‘Homeland’: Famous In A Bad Way

Published 10 months ago by , Updated October 8th, 2013 at 9:53 am,

Claire Danes in Homeland Uh... Oh... Ah... Homeland: Famous In A Bad Way

So far this season, the characters on Homeland have found themselves dealing with the fallout of what the world believes to be the actions of Nicholas Brody primarily through surviving the scrutiny of those around them. That is to say, because characters like Carrie, Saul, Dana and even Jessica were so close to a man (officially or not) now labeled as a terrorist, a mass killer and the world’s most wanted fugitive, they now realize, in dramatically different ways, just how important their next steps will be, not only for their respective futures, but in the eyes of those around them.

During last week’s premiere, it was fairly clear that the CIA was being made an example of, and that Carrie, in her quest to push things in a different direction, had taken the inquiry of a Senate committee down a path no one was ready, willing or able to take things – which is to say, Carrie was ready to let it be known that there was one person in the United States intelligence community who didn’t think Brody parked an SUV packed full of explosives in front of Langley. Naturally, this sort of brash, and yet, very Carrie-like style of disseminating information, didn’t go over too well and by the time ‘Uh… Oh…  Ah…’ really gets underway, she’s back in a very familiar place.

Admittedly, seeing Carrie not at her best is one of the reasons Claire Danes finds it necessary to have plenty of empty mantle space, but it’s also worrisome to think that at the beginning of season 3 the writers have put one of their central protagonists back into the psychological tailspin she ended the first season narrowly pulling out of. The circumstances are somewhat different, and the outcome will hopefully be as well, so clearly there’s still some heavy dramatic material to be wrung from this scenario – but like everything Homeland has done since the end of season 1, there seems to be the need for some Russian gymnast-level flexibility to get out of the tight narrative spot the series finds itself in.

James Rebhorn in Homeland Uh... Oh... Ah... Homeland: Famous In A Bad Way

Thankfully, the extra layer this season seems to be the shifting focus on the various difficult positions of the other characters – sure, not in the emotionally and psychologically devastating positions of Carrie and Dana, but, for their parts, Jessica and Saul have had their worlds ostensibly turned upside down, and their response has been to make a move – and the question that Homeland seems to be asking is: How wrong were those moves?

The Brodys are definitely some distance from even discovering the right path, as it’s clear the discussion of Dana’s intentions hadn’t yet occurred until she dragged Jessica into the “remodeled” bathroom. The same can’t be said for Saul, however, after he winds up with a short lecture from Quinn about he direction of certain things in the CIA. This certainly seems to be the season’s position for both men, caught between what needs to be done and what they believe to be right; it’s not exactly a new problem, but how the decisions define these characters could prove interesting.

In the end, Saul apologizes to Carrie, and though she can barely form the words, there’s little in the way of acceptance there. Carrie’s relationship with Saul has been as important as the one between her and Brody, and fracturing it could result in an exciting arc for both of them this season.

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Homeland continues next Sunday with ‘Tower of David’ @9pm on Showtime. Check out a preview below:

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  1. I cannot stand Brody’s annoying daughter. Not one more season of whining. Could focus on someone else?

  2. Yea Season 3 is not off to a great start… Mental Daughter… Mental Carrie… Brody not in sight? It’s like they took everything that worked for the show (which maybe should have wrapped after a season or two) and decided to go in an entirely different direction. Hopefully it’ll get better.

  3. I was disappointed with this episode tbh. to me this show relies heavily on Damian Lewis performance to have him a complete no show for two episodes is worrisome, whats more so is spending two thirds of the freaking episode on Dana, who i can handle but only in small doses. As brilliant as Claire Danes is i’m sorry but their is only so much chin quivers and hyperventilating i can handle before it becomes to much. I did like Quinn in this episode though, i enjoy the shift in Saul, but he has become a total d-bag. hope to see improvement in the next episode this show is much better then what it put out last night.

  4. Brody needs to come back in a big way. He should help in finding out who the real culprits are, then get drafted into the CIA, and Carrie needs to get a pass and still be an agent, even though she has stability issues. She is one of the agency’s best assets. Saul turning heel kinda sucks, especially when he agreed with the other old guy to said that he was going to take care of Carrie. Still hoping this show gets back to its season one glory.

