Art Imitates Life

Toward the end of Season 1, the plot of this show took an interesting turn, highlighting the grievances of some FBI agents (who took their grievances too far according to the show).

This faction within the FBI was disgusted with the endless corruption, beginning with its plan to blackmail Martin Luther King, its botching of the Waco incident, and its infiltration of radical militias in order to encourage them to carry through with attacks. The show insinuated that this happened in Oklahoma City, but we have more real evidence of incitement and entrapment for about a dozen cases. Even the Rolling Stone ran a story on that: “How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists.”

But as we know, FBI corruption and hypocrisy predate the latest scandals, and go all the way back to J. Edgar Hoover himself, who threatened and persecuted homosexuals while after hours he was a drag queen running around in pink tutus (which is fine as long as one is not a hypocrite).

Season 2 begins with a bang. Some of the characters moved from the FBI to the CIA. The show is about how a “rogue” group within the CIA (but is actually, in real life, above it), carries out terror attacks for various reasons. In the show, no one really knows who the bad guys are, and everyone suspects everyone else. True Believers end up being traitors; traitors are patriots; and patriots are suspect. It’s a merry-go-round.

We don’t really need Hollywood to tell us that the FBI and CIA, instead of protecting the bulk of mainstream society, are serve power (its abuse, mostly), and that these institutions are mostly filled with careerists who threaten the very values they pretend to protect.

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