Homeland Season 1

July 24, 2019


I have been bummed that Homeland was postponed - again! - until Fall. But at the same time, I am sort of happy that they’re not releasing it during the summer. I mean, summer is a time to be outside, not sitting on the couch. So we don’t actually need Homeland right now anyway. And with it being the last season, it’s kind of going to suck to watch each episode knowing there won’t be any more. Like, it will really suck.

But I still wanted some Homeland in my life for some reason. I have thought back often to season one when Carrie and Brody met face-to-face for the first time after the surveillance was taken down. Do you remember the episode when she follows him to the support group meeting for returned vets? I have thought about that episode a lot as a repat because I wish I had a group like that to go to. I guess that is why I started the podcast, really. I couldn’t find the podcast I was looking for, so I just created it myself, and a Facebook group to go along with it. But even though I love doing the podcast, and I know it’s helping people, I would still love to be able to get together in person with a group of other repats who get it and share.

For one of my grad school courses last winter, we had to attend a support group meeting - either AA or NA, or any type really. Just a group of people coming together to share a common struggle. I went to an AA meeting and I was bowled over by the non-judgment and support and comfort of it for me - as a repat! Obviously I was open about being there for school and didn’t share or anything, but there is something about a group of people coming together that is just powerful. I really wished that I could go back. Struggling with this process of repatriation is just so lonely and hard and J and I can only give each other so much understanding and support. I would just love, love, love a meeting.

So back to Homeland - J and I went back and watched the episode when Carrie and Brody meet outside the support group meeting. And then, it turns out that season one is so good that we’re just watching it all over again anyway. But oh my god, Carrie and Brody’s exchange in the parking lot went right over my head when I watched it as an expat in Switzerland, but it stabbed me right through the heart watching it now.

Brody: Can I ask you a question - where was it you said you served again - Baghdad?

Carrie: Yeah

Brody: How come it’s so hard to talk about it with people who weren’t there?  

Carrie: I have a better question, how come it’s so hard to talk with anyone who wasn’t there about anything at all?

Well, there it is. Sometimes life is fine being back here. Sometimes I feel like I’m totally okay. Sometimes I feel like I will die if I don’t get back to Z├╝rich. Sometimes I want to crawl out of my skin and scream. Other times I want to sleep all day. Then there are the urges to run away from everything - motherhood, marriage, turning 40 - just screw it all and go live on an island. And then sometimes I want to put my most euphoric playlist on my AirPods as loud as it will go and dance by myself with my eyes closed. No matter what, it’s a perfect storm. Change, impermanence, longing, regret, wishing, waiting, aging, the sense of everything slipping away. I simultaneously want to hold on to all of it forever and also just burn it all down. So yeah, a group would be good.

If you’re a former expat (what I call a repat) then you might feel great reading all that because you get it and you see that I get it and it makes you feel less alone and okay. If you’re not a repat, then you probably think I’m insane and need some help. Fret not. I’m okay, that’s just how repat life is,  and tomorrow is a new day.

Join the conversation!

  1. I love everything about this post. It's so spot on (plus, I love Homeland). All of those feelings...gosh I can relate.

    I can't tell you how many times I've wished I had just one person I could meet up for a coffee and have a good rant with about being a repat.

    We re watched most of homeland about six months ago and I remember thinking the exact same thing when I watched that scene. I don't think I've ever seen an actor play a character better than Claire Danes plays Carrie. Carrie felt so relatable because she never seemed content staying in the US permanently after having lived a different life.

    Somehow weirdly now that I'm almost where I want to be, that prospect feels a little scary too. It's been 5 years in the making. I just hope when I get there, and get settled that I wont still be left with questioning my decisions and that I'll feel truly content. Part of me isn't sure if that's possible once you're an expat/repat.

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    1. Agreed with everything you said! To meet up with one person for coffee would be amazing, wouldn't it? And Carrie is phenomenal. And when we thought we were going back at one point, I did feel really freaked out. I think it's because when you've been away for a long time, there's now way of knowing if your memories are reliable anymore. But, only one way to find out! Good luck. I'm so happy for you!! xx

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  2. Your writing always makes me feel like a normal person, hahahaha!

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  7. Just found your blog this morning! I live in Western Montana and with the fall weather it’s got me thinking of my old expat Caribbean life. All the friends I made there and the laid back unAmerican lifestyle I enjoyed. Coming back is hard. No one here wants to hear about that life. Thanks for talking about it. xo

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