HOMELAND “The Weekend” Review

HOMELAND “The Weekend” Season 1 Episode 7 – I accidentally read the synopsis for this episode before I saw it. Brody and Carrie go away together for the weekend. My stomach sank. Was the show finally going to go downhill, were the writers finally going to drop the ball after six excellent episodes of television?

It’s a concern that, within a few minutes, I was thankfully kicking to the curb. This was not just the best episode of Homeland. It’s the best episode of television I’ve seen since Breaking Bad went off the air. It’s a great episode of television, firing on all cylinders. There wasn’t a single bad scene. The white supremacist scene was goofy, but it was goofy in a way the show has more than earned, plus it’s always nice to see some jerk in a bar get a smack down.

There were a few great scenes, not in the least was Brody coming out to Carrie about everything, finally making her realize that she was completely and utterly wrong about him. Paralleling that, Saul was doing the heavy lifting Carrie failed to do. He has been carefully following the trail which led to Aileen which led to Tom Walker while Carrie was off gallivanting with Brody, so blindsided by her own desire to be right that she wilfully ignored the links in the chain. To her, the links didn’t matter. She figured they’d lead, one way or another, to Brody. But Saul did not let his ego get in the way and his methodical interrogation of Aileen was nothing short of masterful.

I can’t believe this is only the show’s seventh episode. It’s ridiculous just how much ground they’ve covered, just how atypical the storytelling is. It knows what the espionage genre clichés are and it either avoids them or subverts them with glee.

I love the way the show incorporated the family dynamics into the episode. Without them, the strongest episode of the series might have been noticeable for being the one without the family. But even when it’s Dana telling Mike, this guy who has acted as a surrogate father since Brody’s disappearance, that she’d rather him not come around, the show is fleshing out Brody’s character.

The best thing about this episode is I have no idea where it leaves us. Sure, there’s still Tom Walker to worry about, but the show was marketed (take note, AMC’s The Killing) as the mystery into whether or not an American prisoner of war has been turned. One has, but it’s not the one we thought. How will Brody figure into the story now?

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.