‘Homeland’ Will Do The Benghazi Inquiry In Its Third Season, Sort Of

Well, this should be entertaining. From Deadline comes the casting news that Tracy Letts, best-known for writing plays like acid family drama August, Osage County, will be joining Homeland to do in fiction what Rep. Darrell Issa would love to do in real life:

The Tony- and Pulitzer-winning actor-playwright, who was tapped for a recurring role on the upcoming third season of the Showtime drama a week ago, has now been upped to a series regular. He will play the role of Sen. Andrew Lockhart, the powerful, authoritative, and commanding Committee Chairman asking tough questions as the government’s investigation begins in the wake of the horrific terror attack that decimated the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and prompted a global manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist — Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). Letts is the first new series regular to join the cast of Homeland for Season 3.

Much more so than with the inquiry into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed four people last year, there are serious questions that remain after the attack on Central Intelligence Agency headquarters that closed the second season of Showtime’s War on Terror drama. Does CIA security routinely let large vehicles full of explosives just drive onto the premises without searching them all the time, or is there a special exemption that makes that possible for events where large numbers of dignitaries descend on headquarters for events like a tribute to the late Vice President Walden? Did external security just get pulled so everyone could mourn Walden’s warmongering self properly so no one was left to man the gates or patrol the campus? How did everyone other than Carrie Mathison get convinced that Nicholas Brody was mentally healthy after almost a decade of captivity, even putting aside questions of his trustworthiness? How is there no security camera footage of Carrie and Brody sneaking out of the memorial service, and running around CIA headquarters like they’re teenagers at a house party? Hasn’t the CIA used some of that War on Terror money for secure cloud storage? Not to mention the question of what’s happening with those bunker busters Walden was trying to sell to Israel at the beginning of the second season, or the whole Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that it seems like we’ve all forgotten about entirely while figuring out whether Carrie and Brody would emerge as the One True Pairing.

I’ll be very curious to see how this plays out, not just narratively, because of what it says on a larger level about Homeland‘s worldview. When the show started, it was unique because of its acknowledgement that the United States has created some of its own enemies, and that the decision to carry out a terrorist attack was highly personal, and was something that people could turn away from. Now, it seems to have moved in a different and more conventional direction, depicting terrorists as high-tech masterminds capable of executing highly complex Rube Goldberg device plots and producing enormous number of causalities on a regular basis. We’ve been there before, but I hope Homeland can find something new not just in switching from spy setups to Congressional inquiries, but in the show’s take on how those inquiries play out in the real world. Will Lockhart find conspiracies everywhere, and an administration determined to cover them up, essentially affirming the position Issa’s taken in the real world? Or will something more subtle and interesting happen?