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What Homeland Can Learn From Other Teen TV Hit-and-Runs

Homeland does many things well. It's suspenseful and incredibly well acted. But Homeland is not a teen show, and that's why the recent Dana-Finn hit-and-run story line, which [spoiler] sort of resolved itself last night when the teens told their parents, has seemed so awkward and out of place. It's straight out of a high-school show! In fact, it's straight out of several high-school shows. Perhaps Homeland can pick up a tip or two.

1. On Degrassi: The Next Generation, perpetual bad-boy Sean gets involved with street racing (like you do), and winds up hitting a jogger. He and his scummy pals try to keep it a secret, but Sean confesses to his on-again-off-again girlfriend Emma, who convinces him to go to the police. Which he does. And then he goes to prison, where he is repeatedly beaten, and then he gets a terrible lawyer who doesn't help him even though it's Canada, and then he finally gets out and some time later joins the Army.

What is the lesson here for Dana and Finn? Get a legit lawyer, and don't be poor. (Sean is poor.) This is pretty standard legal advice for all Americans in all circumstances.

2. The keep-the-car-accident-a-secret story line gets cheesier than Degrassi. It happened on Saved by the Bell, though mercifully Zack et al. didn't kill anyone. He did, however, drive drunk, and eventually faced the worst punishment of all, a loss of coolness at the hands of his father.

What is the lesson here for Dana and Finn? The longer you go without 'fessing up, the more your mean dad will rip you a new one. Despite his son being afraid of him, Vice-President Walden took a “send him away and maybe we’ll discuss it later” approach to his son’s transgression.

3. Even sad, reheated new 90210 has gone to this well. The once-prim Annie gets drunk and hits something, and later discovers that she hit a person, and he died, and oh hey, one of his nephews goes to her school. She befriends said nephew, they have a terrible romance (though he kind of saves her from a date rape at one point?), her friends all hate him, and eventually she confesses to her new romantic interest that she killed someone. She finally tells her folks and apparently the police, and then spends a summer under house arrest.

What is the lesson here for Dana and Finn? Love does not go well with deadly car accidents. This romance is doomed, doomed, doomed.

Photo: Showtime