It’s been a while since we last checked in officially on Homeland, so it’s time to see how the story is unfolding and whether Dana (Morgan Saylor) has been eaten by a cougar.
Let’s bitch it out…
The last few episodes of the Showtime’s most critically acclaimed series have been deliciously Dana free. Can’t you just taste the difference? I kid (mostly), but the absence of the Brody family has definitely allowed the writers to focus the story and trim the unnecessary deviations. Dana should have sought emancipation earlier!
It’s not as though the family drama has completely dissipated – if anything it’s shifted over to other unlucky female characters. I’m thinking primarily of Mira (Sarita Choudhury) – whose paramour (in true 24 fashion) has been revealed to be a mole – but we can lump Fara (Nazanin Boniadi) in, as well. In her completely standalone storyline, Fara’s father chides her for betraying their relatives who will be killed if her position at the CIA ever comes out. The impact of these stories is different from Dana’s ridiculous stolen car escapade, however, because they tie more directly into the main plot of the story.
Fara’s, in particular, is interesting because it’s our first real insight into her character. We’ve known she’s good with finances and she speaks the necessary language, but apart from that she’s mostly just received verbal abuse after the events of last season’s finale. This new situation humanizes her, even if it does feel a bit desperate to have her adamantly shout her father down that she is now “American”. This is still connected to what happened in 3×06 ‘Still Positive’ when Javaldi (Shaun Toub) murdered his ex-wife and daughter-in-law, though – it will have an impact on Fara’s decision making process when she returns to work (Side Note: Thank goodness the writers didn’t have her attack Javaldi with the knife when he left the safe house in 3×07 ‘Gerontion’. It definitely would have happened on 24, though).
Mira, I’m less forgiving of. I’m curious to know if this new twist makes audiences feel more responsive to the increased screentime the character has received this season. I’ve never liked Mira – she’s always been an uninteresting character to me and her domestic issues with Saul have never captured my attention. This new wrinkle makes her seem stupid and guilty of contributing to Saul’s – and the CIA’s by extension – downfall. The scene with her lover sitting in the car examining the information as she unpacks groceries seems purposefully designed to make us wonder if she’ll clue in that someone was in her house, and when she doesn’t, it just makes me dislike her even more!
Minor quibbles aside, however, these last few hours of Homeland have been downright enjoyable. The unpleasantness of the Saul/Carrie ret-con from 3×04 ‘Game On’ and Carrie’s out of the blue pregnancy can be forgiven because things seem back on track. Carrie’s desperation to catch the Langley bomber before Franklin (Jason Butler Harner) kills him brings Brody (Damian Lewis) back into the picture moments before we see Saul visit him in person, still trapped in the closet we last saw him back in 3×03 ‘Tower Of David’. Again, it’s a nice symmetry and the reverberations of both Carrie’s and Saul’s respective pursuits in ‘A Red Wheelbarrow’ will have significant implications moving forward: Carrie’s mental health issues should spike now that Quinn (Rupert Friend) – the closest thing to a friend she has – has acted on Dar Adul’s (F. Abraham Murray) order to shoot her and it’s unclear how Brody will factor into Saul’s plans to elevate Javadi in the Iranian military.
Add in the recent complications involving Leland Bennett (Martin Donovan) and the intel Mira’s lover stole from Saul’s computer and we’ve got plenty of fires to put out in the remaining episodes of the season.
- I seriously doubt Saul would actually keep anything important on that computer considering how accessible it is. Homeland has a tendency to ask us to accept these stupid inconsistencies in order to tell larger, more interesting stories, but it would be great if stuff like this didn’t need to happen
- Kudos to Carrie for coming clean on the lithium and drinking during the early weeks of her pregnancy. You can practically see the OBGYN reaching for the ABORT button, but I like how her comments about how Carrie can no longer make individual decisions carries into Carrie’s refusal to back down as Franklin goes in for the kill. In Carrie’s mind the bomber was the only way to get Brody back and raise their child together. Now that option is gone…
- I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want the “Inspector General” to swing by my house if I miss a few days at work and calmly infer that my absences are disloyal to the nation
- Obviously I’m biased, but can’t we have someone as talented as Tim Guinee do more than just repeat commands over the mission headset? I know I say this each time he appears as Scott Ryan, but come on!
- Finally…oh hang on, I just got a text: “So much depends on…” Hmm – wonder what that means?
Thoughts on Homeland and any of the episodes between the last Quick Take and this one? Miss Dana? Like Mira? What is Saul up to in Venezuela? How will Carrie react to a) being shot and b) losing the prospect of Brody returning? Will Senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts) cause a stink about being taken out of the inner sanctum? Will we see more of Leland Bennett? Hit the comments below
Homeland airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showtime