I’ve combined these two episodes not only because I didn’t have the time to write two separate reviews, but because these were the best two hours of the season thus far.
Let’s just get this out of the way first: The plot and it’s developments are stupid and overly absurd. Even for a show that’s supposed to go above and beyond, the plot is outrageous. A lot of what happens is to serve the purpose of “what needs to happen for dramatic reasons.”
Carrie would have been fired too many times for her to still have that level of clearance. Brody would never have been able to recover that quickly. A miracle drug… really? Sending Brody into save the day? Somebody has out stayed their welcome. Saul’s wife’s “friend” has been running a long con spy op for the Senator? Please. Carrie taking him off base twice? No way.
But the reasons, despite these flaws, the show nailed it with these episodes are two simple word: simple and focused. Sure the ideas were big, but the execution was simple. Everything was completely focused. Carrie and Brody. Saul and his mission. Even with locations and story lines it was cut down. It only focused on the ongoing momentum at CIA headquarters. Our time wasn’t wasted with frivolous plots, such as Dana.
Dana was even used appropriately. Somebody had mistakenly decided that since she was interesting and engaging in scenes with her father that giving her a plot line of her own was a good idea. We all know that to be false, but we were reminded of why they even had that idea in the first place. Her scene with Brody in the hotel room was fantastic. It was tense, scary, sad, happy, and just overall emotional.
Additionally, the acting in these episodes were top notch. From Brody’s withdrawal, to Saul’s stone cold negotiating techniques, to Carrie’s balance of paranoid pregnant woman/calm presence to Brody, this was a solid two outing in Homeland world.
Is this my favorite season? No, but it is shaping up to be a successful back half of a season. So, with two more episodes, let’s see it they can keep up the good work.
Keep on Watchin’