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Homeland “Game On” Review (3×04)

21 Oct

627-11Just a few quick bullets coming up…

-So, the show finally has a direction now. With the reveal at episode’s end, we can finally kick the season into high gear.

-I’m not sure how I feel about the actual reveal, though. It’s implausible and, quite frankly, ridiculous, and it reeks of the writers playing a game with the audience. They had to come up with something to kick-start the season, and it seems almost as if they expect the twist to justify everything that’s happened so far and the audience to completely like Carrie/Saul again, even if it shouldn’t. The dynamic between the two has changed, and we need to see that later on; this season held off far too long on the expanding on Saul and Carrie’s relationship.

-On the other hand, the plot twist is necessary. The writers wrote themselves into a hole, and it’s intriguing where we’re going next. I don’t buy this being the plan all along, as Alex Gansa implied in a recent interview, but we’ll see where we go next.

-I’ve seen grumblings that if Carrie knew the plan, why she acts like she doesn’t: banging her head, refusing to meet with the lawyer, finding out her accounts have been frozen. Some of these I find strange, but it’s also very realistic that if she’s placed in a mental hospital, she’ll lash out. She actually has to deal with all this crap even though she really isn’t dealing with it, and she eventually questions whether or not the plan is real. That final scene is one in which she tries to find reassurance.

-No matter whether you like the plot twist or not, I’m sure we can all agree that the final scene is wonderful just for Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes alone. Fantastic work there for them both. The fundamental relationship of this show really isn’t Brody-Carrie at all; Saul’s the one that’s always been there for her, the one that’s necessary to her being. Brody’s more like a drug, someone Carrie gets pulled in by and can never escape from.

-I’m enjoying Saul and Fara’s dynamic, and I like how it’s incorporating the (not present in this episode) Brody into the proceedings. He’s connected to the home front, and it’s interesting to see where his character goes next.

-Saul’s using Dar Adal.

-Dana and Leo are now driving off to cemeteries to recite poetry. Jeez, this is terrible. I sense the writers are drawing parallels: Dana as Carrie, Leo as Brody to Dana and Saul to Carrie. However, Dana’s inherently more interesting when she’s interacting with those involved in the main plot. Hopefully she punts him off a bridge sometime in the season.

-Mike is here. Whatever.

Credit to Showtime and Homeland for all pictures. I own nothing.

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