Homeland
Brody (Damian Lewis) frantically searches on his phone for a plausible plot in Homeland [Pic: Showtime]

Let's just saying that after watching the latest episode of Homeland I wish I had a pacemaker, and that it had been turned off just before that hour of inexplicable awfulness had been relayed from my television screen.

'Broken Hearts' was an episode that never really had a beat to it in the first place, as we had to go through the motions of seeing Carrie's capture, Brody's desperate attempt to save her, and the wireless murder of Walden at the end.

Logic was thrown out the window in order to reach its dramatic finale at the office of the Vice President; a moment so ridiculous that the suspension of disbelief that was barely holding the show together was broken once and for all. 

Heart and Saul

Brody might be breathing a sigh of relief after the terrorist plot is foiled, but little did he know that if Nazir had been caught as well then he would have been executed. Estes and Quinn are running a shady operation on the side, linked to the mysterious man we saw on the bus last week, Dar Adul. Saul meets with the CIA head to ask about Quinn and is promptly informed, "He's one of mine".

Saul continues his crusade by confronting Estes, claiming that Quinn might be there to cover his tracks, as it was him along with Walden who ordered the drone strike that killed hundreds of innocents in Iraq, including Issa. With the Vice President's apparent demise in this episode, perhaps the big bad that Nazir will turn his attentions to will be Estes and his superiors at the CIA.

Carried off

Nazir certainly guns for the CIA this week, as after Brody betrays him he kidnaps Carrie and takes her to an unidentified industrial location. From being a shadowy figure on the other side of the world, I don't know how he's managed to snatch a CIA agent right in the middle of DC. Either the security services in the US are incredibly inept or Nazir can turn invisible, but neither really explains why he would go for Carrie in the first place.

What makes even less sense than this bizarre kidnap of Carrie is that if Nazir was suspicious of Brody's loyalty before, why did he allow him to go back to the CIA and announce his plans? Taking Carrie to a generic industrial location before skyping Brody, his pacemaker ploy seems like a desperate back up plan to the initial homecoming bomb and certainly would be a lot harder to pull off.

The Power of Love

Hard as it is to believe why Nazir would let Brody loose, perhaps he was blinded by his love for the former marine. In a sort of reverse Stockholm syndrome he confides with Carrie, "Sometimes when you're breaking a man an emotional transference takes place," adding that, "You love him too, perhaps we have that in common".

Carrie of course is appalled by the very notion that the two could be the same, declaring, "We have nothing in common". Her warped and fanatical devotion to protecting America is similar to Nazir's hell-bent dedication to destroying it, but that's where the comparisons end.

Whilst we've witnessed Carrie's trials and tribulations with mental illness, we know very little about the show's chief antagonist. Now more Bond villain than Bin Laden, he has become an all-powerful figure that can strike at any moment; representing the sort of propaganda that in the wake of 9/11 many people would have believed a leader of al-Qaeda could be capable of.

"I'm killing you"

The whole kidnap scene dives into the melodramatic, as Brody comically begs into his Blackberry for Carrie to be spared. Any dramatic tension from Brody's trip to Walden's office dissipates upon the absurd premise. The serial code to a pacemaker hardly creates the same excitement as the codes to a nuclear warhead, but getting Brody to obtain it is just as unrealistic.

Inevitably Brody toils in Walden's study before discovering the code and relaying it to Nazir. The VP walks in on Brody, and in a marvellous piece of acting, Brody's charm turns to menace as he confronts Walden on his actions in the Middle East. "I want to feel clean again; I pretty much disagree with everything you say and do". Relishing the chance to watch his enemy die, he says to a dying Walden, "You still don't get it do you? I'm killing you."

Whilst the Vice President died of a bad heart, I could feel my brain rotting from watching such a stupid scenario. Not only does Nazir somehow manage to capture Carrie in the first place, he lets her go as well. It's almost like he wants to be brought down and that taking out Walden was his own act of jihad-martyrdom.

But frankly that's a bit crap. When your arch-villain makes the terrorists from Four Lions look like professionals then you know there's a problem with the show. There are two episodes of the Homeland left to pull something out of the bag, but at the moment it would take a miracle for me to be impressed by any conclusion. 

Related Articles

Episode 9 Review - Two Hats

Episode 8 Review - I'll Fly Away

Episode 7 Review - The Clearing

Episode 6 Review - A Gettysburg Address

Episode 5 Review - Q&A

Episode 4 Review - New Car Smell

Episode 3 Review - State of Independence

Episode 2 Review - Beirut is Back

Episode 1 Review - The Smile