed and reinforced with Stuart Hall’s regime of representation” (p.18).  This can be supported by the way in which she is often framed as a hero despite the fact that in previous seasons she, “defies her boss, trespasses illegally on a local prison, and creates a diplomatic crisis” (p.17).  However, Carrie’s behavior is often justified and even embraced because she unveils a terrorist, stops an attack on the U.S and even manages to save her boss.  In season five Carrie uses her connections to arrange a meeting with the Hezbollah commander to provide safe passage for her boss who wants to travel to Lebanon.  Although this may seem as overstepping her bounds, Carrie’s behavior is justified because it is for a good cause.


According to Rauleau, “representation connects meaning and language to culture/uses language to say something meaningful about, or to represent, the world meaningfully to other people” (p.18).  Taken a step further hegemony can also be displayed through Saul’s position as these episodes highlight the United States’ role in coordinating plans with Israel to remove foreign enemies in this case Assad in Syria in order help the United States achieve peace.  In this sense Homeland serves to address the fears associated with foreign territories especially the Middle East along with the possibility of future attacks.



Season five of Homeland opens two-years later with Carrie “out” of the CIA due to a falling out with Dar Adal and Saul.  Carrie now lives in Germany, Berlin to be specific working  in the private sector as the chief security advisor for Otto During a German philanthropist, “who uses the money his family made through affiliation with the Nazis to help struggling people around the world, including in volatile regions of the Middle East (showtime, n.d)”  http://www.sho.com/homeland/cast/otto-during


Carrie seems to have developed a relatively peaceful life as she lives in Berlin with Franny and has also been in a relationship with Jonas Holland a lawyer who also happens to work for the During Foundation.  Together Carrie and Jonas spend a lot of time raising Franny.



Carrie’s life becomes complicated when two computer hackers gain access and copy several highly classified CIA documents detailing a collaboration between the CIA and the BND, Germany’s intelligence agency.  These documents are then turned over to Laura Sutton a political activist/journalist who also works for the During Foundation who publishes the documents.


Although Carrie has no knowledge of the document’s contents, she is in the eyes of Allison Carr a CIA station chief in Berlin a prime suspect in the taking of these documents.


Saul has an interesting role in season five as many viewers were under the impression that he was going to become the director of the CIA.  Instead Saul finds himself back in the field.  In episode four “Why is This Night Different” Saul and Allison are having dinner at Etai Luskin’s house.  Etai Luskin is the Israeli ambassador to Germany, and he and Saul have a quiet, but heated exchange about Syria.  Etai discovers and is not happy with Saul’s plan for peace is the removal of President Assad with General Youssef. Although Saul seems to support Youseef, Etai points out he has also carried out chemical attacks on Syrians.

Saul and Allison devise an elaborate plan in getting Youseef to Geneva by creating a fake medical facility provides his daughter with a new kidney.  During the surgery, Youseef is confronted by Saul who tells him about his plan and although Youseef tells Saul it can’t be done, Saul informs Youseef there is ten-million dollars being loaded onto his plane which will serve as bribe money to influence the Syrians.  Although he seems reluctant, Youseef seems willing to go along with the plan.  However, shortly after his plane takes off Allison answers her phone speaking Russian and suddenly Youseef’s plane explodes which kills both Youseef and Saul’s plan.

These incidents not only illustrate the extent to which the United States involves itself in the affairs of other countries, but they express the problems and dangers President Obama and now Trump face with Syria.   Although there is little disagreement that Assad is horrible leader, there appears to be a lack of options in how to remove him without turning the country over to ISIS.

It should also be noted that Allison’s use of speaking Russian at this time is highly significant.  It was no secret that not only did Obama not trust Putin, but there was significant tension between his admiration and Putin’s.  There was also evidence even going to back to Obama that Russia has not only supported Syria, but even provided them with weapons.  Putin even tried to defend Assad’s latest chemical strike calling it a hoax.  Today despite President Trump’s possible connections with Putin, there are growing tensions between his administration and Putin’s.

