Film and Televison

Homeland
Created by Gideon Raff

Homeland tells the story of a CIA analyst and her suspicion of a prisoner of war unexpectedly returned to a changed home.  The stories of these two characters arch and intertwine in unexpected ways leaving the audience member sympathetic to both, and not sure who to root for as the story unfolds.  That is until you find out that Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is right, just after you find out that she is wrong, and just before she and everyone around her starts to think she is wrong, which happens before she realizes she might be right again just before she submits to electroshock therapy (no shit). After finding out she is right you want (or at least I did) Sergeant Brody (Damian Lewis) to succeed in his terrorist attack against a bunker full of high level government officials, just so that Carrie can be vindicated despite her mental health.  While she has her fair share of underhanded behavior her story in this first season, and the implications are tragic.

 The show does a great job of avoiding black and white good versus evil character development and does a good job (maybe too good) of creating sympathy for all sides in this with us or against us era of foreign policy.  Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa’s treatment of manic depression through the character of Carrie is to be commended.  Given the history of women and mental health, I love the idea of a single woman working for the CIA diagnosed with manic depression, being the only person in the world that knows the truth about a terrorist plot, and having that knowledge shocked away by a nortoriously unreliable treatment for a mental disorder.

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