“Mental wounds not healing/Life's a bitter shame/I'm going off the rails on a crazy train” “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, and I thought of that before Dar Adal pumped Brody full of some magical detox drug…that also causes mind shattering hallucinations (and slight nausea).
This show is going off whatever tracks of sanity it had left. As part of the larger play to get Javadi in good with the Iranian Government, Saul wants Brody to assassinate his boss. O don’t worry, he’ll have a team on the ground for extraction. When you put it like that it really sounds that dumb and preposterous. Yet thanks to continually solid acting from all involved I’m down for Brody doing one last act of terror.
This show continues to live and die by the ability of its actors to sell it. Damian Lewis is so utterly pathetic and meek looking as he goes through detox and doesn’t even try to live, sinking like a stone when given the chance. He makes seeing the continual suffering of Brody watchable. It's a bit masochistic but effective. Just as you begin to feel a little bit of sympathy for this broken down wreck, Saul comes in and reminds you and Brody that he isn’t an angel at all. Sure he didn’t bomb the CIA but he still attempted to kill the Vice President, eventually doing that properly, and most of the Cabinet, murdered his friend, along with plenty of other deplorable acts.
Saul tries his best to convince Brody to do one final act of service, kill the general. Promising he will find redemption in yet another act of terror. This whole conversation is oddly Meta as Brody asks to simply be allowed to die, Saul even gives him the chance. Before pulling him out of the water, like some Shotime executive letting the producers get just close enough to killing of their award winning lead. Saul still needs him to do one last thing and Lewis still has plenty of awards to win. Even if there wasn't a flashback to his time In Abu Nazir’s captivity it wouldn't be hard to see the parallels. Lewis is the living embodiment of a plot device at this point.
The idea that Brody could find some kind of redemption in doing a hit for his country is laughable. He is so used up and like Saul said, dug himself so deep conventional logic says there is no way out. Lucky for him Homeland let conventional logic go a long time ago.
Once again breaking and rebuilding Brody should be a bit tired at this point. This times things become a bit comical as the construction of Brody happens in a single Rocky inspired montage. A title card says 16 days later, opening on Brody now running at the head of the pact. Doing all types of crazy things like reading and eye examines based on porno magazines (those still exist!?) and putting together guns. Never doubt the power of the Rocky-tage. At least the writers give everything a bit more time to happen. The prospects of Brody going from junkie to lean mean killing machine in less than a week is farcical. With the added time it just becomes absurd.
Never let it be said Claire Danes ever did her job on Homeland poorly. Andy Greenwald is right the actress continues to be excellent; it is the writing that has failed her. Her single-minded quest to clear Brody forgoes what made her such an interesting tragic character in the first and second season. The argument could make this has to do with the pregnancy but that hasn't gotten much play beyond being mentioned. That fetus is so not going to do well. The character of Carrie Mathison is just as worn out as Brody, she just is better at hiding her liquor.
This whole gamit could make season 4 a huge reset for the show. From appearances, it looks like Saul is on his way out and the relationship he had with Carrie is gone for now. A Homeland without a Saul is a scary and sad thought.
For the first time this season, Lewis and Diane's are on screen together. It isn't a doomed lover dynamic of seasons past. Their chemistry which is evident in that first ko gong stare Diane's gives as she enters the room, it's a return to the great connection they had as two utterly broken and damaged little cogs who happen to fit perfectly together. The show runners choice to play into this pairs chemistry was the right call they jut make sparks fly and even as the shitty romance aspect took over you couldn't stop looking at it all
This same inherent chemistry is found whenever Demian Lewis and Morgan Saylor are on screen. Dana’s initial Natural Born Killers plot was utterly dumb, but it has led to her utterly rejecting her father and family so that’s interesting.
With the very limited timescale given to this final batch of episodes, it's nice to see them not belabor the Mira's lover is a spy plot. Seeing Saul save his wife's image ahead of the Agency or use it to secure his own position was a nice moment that reminds you that Saul is good at heart. He’s just a totally manipulative asshole.
The Bits At The End
- Here's a rather interesting smooth jazz cover of "Crazy Trian"
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