(Aside: I had originally, accidentally wrote down the Dexter episode title as Homeland's episode title -- "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl." I spent a good portion of my recap feeling like an idiot for not understanding the meaning behind that title. "Beirut Is Back," the actual title, makes a bit more sense.)
We're only two episodes in, and already Homeland seems to be suffering from a bit of a sophomore slump.
Don't get me wrong. The show has not yet reached Walking Dead levels of frustration or ridiculousness (not even close). There are still a lot of really good, really great things happening on Homeland. Just...there are also some less great things.
Problem #1: Brody's motivation. I mentioned this in my recap last week: Why is Brody still helping Abu Nazir? We had a little bit of an insight in last night's episode where he mentioned casually to his wife that the veterans of the war would be better served if she and her lady friends just blew up all of the law makers in America. Because they make bombs that kill soldiers. (Sidebar: Why he would let his guard down and trust Jessica with that kind of honesty is another question altogether.) So, obviously, he still empathizes with Nazir's plight, somewhat or whatever. Maybe he really empathizes with it and he's happy to go along with the plan as long as he doesn't have to suicide bomb himself this time because he likes all of the attention/praise/glory he's getting by being a member of Congress. That's believable, I suppose. I just would still like a TINY bit more insight into what exactly drives Brody.
Also: Why did he text Abu Nazir? Did somebody know that he was in the room watching the thing happen? How, if Brody just found out himself when he arrived at the Pentagon? What would've happened if he had let Abu Nazir get dead? Would that have meant Brody could drop out of the game? Would he be in more danger? Would his family be in danger? I just have a few questions.
Problem #2: Carrie and Brody are too far apart. I know this one is going to change, hopefully sooner rather than later; but the chemistry between Carrie and Brody is one of the best parts of the show -- whether they're following each other or yelling at each other or...not yelling at each other. And it is going to be really interesting to see how Carrie gets her groove back once Saul tells her she was right about Brody and the attack on the vice president.
Can we talk for a minute about Saul and the bag? That's a lot of coincidence right there. Let's follow the path getting us from "not having Brody video" to "having Brody video:"
1. Carrie had to jump out of the car and run up to Fatima's apartment to look for...something. Some evidence/information regarding Abu Nazir. (Not that hard to believe. We've known for quite some time about Carrie's inability to play by the rules.)
2. She had to find a bag in which to put all of the evidence/info. And it had to be THAT BAG. (Maybe a side-effect of Carrie's bipolar disorder allows her to see things she might not realize she sees, like a heightened sense of awareness? She does have great attention to detail.)
3. She had to escape the bad guys AND have the cute new CIA guy find her.
4. Cute new CIA guy had to get tired and go to sleep, leaving Saul to clean up all of the paperwork.
5. Instead of just piling it up, Saul had to put it all back in the bag -- THAT BAG -- and fondle the canvas. (I wish that Homeland had established earlier a fetish where Saul needs to obsessively run his hands over textiles.)
6. Saul, an old, had to be familiar enough with computers to know how to view the video.
But regardless of how we arrived there, we now know that Saul knows that Brody's a terr'ist. And that's exciting, exciting stuff. So I'll give all the machinations of how we got to that point a pass. And I'm very excited to see how all of this plays out.
Lest you think all I want to do is harp on Homeland for little things, let's talk about the good stuff that happened.
- The ending, which I already mentioned.
- Talia Balsam as Cynthia, the VP's wife. Maybe John Slattery can show up as a senator who likes golden showers and LSD and stuff.
- Whatever is brewing between Dana and Finn Walden, the VP's son, I like it. There is a lot of potential for drama in this situation.
- The scene with three different groups of people watching the attempted capture/murder of Abu Nazir was tense and awesome and Homeland at its best.
Anyway, I heard on the Twitter that next week's episode is "totes awesome," and we should all be preparing now to have our minds blown.
What did you think of this episode? Are you fine with Brody's motivations and I'm just complaining for complaining's sake? Do you often check the lining of your bags before throwing stuff inside them? Maybe that's a thing and I'm just 0ut of it.