Tag Archives: Peter Quinn Homeland

Homeland “A Red Wheelbarrow” Review (3×08)

18 Nov

627-1Just a few quick thoughts…

-The show can still deliver entertaining spy sequences, as exasperating as it must be to see Carrie yet again disobey orders. Then again, I feel like her relationship with Brody has transcended the normal “We love each other so much!” angle. Now, it’s mostly about being right. Carrie places a burden on herself to save literally everyone from everything bad, so that’s why she spent so much effort in season 1 to try and take him down. After their season 2 relationship, her reputation and support system took a hit.

I’m not entirely sure she actually wants a family at this point–she’s indecisive right now–but she needs an end goal to keep functioning, and the idea of a happy ending is what she wraps her mind around. She therefore has to prove Brody’s innocence and has to prove they can be a couple, because that’s what everyone was criticizing her for. It’s like an “I’ll show you!” attitude that’s connected to her need for emotional connection, in this case to Brody.

-Nevertheless, I cheered when Quinn shot her. Danes also does fantastic work with the fallout from that (“No shit, you shot me.”).

-I like the Fara storyline, even if it’s not terribly exciting. It’s intriguing seeing her home life and her internal conflict, and not only do I see a Carrie parallel, but I also see a Brody one. It’s actually a fairly similar situation as Brody’s, aside from the whole bomb thing: she’s caught between her two countries, Iran and America, and there’s a family element in there.

-I’m rolling my eyes at Mira’s lover being a spy of some sort; it just reeks of “PLOT TWIST!” Is he the bomber? Honestly, I don’t really care.

-Saul and Mira’s relationship is alright. On the one hand, it’s a good personal story that reflects how Mira’s his weakness, but on the other hand, I find myself bored by those scenes.

-Yeah, this whole Javadi plot is really implausible.

-I’m curious to see what Saul’s plan with Brody is. I assume we’ll be seeing a lot more of Brody from now on, and hopefully the writers can craft an intriguing storyline that effectively brings him back into the fold.

-I have a feeling this pregnancy is going to end in a miscarriage.

-Sorry for the lateness of this post, as well as the rushed points; I would like to expand on some, but it’s been a long day for me. Anyway, just a scheduling note: next week’s review will go up a day or two afterward, as the “Boardwalk Empire” finale takes precedence.

GRADE: B+

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

 

 

Homeland “Gerontion” Review (3×07)

11 Nov

627-19Just a few quick bullets coming up here…

-I think it’s really nice seeing how both Javadi and Quinn question Saul’s tactics past and present; as much as Carrie/Saul are a great team, there’s no doubt that he put her through a whole lot of shit. It’ll be interesting seeing that Saul-Quinn dynamic play out with Carrie caught in the middle and Lockhart off doing whatever in the middle of nowhere.

-Going off that last point, Lockhart’s cartoonish, but he makes legitimate points (not to mention being pretty hilarious). Underneath that exterior is a voice of reason, but he isn’t seen as a legitimate threat, more of an annoying child that needs to be in a timeout; this might come back to bite Saul in the ass sometime. Or, at least hopefully it does, because Saul shouldn’t always come out on top. Nevertheless, it’s a nice parallel drawn to Quinn’s storyline, where the police just ask him point blank if the CIA’s actions are really justified.

-That Quinn interrogation is a really fantastic scene. What I like about it the most is that it’s an interrogation that consists of absolutely no BS. No one’s trying to manipulate anyone into saying what needs to be said; it’s just one person bluntly asking another, “Why the hell are you doing all of this?” Also, nice cameo by Clark Johnson there.

-That stuff with Saul and Dar locking Lockhart in the conference room? Priceless.

-However, I’m not entirely sold on the whole Javadi plan. Frankly, it’s a bit implausible and way too easy, not to mention it undercuts many of the previous scenes.

-“Senator Lockhart managed to get himself locked in the conference room. Can you get facilities to let him out?” I’m really happy they’re strengthening the dynamic between those two bearded folks, even though I do feel like Dar’s a guy that’s just going to play sides.

-I like the focus on Saul this season, but I’m not sure we need to see all that cheesy homefront stuff.

-I’m happy they’re organically bringing Brody back into the fray, rather than coming up with some quick contrivance to do so. I’d rather have him not here, but I admire the restraint by the writers; or, who knows, maybe they just don’t have anything for him to do.

-No Dana, Jess, or Chris. This is a good thing.

