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Homeland (Showtime) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

Updated on April 3, 2013
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Update: On October 26th, Showtime renewed Homeland for a second season of 12 episodes, scheduled to start airing in the Fall 2012 TV season.

The new psychological thriller ‘Homeland’ premiered on Showtime this Sunday in the 10/9c timeslot. Created and written by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa (both writers for ‘24’, Gansa also for ‘The X-Files’), it promises to include a lot of suspense. Starring in ‘Homeland’ are Claire Danes (‘My So-Called Life’) as Carrie Anderson, Damian Lewis (‘Band Of Brothers’) as Sgt. Brody and Morena Baccarin (‘V’) as Jessica Brody. The raid on a terrorist compound at the beginning of the show reminds us of the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden, which happened roughly at the same time as the release of the previews and promotional campaign for ‘Homeland’. Of course this was a coincidence, but attracted extra attention for ‘Homeland’. It might also be a premise for future real-world political references in the series.

In Iraq, CIA-agent Carrie Anderson receives intelligence from an informant about an American prisoner of war (POW) who has allegedly ‘turned’. There are no living POW’s that she knows of, so she takes little notice of this information. Later, when she’s back in the U.S., Carrie hears about the rescuing of U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody, a POW who was presumed dead.

Sgt. Brody is being welcomed as a national hero by everyone, including the vice-president. However, Carrie thinks this might be the ‘turned’ POW that her informant was talking about. She turns to her mentor and old boss Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), but he says he can’t do anything without some hard evidence. Carrie frantically starts searching for evidence to confirm her suspicions, in doing so she breaks quite a few federal laws. When Berenson finds out what see was up to he threatens to throw her into jail. When Carrie tries to drink away her sorrows in a bar she gets a hunch, this hunch is confirmed when she rewatches the tapes of Brody’s arrival. Although still mad for going behind his back and breaking federal laws, Berenson agrees that this might be the evidence they were looking for.

The previews of ‘Homeland’ were very promising, and the show certainly lives up to the expectations. Although more psychological in nature than ‘24’, which is more focused on action, both shows wrap themselves in mysteries and feature political intrigues. The questions raised in the first episode keep coming back to you and if the writers are on a roll, just like in ‘24’, the answers will be completely unexpected and utterly shocking. Overall, ‘Homeland’ is a great new suspense series that will probably keep us on the edges of our seats for the entire season.

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