I find it really interesting that Homeland focuses on the Syrian in such a way that really highlights the lack of options we or any country has in dealing with them.  In the past Obama and now Trump has tried bombing the region a tactic that according to both Saul and Etai doesn’t work.  I don’t know about anybody else, but I was curious to see how the writers were going to prevent Saul’s plan from working.  I was impressed in the way the plan failed because rather than drag it out I was caught off guard that Youseef’s plane simply exploded.

Overall, I find the start of this season to not only be more political in nature, but more critical of the U.S’ role in the handling of Syria.  It would be interesting to see how the writer’s would critique Trump’s use of 59 missiles to attack Syria.


Homeland Episodes 9-12

For The Love of Our Homeland

These episodes of Homeland are as intense as they are paradoxical.  In one sense viewers see a captive Saul engaging in a conversation with Haqqani, although both men believe they are doing what is best for their country, and despite the fact that both men use violence to “protect” it, Haqqani is framed as a terrorist, while Saul appears to be correct, moral, and justified.

This conversation highlights Savan’s (2014) article in that Homeland refers to a word that reinforces America and sets other countries as “others.” This can be problematic because it allows us to “justify” certain and even illegal acts when it works in our favor, but then we blame or fault other countries when they do it to us.


These episodes really paint a negative image on not just Muslim terrorists, but all Muslims including the ISI and the Pakistani forces who are not only reluctant to assist in rescuing Saul, but delay in helping a pinned down American unit, along with protecting the United States Embassy which comes under attack by Haqqani.  Overall the absence of Muslim support results in the deaths of thirty-eight Americans.  Although there are other factors that led to these deaths, Homeland focuses on ISI and Pakistani forces.


Homeland’s portrayal of Muslims draws on one of the arguments brought up in The Atlantic in that, “Homeland has represented every Middle Eastern person on the show as a terrorist” (p.11).  In addition the show plays into American’s fears by painting a world where every Muslim is suspect, whether a reporter, a person sitting on a park bench or even the head of Black Ops for the CIA (p.5).  These arguments are supported by the bizarre camera angles that are used along with Carrie’s concerning and glaring looks when she walks through the streets.    These notions can only add to Islamophobia.

In addition, although Haqqani is to suppose to be the enemy, the real enemy appears to be Tasneem Qureshi, an ISI operative who uses her position to delay Pakistani forces, blackmail Dennis Boyd, and aide Haqqani’s assault on the U.S Embassy.


Dennis Boyd is another interesting character who also happens to have a lot in common with Nicholas Brody.  Like Brody, Boyd started out as one of the “good guys by helping in the hunting and killing of terrorists.  However, his position changes from good to bad when he aides in helping the “enemy.”  Like Brody, Boyd is not considered a terrorist even though he stole and shared classified documents, drugged Carrie, and led Haqqani’s forces into the United States Embassy.  While it is clear that Carrie and Peter are going to hunt and kill Haqqani, Boyd will spend his remaining days in a Federal maximum security prison for TREASON.

Of all the American lives that are lost in these episodes, the one that stands out the most is Fara’s.  She is at first confronted by Haqqani who questions her about her faith.



From there Fara along with several other United States employees are taken to the vault where is it is clear Haqqani wants Sandy’s documents which are being held onto by Lockhart.  Haqqani executes two employees by shooting them in the head.  However, Fara is taken and held at knife point which forces Lockhart to open the door even when it means pushing Martha out of the way.  However, even after Lockhart hands over the documents, Haqqani’s anger towards Fara is evident for even after receiving the documents he still slits her throat.  Unlike the others who were shot, viewers can see Fara’s eyes and the expression on face as her throat is slit.


Fara’s death clearly has an effect on Max, Peter, Carrie and even Lockhart.  Max who is obviously upset at Fara’s death directs some of his anger towards Carrie.

