“The Yoga Play” marks the start of a new chapter in Homeland. So far they have gone on roughly three 4 episode mini arcs. As such this episode has to do plenty of table setting before Carrie, Saul and the gang get to sit down and have dinner. Set up isn’t hardly as interesting to see as the payoff it portends. Even if Homeland is heavily involved in the method of surveillance.
I’ve got to give credit to episode writer Patrick Harbinson and director Clark Johnson. On paper the titular Yoga Play should’ve been a nice bit of tension to kick start this new chapter of Homeland season 3. Having Carrie talk about having a short time table and explaining what that timetable is are too different things. Even if I understood the time abel and logistic, there wasn’t much in the way of editing or other techniques to translate it or affect me. No cross cutting ot Quinn or the Iranian supposed to be keeping tabs on Carrie. Just her Max and Virgil sitting in a van waiting for an FBI man to pull up and get coffee. If I am supposed to remember FBI Agent Hall, my bad. At the end the Yoga Play manges some tension once Quinn is spurred into action. His interferences and what it could mean for the mission has been properly explained.
The drama created in the mission after: was Carrie made?, was OK. Carrie didn’t breakdown and it wasn’t played up that much so you could never fully commit to the belief. But in the moment it provided enough. The watchers returning, however, was handled excellently. The sudden and claustrophobic action with blurry dark imagery slowly becoming clear as Carrie awakens to hear drills. The Iranians also checking her for bugs was a nice and humiliating touch for Carrie that reaffirms that they do mean business.
The expression on Mandy Patinkins face when he learns of Carrie’s abduction, was something else. Parently glee that his pupil has gotten to the next step with no regard for the danger she is now in. Further continuing the certain amount of institutional callousness the CIA has for its little cogs. We know who’s got her and she has always been on her own, he reassures Quin on the phone. An ironic tone for the man who is staunchly anti-drone use for intelligence operations and claims to not be able to run an intelligence operation from 700 miles away. He is not in Carries condo that has all the markings of a surgical crime scene like Quinn. He’s 20 miles away in his house completely safe.
“The Yoga Play” does explain how Tracy Lettes, Senator Andrew Lockhart, got his regular cast billing. He is the man the President has tabbed as the head of the CIA. Not Saul. It was a responsibility Saul never quested for but after spending so much time at the head of the ship, he takes the offer of replacement and expulsion about as well as one would expect. This new two week timetable Homelandhas set up should give future episodes an extra bit of intensity.
Thank God, Dana and her wanna be Natural Born Killers plot is over with. Shut down by Dana herself after hearing how Leo may have been in a suicide pact with his brother and his refusal to come clean. It’s a betrayal that ends this in rather logical and strong fashion for Dana. I’m just glad it’s all done with and hope the Brody clan will disappear for a while like their patriarch is. Unless they want to give Chris the plot of The Karate Kid, that’d be just fine.
It seems doubtful that “Still Positive” could be anywhere near as brilliant as “Q&A”. But it should be interesting to see Carrie on the other side of the table.
The Bits At The End
- Everytime there is a hunting scene I automatically compare it to this classic scene.