Homeland: 310 “Good Night” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson.
After last week’s rushed recovery and transformation of Brody I approached tonight’s episode with a lot of apprehension, as I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Season 3 has, for better or worse, explored more narrative angles than the first two seasons combined, which leads me to think that the writers have either not quite pulled off a solid idea of what this outing was about or they’ve let the story walk itself down every avenue it passes.
Now with Brody and Carrie both back to (almost) 100% it feels for the first time that we’re truly back at the point we were seconds before the bomb went off. It’s for this reason that tonight’s episode defined itself as being a set moment within all of these characters lives, a moment when Saul made a key decision, when Brody ran for it and when Carrie decided the only way to save the ‘possible’ father of her baby was to reach out to Fara.
Looking back at the operation, I understand that the marines were obviously in preparation for the mission when they grew identical beards but I could barely tell them apart during the nighttime action sequences. This basically meant that they were interchangeable cannon fodder and so when the marine who made the crossing with Brody got killed I barely battered an eyelid. There was no way to care about any of them because they were completely interchangeable.
Enough of the support crew though, how about the main players. Well, Brody once again gave a strong advert about why he should continue in this series, even though I still have strong doubts that he’s as integral to the cast as before. Lewis can handle any situation you put him in and there were numerous flashbacks to his Band of Brothers days here. From his panic in the car to the key decision he made to go for it at the border, he was outstanding, as we’ve come to expect.
Carrie on the other hand was restricted to some panicky expressions and frustrated outburst as she watched on helplessly at her idol trapped in a field of battle. Danes constantly reminds me of Deborah Morgan from Dexter and tonight it was almost like watching the same person (which is perfectly fine).
Saul and his lucky gum that got waaay too much attention was once again a pinnacle member of the set up and you really felt him go through the motions on this one, especially with the wounded marine.
In terms of the actual fighting, it felt tense and desperate at times which completely captured the fact that this firefight could have escalated a number of ways. That said, there are some criticism here, the Iranians – so they just sat there in the dark waiting for someone to run at them before turning on the lights and showing their force?
Come on, that was way too corny, there’d just been a drone strike and an IAD go off so you’re telling me they were deployed within moments and then just sat there in the dark? Also, how poor were the US intelligence offices reporting the battle to not see two trucks full of soldiers waiting about 20 yards in front of Brody? I’m no military expert but even I felt this was a little farfetched at times.
Criticism of certain parts of the battle aside, this episode delivered. It managed to get Brody into Iran, Saul a pat on the shoulder and most importantly it got us back on board and geared up ready for a two-part finale before the holidays.
The only prediction I’d make at this stage is that something bad is going to happen to Fara’s family at the hands of Javadi and that moment when she had those scissors in her hand could come back to haunt her.
Scene of the Episode: IAD – Something was obviously going to trigger this battle but I wasn’t that. Full marks to Homeland for the shock and aftermath.