Peter on the other hand goes AWOL and with the help of Max, Kiran, and a German Embassy worker devises an elaborate plan to kill Haqqani.  When Carrie first finds Peter she not only fails to bring him in, but he shoots an American marine in the leg.  In her second attempt to find Peter, Carrie prevents him from blowing up Haqqani inside his car.


Episode 12 A Reunion like no other. 

I separated episode 12 from the others because it felt like I was watching a different season or as I call it a reunion.

Talk about a time jump.  From the very opening of episode 12 it was clear that this episode was very different from the rest.  It was more a less a closure episode from beginning to end where everything seemed to wrap up so nicely for everyone.

Carrie is suddenly back home in the United States and is adjusting to the death of her father.  She apparently is trying to reconnect with Maggie and seems to be bonding quite well with Franny.


Around this time Carrie is also reunited with her mother who after fifteen years has decided to come back.  While Maggie seems to like the idea of talking to their mom, Carrie responds by throwing her out of the house. However, she eventually tracks her down and takes Franny on a road trip to Missouri to see her.

Carrie gives a heartwarming speech at her father’s funeral and promises to take care of Franny.  Although this seems to redeem her past behavior towards Franny, I doubt after one speech many mothers can look past Carrie’s blatant neglect.  Suddenly Carrie sees and is reunited with Peter, who tells her very briefly how he got out of Islamabad and he wants to be home.


Homeland then shifts to the “party” after the funeral in which everyone seems to be having a good time.  Peter, Saul, and Carrie sit outside on the patio drinking whiskey when Lockhart shows up and offers lasagna which his wife made.  He then sits down and has a drink with them and offers up a toast.  It is clear that this is Lockhart’s exit.


Homeland also finds away for Saul to get back into the agency when Dar Adal meet in a diner and Dar persuades Saul to take the director position now that Lockhart is being forced to resign.  When Saul says, I can’t.” Dar presents Saul with the tape of him being held hostage from Haqqani and presents a “deal” or as Saul calls it a “seduction” which involves the tape in exchange for Haqqani being left alone.


However, not everyone gets a happy ending.   Peter rejected by Carrie Peter enlists and goes on dangerous covert operation.





Carrie then shows up at Adal’s house and demands to talk to Peter, but learns that she can’t Dar tells her that Saul won’t help her either.  Carrie confronts Saul who is sitting outside on Dar’s patio, but soon realizes he made a deal with Dar for she looks painfully at Saul and leaves.


What next?  Are we to believe that Carrie is suddenly out of the agency or is this another one of those instances in which she “bluffs” that she is through with the agency?  The whole episode just felt strange and in my eyes not nearly as compelling as the previous three episodes.

Homeland Episodes 4-8

The Drone Above

This week’s articles and especially Homeland focused heavily on the uses and problems with drones.  According to dictonary.com drones are defined as: (1a) an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.  (b) (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely. A radio-controlled drone. (2). a person who lives on the labor of others; parasitic loafer.  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/drone


These definitions highlight some of the negative connotations associated with drones especially in military operations.

While some people may refer to Homeland simply as a political show that focuses on terrorism, Homeland is highly complicated and presents a paradox in separating the “good” guys from the “bad” guys.  In season one the show focused on Brody a U.S Marine turned terrorist, however, when viewers discovered the “real” reason Brody turned was due to a drone strike that accidentally targeted children, which was revealed to have been covered up placed viewers in a moral dilemma.

According to Barack Obama who during his presidency said, “While Michelle and the two girls go play tennis on Saturday afternoons, I go in the Oval Office, pretend I’m going to work, and I then I switch on Homeland” (The National, p.1).  This is interesting statement by Obama, because the show addresses the problems associated with drone strikes.  According to Damian Lewis, “We have a left-center liberal president, and yet we seem to be sending in more drone strikes then ever” (p.1-2).

