Spoiler Alert: Don’t read if you have not watched Homeland’s latest episode “About a Boy” broadcast on October 26.
Actor Suraj Sharma’s ‘Homeland’ character Aayan Ibrahim got fully seduced last night by Claire Danes’ character Carrie Mathison. There was a trajectory to both their kiss in the previous episode and Carrie’s plot to recruit him that meant that the two had to have sex.
In my post on October 20 I wrote: “The makers have already given it a certain direction by having Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) begin his seduction as part of a ploy. The two kissed last night and the age difference of 14 years between Sharma’s 21 to Danes’ 35 was bridged by latter’s rather seasoned performance. Sharma was required to look nervous, unsure and yet willing all at the same time and he did that very well.”
I then suspected that there would be some minor disquiet among ‘Homeland’s devout followers over the seduction of a boyish looking Aayan, who is a medical student. I found some of that reflected (I presume in a faux tone of concern) this morning while reading Judith Warner’s recap/review of last night’s episode in The New York Times. The headline to the review sets the mood by asking “Are you finding Carrie a little creepy?”
“It’s a good thing that Aayan, nephew of the wanted terrorist Haissam Haqqani has a full chest of hair. It provided at least some visual reassurance that Carrie was not, all behavioral evidence to the contrary, seducing a minor, and that we viewers were not, by extension, complicit in a sex crime,” Warner writes.
She also adds this as if to extenuate the seduction of the boyish Aayan: “For peace of mind, I found myself pausing the episode to look up the actor Suraj Sharma’s age. He is 21.”
I had already referred to Sharma’s and Danes’ ages in real life last week but that is neither here nor there in so much their real ages have any bearing on their television ages. The passionate viewers of ‘Homeland’ need not draw any reassurance that Sharma is 21 for the simple reason that his character could still be a minor in the television series. I doubt that because for someone to be a medical student in Pakistan or elsewhere in South Asia they have to have graduated from high school which would generally put them past the age consent unless they are all Doogie Howsers, in which case we could indeed be by extension complicit in a sex crime if watching fiction constitutes a crime.
The morning after their night of awkward love-making, the director has Aayan somewhat surreptitiously lift the sheet and peer at Carrie’s nether regions. Without the context that follows, this might have seemed “creepy” but the makers make sure that the CIA station chief’s baby is mentioned and hence the C-section and hence Aayan’s curiosity and because he is a medical student, hence his understanding of the cut. Too many “hences”.
One of the main reasons why I write about popular television shows or movies or things that are trending on the Net is because they get me some extra readers searching those keywords. I don’t give a flying fuck (even a non-flying fuck) whether Carrie seduces Aayan and whether they climax together. People forget that it is just fiction like the rest of the universe we live in.