Homeland-Series Five. Episodes One & Two with a One-off Review. On in the UK on Sundays @ 9pm on Channel Four.


Series Five.
Episode One.
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Opening on a church.  The blessing of the Communion bread.  Then communion.  The Priest speaks German.  So Carrie is Catholic now!

Oops.  The eponymous terrorist looking guy.  Or is he?
Well he goes into a (dance) club.  Are we to believe that Germans forever play techno?  Apparently.

So the fairly handsome (beardy/ hipsterish) guy is speaking English to his mate/ colleague.  Not Arabic.
OK so they’re not  government.  Because they are hiding from the government.

So her comes Carrie with her baby in the back of her bike.  A yummy mummy.  I bet she rides on the pavement.  she does.  Her baby is grown now and has all curly hair.

Off Carrie pops into The During Foundation to meet the Lebanese Ambassador…

Must go.  Probably need to concentrate.  Plus they are on their way to Lebanon.  Just for a jaunt.
“But it’s a war zone, we’re not equipped!””
Declares Carrie.

And Peter Quinn is briefing a large conference including Saul and Dar Adal.
I think that white haired guy is the President.

President : (to Quinn)
“Is our strategy working?”..
Rupert Quinn:
“What strategy?!”..ha ha.

Boy this is cheerful.  We know all this.  Already.  Well summed up by Rupert.
The President:
“Bla bla bla..
“So what’s your strategy?
Rupert Quinn:
“Press reset, pound Raqqa into a parking lot..”

So Carrie’s boyfriend is her work colleague.  Can Carrie never catch a break.

Saul and Carrie.
“You turned your back on your  whole life..”
Carrie to Saul:
“I’m not, I’m doing good work..
“No, you’re not, you’re being naive and stupid..”
“Two things you never were!”

I like the German characters.  They act and talk like Brits.

Don’t tell me, some kind of meet is going down in the town square or the church.  Since the scene has spy written all over it.

Oh no.  Things are a happening.  All of a sudden.  But we know enough by now watching Homeland that all is not what it seems.

So here it comes, another handsome charismatic terrorist/ baddie is on his way.  I presume.  And Rupert is climbing up old wrought iron balconies.  In Berlin.

Bla bla… The usual stuff between Carrie and Al-amin.  I refuse to write or use the names of the terrorist groups.

Another classic spy meet.  Between Saul and Rupert Quinn.

So Carrie gets the call.

Reckon that’s the end. Yep.


Episode Two.
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Prologue: A lot.
Carrie gets the call.

So the prologue is like a whole film.  In black and white.

So they arrive at the camp.  Carrie and her fixers and back-up.

Colonel Jurgen and Carrie. (and the map)
“Where are we safe?”
Colonel Jurgen:
This is here we are safe..”
Only here..”

So it dawns on us that Carrie’s past in the CIA is fairly well known and is not really a great idea.  Her CIA background makes her an ideal target or kidnap victim/ hostage.

So Carrie’s boyfriend is just a bit too good to be true I reckon.

It’s all going frightfully well.
So Carrie is looking nervous at the speech-making.

Laura, the American Ambassador to Saul:
If I were Carrie Mathesson what would you be doing right now?”

Uh oh.  some things are going down.
Look out.
I will leave it there.

Surely this is all a bit to easy.
Yep.  I thought so.

So Carrie is doing that thing of staying behind.  In an explosive situation.   And saying she has to investigate.

So Rupert Quinn is tracking some.. A spy thing.
And later.  some more.  The classic drop and then a newspaper and..I can say no more.

But who is it who made the drop at the Post Office earlier?  I’m not convinced that it was Saul..


So as with the previous Series Four I will probably only  do this review.  Because somewhere along the way-probably since Brody and his final scene- Homeland jumped the shark.  For me.

Possibly Homeland was all about Brody and Carrie you see.  Who as a dramatic pairing: had actual chemistry on screen.

So Homeland is shaping up very nicely.  But what is there to say really other than Homeland is Homeland.

There were moments when I was reminded of the Israeli series Bei Aruba/ Hostages. Even the American remake of Hostages.  The remake which initially I declared to be saccharine but which turned out to be really rather good in the end.
But I digress.

Homeland has the style and pace of the other series mentioned.  That could be because Gideon Raff, who worked on my favourite Israel series Prisoners Of War/ Hatufim, worked on all of these series above.  Oh and the enjoyable series, Tyrant.  All good series in my opinion.

In essence, all of the series described plus lets throw in the series The Americans for good measure: are all classic spy tales.  Building on a long and solid pedigree in film and books, by authors like Le Carre’ for example.

Then there was the whole Cold War spy chicanery.  And so on.

I could also mention the BBC Two series, The Game.  As a recent classic spy series.  Set in the 1960’s I believe.

So a spy story will always survive.  Whatever decade.  Homeland is just that story with a usual human interest and or love story on top.  These two ingredients together make for an even better, fuller, rounded tale.

Carrie without Brody will never regain that splendid epic feel.  Of the spy love story.

However Carrie and Quinn certainly have sparks and are an electric pairing.  Each of them fairly fizzles on screen when alone too.

Despite us knowing very little really about background to the story and different character’s motivations: we get a meaning and explanation of things just by looking at their faces and listening to dialogue  in real time.  So the acting therefore, must be good.

All of the characters in fact are solid and believable.  Moody.  Scheming.  Silent.  Taciturn.  Giving nothing much away.

I am thinking of Saul and the American Ambassador for example. However these adjectives as previously described: could apply to any or many of the characters.

Well.  Most of the characters are seasoned spies and agents. After all.



It seems sweetly quaint now even archaic to see the journalist protest about surveillance.   Like it was the sixties. Or we were watching a drama about Watergate instead.


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