Homeland: 301 “Tin Man Is Down” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson.
Almost two months have passed since leaving Brody at the border and Carrie in a crater. In that time, Dana has attempted to take her own life, the CIA has been patched back together, Quinn has a child’s blood on his hands and America needs somebody to punish.
What was most interesting about the episode besides all of the above was the fact that it confirmed that the show is no longer about Brody – it’s about Carrie.
Obviously we didn’t see Brody in the episode and his whereabouts remain unknown but for a few suspected sightings. No doubt, next week’s episode will fill us in on what we’ve missed and the season may even split into two separate narratives. But what’s important about tonight’s episode is how it allowed Carrie to truly dominate proceedings and to see things purely from her perspective.
We know Clare Danes can act, she’s just picked up her second award for playing Carrie and I’m sure given the start she’s off to, she’ll at least be nominated for a third. Her character has almost been reset to when we first found her, off her meds, hitting the alcohol and pulling random guys in liquor stores. However, this is a crazy Carrie 2.0 – she now runs six miles a day and only sleeps with gingers (did anyone else think her ‘date’ looked like Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age?).
Her story by itself is fascinating, yet unnerving to watch, I’d personally be happy to watch a series where she was the character and the plot revolved around her CIA activities – which Homeland may become in the future. Brody is now in the public eye and I have a strong feeling he may not make it through the 3rd edition of the show. Where can he possibly go from here? Either he goes full blown terrorist and wages war against the states or he is captured (again) or killed.
If he gets captured then it could become a drawn out courtroom affair but that’s probably not the way the things will go. Whatever happens one thing for certain is there is enough entertainment in Carrie and the rest of the cast to keep us watching.
Speaking of the rest of the cast, I’m pleased to see the new look CIA bringing in Quinn as a regular operative and having Saul as the new boss. Quinn only kills bad guys and is now faced with the nightmare of having a young boy’s death on his conscience. What effect this will have on him is unclear at this point but it’s got to play hell with him in the coming weeks.
Saul made a huge turn in this episode during its final moment and chose to hang Carrie out to dry. What a revelation that was, where this leaves Carrie’s career other than in the toilet is anybody’s guess but it’s definitely started a fire. Carrie’s reaction to the Senate’s question was suspicious enough. Saying that she had no real alibi for her whereabouts after the bomb blast and then to try and convince her doubters that ‘Brody didn’t do it’ wasn’t a smart move at all.
In a way it gave Saul an easier decision to make, especially given that there are some witnesses to these events, no doubt these are the same people that leaked Brody’s confessional tape too. We had mention of a further network of collaborators outside of the 6 ‘low hanging fruit’ targets that bought it simultaneously so uncovering these identities looks set to be part of the season 3 road map.
Outside of all of this we saw what affect this had on the rest of the Brodys. I particularly like the extreme reaction from Dana that is quite fitting with what the reality of this situation would have been. She genuinely tried to take her own life in a horrific way and it’s clearly killed what remained of her childhood. The topless photo was a particularly uncomfortable moment to watch but I guess it was necessary to potentially create some scandal further down the line.
Jessica is faced with the ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ situation where she can barely go out in public without being hated by strangers or hounded by the press. I was particularly surprised that they weren’t in some sort of witness protection scheme, however, saying that, would the government want to pay to hide a possible associate of a known terrorist and would it even matter, as everyone in the country will recognize her face. At least Grandma is around to help and cause an annoying, over-the-top laugh about not knowing what Beowulf is.
So no Brody yet but plenty of Carrie to kick things off in the new season and it seems it’s going to be a much wider approach to events without having Brody as the direct driver of the story. We’re way beyond the is he/isn’t question that has been the centerpiece of the first two seasons and now that the chances of Brody reaching the oval office are kaput to say the least. I for one can’t see how much more the show can get out of this character. If he returns to cause chaos then fine but if he isn’t arrested or killed, then it’s going to get very tedious, very quickly.
What we do know is that this show is more than capable of revolving around Carrie and how she deals with the fallout of the CIA bombing and the fact her former team mate turned boss has decided to sell her out within his first few weeks in charge.
Scene of the Episode: “The Information Is Flawed” – It was all leading to this. With no sign of Brody we need a hint at where this season is going to go and we got it in these final few moments. The final few seconds were topped off with another example of how amazing Clare Danes can be in these situations.