HOMELAND Season Three Finale Recap: “The Star”

by     Posted 282 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 289 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 296 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 303 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 310 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 317 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.

HOMELAND Recap: “Still Positive”

by     Posted 324 days ago

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Isn’t Homeland just so much better without Brody?  I’m sorry Damian Lewis, I like you a lot (too much, probably — ask me about my unhealthy devotion to his portrayal of Dick Winters some time).  We even support the same football club.  But since the start of Season Two, the show doesn’t know what to do with you.  So, here we have a series now that is essentially a spy thriller, with some great acting performances.  I’m ok with that, but I understand why other people aren’t.  It isn’t necessarily what we signed up for, but it’s what we’ve got.  In light of that, “Still Positive” was a great episode.  However, remnants of the Brody plot are still spoiling the fun.  Hit the jump for why, “This is just the fucking beginning.”

HOMELAND Recap: “The Yoga Play”

by     Posted 331 days ago

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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 Recap: “Game On”

by     Posted 338 days ago

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Does anyone else feel a little bit like Dana?  As useless (so it seems so far) and uninteresting as Dana’s story generally is, she had one great moment in “Game On” when showing Leo the place where her father was deployed before he became a POW.  She said it was the last time her father told her a truth: Goodbye.  “Everything after that was a lie.”  Of course, we can’t hold hostility towards Homeland like Dana rightfully does towards Brody, because it’s nice when a show tricks us and actually pulls off a grand surprise.  Hit the jump for who or what exactly that was.

HOMELAND Recap: “Tower of David”

by     Posted 345 days ago

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To quote Collider’s own Adam Chitwood from a comment he once made to me: “The best thing about Homeland is, if you don’t like the direction it’s going, just wait two episodes and it’ll have a crazy turn!”  Case in point: “Tower of David.”  That’s about as different as things could be so far this season.  It answered the question “Where’s Brody?” and then made us wonder if we really wanted to know.  Brody’s story has felt played out for awhile, and “Tower of David” did little to dispel that notion.  He’s trapped and back in the hole from whence he came to start the series.  Maybe it’s a metaphor, though.  If Homeland needs a makeover, “Tower of David” was indeed the best place to start.  Hit the jump for more.

HOMELAND Recap: “Uh … Oh … Ah …”

by     Posted 352 days ago

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Homeland started its second season with a focus on Carrie’s mental health and her emotional deterioration.  Without the CIA, she didn’t want to live.  That fact is what made her betrayal of the agency and loyalty to Brody so confusing.  She and Brody had a sexual connection, sure, but would he really be able to keep up with her for the long haul?  Was the relationship really worth her losing the thing she actually wanted to die over?  Brody is gone and Carrie isn’t stable, but she’s not where she was last season.  But, this year again focuses on her trials battling mental illness and also its stigma.  The way to “deal” with Carrie is to have her unwillingly committed to a psych ward, it seems.  It was brutal watching her realizing that not even her family was on her side.  However, Peter Quinn is — and that’s something.  Hit the jump for more.

HOMELAND Recap: “Tin Man Is Down”

by     Posted 359 days ago

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There was some reticence on the part of Homeland fans this year coming into the new season.  While Season Two started off with some of the best and more heartbreaking scenes of Carrie battling depression and contemplating suicide, it soon spiraled into a number of dubious soap-opera plots, including Carrie and Brody’s on-off again affair and Dana’s Very Bad Mistake.  But early word on the new season was that so many of these wrongs were righted, and that it again starts off strong.  It does.  In fact, “Tin Man is Down” is all about paying for the mistakes of the past, and moving on.  It was a refreshing start, and one full of potential for the upcoming season.  Hit the jump for why, on many levels, “a win would be nice. Another fuck up would be fatal.”

HOMELAND Season Finale Recap: “The Choice”

by     Posted 1 year, 280 days ago

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There’s no denying that the back half of this season of Homeland started sliding off a cliff, and like Boardwalk Empire (which also just finished up a shaky run) many Homeland fans were looking for this finale to right a lot of the wrongs elsewhere in the season, something Boardwalk Empire did a few weeks ago with aplomb.  Promos for the finale teased high drama and emotions, and conversations this past week among friends, fans and even strangers in line at the grocery store all had the same conclusion about where the series was “clearly” headed.  But in “The Choice,” Homeland reminded us why we should never take anything for granted.  Hit the jump for more on this topsy turvy finale episode.

HOMELAND Recap: “The Motherfucker with a Turban,” Plus a Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Season Finale

by     Posted 1 year, 287 days ago

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One thing lately that Homeland has had in common with Sons of Anarchy is that even when the plot lets you down, the show does a damn fine job of giving satisfying “feels.”  Last week’s Homeland left viewers and critics alike in a quandary: was it a great episode?  A ludicrous one?  Had it turned into Prison Break? My stance was essentially that it was pretty ridiculous, but as others pointed out, we’ve bought into a pretty ridiculous world here anyway.  Why not believe that terrorists could be using Skype or that a normally subtle character went off the rails screaming a terrorist’s name in the Vice-President’s house?   But “The Motherfucker with a Turban” righted many of those wrongs, and focused almost entirely on the emotional.  It also blew some of the show’s conspiracy theories out of the water, possibly, but hit the jump to get into the specifics.

HOMELAND Recap: “Broken Hearts,” Plus a Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Episode

by     Posted 1 year, 293 days ago

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Homeland‘s greatest success may be its complete and utter emotional manipulation of its viewers to the point where only afterwards and after much consideration does one realize how completely ridiculous what just happened was.  Does anyone get through episodes of Homeland without getting close to hyperventilation?  The suspense, the jump cuts, the unsteady cam, the music — everything builds to an unholy tremor of excitement and emotion, and we’re whipped around from place to place without time to even finish a game of Hearts with Chris!  It’s all too much. But hit the jump to look at some of the cold, hard truths of Homeland once that emotion starts to wear away. 

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