Thursday, October 23, 2014

Carrie Mathison goes for a piece of Pi

Carrie Mathison, the main character in the Showtime series Homeland, is a seriously troubled person. She has bipolar disorder, had an affair with a married man and bore his child. In Season 4 Carrie handed her baby over to her beleaguered sister and went back to her CIA posting in Pakistan. Carrie has big fish to fry in Islamabad. She is seeking out a terrorist who was supposed to have been killed in a drone strike in episode one.

The way to the terrorist is through his nephew, Aayan. Carrie pulls out all the stops with this young medical student. She seduces him. The end of the latest episode, “Iron in the Fire,” fades out as Carrie is about to introduce this virginal young man to the ways of sex. Her goals are quite different than his. He wants to get out of the country, go to medical school in England. Her idea is to distract him from her promise — actually a lie — of sending him to London.

The boy, Aayan Ibrahim, is played by Indian actor Suraj Sharma, who was the star of Life of Pi (holding his own against the incredible special effects Bengal tiger, Richard Parker).

I photographed these from my DVR, pausing the recorder so I could get the best picture. Sorry about the bar on the bottom.

The naïve dupe, Aayan, listens to Carrie talk, finding it hard to comprehend what her body language is saying, that by golly, she is making a move on him.

Move she does. Then she asks him, "Have you done this before?" His answer, "No."
Carrie gives him a sympathetic look. He has been through a lot. Her dark eyes are ablaze with “sympathy” — not only is Claire Danes an award-winning actor, but Carrie gives an Academy Award® performance of her own.
Could you resist the hypnotic stare of the bird of prey as it paralyzes its victim?
Neither can Aayan.
All of that foreplay aside, as Sally and I watched it my mind was clicking back to what had gone on in the episode. Aayan took money from Carrie to give to a nurse in a hospital, who was getting him drugs for his uncle. He slept outside the hospital all night waiting for the nurse’s shift to end. I told Sally, “I’ll bet he smells like a goat.”

My observations are ignored by the filmmakers, of course, because sex is about to happen. We cannot have Carrie say, "Oh, Aayan, how about hitting the shower before we crawl between these clean sheets?" It is because there is a fantasy about sex that ignores personal hygiene and the need for instant gratification. Gettin' it on is more important than stinky armpits, oily skin, smelly feet that have been in one pair of socks for five days, and teeth that have an eighth of an inch of encrustations from eating spicy foods and not brushing or gargling with Scope.


Private Account said...

This is one of the most racist comments I've read about Homeland. What makes you think that a Pakistani medical student doesn't shower?

Postino said...

Well, Private Account, thanks for your comment. It gives me a chance to say that I'm sure that the student takes showers, but in this case there was no evidence that he had stopped along the way after his rough night sleeping outside a hospital until Carrie began her seduction that he had done any such thing. If he did and I missed it then I apologize, otherwise I don't think it was a racist remark. I would have said the same thing had the character she was hustling been Caucasian. It was the circumstances and not his ethnicity that got my attention.

Private Account said...

Still, even after one rough night, why would he smell?

Postino said...

Private Account, perhaps we should look to my point that sex in movies and on television is portrayed as fantasy, where both partners are equally ready for the act at any time.

My contention was that to my mind having been through what he had been through Aayan would have needed at least some cleaning up before sex with Carrie.

Having just watched the subsequent episode I noticed they handled the next encounter differently, at least marginally more realistic to me.