‘Homeland’: A Drawer Full of Complications

Published 12 months ago by

Claire Danes in Homeland Still Positive Homeland: A Drawer Full of Complications

[This is a review of Homeland season 3, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Prior to watching ‘Still Positive,’ one might assume the title of the episode had something to do with Carrie and Saul and their gritty pursuit of Majid Javadi, and, likely, the belief that such a pursuit will yield something positive with regard to who carried out the bombing on Langley at the end of last season. While all of that sounds like a distinct possibility – and still makes a little sense even after having seen the episode – Homeland has other uses for the title; namely, trying to maintain some kind of emotional connection between Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody.

Last we saw of Brody, he was down in Venezuela, preparing to waste away in the Tower of David with a complimentary Junkie Starter Kit and a pedophilic doctor peering into his soul. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., his family is wasting away, too. Jessica is struggling to keep their head above water, while also dealing with the ramifications of her husband’s supposed involvement in the aforementioned Langley bombing – though there hasn’t been too much indication that the neighborhood is coming after them with pitchforks and torches, so apparently some of the fervor over what transpired has died down somewhat.

Naturally, that’s not the case with Dana, who’s been dealing with what her father has become by doing everything in her power to get out of being Dana Brody. The season began in the aftermath of her suicide attempt, which was promptly followed by a dramatically inert interlude between her and Leo Carras – played by Dexter‘s former protégé Sam Underwood. Following her return home from that excursion, Dana’s next move became to change her name and leave the house, as she simply can’t handle being Dana Brody anymore. Once she leaves, the Brody clan is, for all intents and purposes, now numbering two.

Mandy Patinkin Claire Danes and Rupert Friend in Homeland Still Positive Homeland: A Drawer Full of Complications

But what surprise is lingering in an episode that sees yet another highly-sought after enemy of the United States running around inside the country with near impunity? Why the revelation that Carrie is hiding a drawer full of pregnancy tests (all of which are reading positive), of course. Because, you know, she’s still positive.

On one hand, perhaps this helps explain why Carrie has been off her meds for so long. But then again it strains the credulity of the already maxed-out suggestion that she and Saul had been planning her visit to the mental institution since the day after the bombing, as that would imply that her time there was free of people doing anything remotely related to medical science on her – let alone putting her back on medication.

The implication, then, could be that Homeland is again deliberately leading the audience down the wrong path, and that this pregnancy has nothing to do with Brody – the writers only want viewers to briefly think it does. Of course, Brody’s kid or not, all of this is an attempt to make the former Sgt. relevant in the minds of those watching, and, apparently to pile more emotional weight onto a character that has handled far more than her fair share. It’s still possible that Carrie’s pregnancy could yield some kind of positive result for this season’s storyline, but after all that’s happened, it smacks too much of the writers trying too hard to pull another fast one on the viewers.

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

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  1. where the hell is Brody?

    • A prisoner in Venezuela.

  2. What is going to be fascinating is how Saul responds to all this. I suggested last week that now he knows his time is coming to an end, it would in itself set a barometer for just how far he is going to push his own agenda for resolution at the risk of others under his employ. What we saw last night was the beginning of such recklessness, certain as he was in the response of people he perceived to have known. It is a nice balance. The utter lack of control in his situation at home and the complete uncertainty of where his professional future lies lending itself to the seeking of misguided absolution in whatever time he has left to actually exert some control. The other facet to this is that Quinn and only Quinn seems to be aware of this spiral. More and more then, Quinn is becoming the rogue element to this entire scenario.

    As for Dana, like everyone else suggests, it is a momentum killer but I still absolutely maintain that it is necessary for the show to highlight the personal fallout of a family that has the burden of their father being the most wanted man in America. The execution naturally is dreadful and lessons seem to have been learned (note how the son, in change from last season, barely has a single word during this one). But the Dana storyline has essentially reached its conclusion now. The only time then to come back to the family would be at the time the show reintegrates Brody conclusively. What must not happen is contrivance on storyline where Dana ends up in some teenage angst scenario (again) in her new place of home (eventually leading to a trite reunion with mother and brother). It would absolutely kill the goodwill offered these past two episodes.

    Whatever the case, I am interested again. But ‘Homeland’ walks a very fine line these days, so that interest will forever be tempered with caution.

  3. I don’t agree with the statement that this pregnancy strains our credulity regarding Carrie and Saul’s plan because, as Claire Danes said herself in the “Inside Look” following the show “She is engaging in some magical thinking here” that each new day could possibly free her that positive reading. Because of this, I don’t believe it’s also a stretch for her to be able to rationalize away other concerns related to the baby. That same segment also gave me the idea that they weren’t trying to attribute the baby to Brody (didn’t the clip they showed at that point show one of her random hook-ups or was it Brody?). In any case, I’m still totally on board for this show. I do hope that Dana’s subplots have been resolved more or less so we don’t have to slog through those bits while we scream for a peek at Brody.

  4. How is this season going? I didn’t really have time for it because of Farscape. So I wonder whether go first for this or Person of interest which I missed as well.

  5. Someone called the Carrie pregnancy from the preview trailer… good job.

    I really don’t like the Dana storyline, or maybe I just don’t like Dana… too pouty, too emotional, too much distraction from the show.

    What will be interesting with Javadi is if he will say if Brody was really involved with the Langley bombing. I have my doubts.