Release of US captive: Is this Homeland in real life?

This article is more than 12 months old

The incredible story of Bowe Bergdahl's release has foreign media drawing comparisons to hit TV series Homeland.

Both Bergdahl and fictional character Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis, were prisoners of war released from captivity.

Lewis' character in Homeland was held for eight years. 

On Saturday, the 28-year-old US Soldier was released after five years in captivity under Taliban leaders. 

We picked out some of the uncanny similarities between the two men below.


1. Hero's welcome

Both Bergdahl and Brody have understandably received some sort of hero's welcome.

Bergdahl's hometown of Boise, Idaho celebrated by placing signs, placards and banners all over expressing joy over his release. Brody too received a very warm welcome especially with all the media attention in the show.


Of course, it's worth noting that while Bergdahl is currently recovering at a US military medical centre in Germany, Brody did not seem to need much recovery time before heading back to the United States.


2. POW's girlfriend finds new love

One of the most striking similarities is the fact that both spouses of Bergdahl and Brody had moved on with other men.

Monica Lee was just 19 when Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban. It was reported by the New York Post that Bergdahl had been able to relay messages to his family, which were sent by his captors. In his final message, Lee's mother said, he had told her daughter not to wait for him. 

Monica has reportedly moved on and has been in a relationship since 2012 with another man,  Justin Forsdick. (above)

Brody had also come back from captivity to realise that his wife (below with Brody) too had moved on and fallen for another man, Mike Faber.


3. Relationship with captors

A Pakistani militant commander told AFP that Bergdahl engaged with his captors. He taught them how to play badminton and invited them to celebrate Easter and Christmas with them.


Brody had formed a strong bond with the son of his captor as he taught him English and played with him. That bond dictated his journey during the first season of Homeland.


4. More questions

Despite the positive response towards Bergdahl's release, it has also brought up some questions. According to some reports he had wandered off the military base just before he was captured. 

Bowe was reportedly "disillusioned" when he went missing.

In an interview published in the Rolling Stone in 2012, Bowe's family shared Bergdahl's final email to his parents.

He said: "I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools... The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good seargeants are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same... These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.

Brody too became extremely disillusioned with the war after he realised that the US was responsible for the attack that killed his captor's son. His true motives often came into question upon his arrival back in the US - notably by Claire Danes' character, Carrie Mathison.


Source: New York Post, Daily Mail, Rolling Stone, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal