Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011


The best new series of the fall, Showtime's terrorism thriller came along just in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. A decade after the attacks, we've stayed safe. We've become more alert. But — as this intense psychological drama asks of its characters — what have been the trade-offs? Are we wounded? Are we traumatized? Are we, maybe, a little crazy? Homeland sets out these questions through two damaged characters who start out as adversaries but find themselves deeply linked. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA analyst, learns from a source that a U.S. soldier imprisoned in Iraq has been "turned" by terrorists. This leads her to suspect Sergeant Nick Brody (Damian Lewis), a freed POW and national hero. Is Carrie on to the perfect sleeper agent, or is she influenced by post-9/11 guilt — as well as a mood disorder she's been hiding? Brody is behaving suspiciously, but is it proof of guilt or the scars of eight years in hell? The performances are fantastic — Carrie is a throbbing nerve, Brody thrums with repressed pain — and the show is both thrilling as a mystery and an acute study of how people mourn for lost time they can never get back. (Showtime)