According to the article from The National, “Drones hover, twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning” (p.3).  This is the case in season four of Homeland which highlights the growing increase of drone operations.  In the first episode as viewers learn at least four highly ranked terrorists were killed in drone strikes.  Although Carrie seems pleased with the strikes because they are effective, Peter feels uncomfortable with the idea of sitting behind a desk and killing terrorists.

Despite the success of drone strikes, these operations are suddenly halted when a strike aimed at killing Haissam Haqqani, (a former highly targeted Taliban leader), accidently targets a wedding setting up the premise of season four in which Carrie’s operation comes under heavy scrutiny.

Although Homeland can be considered fiction, the show’s stance on drone strikes must have reached President Obama who told John Stewart, that new rules are being put into place on how and when drones should be used to, “make sure that not only am I reined in but any president’s reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making” (p.2).

Drone are not only used for attacks, but for surveillance purposes as well.  “Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities” (p.3).  This notion is exemplified in Homeland in the aftermath of the strike, the remaining survivors and those assisting in the cleanup are seen constantly looking into the sky.

Drone surveillance is once again used in “From A to B and Back Again” as Carrie tracks and follows her asset Aayan as he meets Haqqani in the Taliban Mountains. Carrie is pleased to see Haqqani, however, after he shoots and kills Aayan, Carrie is about to order the drone attack, but a captured Saul exists the car.  Carrie attempts to order the strike anyway, but the strike is called off when Peter overrides her.




The fact that Carrie was willing to authorize a drone strike even though it would have left Saul dead highlights the collateral damage associated with drone strikes in that anything can go wrong with them.

The presence of Drones is highly referenced in “Halfway to a Donut” as the CIA use drones not only track Haqqani, in the Taliban Mountains.



Homeland touches on several problems associated with drones in that they often produce unreadable or unclear images, in addition, depending on where they are, they can be out of range or they can alerate the enemy where Americans are as is the case when the CIA attempts to use the drones to locate Saul and guide him to safety.



Drones are used to “tag” various individuals so that they can be identified.



Unfortunately, when Carrie runs out of options she uses the drone to lead Saul straight to the Taliban forces.



Based on Homeland’s uses of drones and showcasing their problems, one could argue Homeland asserts the notion that any attack (drone or otherwise) leaves some sort of collateral damage.  It is interesting to note that Homeland seems to view drones as an invasion to one’s territory, yet most Americans view drone usage as acceptable and strikes as successful so long as no “innocent American” lives are lost.  It would be interesting to see how Americans would view drone usage and attacks if the situation were to be reversed.



Homeland Season 4 Episodes 1-4

Episodes 1-4

In response to this week’s episodes along with Herson’s (2016) and Shih’s (2016) articles, I would like to focus on mental health/stability/madness.  I apologize in advance for the length of this week’s blog, but I wanted to applying issues of madness to Carrie, as well as Saul and Peter.

Carrie’s bipolar “disorder” has been an apparent theme since season one.  Although she appears to have this “under control” at times, I think season four really addresses her “obsessive” tendencies.  In previous seasons Carrie’s obsession was aimed towards Brody, however, in these episodes her career becomes her sole existence.  Herson’s (2016) asserts that throughout Homeland Carrie needs to keep her private and her work life separate, however, when these spheres overlap, Carrie not only experiences a sense of shame, but these events drive her to madness.

Last season Carrie did an excellent job of covering up her pregnancy for only Peter knew only because he looked at her medical chart.  However, even when it was obvious that she was pregnant she often ignored the subject.  Carrie’s pregnancy was only addressed once by Lockhart who causally addressed “the issue” when he said to Carrie, “looks like you are going to need some time off.”  However, it was clear that Carrie was not only not excited about having a child, but seemed apprehensive in having “it” in the first place.

Season four opens up with Carrie in “The Drone Queen” and it mentioned through a Skpye conversation with Maggie, Carrie has no interest in her child.

IMG_8101 IMG_8102


During this conversation viewers also learn that Carrie hasn’t called to check on “Franny” in over a week.  In fact Carrie displays no sense of emotion towards anyone or anything.  Even Peter is surprised at Carrie’s lack of emotion when she discovered her drone strike targeted a wedding.

