‘Homeland’: Good Night, and Good Luck

Published 11 months ago by

Tim Guinee Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes in Homeland Season 3 Episode 10 Homeland: Good Night, and Good Luck

[This is a review of Homeland season 3, episode 10. There will be SPOILERS.]

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It’s never a good sign when a series’ “previously on…” segment takes up such a sizable chunk of time that watching the actual episode afterward makes you feel like you’re midway through a binge-watching session. Normally, these things eat up a little bit of time just to make sure everyone’s on the same page; it starts to become troublesome when the segment is trying to explain or justify what has transpired.

Essentially, at this point in Homeland, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what is actually at stake in the series. Saul setting up his last-ditch effort to ensure the U.S. has its foot in the door with regard to its diplomatic future in Iran certainly has plenty of compelling, action-oriented moments in ‘Good Night,’ but as far as the audience having a clue as to what the big picture for the overall story of the season is, it feels like a bit of a crapshoot.

For one thing, the story is currently miles away from where the season started, and considering much of that was a rehash of storylines that’ve come before, then good for Homeland. But the story this season has been one mistaking complicated storytelling for something complex, nuanced, or intricate. With so much being piled onto a foundation that’s not necessarily built to handle such a load, it is no wonder the pre-episode recap is practically an episode unto itself.

Another bi-product of this kind of overstuffed storytelling is that much of the episode revolves around characters talking to each other about the plot, as if the writers needed an in-story version of the “previously on…” segment.

Now Homeland is typically as dialogue-heavy a show as you can get, but when no one is developing the plot or saying anything that feels compelling or particularly smart, then the whole thing starts to feel repetitive. The elements that are supposed to be important and at the forefront of the audience’s mind become tedious reminders of something they’ve already heard that hasn’t developed into anything significant.

F. Murray Abraham and William Sadler in Homeland Season 3 Episode 10 Homeland: Good Night, and Good Luck

Take Carrie’s pregnancy, for example. That plot point gets brought up in a conversation with Quinn in which he’s also reminding the audience that he shot Carrie at the end of ‘a red wheelbarrow‘; it’s all information everyone – including the characters – already has, and it’s being handled with face-time, which is different from actually dealing with the fallout or exploring the consequences of it.

Even Saul and Sen. Lockhart are guilty of it to a certain extent, rehashing their deal that pretty much puts any investigation into a Mossad agent spying on the acting head of the CIA on the furthest back burner possible.

But ‘Good Night’ at least has the tense action regarding Brody’s attempted insertion into Iran to fall back on. While much of the episode requires those in Washington to react to things happening on screen, that rather inert portion of the story is counteracted with Brody refusing to let an IED ruin his chances of getting across the border and into Iran. It’s uneven, but at least the Brody stuff is getting to something.

In that regard, Homeland continues to hint at another big event closing out the season with Nicholas Brody at the center. As the season heads into its final two episodes, it seems the series is heading toward the inevitable end of that character’s arc, but it’s something we’ve seen twice before. The show’s writers have gotten themselves out of a similar tight spot, but one has to wonder if the third time will be the charm or if it will just feel like enough is enough?

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Homeland continues next Sunday @9pm on Showtime.

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  1. Season 3 has been a bumpy ride, but it’s thrilling, I like the characters, and I’m enjoying it, frankly.

  2. Honestly believe this has been the best season of Homeland so far and that the reviewer is getting this one wrong especially when there are much better targets to be criticising like The Walking Dead which is a complete mess and sadly keeps getting worse. Homeland has brought in a tighter story line this season and cut out many of the weaker elements and like many Australians my wife and I can’t wait to see what awaits Brody in Iran.

  3. Absolutely agree, Mr Yeoman. Normally I would try to put it better myself but this week I cannot. So I will not.

    Suffice to say, it has gone from being a studious concentration in S1 to a wavering out the corner of my eye. The warnings were there. One particular line from an earlier episode related the CIA vulnerable to a common cold and yet Carrie was a contagion. It is dumbing itself down to blockbuster broadstrokes and now deserves to be recognised as such. Whatever finesse in storytelling/connectivity from the white board has long gone. What we are left with is exposition and reaction as characteristics from the principles.

    This show really had something at one point. From the moment of that reveal in the hotel room though… sigh.

  4. Kevin,
    Your comments about the “previously on” segment before this episode falls in line quite nicely with my feelings about Showtimes overall record for their “previously on” and also “on the next” segments.
    NEVER WATCH THEM!!!
    Dexter also suffered the same problem IMO because if you watched those there was really no need to watch the episodes because they either reveal to much or provide to many clues about what’s going to happen.
    So while I don’t avoid them all the time I try my hardest to do so.
    I’d much rather they apply the strategy that AMC does which is often kind of funny in the way they make no sense whatsoever.

  5. I hope the Brody/Carrie story arc ends this season, they have to come up with something really inventive and original if I’m to be watching another carrie/brody season.

    I hope they continue next seasin with Saul, Dar Adal and Quin and maybe Fara as main characters.
    Carrie is getting mighty annoying to watch.

    • mate..remebr carries is crazy?? as for the fact…crazy ppl r annoying arnt thy?? “Bite it hard” and continue watching… :p

  6. I liked this episode.

    But you knew bad things were going to happen to Brody’s jailmate (I even thought Brody himself was going to take him out to protect the mission).

    Carrie still irritates me, there’s no crying during covert ops!

    • Well the man she loves (yet fails to admit to it) might have died. You’d be struggling to hold back tears if you were in her situation.

  7. Homeland woukd be great if not for Carriecand Brody.

    • Homeland wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Carrie-Brody Arc.
      The same people complain week after week.
      Two weeks ago everybody figured Brody was going to be killed off.
      Damien Lewis put forth the best acing of his career in the last two episodes.
      The producers(one of which is Claire Danes)know what keeps this show popular,
      and the writers continue to amaze. That is why it continues to win all the awards every year. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

  8. if carrie/brody/saul/quin dies..thn am done with this show for good!!! and i love carrie-brody moments…hope thy ll be united from season 4 onwards…and work toghter or smthng like…

  9. I thought this was the best episode of the season. Although a big part of me kept hoping we’d get a spin-off show with those likeable Navy SEALs.

  10. Great episode, definitely tighter than previous episodes. Looking forward to this Sunday’s episode to see what Javadi will do with Brody in Tehran.