Season Three, Episode Seven
Remember when the first season was all suspense and action and the second season was a confused state of action and slow psychological explanations? Well, this is the third season and we’re getting a lot of slow psychological explanations from our characters. Saul is still at the center of attention here and he’s got a lot on his plate. He’s being replaced by Lockhart in ten days (I’m sure of this because they repeatedly said it), he wants revenge on Javadi, his relationship with Mira has fallen apart (though he doesn’t know it yet), yet him and Carrie are carrying out the plan because it’s the right play. Good for Saul. He’s been a favorite character throughout the years on the show, to the point where you can’t even dispute what he says or thinks anymore. Remember when we thought it was cruel for him for doing what he did to Carrie? Gotcha! It was all a part of the plan. How could you ever doubt Saul again?
But Homeland is attempting to plant seeds of doubt in your mind, because that’s what it does. You’re never supposed to be sure about anything here. Remember when Carrie and Brody snuck off to make out when the bomb went off at Langley? It couldn’t have been Brody, but just like that Javadi is stirring that pot again, enough to have Saul and Carrie question him. So we’re supposed to ask ourselves again: was Brody involved? Who did he hand the car keys to? And was he tipped to what was going to happen? Wasn’t it Carrie’s idea to sneak off in the first place? The Langley bombing was certainly a powerful and memorable moment in Homeland, but instead of moving forward from it the show is still stuck, stuck trying to somehow wind the story back to Brody.
On a positive note, the Brody family isn’t in the episode (Hallelujah!) and because of that everything flowed better than usual. Saul tells Javadi the plan of going back to Iran and theoretically working for the CIA. This pisses off Fara (enough to clench a pair of scissors!), but there is something else the crew has to deal with immediately. During the investigation of the murders of Javadi’s former family, Quinn is spotted on the neighbor’s security tapes (not Carrie or Javadi, but only Quinn). So the local police are on his ass, but they cannot compromise the plan they have going.
To further jeopardize the mission, Lockhart and Dar question the whereabouts of Saul. He’s forced to fully reveal what he’s been up to and while Lockhart and Dar are surprised, Dar sides with Saul in the end going against Lockhart’s wish to shut the plan down and bring Javadi to justice in America. The episode is filled with really good scenes and really good acting, something you can expect from Homeland every week. But what it’s lacking is a clear direction. Sure, Homeland needs to continue its misdirection to keep the audience on its toes and to keep surprising us, but at this point it’s not even necessary. What the show needs is to ground itself with a focused objective and to play it out event-by-event, situation-by-situation. Instead, we’re getting a lot of sad faces from Quinn expressing how he wants to quit, and uncertainty from Carrie about Brody’s involvement on the bombing.
So what’s next? We watch Javadi play out in Iran. Then we get more of the Carrie/Quinn team that is keeping this season alive as she searches for more answers about the Langely bombing and how Brody was or wasn’t a part of it. Then we watch Saul fight with Lockhart more, which by the way, Lockhart is a ridiculous character on this show. He’s as two-dimensional as they come and just because he brings up some decent concerns at how improbable Saul’s plan might seem, this is Saul we’re talking about. In the world of Homeland, you never doubt Saul! If only he could get his personal life together.
Last but not least:
- So Quinn sort of turned his back on the CIA pretty quickly. From bad-ass to softie within a few episodes doesn’t really work for me.
- Carrie’s pregnant, but not much here about it. Sure we’ll get more soon enough.
- Mira shacked up with Alain. How does Saul not have hidden cameras all over his house? Or I guess that would be too much.
- It’s funny how I was enjoying this Brody-less season to the point I forgot he’s still supposed to be relevant, and then that went out the window.