Homeland season 2 was, like a bullet train screaming towards a brick wall...you just weren’t sure when you actually hit the damn thing. Even as all the rails and area around the train was blowing up, you couldn’t take your eyes off it. Homeland season 3 has continued the bat shit craziness(everything is part of the plan, Javadi coming to America, Dana Brody), I just don’t really see or care about when we hit the next brick wall. Whatever seventh dimensional chess Saul is playing out, let him do it, “Gerontion” had enough of of those character moments that I love to satiate me.
This whole thing could go teets up at the drop of a hat. What if word about Javadi’s ex-wife being murderer and him being in country gets out? Or, Javadi could decide to be a real dick and just kill himself. All this Seventh dimensional chess is being held together by the skin of its teeth. This creates plenty of natural tension. It’s natural and understated but once you think about that, you can’t let it go. So why then do we need a close up shot of Fara ominously clutching scissors as Javadi walks by? Such an obvious and lame play. Homeland has used sudden action in moments of a persons blind spot. There was no blind spot here, making that whole bit either fleeting and hollow at best but more than likely D.O.A. .
The scenes between Saul and Javadi were fantastic. Two smart people. One playing the other. The one being played, desperately trying to find ground to stand on and leverage. In the end Saul offers him a promotion. Now with some real power Saul has really taken to it. Trying to enact long lasting real change for the world. None of that drone heavy eye for an eye stuff Lockhart is presenting. By having Javadi work for him and pushing Javadi up the Iranian Intelligence ladder, Saul thinks he has found his key to the Middle East.
It really helps that Shaun Toub just has a great slimey quality to him. Not slimey like whenever Dylan McDermott is on screen. Toub plays Javadi like he’s always been there and always will be there. Eternally the necessary evil. It’s concept that Lockhart and others don’t seem to understand. All they want is an eye for an eye but that just perpetuates the cycle. Saul is trying to finally break the cycle a little bit.
Patinkin as well was his normal fine self. In particular his scene with his wife once he makes it home. Asking for forgiveness and looking at the image of them in the mirror. Why can’t Homeland be the Saul show? Imagine all the giddy schoolboy moments they could have with Dar Adal as they pank the new headmaster Senator Lockhart?
Saul has gotten to become the big cog in the great machine. After “toiling” away in back rooms waiting for his chance and gradually realizing that it wouldn’t be coming. It doesn't change the truth in Javaid's assessment how this whole play being “classic Saul”. A serial user who doesn't have the best record of getting his men and women out once the job is done. Homeland’s continues commitment to exploring the idea of what this kind of jobs does to the Company’s “good soldiers” has been great. Having Peter Quinn reiterate all these things to Carrie was a bit heavy handed
It was worth it though since it gave us the “confession” scene. The detective trying to come to terms with the mess he has to clean up and can’t even get a collar for it. The futility of that scene felt like it was out of Homicide of The Wire. Just a brief moment of two small cogs having a moment of connection. Both lamenting the futility and shittyness of their jobs. Cleaning up murder scenes of innocent people and killing children was not what they signed up for.
All this talk about the true Langley bomber is something else. It’s the ugly head that is starting to rear it’s head and harsh my emotional mellow. It means talking about Brody more and more. A character we haven’t seen for four episodes. Which is fine by me. Nick Brody should be dead in Homeland but the Showtime Exec God is a cruel one and now he’s rotting away in the Tower of David as part of some master plan. Just leave him there and don’t touch him. Finding out the truth behind the bombing is a thing I don’t find that interesting. That’s the past, why not focus on the brave new world it has created for Saul and the few remaining cogs. It pushes all of those Crazy Carrie Conspiracy buttons again. Her life is crazy enough as is, why do we need a plot that’ll lead to another micro slasher film?
The CIA bombing has allowed for Homeland to largely course correct. Focusing attention on Saul and the spycraft of the CIA again. Replacing the tortured doomed romance crap with fatalism and futility. A bit dour yes, but it beats the second coming of Romeo & Juliet
The Bits At The End
Damian Lewis is actually pretty good as Lord Capulet in the 2013 film ver of Romeo & Juliet.
If for some reason you made it down here know that Michael Mazzacane can be found many places on the internet but mainly onTwitter@MaZZM and on Tumblr weekntv.com where he links to TV stuff and maybe posts a GiF