GRADE: B+

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

Homeland “Still Positive” Review (3×06)

4 Nov

627-22So, we’re finally back on track? Yes and no. I’m happy the show is going back to its good old fashioned spy roots and trying to milk tension out of that, but I also can’t help but worry Javadi will go down the Abu Nazir villain path, especially considering the events of this episode. Hopefully there’s some more nuance and buildup for him rather than have his whole character be destroyed in one fell swoop (a la Abu Nazir late last season). I think the connection to Saul might help with making him more interesting, but I also feel like the whole “murdering the ex-wife and daughter in law” scene is a bit unnecessary.

Still, I like the focus on Saul this season; it’s not just the Carrie Mathison adventures now, and the show’s exploring his marriage problems and how he overcompensates with his job. Add on to that his ties to Javadi and you’ve got a boiling pot of Angry Beard.

As for Dana, I’m glad she’s starting to take control of her situation, but then again, this all makes her seem like an asshole and Jess an awful parent. It’s better than Dana and Leo frolicking through cemeteries and reading each other poetry, but it’s not particularly great; still, hopefully this means we’ll pull back on the Brody family for a bit.

And of course, Carrie’s pregnant. This is a really frustrating storyline already because 1) Watching Carrie Mathison, CIA agent is a lot more fun than watching Carrie Mathison, Mom. Her interactions with Javadi in this episode prove that point….and 2) The fact that she has that many pregnancy tests suggests that she’s known for a while now…you know, during that time in which she had sex with random strangers, drank a lot, and got shot up with lithium while in a mental hospital. Yes, she’s self-destructive, but come on, show; this is extreme.

Still, I enjoyed this episode; it’s a well-constructed, fast-paced episode that paves the way for some intriguing storylines.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Chris Brody did nothing in this episode.

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

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

OTHERĀ  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.

Homeland “Uh… Oh… Ah…” Review (3×02)

7 Oct

homelanddThe writers have written themselves into a corner with Carrie Mathison, but what an intriguing corner it is. She’s deluded herself into thinking she needs to save everyone, yet also is wary of anyone that shows one inkling of kindness toward her. It’s truly a fascinating look into a case of paranoia, and like I said last week, it’s not an imitation of what she’s been through before. I’m interested in seeing how Brody factors into all of this next week.

The episode closes with a devastating shot of Carrie, mumbling a simple epithet at Saul before turning away and squeezing her eyes shut. It’s a quiet moment, unlike the previous 45 minutes of her going bonkers. It’s clever what the show is doing here, making it seem more and more deserving of our main character to receive the accusations that have been piled upon her. There are no villains in this season; there may be assholes, but what’s interesting is that they’re justified. There’s a tug-of-war battle going on between Saul and Carrie, as well as the CIA and Carrie, and it’s hard to fully sympathize with her because what she did really is unforgivable.

These effects continue to reverberate throughout the show, starting with Saul and his always magnificent beard. I feel like the show goes too far this week, as he berates a Muslim aide in his office. The xenophobia is understandable, but Saul’s never been the kind of person who gets angry over these kinds of things. Not to mention, it all makes him look like a complete jerk.

On the homefront, we devote tons of time to Dana and her boyfriend. Now, I think I appreciate the Brody family more than I enjoy it. The family was always more compelling when it was a foil for Brody, and now that he’s gone, I appreciate the show exploring the fallout. However, Dana’s boyfriend is annoying, and the fact will always remain that they were all more interesting when Brody was around. Still, an extremely powerful moment comes when Dana lays it all out in the bathroom to Jess. Dana’s turning elsewhere because she feels like she can’t trust the people around her, especially those she used to be close to. Jess is extremely frustrated because Dana’s boyfriend is becoming the very thing she wants to be: Dana’s emotional savior*. That’s expected, of course.

Dana’s storyline ties into Carrie’s really well, although the two characters haven’t crossed paths much. They’re both lost and emotionally drained, and there’s no way out.

GRADE: B-

Other thoughts:

-*That does only work for Jess’s side, though. I’d say Dana’s boyfriend is more of a crutch; he’s holding her up, but it’s pretty flimsy. Dana’s afraid that if he leaves, she’ll have to go through what she went through all over again. She fancies the idea of him more than she does the actual person.

-The episode is once again pretty slow, although it’s too slow for me. I get what they’re trying to do, but Season 1 proved that the show could deliver high quality intensity without falling into the thriller/action tropes.

-Quinn’s the moral center of the show now. I don’t know how to feel about that.

-Chris is just all “Hey, what’s up. Dana not eating? Chill, Mom. Loss of appetite sure has nothing to do with suicide; let her go sulk in her room. Dana disappearing? Chill, Mom. She just attempted suicide a few weeks back, let her run away into the rain at night.”

If there’s anyone that needs therapy, it’s Chris. Hopefully Brody’s first action back is to rid us of this kid.

-Nice title.

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

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