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Review: Showtime's 'Homeland'

9/30/2011 12:01 PM Eastern

Showtime confronts the issue of terrorism and the potential of homegrown enemies within the country through its new original series Homeland.
It stars Damian Lewis as Sgt. Nicholas Brody, a U.S. Marine captured and tortured in Iraq for eight years who is miraculously rescued and returns home. Given a hero’s welcome and embraced by his wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and family, Brody seems to be the perfect hero for a country weary of the ongoing war on terror.
But not everyone is convinced. Covert CIA officer Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) is suspicious of Brody’s remarkable survival and return to America, especially given that his partner was killed shortly after capture.
Further feeding her paranoia is a tip Anderson received from an Afghanistan informant several years prior that an American prisoner of war had been turned by terrorists to potentially plan and execute an Al-Qaeda-based attack in the states.
Anderson becomes obsessed with following Brody, to the point of illegally installing cameras and phone taps in his home looking for any signs that he maybe a plant sent to put into play a major terrorism plot.
Enabling her efforts is her mentor, Saul (Mandy Patinkin), who is sympathetic to her opinions but also wary of her often unstable behavior and the potentially harmful results of her desperate attempts to stop Brody from triggering another potential 9/11-type attack.
The pilot serves as a hourlong psychological profile of both main characters.
Brody is the good-looking hero soldier who — through numerous flashbacks from his time as a prisoner of war, as well as a pretty aggressive sexual encounter with his wife — is struggling to come to grips with the brutality of his capture and his reassertion into civilian life.
Anderson’s own medically-controlled psychological demons that help define her combustible and win-at-any-cost mentality. Her desperate attempts to prove Brody’s a bad guy eventually lead her to believe that Brody is relaying signals to terrorist contacts in the States through a series of hand twitches that could just as easily be defined a nervous tick.
Homeland deftly intertwines the decade-long storyline of America’s war on terror abroad with the recent and frightening stories of U.S. citizens being recruited by Al-Qaeda to commits terrorist attacks on the homeland.

Homeland premieres Oct. 2 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

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