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on 4 February 2013
Like many others, I came into Homeland Season 2 with BIG expectations. The first season was amazing and ended fairly openly, leaving a ton of possibilities going into the second series. Sadly, Homeland S2 failed slightly to live up to its own high standards.

Firstly it has to be said that once again, Homeland's biggest strength is in the performances of the cast. Everyone is brilliant. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis deserve all the credit in the world in their roles as Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody and present us with fully fleshed out characters and the majority of the supporting cast are equally impressive. Even Brody's daughter Dana transitions from annoying, bratty teenager to one of the more interesting characters in the show. Top marks all round.

The series starts on a high note with the CIA performing undercover work in Lebanon to track down a contact in Al Qaeda. It turns out the disgraced Carrie is the only person who can get information out of the contact and the CIA reluctantly bring her back for the purposes of the mission. What follows is an amazingly tense few episodes which could rival any big-budget spy film. However from here on the series takes a bit of a nosedive and becomes very formulaic and dare I say it, tedious at times.

I think the main problem with Season 2 is that beyond those opening episodes there is a lack of any real story arc. The story seems to be composed of lots of individual character threads that never really come together or hold attention. Considering how gripping the first season was it was very disappointing and frustrating to watch week after week without feeling like anything was really taking off. A big contributing factor for this was that because we now know that Brody is a terrorist, all of the "is he, isn't he?" tension is gone, and since he is caught surprisingly early on in the series it never feels like any substantial threat occurs. From around episodes 4 to 10 it's very predictable and you could almost set a time to when Carrie would start crying or Brody would have a crisis of conscience. Thankfully though, it picks up again in a big way at around episode 10 and ends on a real high note.

The other big issue I had was that a lot of the time it was difficult to keep up the suspension of disbelief. I can get on board with Carrie returning for the purposes of the Lebanon mission but after this she is still around conducting and overseeing high-level operations despite her mental issues being well known and repeatedly compromising her relationship with a known terrorist. It's never really explained why she is allowed to stick around after being told up front that her "return" was a one-off thing. Similarly why is the most conspicuously blonde woman in Washington being sent on surveillance operations? You can spot her a mile off! There are also plotholes that get no explanation such as Saul's lie detector results from S1 or how America's most wanted man suddenly appears on their home soil. As for Brody becoming such a high-ranking member of congress, I can see why people would find it odd but after all, this is the country that grants celebrities such as Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger roles as Governors.

Basically, Homeland Season 2 is a bit like a freshly made sandwich of lettuce. At either end is the wonderful, tasty bread of the excellent beginning and conclusion of the series. In the middle you have something which will keep you going but is ultimately unsatisfying. A lack of a main story arc along with bizarre tangents and plotholes mean that it was always going to be overshadowed by its predecessor. Season 2 is very good and still stands above most modern TV shows and after the explosive ending it feels like Season 3 has a lot of potential. However as it is, I feel Homeland Season 2 is more of an appendix to Season 1 that while being perfectly watchable, could have been so, so much better.
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on 27 January 2015
Series 1 was a good watch and whet my appetite for this second series but as each episode rolled out I found myself increasingly saying out loud "that really wouldn't happen". Reality doesn't seem to have any place here, although accepted it is only entertainment I think there needs to be believable plots and characters. Without wishing to give too much away or spoil; Carrie and her ever increasing demented facial expressions would not be let near the scout movement let alone the CIA after once being dismissed, Brody would have experienced some sort of counselling and his flaws would have been recognised.

Having said all that, it's still a good series if you can, unlike me, refrain from blurting out things like "really?" and "get real"!
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2014
series one was great and all but i wasnt in a crazy rush to see series 2 if i am being honest. A year or so later i finally decided to start season 2 and it has blown me away. I flew through the 12 episodes in a few days and have started watching series 3 already. Back to season 2 then, its pacey, twisty, edgy , violent, tense and flawless if i am being honest again. a worldy for sure.
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on 22 December 2012
After the excellent first season of Homeland I was wondering whether or not to bother watching the second season. The first season finale to me was a complete let down as I felt that maybe Homeland should have been a mini-series of just 12 episodes and end on top. The use of amnesia to help Brody still be a terrorist was stupid and beneath the writers who up to that point were excellent. Well I'm glad I decided to stick with it because unlike the first season that was slow in the first half and action packed in the second, this season is action packed all the way through.

One major criticism from the proper critics has been 'plausibility'. I decided to look this strange word up and found this; having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: a plausible excuse; a plausible plot. To these people the plot must be plausible to be enjoyable; well for me this show lost all plausibility during the final episode of season 1. Now this is not to say that these critics don't have a point, they do and its a very valid one. Homeland is so well written and plotted with real world references throughout the series; for instance this season kicks off with a possible plot by terrorists for revenge about something that was in the news in the summer (2012). This is a what if storyline. Its possible it could happen. However, to me this show is 24 without the restraints of having to set it over a day and the use of stronger language. These critics might have wanted something else but this is what this show is so expect some completely unrealistic plots and incidents that are near impossible mixed with some very possible and realistic storylines.