In episode two, “Trylon and Perisphere Carrie struggles and develops no connection with anyone.  She becomes increasingly distant to both Peter and Saul.  In addition, she attempts to avoid her family.  When she finally pulls into the driveway and gets out of her car she hears her child crying and tries to leave, but is stopped when Maggie opens the door.



Carrie is visibly upset when Lockhart informs her she’s being grounded indefinably.


Although Carrie argues that she wants to be in the field to catch Sandy’s killer, the real story is that she doesn’t want to be home with her daughter.  While Carrie is holding Franny, she says to Maggie, “I can’t believe how much hair she’s gotten since I saw her last.”  Meanwhile in the same episode Maggie has to physically force Carrie to hold her child and has a fight with her saying to Carrie, “You bring a child into this world you take responsibility.


Even the nanny is shocked at Carrie’s behavior towards her daughter when she asks Carrie if she wants to hold her and Carrie says no.


Carrie’s madness also uncovers her hidden postpartum depression which is evident when is giving Franny a bath where she almost drowns her own child.



Eventually Carrie is able to blackmail Lockhart into letting her go back to Islamabad.  However, when she comes home she tells Maggie that Lockhart is forcing her to go and she had no choice.  Although Maggie doesn’t believe her she can’t stop her from going, however, she does force Carrie to at least say goodbye to Frannie.

While this week’s articles focused on female “madness,” Saul and Peter illustrate this own sense of “madness” in handling the recent changes and operations.

Saul and Mira have moved to New York where Saul finds himself working in the private sector.  Saul’s boss Aaron is trying to negotiate a deal for an extensive military operation with several generals.  As Aaron and the generals discuss the operation, Saul interjects and once again addresses the failure of long-term planning.  Aaron ends up talking to Saul about his comments and tells him, “that not your job anymore.”  It is clear Saul is having a significant problem adjusting to his new life.  Saul arranges a meeting with Dar Adal who tells him, “There’s a potential for him to reclaim his old position as Lockhart has become vulnerable.  Although Saul tells him he is not interested, it is clear that he is for the viewers see Saul coming home to a visibly upset Mira because Saul missed having dinner with Mira and her boss and his wife.  Mira talks about by a place while Saul seems content to rent.  Mira tells Saul that’s not a commitment.  He then tries to tells her its not working with Aaron, but Mira won’t hear of it, and tells him, “three years, you promised me three years. “

Madness is clearly represented in Peter who is visibly shaken in episode one after the drone strike goes wrong for he says, “this one feels different.”  Peter’s “madness” is further driven when Sandy is taken from his car by angry mob and even though Peter ends up killing several people, he and Carrie watch Sandy die.  By the end of the episode he begins fighting with Carrie.

In the second episode Peter begins drinking heavily by the pool and ends up with sleeping with his heavy-set apartment manager.  They then go out for breakfast, however, when two guys make fun of her Peter responds by putting them in the hospital and needing to be bailed out of jail by Carrie.  Although Carrie tries to recruit Peter, he turns her down and screams, “It not about you Carrie.”

Peter’s madness increases in episode three: “Shalwar Kamez” where not only is he a borderline alcoholic, but he tries to leave the agency.  During his termination screening we learn that he has tried this once before, but this time he appears serious.  Dar Adal shows up at Peter’s and interrogates Peter and accuses him of being love with Carrie.  Peter strangles and almost kills Adal, but lets him go.  Peter’s admission to his feelings forces him to very unkindly tell his sleeping partner to “get out.”  He then begins watching the video of Sandy’s death and calls Carrie.  When she asks him to come he says no, but she persists and when she tells him she loves him he caves in and says ok.

Madness not only effects female, but male characters as well.  Although Carrie’s madness drives viewers to hate her at times, the madness surrounding Peter and Saul also puts pressure on viewership loyalty because it directly exposes their faults as well.

