At least they’re throwing in some WHAT THE FUCK moments.
I don’t need or want to understand everything that is happening at any given time when watching Homeland. Part of the fun has always been trying (and inevitably failing) to understand motives, actions, even keeping straight who everyone is and who they’re affiliated with. One of my favorite scenes from the show was when Carrie jumped out of the van in Damascus, or Tel Aviv, or wherever and took off running, trying to track down some random piece of evidence implicating someone in something. The who and the why and the how were important at the time, but the details were difficult to pin down and were lost by the next episode. And while the details were critical at the time, what stuck with me was knowing that I would be desperately afraid just being in that city, and Carrie was completely fearless running through an unknown locale from unknown attackers with no escape plan. It was borderline ridiculous, but it skirted the line just enough to be breathtaking without being over the top.
This episode, while still being dragged a bit by the same issues that plagued its predecessors, had several moments that left me in the dust, which I enjoyed. The show can’t always be breakneck, which is understandable, since it would eventually derail completely. But the times when it steps on the gas can make for the fantastic entertainment that were the show’s hallmark for much of the first two seasons.
Of course most of the good shit from this episode centered around Saul’s op, and how it went, terribly, awfully, dreadfully wrong. Holy shit did Saul think he knew everything, and man did it blow up in his face, like C4 in a Nicky Brody SUV. The Magician (this Persian dude is the Magician, right? I think so) seems to be back on his heels when Carrie hits him with “the CIA is totally on your ass dude, and Saul has got you by the balls” play. As we get deeper into the episode, it begins to come out that there is far more backstory between Saul and Mr. Magic than he previously let on, and as much as he wants everyone to believe that this isn’t revenge, it sure as hell looks like it.
So the Magician fails to follow the path Saul has painstakingly laid out for him, deviating from the scheduled meeting spot with Carrie and instead heading to his ex-wife’s house. Saul extradited the ex-wife from Iran after the fall of the Shah, but Saul, how the hell don’t you know where she lives at now?!?!? Especially since it’s like five blocks from Carrie’s meeting spot with the Magician! Saul has let this Mira situation get to him, he’s definitely not bringing his A game. And it was a little convenient that the ex-wife was living so close, but I guess I’ll let it slide. At this point it’s clear that the Magician must have known that this was possibly how all of this would play out. But damn, the dude is brutal! Silenced pistol to the head of the nanny, then multiple broken bottle stabs to his ex-wife’s neck. That is one sliced up aorta. So Saul got his asset, but his entire world is crumbling around him, and I think there’s something bigger around the corner.
F. Murray (I have no idea what his character’s name is, and I think F. Murray would be a fine name for his character) is pulling some shady shit with the senator who is about to take over as CIA director (it seems a little fishy that the nomination confirmation would be a slam dunk, since that doesn’t really happen anymore in Washington, and this would be a controversial nomination no matter what, but whatever). It definitely seems like he’s on his way to cutting Saul completely out of the agency, but it isn’t clear if he knows exactly what Saul is up to. I think it would be a great turn for the show if Mr. Evil CIA Director, working with F. Murray, cut Saul completely off with his team, without the knowledge that they had the Magician. Or maybe the senator is working WITH the Magician? Homeland has never been shy about throwing in implausible scenarios and then running with them, I say they go for it.
Two other things to address, the first is simple. Dana Brody wants to change her last name to Jessica’s maiden name. Couldn’t we just have done this in episode one? Did we really have to go through five episodes of unbearable Dana-being-angsty-on-the-run-with-angsty-teen-boy filler? The answer is fuck no, we didn’t. I feel betrayed. Like Nick Brody betraying his country betrayed. Anyway, Dana is out, she’s moving on, hopefully to better written dialogue and a somewhat compelling story arc. I could see her as a young terrorist. What happened to the suicide vest? Not that she should blow herself up, it was just really fashionable.
The other is…holy shit wait for it…Carrie is pregnant! And she’s crazy, so she is peeing on a pregnancy test every day, for what looks like about 2-3 months! So what’s the timeline here, when did the explosion take place. Because I’m pretty sure it might have been about 2-3 months ago. And when was the last time she fucked Brody. Because…I’d say maybe 2-3 months ago?!? We’re gonna have a Brody Baby!!! I mean, probably. Because Carrie has been known to fuck like lots of random dudes and stuff, so it could be some random guy. But it’s Homeland, so I’d say it’s definitely Brody. Or Abu Nazir. Or Saul. If it’s Mike I’m out.
One last question, no one figured out that Carrie was pregnant when she was in the institution? Guess we can’t cover all the bases. Anyway, less Brody family drama, more fast-paced borderline ridiculous spy drama. I like it. Next episode cut off Saul, Carrie, Quinn, and Fara, reveal a connection between Senator Andy and the Magician and F. Murray, then sprinkle in some bald ginger Brody, and we’ll be good to go for the rest of Season 3. But they won’t really do that, will they?