Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Homeland” SnapCap (1.05)

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?”

Wow. If you’re watching Homeland with even the slightest doubt about whether to stick with it, do not stop before you see this episode. Everything we thought we knew got turned upside down. Maybe. I love it. And I’m thrilled that Showtime just renewed the show for a second season.

AFTERELLEN BAIT

One of the pleasures of watching this show is that everything that happens has a purpose. Given that, subtext would be a bit out of place. So, we have to just enjoy the scenery of Carrie (Claire Danes) and Jessica (Morena Baccarin). I have to say, Jessica looked exceptionally sexy this episode after she got her haircut. I tend to be attracted to long hair on women, but she is gorgeous beyond her hair. (Even when she is queen of the aliens.)

Brody, you need to get over that PST and back in the sack with your wife. She’s too hot to settle for a cold husband.

FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS!

Homeland has the ability to grab me by the emotional collar and yank me every which way. And the more I watch, the more I believe that someone is yanking Carrie around, too. But this episode had painful moments for us all. Brody’s flashback to the guard urinating on him and then beating him with a barbed wire covered stick were so vivid that I winced with him. In fact, I felt a lot of things along with Brody this week: anger at Mike for always being around as a substitute father; kinship with Carrie over the shared “anonymity” rage when his former captor spit in his face; sad acceptance when he finds his son praying for him to be OK.

We also got some warm fuzzies between Carrie and her nieces when she went to Maggie’s house at midnight. She and those girls adore each other and I loved seeing the three of them cuddle up in bed together. Carrie is the kind of aunt who always has gum.

THE LYING GAME

OK, if you’re not caught up, beware — we’re entering serious spoiler territory.

Still with me? HOLY S–T! Can we trust anybody on this show? As much as I’m starting to like Brody, I solemnly swear he is up to no good. I don’t really believe he’s a terrorist, but he is withholding important pieces of the puzzle from the CIA. And he is very, very good at getting what he wants. The scene in which he talks Estes into letting him look his captor in the eye was masterful. He knew exactly what to say, knowing that David wants to believe that his agency rescued a true hero. The attack on Hamid outside camera range also shows that PST hasn’t dulled Brody’s eye for detail. The fight certainly didn’t make Brody look like a good guy.

But! I have a horrible feeling that the real traitor is Saul. I got the chills when he sat down at the monitor, looked at Hamid’s body, and began to pray in Arabic. (Correction: He was saying the Mourner’s Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. We didn’t hear that much in the Southern Baptist church. Sorry.) I thought about Saul’s disillusionment with the agency and how he’s been moved to a sort of back burner job. I realized that he probably blames the CIA for his marital problems. His reluctance to take Carrie’s suspicions about Brody up the ladder made sense, because as long as her focus is elsewhere, she won’t be suspicious of Saul. And Saul could easily have slipped Hamid the razor blade when he shook his hand before the interrogation. In the blowup with Carrie, we learn that Saul was in a Malaysian prison. Could he be the POW who has turned?

WATCHABILITY

Since 9/11, we’ve seen a lot of shows about terrorism and torture. That may be why I continue to be surprised that Homeland is so good. As twisty as the show is, the drama never goes over the top — everything that happens seems realistic, from the suspense of the interrogation to Carrie’s confrontation of Saul. Part of what I loved about this episode is that we got to be with Carrie in a way we haven’t before when she talked Brody through the interrogation. We’ve seen her obsess and break the law and freak out, but we’ve rarely seen her be smart, calm and professional. Danes does an incredible job making Carrie’s personality believable; that’s why we’re never sure that her freak-out moments are emotionally out-of-line or a logical result of the extreme frustration she has from being alone in her belief that Brody has turned.

What do you think of the latest Homeland developments? Am I way off base in my theory about Saul? What do you think Brody is up to? Is Carrie being set up or is she the only person in the whole CIA who sees the truth? Did you enjoy Hamid and the Purple Crayon?

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