The fact that season 1 ended the way it did meant that I thought I knew what the plot would be but thats the genius of the writers. They never once in the entire season do what you expect for example in episode 3 Saul 'the bear' Berenson is held in Beruit and I thought here we go again: predictable but it was anything but because 'the bear' is too clever.

The best thing about this season was the sheer tension, I mean I felt like Brody every single episode because anything could happen at any minute thanks to the very early plot twist (if you have not seen this season then don't try and find out what it is).

Damien Lewis is once again excellent as Brody while Claire Danes is awesome as Carrie but with all shows everyone has their favourite character and for me it must be Saul 'the bear' Berenson who likes his milk and has all the best lines. The added brillance of his character has to be the fact that he is expendable in the story arc but lets face it this season the man makes himself unexpendable (that really doesn't sound like a real word).

These types of shows must be enjoyed without the knowledge of what will happen because for me this made the show so much better. I even had to rewind bits to see if that really happened. But also be warned that despite the use of real world names and references some plot twists will be completely implausible. But if like me you are so shocked and amazed by them you will not mind one little bit. Get this and enjoy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 January 2013
Season 2 of Homeland is faster paced, more exciting yet also less plausible than Season 1 which you need to watch first.

Brody (Damien Lewis) continues to walk the tightrope between his role as a war hero Congressman being groomed to serve as future Vice President under the unscrupulous Walden, and that of a closet Muslim convert manipulated by the fanatical al-Qaeda member Abu Nazir to perpetrate acts of terrorism. Although not fully recovered from her manic episode, her confidence shattered from the mistaken belief that she was "wrong about Brody", CIA agent Carrie Mathison is called back to work on an assignment requiring her unique rapport with a would-be defector in Beirut, and is allowed to stay despite her loose cannon unreliability.

Although increasingly ludicrous, the plot twists are no more so than in many equivalent series. It is also quite amusing to spot the occasional error, as when a supposed Beirut street seems to contain a number of Hebrew shop signs.

"Homeland" stands out for me as the only popular mainstream American drama which avoids an unquestioning, gung-ho, patriotic stance on US foreign policy on the lines of "US good no matter what - Muslim terrorists bad". Apart from the fact that, in real life, Brody would surely have had more counselling, we remain unsure as to what extent he really is a terrorist, and whether his embracing of Islam is the result of brainwashing or a genuine spiritual response. Walden, a former Director of the CIA, now Vice President, and Estes, the Head of CIA Counterterrorism are portrayed as corrupt and amoral "bad men" in contrast to Abu Nazir who sometimes arouses sympathy, and to the complex Brody who at one points expresses the desire to prove that he can be "a good man". In the background, the confusion and shifting emotions of Brody's wife, children and former friends are convincing, adding depth to the thud and blunder main plot.

Although I felt that the final episode was very much a case of putting everything in place for Season 3, at least I can look forward to this as a fresh knotted situation to unpick rather than the "flogging to death" of a worn-out scenario.
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on 19 July 2014
Perhaps even better than season 1. Interesting plot development-taking a route i certainly didn't expect. More brilliant characters are introduced, with the general standard of acting first class once again.
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on 20 September 2013
This is a jaw dropping addictive Season like the first. Things get tense and the story just flows brilliantly and this is a great Show to watch to pass the time though like me I bet you will watch the whole season in one and good thing I got it 3 days before release :)
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on 19 April 2013
It was a little dissapointing after season 1. As the season went on it began to grow a little too unrealistic, Like 24 was. Which is fine for a show like that but Homeland is a high class drama. Episode 5 has a 15 minute scene with the two leads and it is the best scene in history. It ends with a massive cliffhanger so I have no Idea what will happen next.
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Watched series one and loved it. Missed the next season so had to buy season two which I devoured in a couple of nights before mooving on the season three. International spying and home security. Never ending suspense.
Could this be the best series ever. I think so.
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on 8 October 2013
By dropping a Plot Bomb early on and using it to completely turn the series on its head, Homeland avoided the usual trick of serialised thrillers with an eye on long-term success of dragging out their central mystery well past its natural limits (as seen in The Killing), instead taking a few episodes to flip the table over and then start a fresh attack, free from the storytelling shackles of Season One and striding off in a bold, confident new direction.

Damian Lewis gets to play an entirely different kind of Tom Brody once the dust settles from early revelations, still keeping the audience guessing as to his true motives, and Claire Danes continues to nail it as fragmented agent Carrie, in what must be an emotionally and physically exhausting role to play but one that finally catches the rest of the world up to what fans of her knew she was capable of as an actress almost twenty years ago.
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