Homeland: Season 1, Episode 12

Marine One (18 Dec. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Thriller
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,915 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

In the Season 1 finale, a near-catatonic Carrie is confined to bed as Saul puzzles over the unnerving implications of her time line.

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Vice-President Walmsley and his team are making preparations for the announcement of his candidacy for President, and several different factions are on their own mission for the event. David tries to convince him that if he is set on going ahead with the announcement at this time, that he do it in a more secured setting as Walker is still at large. Walker has to find a way into the secured zone to be able to have clear and undetected access for his shot. Brody not only prepares himself for his final suicide bomb mission, but also videotapes a confession for later viewing about his view that the Vice-President, who ordered the attack that killed several children including Abu Nazir's son but who publicly blamed that attack on Al Qaeda, is the true terrorist. Brody has to decide if he will ultimately go through with the plan or if there is another better option about which his backers will support. In Brody's preparation, Dana believes she understands why her father has been acting so ... Written by Huggo

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18 December 2011 (USA)  »

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The shadow of a cameraman is visible on the door when Carrie calls for her pills and Virgil walks in See more »

Connections

References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »

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Performed by Foster the People
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User Reviews

Season 1: Well-paced and engaging drama despite some cougar moments along the way
1 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Homeland came to the UK on a wave of praise from the US – or at least I'm pretty sure it did because after the first few episodes had screened in the US I had made a concerted effort to avoid all the talk on the internet from those a few episodes ahead. It was wise to do so because the crux of this story is that you don't know where it is going or quite what is happening, even when something seems pretty obvious and straightforward it is delivered with enough shading around it to include doubt and assumption. This works very well throughout the show and I was impressed by the pacing of it. Unlike 24 (a show I enjoyed a lot) Homeland moves at a very steady pace. The downside of this is that there are few moments where you are on the edge of your seat, because there are few "ticking clock" scenarios here and more just a steady creep of progress and twists.

Mostly this works very well because you are held as things are steadily revealed, twisted or changed in your understanding – the flashbacks are a big part of this as they present a muddling effect that enhances the already muddled present. I'm not sure how the show would play on a second or third viewing though, because the mystery is the all here and it is that sense of not being sure of anything that makes it as engaging as it was. The constant twisting when things are muddled helps later when things start becoming clearer and more "known" – because by this point the viewer is used to having half-truths in front of them so I was still sort of wary of fully believing everything that I was being shown.

The downside of this even pace is that occasionally we have sections where it feels like time filling – cougar moments if you will. Some of these are still engaging as side-threads informing the characters but sometimes they do feel like they are in there or extended to be able to fill a little bit more time that they should have done. This is a minor quibble though, because they are rather covered by virtue of the show being of a steady pace in the first place – so it isn't like moments in 24 where the constant forward motion would just seem to stop for the sake of stopping.

The cast play well with the constant sense of grey area. Carrie may well be a hard character to like but Danes plays her really well – she is a deeply flawed character and she works as such. Some of the plot contrivances don't full work in regards her character but Danes does well with them despite this. Lewis is by far the strongest of the cast – no matter what we think of him at any point in the show he is really well done, always giving enough to all points of view so that you never totally know where he sits or how to feel about it. Baccarin is stunning of course but also gives a good support and keeps the family side interesting although with good child performances – particularly the key relationship for Brody of Dana (Saylor). Patinkin is a real good presence, as is Harewood – even if it is a little odd for UK viewers to see him over there with an American accent! Homeland, despite the rave reviews, is not a perfect show and I don't think it would be as good coming back to it for a second or third viewing, but it is a well-paced and satisfying show that engages by having a constant sense of doubt about what everyone's motivations and aims are. Some of the red-herrings and cougar moments don't work particularly well but they don't disrupt the flow too badly and therefore are easy to forgive. I wonder how they can continue it into a second season while still maintaining the strengths from this first season, but for now this an enjoyable and engaging show.


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