Bytes to Binge:
Genre: Action Thriller
Duration: 55 minutes each
No. of episodes: 12
Where: Sky/ Netflix
Directed: Lesli Linka Glatter, Michael Cuesta
Cast: Claire Danes
Most spy-intelligence dramas are met with skepticism with predictive narratives CIA officers, drone attacks, a mock up of a war-torn Middle East and post 9/11 America. What gives Homeland an edge over the others? A former CIA officer John MacGaffin is the guiding light in the writer’s room, and thus the reason the show has had an uncanny ability to predict world events- right from Bowe Bergdahl’s captivity Bowe Bergdalh’s captivity to the American president-elect at war with the National Security establishment similar to President Trump’s situation.
Now, in its 8th and sadly final series, Carrie Mathison, the protagonist of the show, seems determined to secure and seal the peace talks between the Taliban, Afghan Government and America! She’s got to “get it done” and boy is she set to.
In fact, all the main actors are on top form and their characters brilliantly written. But if you’ve been hiding in a cave and haven’t watched a bipolar Carrie, an intelligence office for the CIA claw her way through yet another ocean deep obstacle, you better catch up with season 1!
You’ll be glued to this season as she does it again, and for the final time! When one of the main character’s, Nicholas Brody played by the uber talented Damian Lewis left the show a couple of seasons ago, and alongside critics, I wondered if the show would exude the same amount of energy to us but it has! Damian went on to make Billions. I didn’t think he would be able to shake off his character but he has nailed the role of a captured American Marine Corp.
Going back to Homeland, it was nice seeing old the faces, like Saul Barenson, (National Security Advisor and assigned to negotiate peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan), after what felt like a decade! He feels like the ever-grounding figure in Carrie’s life. I also like the realness to the show’s content. I hope we get to see Carrie’s daughter, her sister Maggie and how they have settled to a domestic life that Mathison may be fortunate to return to, that is to say if she ever can!
This season we see her recovering from her brutal treatment as a prisoner in Russia. Although, she fails her polygraph test with bare recollections of the 180 days she had spent in Russian prison, Saul is determined to put a “compromised officer” back on field in Kabul, a place 10 times worse than ever before. And oh boy, even if the CIA may have pulled away all her assets after she had been caught in Russia, Mathison has her own agents and recruits. Practically speaking, it does not sound feasible. But well she is able to track her fixers and using old-school spy tactics able to get a good roadmap of the border, check-posts and security system that is until she finds out that one of her fixers had been murdered by the Taliban. Russian interference? Or is it the Afghan Vice President Ghulom?
The show is fast paced and the filming mostly done in Afghanistan is impeccable, which in its own right is difficult. This week’s review comes with no holds barred and a straight up 5* from me.