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'Homeland: Good Night' loyalties in question on Showtime drama

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Showtime aired the "Homeland" episode "Good Night" on Dec. 1, 2013 and the action is getting more exciting as the drama and intrigue increases. "Homeland," which stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin is a story of espionage. There are only two more episodes to air this season and the stakes are getting higher in the drama that gets people talking and disagreeing around the internet.

Update: Homeland season three spoilers and changes ahead

Nicholas Brody (Lewis) has been absent for much of the season, but he has never been far from the story. Brody is now solidly in the center of the action, in the middle of a mission that takes advantage of the belief that there is something that only he can do, as the man believed to be the 12/12 bomber, the man responsible for the deadly CIA bombing. Brody has been assigned the mission of getting close to and killing the top guy in Iran.

The season got a slow start and started to build on the repercussions of the CIA bombing and Brody's alleged involvement with terrorism. The story seemed to stray into a melodrama about the angst of selfish teen Dana (Morgan Saylor) who never seemed to care that her suicide attempt put her beautiful mother Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and neglected brother Chris Brody (Jackson Pace) further into financial and emotional jeopardy. Perhaps the writers were drawing a parallel between Dana and her father's insensitivity to what his family was going through.

This viewer thought that this might be the season that Carrie (Danes) would become totally unlikeable. Her mental instability continued to be at odds with her ultra responsible top-secret career. One must question whether the CIA would let someone with a personality disorder like Carrie's anywhere near the building, much less as an intelligence officer dealing in top-secret matters of national security.

"Good Night" started with a confrontation between hunky CIA operative Quinn (Rupert Friend) and brittle Carrie while they were riding an elevator. Quinn informed Carrie that he knew she was 15 weeks pregnant and suggested that her objectivity about Brody was questionable, therefore she should withdraw from the mission. Carrie huffily spurned Quinn's well-intended suggestions by telling him that Brody was not the father of the baby so Quinn should back off. Seems that Carrie was seething because Quinn shot her in the shoulder, even though she forced the situation.

Even though almost a year of real time has passed since the end of season two, the story has only advanced by 15 weeks, so the timing is right for Brody to be the father of Carrie's bundle of joy. Carrie admitted earlier that Brody was the father of the baby, so she apparently lied to Quinn.

Even though Quinn has always seemed to have Carrie's back, she blamed him for shooting her in the shoulder. Quinn shot Carrie after a direct command because Carrie was disobeying a direct orders by storming into an operation (all for the sake of clearing Brody). Quinn was actually protecting Carrie by winging her instead of letting another, less caring, operative take the shot.

Now, Brody is back in the center of the action and Carrie is intertwined in his mission. Apparently she is the only person who can talk the CIA's most valuable asset down. Brody is not any more stable then Carrie, since the U.S. Marine, POW, brainwashed terrorist, Congressman, fugitive and recent heroin addict has been through more trauma than most people can even imagine.

Brody's loyalties have been a big question mark since the first season, and rightfully so, since he ended the first season by strapping on that suicide vest, fully intending to detonate a bomb and kill top-tier government officials. Even as a congressman and vice-presidential candidate, his loyalties were divided, and he did end up participating in the murder of the vice-president, his running mate, in season two.

"Good Night" showed Brody kneeling in Islamic prayer and one had to wonder if he really felt that the mission to Iran was like going to his spiritual home. Once in Iran, where will Brody's loyalties lie?

It seems that the action in Iran will take the series through the end of the season. "Good Night" was all about getting Brody into the country and the mission only went off after several hitches, lest anyone thought crossing the border would be a simple matter.

"Good Night" was the signal the special forces operatives used to indicate deep trouble. As Brody's driver said 'good night,' shots fired and Brody had what appeared to be a post-traumatic stress reaction. He tried to run away, but was talked back in. However, after his vehicle blew up he went into heroic marine mode and kicked into gear, saving his driver.

Even when the mission was called back by the onlooker at CIA headquarters, Brody insisted he could make it over the border, and so he did, with the help of very likeable Special Forces operative Yousef (Jared Ward). Brody and Yousef ran right into a group of Iranian soldiers and by a stroke of luck he ended up at his intended destination. Yousef was not so lucky, as he was shot in the head by Javadi for his troubles.

As noted earlier in the season, Brody is like a cockroach who keeps on living as people die all around.

The preview of episode 11 shows Brody charming an Iranian crowd as Carrie secretly watches from the midst of the crowd. Back at CIA headquarters, Acting Director Saul Berensen (Mandy Patinkin) exclaims that Brody has become a liability.

Saul thinks that he has turned Javadi (Shaun Toub) into an asset because he knows that Javadi stole $45 million from the cause, but Javadi is a smart guy so he might have figured out how to get around that. Javadi shot Yousef in the head, probably to protect himself, but how will Brody know if he can trust him now that he is in Iran?

"Homeland" is good at keeping people guessing about loyalties. At this point, one might hope that Carrie, Brody, Saul, Quinn, Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), Sen. Lockhart (Tracy Letts) and Javadi are on the same side, but that is probably not the case. We have already seen behavior that seems ambiguous, even downright traitorous, by many of these characters. There are always questions of who is the mole in the agency and who is switching sides in the land of double and triple double-crossing agents in the spy game.


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