Entertainment Television

TV review: 'Homeland' still addictive

Coming off multiple Emmy wins last weekend, Showtime's "Homeland" has a tough mission as the thriller begins its highly anticipated second season (9 p.m. Sept. 30, Showtime; 4 stars out of 4). Will the outstanding quality of the writing and performances remain? Can the series maintain the crackling tension for another season?

The answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Sunday's Season 2 premiere strides confidently back into the world of the CIA, international espionage and the psyches of its main characters. The story remains completely realistic and believable while paving new roads for future developments.

The new season picks up about six months after brilliant but bipolar Carrie Mathison (Clare Danes), who was fired from the CIA, underwent electroshock therapy. Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the former POW she believed had been turned by Middle East terrorist Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), has parlayed his popularity into a new job as a U.S. Congressman.

I don't want to give too much away, but I can say that Carrie is teaching English, living with her father and sister and staying mellow. Her lithium-boosted break doesn't last long, however, when her old mentor CIA mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), seeks her help for a delicate case in Beirut.

OK, seriously, that's all I'm going to tell you.

What made the first season so compelling--other than the great writing and amazing performances--was the cat-and-mouse game between Carrie and Brody, whom she obsessed over because she suspected he was a terrorist and because she fell in love with him. She literally went nuts over him. And the irony is--spoiler alert if you haven't caught up!--she was right about him. It's just that no one believed her.

Even though Brody still struggles with where his allegiances lie, the CIA, the vice president and everyone else remains clueless about him. But viewers know the truth this season, and that ramps up the tension and frustration for us.

I was concerned when I noticed producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon resorted to using a few rather convenient plot points in the second episode. But they ended it with such a jaw-dropping surprise, my doubts disappeared quickly.

I'm still addicted.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on Show Patrol's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Fall 2012 TV preview: Ranking 21 new broadcast network series
    Fall 2012 TV preview: Ranking 21 new broadcast network series

    The broadcast networks have started rolling out their new series for the fall and of the 21 new shows they will debut in the coming months, only a handful merit much more than a shrug. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I had a hard time picking a Top 5. That assessment might be a bit unfair....

  • Fall 2012 TV preview: 10 cable, PBS shows to watch
    Fall 2012 TV preview: 10 cable, PBS shows to watch

    The cable networks and PBS are bringing the best TV to the Fall 2012 season. There are so many networks, not to mention shows, I won't be listing them all. But here are 10 shows that you should consider adding to your DVR recording list if you haven't already. Curt Wagner, RedEye's Show...

  • 1 killed, 2 wounded in South Side shootings
    1 killed, 2 wounded in South Side shootings

    One man was killed, and two others were wounded in shootings Tuesday afternoon and evening in the city's Park Manor, Bronzeville and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

  • City lists 'problem landlords' on website
    City lists 'problem landlords' on website

    Chicago's Building Department published its first "problem landlords" list on its website Monday night in an attempt to crack down and publicly shame apartment building owners into providing tenants with basic services such as heat, hot water and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Chicago brothers who infiltrated cartel given 14 years in prison
    Chicago brothers who infiltrated cartel given 14 years in prison

    After more than six years in protective custody, the twin brothers from Chicago's West Side didn't look the part of hard-core drug traffickers when they walked into a public courtroom Tuesday for the first time since flipping on the notoriously violent Sinaloa cartel.

  • Emanuel, mayoral challengers face off for first time
    Emanuel, mayoral challengers face off for first time

    The first face-to-face meeting of the Chicago mayor’s race featured Rahm Emanuel offering a measured defense of his first term against a barrage of attacks from challengers who assailed his record on neighborhood development and crime and even his temperament.

Comments
Loading