I kind of knew Nazir would appear at the end, and I'm of two minds about that. Part of me sees that as a negative, because the one thing this show has always been able to do is to take unexpected left turns at critical moments and thus defy conventions of the genre. And that part of me, the disappointed part, thinks of how cool it would be if the shadowy figure emerging from the car had turned out to be... I dunno, Walden. Or Mike. Or Tom Walker. Not only would it have been good and twisty, it also would have obviated the whole "how the hell did Abu Fucking Nazir get into the country?" thing.
On the other hand, Nazir appearing at the end does do one positive thing -- it sort of reconfirms for us, in no uncertain terms, that Brody really is Nazir's #1 most important asset in the States, so important that he's willing to risk his life and pretty much his entire cause in order to have this meeting. I agree that it's pretty damned improbable, but then again, I am willing to concede that someone as powerful as Nazir would have an array of effective disguises at his disposal, not to mention plenty of means of acquiring falsified IDs. That he could mobilize all that in, what, less than 24 hours? -- seems a little far-fetched, but I do think at some point we have to realize that this is a work of fiction and meet the writers halfway on this kind of stuff. Is it far-fetched that Nazir could get into the country that quickly for a meeting with "Nicholas?" Certainly. Is it completely out of the realm of possibility, so much so that it ruins the story for me? Meh. Probably not yet. I would prefer it if they limited the number of these, though.
I kind of figure if they can keep the number of highly improbable things to fewer than 3 or 4 a season, that, for this genre, would be pretty acceptable. Maybe even groundbreaking.
With regard to Dana -- I don't post here all that often, and when I do I feel like I always find myself defending the Dana character, and here I am again being the contrarian on this. But for whatever reason, I continue to find her character compelling and interesting and extraordinarily realistic in the way she is rendered, both by the writers and by Morgan Saylor. As it happens, for a variety of reasons, I spend a fair amount of time in the company of actual teenagers in my real life, and I continue to find Dana's story to be near pitch perfect. Unlike most of the viewers, I have enjoyed the hit-and-run storyline, because I always knew it would fit into the story in an important way. And I think it has done just that.
First of all, people have questioned Dana's idealism and its attendant naivete, but in my experience, this is often how real teenagers are. Yeah, they put on a good show of being jaded and worldly and not trusting anyone, but most of them really have a pretty clear ideas of what's right and wrong, and, in the end, pretty strong moral compasses. I actually think a good part of what causes teens to enter what I like to call the "eye roll phase" of their lives is that that age is the point where they suddenly realize that their parents are not perfect, that they are in fact hypocrites much of the time. Teens become disappointed with their parents, and with adults in general, when they begin to realize for the first time that the real world does not actually run on the rules they were told it ran on. So they rebel, act out, and make faces. Ultimately, they make peace with this, though, and still, for the most part, enter young adulthood pretty idealistic, believing that they can do better than their parents did when it comes to always doing the right thing.
Interesting, for me, is the fact that I think Dana is very much her father's daughter in this respect. Think about it: What is it that turned Nicholas Brody from perfect Marine to almost successful suicide bombing terrorist? It was the same disappointment, the same kind of shattering of ideals, that Dana is now experiencing. Brody was "turned" by Nazir showing him (perhaps with partially trumped up evidence -- we don't really know) that the good guys are maybe not as good as he thought. In his suicide video, Brody explains that the US kills innocent women and children, and that he engaged in this act not out of revenge for the death of one boy, but to show the world how things really are. And, in his twisted mind, to bring Walden to justice.
Well, now Dana, who believed her father to be a misunderstood hero, and who believed that when you are responsible for the death or injury of another person, you damned well own up to it and make it right if you can ... she is discovering, in this and the previous episode, that the real world is a mean and crooked place. She is watching her ideals crash and burn around her, just as her father did the day of the drone strike. And I think one of the interesting questions this show is asking is, will Dana go as far off the rails in response to this kind of stress as Nick Brody did? And -- by the way -- it is not insignificant, I think, that Brody still shares this idealism, still is with Dana when it comes to doing the right thing with regard to the hit and run, and it is his second hard dose of reality shattering his ideals that broke him down yet again. And, by the way, the villains in all of this -- the people getting between Nick Brody and What's Right -- once again turn out to be the Walden family. Nice parallel, no?
I mean, in the end, this whole show is about people's idealistic views of things bumping up against cold reality -- and usually losing. How each of the characters deals with this is very interesting to me, and I am still waiting to see where the Dana storyline goes.
Edited by btp, Nov 19, 2012 @ 7:18 AM.