Like many of you, I had become disillusioned and dreadfully disappointed in Homeland by the time season three came to an end. It was particularly frustrating because Homeland started out on such a high note. I believed, as critics and other fans did, that we were witnessing the beginning of another epic show, atune to say Breaking Bad. Of course that bubble burst way to soon. Yet I can say, they have managed to dig themselves out of a very big hole, and found their way back, if not to the brilliance of the first season, at least to a show worthy of an hour of your Sunday night.
Here, in no specific order, are ten reasons to give Homeland another try. (Spoiler alerts)
The tension in the plot. By the third episode you’ll be on the edge of your seat at the end of each sixty minute episode, experiencing a OMG moment, a did that just really happen moment, and have to wait another full week — which will seem at that moment like an eternity. I love it!
Thought provoking. It gets the audience thinking about real events in the Middle East that have played out over the past year or so, as well as in the minute real life perils. Drone and airplane attacks, terrorist cells and embassy security all play a role in the season.
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. What will happen to Saul as he starts a new life outside the CIA. Can he hack the private sector? There is no better actor to watch portray a man ousted from a world that’s all he has known and thrives on. His eloquent portrayal highlights what a painful place that can be.
Clare Danes as Carrie Mathison. Watching Carrie comes to terms (or not) with the brutal reality of being a mother (more on that). How she will deal with what she did at the end of last year, arguably sending the man she loved to his death. I’d wager that is difficult for even the most seasoned gifted bi-polar spy among us. Her nuanced performance depicts her inner turmoil lying in wait just below the surface.
It is oh so easy on the eyes. Not only does Rupert Friend give a strong solid performance as the hardened CIA operative, Peter Quinn, but it’s hard not to get lost in those soulful beautiful eyes. Yum!
A Pakistani point of view. Highlighting Aayan’s journey, as the sole survivor of the drone attack, on his own for a few episodes before he interacts with any of the other major characters tells the story from 2 sides.
The bathroom scene. Who knew watching a mother give her child a bath could be so riveting.
Drawing the line? Peter Quinn provides a much-needed moral conscience in the narrative. Quinn questions the bombing, he questions the CIA as well as his own involvement, even as Carrie is too fixated on avoiding her civilian life to question anything.
Taking on the subject of mental illness. Carrie fights with her illness often, and sometimes she wins and sometimes she loses as is the case in reality. It deftly highlights the difficulties people with mental illness have in maintaining healthy relationships, in and outside of work, not always knowing how to care for oneself, and the consequences that brings. In a country so insecure about mental health it draws a red flag to the need for accessible and affordable behavioral health care for those in need.
The virtues of diplomacy over force. This season explores the delicate dance one must do in negotiating with one’s enemy. When to be tough, how to read between the lines, and deciphering the hidden meanings behind what is said and not said. This is where Carrie excels, she intuitively knows when all is not as it seems.
Feel like avoiding the chaos of retail shopping? Bunker in at home, order in food, and binge watch the first nine episodes. You’ll be all caught up for tonight’s episode. Just a thought.
Homeland airs on Showtime Sunday @ 10:00 EST.
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Correction. Home Land is off for a week and returns Sunday, December 7th @ 10:00 EST. Gives you more time to catch up!!