  5. Here is the thing. From a narrative point of view, it is absolutely correct to focus on how the family of Brody finds itself coping with all that has happened. Indeed, if the show didn’t even acknowledge it, the criticism following would be as equally valid. But, it is almost a footnote, an afterthought from the writers on the show itself, rattling off every cliche, that each scene should come with ‘obligatory’ watermarked. So if they cannot be bothered, why should we?

    As for Carrie, I can handle the somewhat repetitive nature of her predicament but only as long as it is a short term move of desperation from Saul. To drag it out for the entire season would be utterly dreadful. My suspicion though is it will go on for another episode or two before Brody breaks her out and the two of them conspire to go against the CIA together.

    Thankfully, Claire Danes is excellent. But if ever you wanted an episode to highlight what does and does not work about this show, a more perfect example one could not find.

    • My thoughts exactly. The weren’t kidding when they said that they’re taking notes from John le Carré’s playbook. The CIA being direct into a lapdog for the government(which was handle beautifully in SPOOKS.) after a great tragedy (Killing potential intel on orders, any intelligent organisation should have a mind of their own), Saul becoming something that he’s been avoiding to be, Quinn questioning his position and whether or not what they are doing is right or wrong and is it necessary, Carrie no longer believe in her job/lost faith from something she love-her job and Brody’s family, the civilian connected to all of this also affected by it even if they never asked for it.

      It might not feel big or epic but iit’s progressing nicely.

  6. I get it…Carrie is crazy. Dana has issues. Wow. Could we please move on??!! First two episodes were boring. Lets get to terrorism and bad guys, please!

  7. As I’ve said before I like and think that following the fallout of last year with Carrie and Brody’s family is both interesting and a natural progression of the story. I really do and I’m enjoying it a lot.
    But…
    I’m worried about the return of Brody.
    If we are just going to see what life is like for him on the run as the worlds most wanted man that’s fine but if he somehow gets involved with what’s going on with the CIA and Iran and that leads to double agent Brody again that might be a step to far IMO.
    I’m not saying that would make me stop watching because when Homeland is firing on all cylinders it’s one of the best shows on TV but there are times (pacemaker) when it can get silly and I don’t want to see that happen again just because they HAVE to keep Brody around.

  8. Dana is annoying
    Carrie is frustrating
    No Brody

    Basically the only complaints that people keep giving. Would you prefer plastic, unrealistic vanilla characters and cliche story arc from Whedon’s show instead?

    • Everyone’s complaining about these problems because we’ve all seen them before. Honestly. Carrie has been crazy both seasons. Dana may be my most hated character on television. They’re trying to bring a new story to Homeland but do it with the same bickering of Carrie and Dana. I love Homeland but this show just needs to end.

  9. I agree that Brody’s daughter is a bit annoying and honestly her being so involved in the story makes no sense. 99 percent of teenagers don’t give a crap about what there parents are up to so seeing her in every single episode is very bothersome!! But having said that its not nearly as bothersome as the over the top acting of Clare Daines!! I like what this show has to offer but I ABSOLUTELY CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE of the bug eyed, lip quivering, annoying, mentally unstable Carry!!!!! You cant have a television series where the main character is a NUT JOB!!

  10. The only good parts so far is Quinn doing his Jason Bourne impersonation and the new analyst doing her Jack Ryan impersonation.

    If I wanted to see teen angst/drama, I would be watching The CW or MTV… bah.

  11. This show was once awesome now it sucks

  12. The start of this season has been horrible. The plot lines they have set up could have taken half an episode , the rest has been boring and/or annoying. If they don’t make Carrie a somewhat functioning human being again then this series will be canceled by next season. Dana should have actually killed herself because that would have been satisfying not to see or hear her again. It’s like they have no clue where to go with all of this. If they do, filler episodes only turn us off. Wake up Homeland!

  13. For me it started getting bad mid-season 2. I stuck with it hoping Dana would die. She is just a bad actress. This season is horrible. I gave up after two episodes. If I hear it is getting good again I’ll catch up.

  14. I really have to check this show out. I hear so much about it all the time. Good and bad.

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