Season 3 Episodes 9-12

In consideration of this week’s articles along with episodes of 9-12 of Homeland this blog focuses on the uses and disposal of Sergeant Nicholas Brody.  “One Last Thing” opens with a “broken” Brody who is obviously suffering from a drug addiction, but it is obvious Saul needs him for his own agenda.


Brody’s condition relates to Wessel’s (2016) article focusing on neoliberalism which is “a broad term that encompasses late-twentieth century policy, economic, and ideological shifts designed to benefit capital” (p.512).  Saul only has a limited number of days to implement his plan and through the use of “secret” doctors and military personal Saul attempts to rush Brody through the withdrawal phase.   In this sense even though Saul’s methods appear almost inhumane this example glories the extent to which government agencies might operate to make highly-classified operations work.  In addition, Brody’s life is at stake and he requires twenty-four hour surveillance.

IMG_8012 IMG_8013

Edgerton (2012) asserts, “cable and satellite television drama in the post-Sopranos era is to preserve the integrity of the fictional world to the point where it should always take precedence over the fate of any one character-no matter how popular or well realized” (p. 2). In reflecting on the Sopranos I found it interesting that in season 5 David Chase began killing off significant characters and in season 6 every character including Tony Sopranos’ life was at stake.

sop sop2


Homeland represents a television dilemma that while trying to represent reality, television shows need to worry about ratings and therefore to keep viewers interested television characters are seemingly disposable.  This is exemplified in Homeland when Dar Adal suggests Brody be given Ibogaine an illegal with serious mind-alerting hallucinations.  Despite the doctors warnings Brody is given the drug.  At one point even though he is being monitored Brody stables himself several times in the arm with a table leg.

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After his withdrawal period is over, Brody is given training exercises which starts with him running and falling.




The military personal who accompany Brody tell to get up and refuse to help him.  However, the irony of this situation is that while viewers can see Brody getting stronger for his own benefit, viewers learn that this healing period is only because he is needed to go to the Iranian border, cross into Iran and kill Danesh Akbari.  However, leaving Iran successfully is no guarantee.  Although viewers could see as Brody’s duty to America, it is yet another example of Homeland placating on neoliberalism and using characters for an organization’s or institutions own use.

When learning of his intended fate Brody refuses to accept the mission at which point Carrie is brought in to see Brody to “convince him to do it.”  What’s interesting in this situation is that even though Brody’s life is at stake, there is an underlying message that Carrie can also be expendable, for if she doesn’t get through with this plan, or is unable to convince Brody, Saul and the CIA have no further use for her.   In this sense Carrie relates back to Wessel’ (2016) notion about neoliberalism  in that “individuals especially women, navigating this system are expected to cope with mounting demands and stressors involved with neoliberal workflows through protocols of self-management and emotion regulation, the latter of which is especially apropos of affective labor” (p.513). Throughout the past three seasons Carrie’s character has been utilized to “help” the CIA even when her physical and mental state are placed in jeopardy.  In addition, she has to make “romantic” sacrifices for the sake of her career.  This is illustrated in “One Last Thing” where even though Carrie loves Brody and is carrying his child, she cannot let her emotions or condition be known to anyone in the agency or to Brody for the simple fact that it would undermine her position or impact his decision to go to Iran.   This dilemma is illustrated when Brody is about to get on the helicopter calls to Brody and is about to tell him something serious instead simply says, “see you on the other side.”

I wonder if in episodes 9 and 10 if Saul would treat Carrie or Brody differently if he knew Carrie was carrying Brody’s child?  I think this would have a significant impact on the show.

Overall, these episodes not only show the uses and gratifications of human life, but how characters are used for television effect.  The fact that Brody and Carrie are who are not only widely captivating characters on the show, but are seemingly important in the show’s overall success are both seemingly expendable. In a way however, Brody is “remembered” as Carrie uses a permanent marker to draw a star for Brody.

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