Sam: Finally! The Homeland I’ve been waiting for is back. How can we not start at the end?
Did you see Carrie playing an undercover role here at all? Did she not seem off her rocker, for real? All the promos and stories so far this season have pitted Carrie against Saul, and I didn’t think for a minute they might be in on the whole thing together.
Damn it. Continue reading “Game On” for Homeland: the twists return
Jay Pinho: OK, so here goes…
I have to be honest: this was probably my least favorite episode of Homeland this season. There are way too many flaws to remember off the top of my head, but here are a few of my initial complaints:
1) If there’s one scene that embodies all the problems raised by this episode, it’s the one where Carrie finds the secret passageway in the tunnels and her companion improbably moves in alone without even bothering to inform his colleagues right away, never mind wait for backup. That moment was so single-handedly ridiculous I couldn’t believe it was actually happening while I was watching it — it played off every horror movie cliche, and the fact that he was killed was just about the most predictable TV death in recent history. Not a good look for Homeland. On the bright side, it did lead to my favorite online comment of the year (which can be seen below Alan Sepinwall’s typically spot-on review):
I was totally with it until Carrie did the job of like a hundred SWAT teams and then out-muscled Abu Nazir immediately after he’d slit the throat of a large man. Might I add that Carrie weighs like 90 pounds, hadn’t slept in two days and has a diet that consists of Chinese takeout, her father’s sandwiches and vegetarian lasagna. Oh, and she’d been in a car wreck less than two days ago. That was really the best they could think of? I hope the writers do some serious soul-searching before season 3 starts.
2) Again, Saul’s naiveté is quickly morphing into “unbelievably stupid” territory. If he really does believe that Estes and Quinn are plotting Brody’s assassination — as we know is the case — then would he really bring all this up publicly, again and again, revealing how much he knows and thereby endangering himself? That scene with the polygraph test — while showing off, once again, Mandy Patinkin’s incredible acting — was just not credible: what does Saul get out of openly accusing Estes of running an off-the-books black ops plan to kill Brody? Saul’s a veteran spy; in no universe does his insistence on getting himself into deeper trouble make any sense.
One last note re Saul: I really did like the way he completely disappeared from the storyline for the remainder of the episode after his scene with Estes. It was a good matching of form to content, as in: what would the show look like without Saul? Obviously, he’s not actually going to disappear — at least, not like that — but it was interesting to see that the CIA accomplished the single greatest goal Saul and Carrie had been working toward (getting Abu Nazir), and yet Saul was portrayed as a complete sideshow to it by the end of the episode. It was as if Estes’ plan to isolate him were already being enacted. If Estes and Saul somehow both survive the season finale next week, I really hope the show never finagles some twisted way to get them back in each other’s good graces again. In my opinion, the Saul-Estes relationship has passed a point of no return: there’s just too much mutual suspicion for them to ever go back to the way they were, so I hope the show never tries that. Continue reading “In Memoriam” to a once-stellar series? Sam Lim and I discuss Episode 11 of Homeland
Last night’s episode of Homeland was crazier than ever, in both good ways and bad. As fellow obsessives of the Showtime series, First Casualty contributor Sam Lim and I usually follow up each weekly episode with a series of frantic emails back and forth to digest what just happened in the preceding hour. This time, I decided (with Sam’s permission) to put (a slightly edited version of) them up on the blog, which we’ll be doing for the last two episodes of Season 2 as well. Without further comment…
Sam Lim: Where to start with this week’s episode…did NOT see Carrie getting abducted by Abu Nazir. Smashing a car in public and then dragging away a woman seems like it’d garner a lot more attention than it did, no? And where the heck did Abu Nazir have time to find an abandoned mill on his own?
Jay Pinho: Damn! Wow…another veryyy twisty episode. Here are a couple random thoughts:
1) Homeland keeps surprising me. Every time I think I’ve figured out where it’s going to go next, it seems to anticipate what that is and goes in another direction instead. Case in point: Carrie getting captured. Like you said, that was completely out of the blue. I expected the rest of the season to have a storyline involving Carrie finding out about the plan to assassinate Brody, and trying to warn him. Actually, that might still happen, but if so, the show is taking a really interesting/circuitous route to get there. Continue reading “Broken Hearts” on Homeland: Sam Lim and I discuss Episode 10
You’ll never guess why he finds the Showtime series so unrealistic: