HOMELAND Recap: “The Yoga Play”

     October 27, 2013

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Whether you loved or hated Homeland‘s big twist last week, there were still plenty of questions about it that needed to be answered.  “The Yoga Play” let Peter Quinn addressed most of them in the first few minutes.  After that, things shifted.  Showrunner Alex Gansa was quoted last week saying how the writers have conceived of this season in blocks of four, which means “The Yoga Play” is the beginning of a new cycle.  It makes sense, and the show is still keeping us on our toes.  Gansa has even promised that the Dana stuff matters.  If there’s anything you wouldn’t trust Homeland about at this point, it would be that.  Luckily though, “Carrie Mathison is a huge fucking draw.”  Hit the jump for more.

homeland-season-3-posterThere are many layers to Saul and Carrie’s operation, with it just being between them, then adding Quinn to spy on Majid Javadi’s people who are spying on Carrie, who is public enemy #2 (behind Brody), etc.  The danger though is that pretending Carrie is on the outs only works when she has an in (we’ve seen this before when Saul has acted as her sole benefactor at the agency). So what happens if there is no Saul?

We got a taste of that to start the season, when it seemed Carrie really was the true target of a betrayal.  Yes, she was playing things up as part of the ploy, but isn’t it also true that those were things Carrie might have legitimately done on her own if in that position?  She is impulsive, just look at how she jeopardized the operation to speak to an FBI agent about Dana Brody.

Now the reality of Carrie being on the outs is settling in.  On Saul’s duck hunt (or goose hunt, as the case may be), he’s informed that he is not the choice to be the new CIA director, but Senator Andrew Lockhart (a.k.a. Carrie and Saul’s nemesis) will soon likely be confirmed to power.  This mean that Saul’s directives and, most importantly, this assignment Carrie is on, could all devolve in a very dangerous way.

On the other hand, Homeland has already written itself an out.  Saul is still in power for two more weeks.  If the mission can be completed by then, there’s hope for them both.  At the same time, a hostile change of power could add more dimension and higher stakes to the proceedings (though it might be too close to a rehash of the David Estes’ character).

homeland-yoga-playOverall, Homeland does seem to be heading in a good direction, thanks mostly to Saul and Carrie, who continue to carry the show on their backs.  Even though Gansa has promised Dana’s story matters and that it will link back with her father’s later in the season, emotionally, Dana has always been difficult to connect with because Morgan Saylor plays the role of a bratty, self-absorbed teenager so terribly well.  Still, for now, next week looks to be a big step forward with learning more about Javadi and what his plans are for Carrie.  As last week so aptly prepared us, “game on.”

Episode Rating: B

Musings and Miscellanea:

— The political hunting scene reminded me a lot of Downton Abbey.  We have ways in this country of establishing class and elitism that looks a lot like Britain, even though we culturally deny it.

— I loved Quinn and Carrie bonding: him complimenting her on her dedication and what she put herself through for the cause, and her thanking him for visiting her, acknowledging that it wasn’t all a ploy and there were some genuinely dark moments.

— The show certainly makes its politics clear.  Spying > military action.

— Fantastic moment with Saul when he walked in on Mira and her (presumably romantic) visitor, at a time when he was losing everything (his position at the CIA, his wife, his chance at Javadi), only to be galvanized by Quinn’s news that Carrie had been taken, meaning the plan was still in action.

— Interesting that Jessica trusts Carrie even despite the affair for at least calling Brody out for what he was, and trying to warn Jessica about it.

homeland-yoga-play-mandy-patinkin– Ohhh Dana.  This is what happens when you go riding in cars with boys.  Shit goes down.  Still glad to see the end of Leo, and hopefully Dana will remain single for awhile while she sorts herself out.  She has terrible taste in boys.

— Leo mentioned a “game” with the gun with his brother.  Russian Roulette?  That scene actually played out with two brothers I went to school with.  One shot himself in the head, and was severely brain damaged.  Keep the guns outta the kids’ way, folks.  They can’t handle it.

— It was great that Saul still called Lockhart out instead of sucking up to him.  Saul is slaying it this season, and if Mandy Patinkin doesn’t win an Emmy this year, someone is gonna get cut …

— Who was Javadi watching when he ate his sandwich?  Anyone in particular do we think?

— Carrie’s yoga play was a good one, and who knew Max was so secretly hot?  I like how Virgil stepped in to protect his brother from Carrie’s schemes though.

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