HOMELAND Recap: “Krieg Nicht Lieb”

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Has any show had such a complete turnaround like Homeland has this season?  It has been unafraid to raise the stakes to the highest possible degree throughout the season, and yet, all of it has connected intimately with the overall idea of (as Dar Adal says in the promo for the finale) questions of “moral clarity.”  In “Krieg Nichy Lieb” (roughly translated to something to “War not Love”), Homeland is also seeming to consider the idea that maybe the bad guys win; and maybe that’s because the good guys let them.  Hit the jump for why,”there was a Taliban flag hanging over my head. I can’t let that go.”

HOMELAND Recap: “13 Hours in Islamabad”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Wow.  Homeland continues to find ways to top itself this season.  “13 Hours in Islamabad” was an unflinching and often harrowing coda to last week’s shocking ending.  What happened to the convoy wasn’t just a one-off attack, he was part of Haqqani’s ISI-backed larger scheme to get a top secret list of assets so he could kill them.  It also mean that “13 Hours in Islamabad” was part of a long nightmare that never seemed to end.  When it finally did, nothing was resolved.  But there’s still so much promise.  Hit the jump for why “I’m trying to kill the motherfucker trying to kill us!  What do you think I’m doing??”

HOMELAND Recap: “There’s Something Else Going On”

by     Posted 24 days ago

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“There’s Something Else Going On” was another incredible, tense, and twisted hour from Homeland that stuck to what the show does best: political posturing and CIA business.  It’s not surprising that almost all of this season’s best episodes have done away with the soap opera elements (Carrie’s “trip” through the city ignited a few, they were contained in her mind, so they get a pass).  “There’s Something Else Going On” showed just how difficult and sprawling this war has gotten, and that, as Carrie said last week, even the right choices are wrong.  Hit the jump for “what the fuck?  What the fucking fuck??”

HOMELAND Recap: “Halfway to a Donut”

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Things are both starting to come together and starting to fall apart on Homeland.  Though there wasn’t any trolling or dramatic meltdowns like in “Redux,”  “Halfway to a Donut” was a strong follow-up to that hour’s chaos.  What’s been really fun about this season of Homeland is that the major arc can never be fully predicted.  The detours and twists and resets have made this season an excellent showcase for Homeland‘s new dedication to the unexpected.  Hit the jump for why “they hate us.  Good luck finding common interest in that.”

HOMELAND Recap: “Redux”

by     Posted 38 days ago

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First off … let’s take a deep breath.  In “Redux,” Homeland‘s writers succeeded in some major trolling that they did well to keep quiet.  But for the rest of the hour, “Redux” was full of suspense, not because of Saul’s capture and what might happen to him, but because of Carrie’s descent into mania and complete mood destabilization, thanks to friggin’ Dennis.  Hit the jump to visit “the graveyard of empires.”

HOMELAND Recap: “From A to B to Back Again”

by     Posted 45 days ago

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With its fourth season, Homeland has finally started taking some real risks.  It wiped out a character who had been central to the show, as well as all those associated with him.  It also totally realigned itself, meanwhile, in a new country and with a new set of targets.  While some of the things in this fourth season have felt recycled from seasons past, “From A to B to Back Again” proved that this really is a new Homeland, willing to make decisions that are best for the story and the characters, and not just about keeping viewers happy.  Hit the jump if you are resourceful.

HOMELAND Recap: “About A Boy”

by     Posted 52 days ago

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In “About a Boy,” Homeland seems to have settled on its main arcs this season, and many of them continue to surprise.  While Carrie continues to gain Aayan’s trust, Quinn and Fara are on a stakeout to learn more about the cleric who was harboring Aayan’s uncle, Haissan Haqqani.  As Saul is about to leave the country and head home, he keeps his eye on a target at the airport, and phones in the details just before the tables turn.  Secretly acting as the lynchpin to all of this is Martha’s husband Dennis, who ISI is using to gain further intel on the Americans.  Hit the jump for why “I don’t want to lie to you anymore.”

