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Homeland: 302 “Uh… Oh… Ah” Review

homeland-302-saul-carrie

Reviewed by Rich Jepson.

…or as we say in Carrie Mathison-ese “F*** You Saul”

With Carrie becoming increasingly unstable and Brody once again absent from proceedings, it feels like there is a strong tide ripping through the cast and displacing them all over the show. Saul is the most extreme example of this with his ascension to the top; he has become a deep, dark realignment of his moral compass and there were many examples of this throughout the episode.

For me, the key political moment in the episode was the introduction of the new analyst Fara. I’m so glad that her entrance into the building was documented from her POV. This coupled with Saul’s emotionally fuelled criticism of her findings on the laptop were strong issues for the show to address.

It’s difficult to imagine the variety of reactions Islamic people would have received after events such as 9/11 and 7/7, much the same way as Japanese people in the US during WWII, it’s a horrible situation for innocents to be put in because of their religion or origin.

Saul’s words were blunt, cruel and ignorant to Fara but I think it was an important part of the aftermath of the Langley bombing that the show needed to tackle. I just hope that the show doesn’t try to use Fara as a way of simply ‘balancing the books’ when it comes to addressing the argument of whether religion is a force for good in the world. Islam has been put under the spotlight over the past decade and shows like Homeland have a responsibility to represent a sense of accuracy when showcasing these political themes.

Outside of this, Carrie’s story has in some ways taken a step back in once again bringing up the issue of her mental health. Clare Danes continues to illustrate why she’s worthy of awards and high praise, but it’s going to become tiresome to constantly see her drugged up and isolated from the rest of the story. It’s always going to be a part of her character but it’s draining to constantly watch as a viewer.

Quinn for me is certainly becoming a main focal point within the CIA and rightly so, he’s got a lot more to offer than being a hit man for hire. His stern words to Saul about not being happy with the Carrie situation were satisfying to watch and if Saul continues down his path then Quinn is the only person to be able to stand up to him. This is also coupled with a sense of familiarity, as their relationship is beginning to mirror that of Estes and Saul in the first two seasons – how times have changed.

What’s more, Quinn scored bonus points for me this week when he decided to do some after hours work, threatening the Wall Street fat cat. Given the global financial crisis that’s plagued the world for the past 5 years I’d say bankers are hated as much as terrorists right now, so it was a satisfying way for the drama to have a stab at them.

Dana is leading what remains of the Brody’s story and, apart from running away from home – her scenes this week were vital in conveying what it must be like for the family to go through. Telling her mum that she genuinely tried to end it all because her ‘dad was evil’ was something that really needed to be represented and it’s helping her character to mature. The scene later on with her dad’s prayer rug gave a sense of the love that she still has for her father even after everything they’ve been put through. Maybe Dana will find solace in Islam? It’s hard to imagine and would convey a true sense of irony but would not be beyond belief.

Brody’s entrance can’t be far away and I think it’ll need to be used as a trigger to get Carrie back on track. How that’s going to happen exactly is difficult to contemplate at this point, I just hope Brody doesn’t turn up sporting the lumberjack look that’s been used a lot in other series lately.

8/10

Scene of the Episode: Saul’s Scorn – As mentioned above this was a defining moment in the episode and the politics of it can be debated for a long time.

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