Sunday, 18 October 2015
الوطن lemons or melons?
I watched the first episode of the new series of Homeland some time last week and will probably continue, to see how much more unreliable Carrie can become. She's been started off in that great place for spies, Berlin.
Somehow she seems to be working for a dodgy corporate organisation on the wrong side of what America considers to be good.
Almost immediately we get a sleazy club's computer hackers electronically stumbling into a CIA outpost's website where, with almost no trickery, they download the crown jewels of the entire covert operations in Germany. Oops.
Carrie then co-incidentally runs into her old boss Saul (the one who who speaks in pompous meeting cliches). There's a hat tip to le Carre when Saul later deploys old-school tradecraft using a handkerchief in his top pocket as a signal. This is to Quinn, another of Carrie's ex buddies coincidentally in Berlin, who is sent to blow up a pipe bomber.
I gather that the next episode recreates a Syrian/Lebanese refugee camp, with arabic graffiti on the walls saying 'Al watan (Homeland) is a Watermelon' and similar phases. Clearly no-one on the set knew the arabic for Homeland (الوطن) so when it appears scrawled in half a dozen locations no-one was expecting it to say anything awkward.
There's a short scene in episode one where Quinn co-incidentally appears for a debrief and talks about the lack of empathy for middle east of the people he is briefing. Along the lines of 'none of you have seen active service in the middle east'. I can't tell yet with this series if it is really having a pop or just being cartoony.
I have my suspicions.