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Cult Recap

'Homeland': 'Clean Skin' episode 3 TV review - Did you watch?

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Season 1, episode 3 | Aired Sunday, Mar 4 2012 at 21:00 GMT on Channel 4

Maybe it was the war hero reduced to masturbating over his ashamed wife. Perhaps it was the point-blank shooting of CIA spy and Saudi Arabian prince plaything Lynne Reed. Or maybe it was just the gone-off spaghetti in Carrie Mathison's fridge, but there was definitely something about this week's Homeland which made it the darkest instalment yet.

The show doesn't deal in bloody showdowns or manic screaming matches, but the power of suggestion and the creepiness of the two lead characters, Mathison and Brody, delivers a Klitchko brother-size punch.

Clare Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland episode 3

© Channel 4 / Showtime



Episode three was hooked around Brianna Brown's role as undercover CIA staffer Lynne Reed. We first met her last week, when she managed to get Mathison all hot under the collar with some Abu Nazir tip-offs.

Mathison and Reed's secret meetings in swimming pool changing rooms and massage parlours clearly hadn't gone unnoticed. Prince Farid - after giving Reed a good seeing to - handed her a necklace with more bling than a Jay-Z and Beyoncé music video. The necklace was the envy of Farid's harem, but it proved to be her downfall as she was killed by a "driver", who passed the bling on to the Prince's buddy Latif Bin Walid.

As the episode ended we were shown Latif making a hefty $400,000 for the necklace, and also more mysteriously, a couple purchasing a house with an all-cash down-payment. Maybe they just got lucky on the pools, but their nudge, nudge, wink, wink line about needing to be near an airport suggests that their financial boom is a little bit more suspicious than that.

If you're an unhinged CIA agent with a low supply of anti-psychotics, the last thing you probably need is the guilt of an employee's death on your hands. Carrie may be obsessed by Brody and Abu Nazir, but she has a heart and the death of a girl that she hired to work undercover is pushing her even closer to the edge.

Clare Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland episode 3

© Channel 4 / Showtime



Mathison looks to her buddy/mentor/beard-stroker Saul for support, but he was even more mysterious than ever this week. Calling Mathison to task in front of her colleagues, wandering off for mysterious meetings every five minutes, he blows hot and cold like a dodgy tap.

We're still none the wiser as to what side of the road Saul is walking as he guides Mathison through the case, but if he doesn't turn out to have a bloody big skeleton in his closet, we'll be very surprised.

Elsewhere, the Brody family were gearing up for their first family TV interview as Nicholas kept up a pretence as an all-American hero and wholesome father. However, behind closed-doors, he's sleeping alone on the bedroom floor, flashbacks to his his time in Afghanistan still plague his mind and his sex life has been reduced to self-pleasuring sessions while Morena Baccarin sits with her boobs out.

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland episode 3

© Channel 4 / Showtime



The real Sgt Brody still hasn't revealed himself fully. When he's talking about school play productions at Wackadoo Zoo or discovering the joys of comedy dog videos on YouTube with his daughter, we're rooting for him. But Damian Lewis brings enough twitches and cold-eyed stares into Brody to suggest that all isn't as sweet and fluffy as it seems.

Brody's speech to his TV interviewer about what his torturers wanted to get out of him in Afghanistan felt like the most pertinent moment in the episode. "They want you to lose faith," he said. "They want you to lose faith in your wife, who they say has got their arms around someone else."

It is hard to believe from what we've seen in the first three episodes that Brody's faith in his wife, and perhaps more importantly his country, has remained in tact.

Homeland continues on Sunday nights on Channel 4.

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