This Homeland review covers the phenomenon of Vitamin Water, Mandarin as the language of the future, and the perfect Leonard Cohen song for this episode.
Homeland Review “Crossfire”
Something I haven’t touched on before is the opening credits for Homeland. It’s a tiny bit disorienting sometimes, but they use imagery of a hedge maze and I think that’s very cool. For some reason it reminds me a lot of Alice in Wonderland (there were hedges, but they weren’t a major part of the story or in the Disney cartoon.) The symbolism of seeing Carrie and Brody both in the maze easily explains how they’re both “in the know” about different things, and really not on the same page. The idea of these mazes always represents confusion and a mystery. One major aspect of the mystery for Homeland did get a lot of light shed on it in this episode, however.
Vitamin Water played a semi-important part of this episode, because it is something we didn’t have in American ten years ago. And it makes sense that Brody would suspect it’s a kind of medicine. But to be honest, I’m not sure how many vitamins are even in that water. But I know it tastes good and it’s colorful… And that seems to be enough to sway me when I’m not buying Fuze‘s! The idea of having the word “Vitamin” on something automatically makes the public trust it, even if it actually isn’t giving many vitamins at all.
While Brody was at the regsister, he asked “I dunno, what you got?” Damian Lewis delivered this line in such a perfect, mid-American, friendly way. That line made me love him for a moment. And it’s been hard to love this guy because he’s been so suspicious.
The flashback showed us the true first time that Brody got a decent shave, haircut and shower. I wonder why he re-grew his hair? (As a manipulation to show that he never had any kindness?) Abu Nazir was smart in wanting someone to teach his son English through total immersion, it’s supposedly the best way to learn a foreign language. Although, I’m not sure why someone who hates America would want their offspring to speak their language. (I know English is also spoken in England, but isn’t the language of the future supposed to be Mandarin or something?)
When Assa drew that picture of him and Brody together my heart melted. He was so sweet. So, of course, the show killed him off. And that set Brody off, in turn. So now he’s got some allegiance to Assa over his own son, even. And while it’s easy to blame him… Assa represented a lot for Brody. He was his first friend. He with his sports and his singing and lack of prejudiced was the embodiment of innocence. And he saw innocence die.
So, the death of Assa and believing that he had already killed Walker was the gateway for letting Brody commit and do other things. (We don’t know what. But we know he’s been committed. And if he accepts a position from the Vice President he’s saying he’s newly committed to the mission.) Even though we know what broke Brody into being willing to do some awful things, it still doesn’t excuse anything he wants to do to help hurt America.
While this wasn’t highlighted, I get the sense that Carrie is not always respected in her high position of authority because she’s a woman. What do you think?
The Vice President (via flashback) and the Senior FBI agent both lied to look good. This was a nice parallel in the episode. It showed America as a bully, unwilling to admit to any wrongdoings or mistakes.
Now we have a compromised Saudi diplomat to deal with in the next episode of Homeland!
The song at the end of this episode was “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen.
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
“I think they call it a Hail Mary.” – Carrie
“People are their own worst enemy.” – Saul
“You live for this shit.”
React: Do you think there’ sexism against Carrie in her field? Did you sense it? What do you think Brody has done in the name of Assa?
Homeland airs Sundays on Showtime. It stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin.