Homeland Season 3: Mid-season review

Image from wikipedia.org

Image from wikipedia.org

***SPOILER ALERT*** This piece contains key details of the show’s current and past seasons, read at your own risk!

Showtime’s hit series has been smashing the ratings and earning important awards since it started back in 2011. The show gave us a chance to experience the return to TV of the amazing Claire Danes. In addition, those who missed the 24-like spy thrillers were able to get their dose just fine with this show. The series started off strong and was able to gain an important following. The show won the Outstanding Drama Series in 2012 at the Emmy Awards and back-to-back Best Drama Series in 2012 and 2013 at the Golden Globes. These are just a few of the awards the show has received in its relatively short airtime.

With mind-blowing twists and complicated love triangles, Homeland’s 1st season managed to be the perfect blend of action and drama. The 2nd season was even stronger with more incredible twists, emotional breakdowns, more terrorist attacks and countless deaths compared to the 1st season. The 2nd season also gave more prominence to Dana’s (Brody’s daughter) character and also more focus on Carrie’s mental health issues and sexual endeavors with Brody. Peter Quinn also gave the show an interesting recurring character with an unclear background and unclear intentions. With Brody basically disappearing at the Canadian border, the 3rd season sure promised to be an exciting manhunt and give new life to the CIA after David Estes’s death.

The 3rd season kicked off in good fashion with Carrie testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence led by the harsh Senator Lockhart. In addition, we find out that Dana tried to kill herself and stayed at a hospital for a month. We also see Saul serving as interim director of the CIA and Majid Javadi being the main target for the new season, since he was the man responsible for the attack on Langley.

The Carrie storyline develops in a great way as she is sent to a hospital to recover from her mental disorder. While we have seen this weakness in the previous seasons, we finally see Carrie hit rock bottom and it was perfectly acted and written. One of the least popular plots this season is Dana Brody’s (or Lazaro now) teenage escapade with a fellow hospital patient named Leo. For the first 5 episodes all we see is Dana being a brat, sneaking out of her house, hating her mother, having sex, being rebellious by running away and even changing her legal name. While the show’s first 2 seasons have served to establish its powerhouse status, this season the writers decided to try different things. Unfortunately for them, the Dana experiment didn’t work out very well. Another thing the show’s really missing this season is Nick Brody. We’ve only been able to see him once this season. We at least know he’s in Caracas, Venezuela (actually filmed in Puerto Rico) and that he’s not in the best shape nor with the best people. The main antagonist is something every viewer is missing, as he gives the show intensity.

Despite those 2 low points this season, the naming of the next CIA director plot is gaining momentum after we find out Senator Lockhart is basically a done deal. On top of that, we see more of Saul this season (who doesn’t love more Mandy Patinkin?) as his marriage is on thin ice and he serves as the interim director during one of the toughest times the agency has had. In addition, the inception of Fara Sherazi as a new CIA analyst gives the show a great new perspective. Before this season, we had only seen the action side from Carrie at the CIA, the rest of the women played very domestic roles, which is why it’s nice to see Fara gaining momentum at the agency.

The last two episodes have shown more of the “classic” Homeland by bringing in Majid Javadi and having Carrie serve as a bait in order to arrest him for the Langley attack. We see lightning-fast plot twists when Javadi captures Carrie and then manages to kill her ex wife before accepting to head to Langley for questioning. In addition, we see that Carrie has taken over a dozen pregnancy tests and all of them have been positive. Finally, this mid-season point left us with Saul being the most aggressive he’s ever been when he punches Javadi.

Overall, this season has gone from good to great in terms of content and ratings. The Javadi appearance definitely gives the show the much needed antagonist presence. While we may still miss Nick Brody, Javadi is working well right now. The CIA director spot storyline should give us some great stories, as Senator Lockhart’s iron fist should revolutionize the agency. In the end, the (hopeful) return of Brody to America should give these last 6 episodes enough material to keep us on our seat. Plus, Carrie’s pregnancy will definitely will hog a lot of attention. Let’s just hope the baby doesn’t inherit her mental disorders, that would be one chaotic family.

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