Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Homeland” SnapCap (1.02)

 
 

When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”


AFTERELLEN BAIT

What is your dream job? How about interviewing beautiful women about what kind of sex they like while they are topless? Getting close enough to feel their breath while asking if they enjoy other women? Well, that’s part of this lovely woman’s job — and she doesn’t even have to pretend to be a gynecologist.


The woman, Lynne Reed, also has a very hands-on technique for checking an applicant’s need for a bikini wax as she interviews applicants for a Saudi prince’s harem. We can’t help hoping that when Carrie meets Lynne at a spa, they will share interview techniques. But alas, Lynne is literally an undercover agent recruited to get information on the prince while serving as his professional girlfriend. Never mind what I said about wanting her job.

FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS!

Showtime is masterful at making us care about women with major problems — Jackie, Nancy, Tara, Cathy — and now Carrie. We feel Carrie’s sense of urgency about proving that Brody is a traitor and are as tense about it as she is. Seeing things through Carrie’s eyes makes even Brody’s wandering through a hardware store seem threatening. But knowing her history gives us the same kind of doubt her coworkers have; much of what happens with Brody could be PSTD instead of suspicious behavior. The very real fear comes from Lynne, whose surveillance of the prince yields a sighting of Carrie’s nemesis Abu Nazir. Carrie is so excited she can hardly contain her delight; Lynne realizes that being a few feet away from the world’s most notorious terrorist does not bode well for her royal future.


THE LYING GAME

We learn some background on Carrie’s mental illness this ep when she runs out of medication. She visits her sister Maggie and, in a bit of stilted dialogue, we find out that Carrie and her dad have the same disease (perhaps bipolar disorder, although I don’t think anyone has said specifically). Carrie and Maggie have a conversation about psychiatric treatment that they’ve probably had many times, but Carrie insists that the agency will pull her security clearance if she discloses her illness. Maggie, a psychiatrist herself, gives Carrie medication samples, but I suspect something will stop the supply before too long.

Brody’s behavior is increasingly erratic. He has nightmares during which he grabs Jessica violently and begs her in Arabic to kill him. He punches out a reporter while his son looks on. He retreats to a corner of the bedroom during the day and pretends all is well when the family gets home. The big reveal is what he bought at the hardware store: Wiring to fix the garage door opener and a rug on which he prays to Allah (Carrie doesn’t have a camera in the garage). Converting to Islam certainly doesn’t mean he’s a terrorist, but we can understand why he feels the need to hide his newfound faith. Jessica knows that Brody is not being honest, but she is doing her best to give him the support he needs.

WATCHABILITY

This was a great second episode. The story advanced and we know quite a bit more about the characters. I’m glad to see that Saul has his own agenda and is not above using unsavory means to get what he wants. We don’t know yet how the arc with Lynne will turn out, but a deeper look into how Carrie’s conviction that she’s right can endanger other people gives her unrelenting pursuit of “truth” a frightening edge.


Is going around the law a legitimate means to enforce it? Does protecting national security mean sacrificing the rights of those being protected? Homeland probably won’t provide answers to those questions, but the show is certainly provides a compelling way to ask them.

 
 

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