Homeland – Season 2

Carrie interrogates Brody

I was skeptical coming in to Season 2 of Homeland – the first season had been excellent, but the writers had put themselves in a difficult position at season’s end. The start of Season 2 allayed my fears, with a spectacular opening batch of episodes. The early reveal of Brody’s tape was a genuine surprise, something I would have expected in a season finale, and it gave the show a sense of excitement and momentum, leading up to an incredible interrogation scene.

Unfortunately, this was the peak of the season and the show’s quality dipped noticeably from there. Having successfully dropped this bombshell in the first few episodes, Homeland then began to drop a bombshell or plot twist every episode; often at the expense of plausibility and audience involvement.

Season 1’s emotional complexity, present in episodes like The Weekend, was still there but was often overshadowed by the need for broad, melodramatic moments. The connection between Carrie and Brody in Season 1 felt natural, growing out of the characters rather than the writers, becoming the core of the show. Season 2 it was the opposite; their relationship often felt forced, a “fairytale romance” lacking the depth or resonance it once had.

7 thoughts on “Homeland – Season 2

    • I take it you liked Season 2 then? Don’t get me wrong, I still thought it was a good season, but a lot of the plot twists felt a bit like the writers stretching for something shocking that would get audience’s bums in seats rather than something true to the story (though, to be fair, they were mostly pretty true to the characters, thankfully!). I just would have liked a bit more space, a bit more chance to let the storylines breathe so that the plot twists would really have the effect they wanted.

      It’s still one of the better shows on television, for sure, but Season 2 (particularly the last half) felt like a big step down from Season 1 to me.

      • I guess for me those elements were a plus, including the face pace because i didn’t feel it was at the expense of the shows quality. I can see where you’re coming from though!

    • (spoilers follow)

      That makes sense – the fast pace for me worked really well in a number of episodes, particularly early on. Like, I felt the fast reveal of Brody’s tape, Carrie accusing him out of nowhere, his sudden shift in allegiance, Brody and his wife ‘breaking up’ and so on all worked well as out-of-nowhere character moments.

      But other moments were compromised for me by the pace of the show – Brody’s reaction to the death of both Walden and Abu Nazir, Quinn changing his mind re: Brody and in particular, the development of the romance between Carrie and Brody all felt rushed to me – they suited the characters but I felt they needed more space to feel genuine. That last moment of Carrie and Brody saying goodbye should have been powerful and heartbreaking but it just kinda left me cold, because I didn’t feel like either actor had been given time to show that their characters would feel that way by then – it lacked the ‘messiness’ and realness of how their feelings towards each other had been portrayed earlier.

      I think they had the space to fit this kind of thing in too – cut out unnecessary subplots like Brody ferrying the tailor around, or Brody getting whisked away in a helicopter for no apparent purpose, and I doubt I’d have these concerns.

      That said, I’m really stoked for Season 3 – I think they were in a really tough position, writing-wise, at the start of Season 2, and now I think they’re at a really interesting place where they can go a bunch of different directions (though I suspect that Brody will be back very quickly, Emmy-winning acting and all).

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