HOMELAND Recap: “Iron in the Fire”

by     Posted 59 days ago

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In “Iron in the Fire,” Homeland expanded on the conspiracy surrounding Sandy Bachman’s death, and brought it all back to Homeland‘s central theme of trust.  As Carrie builds her team in Islamabad, she also wrestles with the CIA operatives already in place there; though as she quickly discovers, she needs their help, too. (Although it isn’t, of course, that simple).  Homeland also snuffed out some of its own fire by revealing the identity of the confidential informant, but did so in a way that shows that arc is far from over.  Hit the jump, because “what I need is your help, not your goddamn foot on the break.”

HOMELAND Recap: “Shalwar Kameez”

by     Posted 66 days ago

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In “Shalwar Kameez,” Homeland made a decision that I predict will be divisive within the fandom.  There are always going to be messy personal relationships on Homeland — it’s part of what makes the show compelling — but the direction “Shalwar Kameez” started to take some of them is potentially worrisome, because it harkens back to one of the weakest aspects of the series from the past two years.  Hit the jump for why “once a scalp hunter, always a scalp hunter.”

HOMELAND Season Three Finale Recap: “The Star”

by     Posted 1 year, 2 days ago

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For all of the complaints about Homeland this season, “The Star” was a really great ending to a season that, in so many ways, felt like a series finale.  The show has positioned itself in a way to make options wide open for its fourth season.  It’s mostly an exciting prospect, but then again, had the show ended here it would have felt finished.  Homeland also could have ended after its first season, and it’s taken two years to figure out how to fix the fact that it kept going.  “The Star” did that, and provided emotional catharsis for those onscreen, and probably some of us offscreen as well.  Hit the jump for more.

HOMELAND Recap: “Big Man In Tehran”

by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago

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What made Homeland so engaging in its first season was the question of whether Brody was really a traitor or not.  There were atrocities committed by both sides, but whether he could be brainwashed against his own country — and even regardless of that, could he ever really come home? — ruled the season.  Since then, the show has returned to this question a few times, even briefly regarding Carrie’s loyalty (which we now know was all a trick).  But in the third season’s penultimate episode, the show once again returns to this founding tenet in a definitive hour.  Hit the jump for more.

HOMELAND Recap: “Good Night”

by     Posted 1 year, 16 days ago

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The big question left after Brody’s return last week on Homeland was how the show would reintegrate him back into the fold.  For most of this season, Homeland has done just fine without him — thrived, even.  His return confirmed the show’s belief that we still care about him, but also seemed to suggest there would be a plan for him moving forward.  In “Good Night,” we saw how that plan might begin to manifest, and while most of the action was predictable, it did give us the opportunity to see Brody acting like a marine again, rather than a basket case.  Let the healing begin.  Hit the jump for more.

HOMELAND Recap: “One Last Time”

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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Homeland went from being more of a spy thriller in the last few weeks to two thirds of a weird romance miniseries in “One Last Time.”  Not that it literally went beyond its hour-long design, but it bizarrely jumped in time and covered a lot of emotional ground.  After all of the buildup we’ve gone through this season to set up the many reveals of this episode, Homeland seemed to shoot them down one by one, in rapid succession, before pivoting on to the next thing.  For more on this crazy ride, hit the jump.

HOMELAND Recap: “A Red Wheelbarrow”

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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Last week, Homeland made it easy to separate the spy thriller from the soap opera.  That distinction allowed pretty much everyone — myself chief among them — to say that the soap should be scrubbed.  While pre-natal visits may not be what anyone signed up for with Homeland, “A Red Wheelbarrow” at least started making the personal drama an integral part of this season’s plot.  Kinda.  Saul and Mira’s marital problems, for instance, now have bigger implications than just their own emotions.  And most importantly, Carrie’s baby drama is now part of the larger Javadi plot.  Kinda.  Hit the jump though for why I still don’t think we need it, though.

HOMELAND Recap: “Gerontion”

by     Posted 1 year, 37 days ago

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Do you know what was special about Homeland this week?  There were no Brodys!  “Gerontion” was about spying — the good, bad and ugly of it.  Better yet, it used Saul as the lynchpin, with some nice moments from the often overlooked Quinn.  “Gerontion” is also the name of a T.S. Eliot poem about the views of an old man, something the episode focused on both generally and specifically with Saul.  It was very different from what we’ve seen lately on the show, and that’s not a bad thing.  Though Homeland tried to shoehorn in some soap this week, it was mostly free of it, to what should be the delight of skeptical viewers.  Hit the jump for more.

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