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Homeland “The Yoga Play” Review (3×05)

28 Oct

627-1Now I’m starting to see why many people think the twist was unnecessary; this episode does a great job of milking the tension out of the uncertainty of situations, not just for the audience, but for the characters themselves. Too much of the first few episodes floundered due to the writers’ insistence on keeping us in the dark, and “The Yoga Play” is a prime example of why they shouldn’t have done it.

First off, we have Carrie, and her scenes have more of an impact this week because she has no idea what’s going on; she’s wondering if she blew her cover, she’s looking over her shoulder, and at episode’s end, she’s whisked away by the Iranians. It’s not something we haven’t seen before, but it’s nice having the show ramp up the tension as we head into the second half of the season. This is organic tension; it’s not tension for tension’s sake.

Speaking of tension, we also have Saul vs. Lockhart; sadly, Lockhart has no beard to compete with. While Carrie and Saul’s plan gave the show more of a direction, Lockhart’s lending it a sense of urgency. The plan has to be carried out quickly, because it doesn’t look like he’ll be giving much support. However, I admit that I do find the whole plot a bit strange; for example, why would Saul be invited to the retreat by his friend only to have his job swept out from under him? In addition, while I enjoy Saul berating Lockhart, the scene comes across as a bit cliched.

Of course, no one can touch Dana Brody. Her storyline with Leo is insufferable yet again, but thankfully it comes to a close. Dana’s dream of a utopia is no more, and now we can get to the more interesting dynamics between her and Jess (as long as it doesn’t descend into more soap opera antics).

Still, the last 10 minutes or so contain some good old-fashioned tension: score pounding in the background, Carrie being strip searched, and Saul’s final trenchant line: “She’s always been alone.” And so it is, Saul. So it is.

GRADE: B

OTHER  THOUGHTS:

-I like Jess reaching out to Carrie; it’s understandable that her opinion of Carrie has changed, and it’s a nice scene for Baccarin.

-Baccarin and Saylor seem to be trying to emulate Danes’ cry face.

-Saul, you should’ve just shot the guy when he gave you the news. Then, go the Cheney route.

-I was disappointed The Yoga Play didn’t involve Virgil and Max doing yoga.

-Quinn’s pretty cool.

-Sorry for the briefness. I wanted to get it up quickly.

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

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3 Responses to “Homeland “The Yoga Play” Review (3×05)”

  1. JustMeMike October 28, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Hallelujah!

    Just like Saul and Carrie’s secret plan explained all of the Carrie contretemps as just a plan to entice the Iranians into approaching her, it left as us with the thought that we were just conned, or hoodwinked, or more simply – fooled for nearly all of the first four episodes.

    Now that Dana has arrived home safely and Leo has been rendered into a historical artifact – we are left with another thought – that the whole Dana/Leo story was simply a waste of time. That’s the bad news.

    The good news is that apparently it is over. Dana to Jess: I’m okay – really!.

    Question – if Virgil was under wraps in the previous episode, how come he wasn’t this time. Or did they drop the surveillance on him because they figured out his coded message to Carrie?

    Finally – and this was the best part of your review – Did Saul really have to go on a hunting trip to sit in a duck blind and be told that the guy who criticized the CIA relentlessly is now going to running it? That seemed like it might have happened without everyone going off to shoot birds. By the way – I’ll bet no one saw that coming either.

    I might also ask why did Saul ask Peter Quinn to keep an eye on Carrie – then when the stuff went down, he told Peter to back off – rendering all of that as wasted time as well.

    But at least we are getting some activity/action.

    What did you make of Javadi watching a young mother and child? .

    • polarbears16 October 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      Those are good questions. I’m not sure about the Virgil one–maybe I’ll skim through the episode to see if I missed anything. As for Quinn, here’s my take. Carrie was being surveilled by both the Iranians and the Quinn, and Saul needed to continue the surveillance up until that final moment because otherwise, the Iranians would suspect something was up. Then, they never would’ve taken her to Javadi, and everything would fall apart in Saul’s plan. Quinn intervening wouldn’t really help at all, as everything hinged upon Carrie getting face-to-face time with Javadi.

      I’m not sure what to make of Javadi watching a young mother and child. It could just be a strange fixation of his, or some kind of symbolic connection to the Brodys, etc.

      Also: another thing on Saul. I’m not sure why he even expected to be given the job. He was successful in completing one mission, but he was still part of the agency that allowed Brody to get away and a bomb to blow up in the CIA.

      • JustMeMike November 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

        Hi PB –

        I’m back home and caught up with Homeland. About 3 x 05 – Seems like the cons keep on coming.

        First Javadi watching the small child and the woman who comes out to get him. Clearly we have no idea as to who they are. We come to find out later. But, how does Javadi have this location (all this time) and how did he get the info?

        Dana and Leo – again we were conned. The whole Yoga Play itself was great trade craft and spy stuff – just marvelous. But if it was all about Carrie getting in FBI Agent Hall’s face – what was the point? No agency or police activity located Dana. Dana simply didn’t want to spend another minute with lying Leo. She attempted to get of the car, there was a near accident, and the police showed up for that and Dana turned herself in.

        While the hunting trip was superfluous – Lockhart thought he needed the isolation in order to give Saul the double edged news – a) you’re not getting named as Director, I am, and b) Play ball or you won’t have a job.

        That was all just TV trade craft. (IMHO).

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