Loving Miss Hatto, BBC One/ Homeland, Series 2 Finale, Channel 4 | TV reviews, news & interviews
Loving Miss Hatto, BBC One/ Homeland, Series 2 Finale, Channel 4
Amazing tale of classical music fraud given heart and soul by Victoria Wood
Some say that Homeland lost its bearings somewhere in the middle of series two, and last night's closing episode suggested that the show is at a crossroads and is dithering about which direction to take. I'd agree with viewers who feel that once it was clear that Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) had indeed been brainwashed into terrorism by Abu Nazir, and would have blown himself up with all the vice president's men had his suicide vest not malfunctioned, it was as if something had broken inside Homeland's machinery. Gone was the inner darkness and sense of psychological turmoil suffered by a man kept in brutal captivity for eight years (David Harewood's Estes and Mandy Patinkin's Saul fail to agree to differ, pictured above).
Instead, the show became a more routine covert-action drama (maybe there's a little too much 24 pedigree within the production team). Plausibility has taken a major hit, and series two had far too many scenes of Brody, a war hero feted by the media and a high-profile politician running for Vice President, rushing around the countryside carrying out errands for Nazir or his journalist sidekick Roya (Zuleikha Robinson), somehow without anybody recognising him. The guy is supposed to be a major terrorist asset working his way into the top echelons of American politics, not some low-grade bagman for hire.
Brody has been left hanging in a Sarah Lund-style limboRecent episodes have been turning the Brodie/Carrie relationship into a melodramatic romance, glossing over the fact that with what they know about Brody, the CIA would be perfectly justified under the draconian anti-terror laws in carting him off to jail, house arrest or Guantanamo as the whim took them. Yet here were Brody and Carrie (Claire Danes), shacked up in her family log cabin where they had their original illicit shag-fest in the first series, daydreaming soppily about clean slates and fresh starts. Perhaps he could be a builder or a teacher, mused Brody. "You're a good person," Carrie reassured him, despite having had a ringside view of how he was instrumental in bumping off Vice President Walden. OK, he was a scumbag, and Brody did it partly to save Carrie's life, but aiding most-wanted terrorists to murder the VP is not a recipe for a life of domestic bliss.
Our lips must remain sealed regarding the show's ending, but clearly a new broom and new characters are in the offing. Damian Lewis himself has said he doesn't know whether he's coming back for series three, and for now he's been left hanging in Sarah Lund-style limbo. But I reckon we'll be seeing a lot more of Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) in series three. A few murky secrets there, surely.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Ask a policeman?
Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws
Gripping documentary series outstrips crime drama
Classic Sixties horror story about spawning the Antichrist fails to deliver
Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley trot gently through dance history
New sitcom about dogs and their owners
Dark and chilling return of the Belfast killer thriller
For all the holes in its hull, the Julian Fellowes juggernaut stays afloat
Colourful talking heads bring to life a music both familiar and exotic
How creatures great and small cope with their own housing crises
Cameras penetrate the mental hospital for the first time
Portillo offers further evidence of life beyond the Westminster bubble