Indeed, in the anonymous U.S. intelligence community, individual verve and style is most frequently displayed by the type of fabric, color, and words emblazoned on one's lanyard (ranging from the obvious "CTC" or "U.S. Embassy - Kabul" to "Michigan State" and "I ? Disneyland"). Similarly, anyone who counts is adorned with more than one badge: thus necessitating a lanyard and clip full of different ID badges issued by a withering multiplicity of agencies, indicating a variety of clearance levels, arrayed around one's neck. Only the non-cognoscenti wear clip-on badges -- since the alligator clips affixed to them are known to pulverize silk tops and desecrate worsted wool suits.
And what's with the cell phones regularly used on Homeland to discuss all kinds of sensitive and highly classified information? Don't the creators and writers know that cell phones -- along with iPods, iPads, MP3 players, etc. -- are not allowed into any classified facility, much less used by agents to communicate with headquarters? But then two seasons-worth of Homeland has not featured the use of even one SCIF -- the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities ubiquitous throughout the intelligence community: thus completely negating any claim to veracity or semblance to real-life. Don't even get me started on how Brody's car could end up on the sidewalk at Langley parked in front of a room full of the country's biggest VIPs.
One could continue to poke holes in the show and its premise (speaking of, here's a big one: the CIA legally cannot operate on American soil so therefore it is the FBI's responsibility to track terrorist threats to and in the homeland), its characters and plots -- but that would be disingenuous. Virtually all those who pretend to sneer at the series (including me) are eagerly awaiting Season Three: anxious to learn whether Carrie and Brody are re-united, if Brody is exonerated and, most critically, whether Dana finally out-grows her monumentally annoying adolescence.
But to wantonly criticize Homeland is also to ignore its one, true shining virtue -- its depiction of the brave men and women who, often on multiple occasions over the past decade, left their loved ones to fight in the war on terror through serial deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. What the series does effectively capture is the trauma and pain suffered by our returning soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and intelligence operatives -- as well as their families. In this respect, the two most believable and, not coincidentally, likable, characters in the series, are Jess -- Brody's wife played by the incomparably beautiful and talented Morena Baccarin -- and Mike Faber, Brody's Marine captain and best friend, played by the superb Diego Klattenhoff. If the series sheds even a small ray of light on the experiences of these selfless men and women, their spouses and their families, then even this thin sliver of illumination and understanding is sufficient justification to keep watching.
Meanwhile, Brody is on the run, a mole has surely tunneled into the CIA at Abu Nazir's behest, a new villain has taken shape to claim responsibility for the carnage inflicted at Vice President Bill Walden's memorial, and it's up to Carrie to save America from further bloodshed. A straight arrow like Dick Tracy would have the bad guys sorted out in no time. Given that this is cable television and not a cartoon-strip, it will doubtless take the unstable and mercurial Carrie from September to December 2013 to do so. And yes, despite my reservations, I will be watching.