Homeland: 307 “Gerontion” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson.
Tonight’s episode felt like Homeland was getting back to what it does best – creating a tense, atmospheric and threatening scenario where the drama outweighs the action. What’s more, we are increasingly finding that his third outing of the show is quickly become the season of Saul. Step aside Brody.
Again we had no sign of Damien Lewis (and thankfully no Brody’s at all) and I get the impression that viewers feel pretty indifferent about this. Dana’s escapades in previous weeks took her further into Kim Bauer territory, no cougars yet though, and I think everyone would have felt a sigh of relief enjoying an episode without her. We know Brody isn’t gone and that the story is heading directly into his path in South America but the more this season goes on the more I think it’s a test to see how much the show can cope without him and you know what? It passes.
Between Saul, Carrie, Quinn, Dar Adal and Senator Lockhart we’ve got a lot to work with. Tonight’s episode illustrated just how entertaining the relationship between Dar Adal, Saul & Lockhart is going to be by itself, more so when the Senator’s stint as the CIA chief begins. Not to mention Saul’s aim of putting Javadi back into play, which could be the start of a long-term story arc depending on where the series wants to head next.
The episode’s title ‘Gerontion’ was named after a poem about an old man reflecting on the futility of his life by T.S Elliot and it’s quite fitting in these circumstances. The exchanges between Javadi & Saul were both gripping and gave a lot of insight into both men’s past. Iran and the US have a long history of exchanging punches without having a full on fight. Saul’s played this game before and it seems he’s gotten much wiser over the years – he’s in control now and Javadi’s just become his latest pawn.
Outside of this, Javadi’s revelation to Carrie about Brody’s involvement with the Langley bomb was suggestive but still not concrete, it brings back the is he/isn’t he question from the first season once again. Carrie was a little subdued in this episode and still feels a little unbalanced, her delayed morning sickness crept up at the worst time in front of the police chiefs.
Speaking of which, you have to feel for Quinn at this moment as he’s clearly on a downward slope when it comes to his career. Taking the rap for Javadi’s slaughter was a tough pill to swallow by itself and having the homicide cop talk about how something like this could be in the interests of national security rubbed some more salt in the self inflicted wound. For Quinn this must have felt like penance for the boy he killed in the opening episode and rightly so, the show is really trying to explore the moralities of homeland security here and I think it’s raising the right sort of questions, even if slightly misconstrued and misplaced.
One other thing to mention was the brief instance when Fara grabbed the scissors. It never really felt like she was strong or furious enough to truly threaten the new asset but it was an appropriate mechanism to give some insight into her background. She clearly loathes Javadi and what he’s done to the people of Iran – in the future will she go further to signify this? Maybe.
Also, I found myself watching Saul in the final few moments of the episode with a creeping fear. Mira’s man from Mumbai, who has had as many lines as Chris Brody this season, seems really out of place. Could he be some sort of sleeper cell designed to get closer to Saul? Perhaps not at this stage but I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers decided to make him slightly more active and threatening.
Scene of the Episode: Locked-Heart – Okay it didn’t have any substance or visual value but let’s face it, it was a hilarious f*** you to the arrogant politician.