I finally got around to finishing up Season 1 when I heard the positive talk about the new stuff. I left off after episode 7, happy that something interesting had finally happened (Carrie's fling with Brody), but unsure of how well they could keep it going.
When I resumed with episode 8, things took off like a rocket. The bullshit subplots and detours fell by the wayside. When I let out a deep breath after that incredibly intense finale (yeah, I'm with the rest of you that were blubbering like a baby during the daughter's phone call), I decided this was probably my new favorite drama on TV.
I was overjoyed that it had finally grown into something worthy of the talents of Lewis, Danes, and Patinkin. When it started out, it was a different story. There was a lot of sensational sizzle, but only the promise of possible steak to come. The bullshit blonde escort plot was like something out of a CBS show. The entire suburban house plotline ended up being horseshit. Mandy Patinkin seemed like he thought he was still on a CBS show, too. Most of all, the "Is he or isn't he?" with Brody was infuriating. Until the audience knew what his deal was, it was like the premise of the show was partially incomplete.
It was a big relief when they finally let us know Brody was really planning something, after half a season of deer killing and friend punching and weird sex and ominous staring at landmarks. Now, the actor has something definitive he can play off of, and the audience can fully invest themselves in the tension.
Season 2 has kept up the quality at the same level. Brody sending the text gives us no doubt he still supports the cause, when he could have just let the guy get taken out. Saul got to have his Hank-on-the-toilet moment nice and early, so that will keep things moving nicely. The only question is, how the hell are they going to do a season 3 after all this? Only one side is going to get through this thing...
Kinda funny, but I hadn't seen any season 2 promos, so when I was watching the finale I let myself believe it was possible that Brody would actually die and it would be just Carrie the next year.