The moment had come. We had written recaps, accolades, predictions, and more, and it was all about to pay off. HOMELAND was back, and we were about to strap ourselves in for a wild ride of intrigue and forbidden lurve. Indeed, when those big beautiful seriffed “SHOWTIME PRESENTS” letters appeared on the screen and burned themselves into our eyeballs we were nothing short of giddy.
And Saul, Saul! How we missed your measured and cautiously-pessimistic tones. Is this the season of Saul, is Saul bout to step outta dat ivory tower and kick some terrorist butt without all the moral qualms? And what about Carrie? Do they all think she’s, like, crazy, because she kinda is, and, ya know, she likes JAAZZZZZ?!
Well, maybe. After the Season 3 premiere, we still don’t really know much. Here’s where we stand:
+ Saul and his new “ends justify the means”-y second-in-command Dar Adal are trying to keep the government from revoking the CIA’s charter because they f’d up, big time, but should probably still exist. This means Saul and pointy-beard kill terrorists and occasionally throw Carrie under the bus in Senate committee hearings.
+ Carrie is off her meds, and trying really hard to make alternative medicine work for her. She feels v. betrayed and saddened by Saul, whose #1 job is no longer letting her go rogue on his watch.
+ Dana tried to commit suicide ( 😦 ) because pressure after the country blamed her Dad for a terrorist attack was too hard to handle. We feel sad for Dana, and glad she found a new Boo in rehab, but not sure how wise her nudey-sexts are.
+ No line yet on Brody, but the “scenes from next week” kinda made it look like the Homeland peeps might try to just completely rip off season 1 and pull an is-he-or-isn’t-he a terrorist now move. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
+ Peter Quinn is a badass with a heart of gold.
+ Someone is leaking secrets of the Brody-Carrie spy AND sexual relaysh to the Senate, making ultra-dick Senator Andrew Lockhart’s job of bringing down the CIA with scary hearings and truth-getting a whole lot easier. THE FILES ARE IN THE COMPUTER.
+ Chris Brody is firmly in the throes of puberty and it feels so good!
The question on everyone’s mind as this season premiered was whether it would be able to get back to its subtle and mind-boggling Season 1 roots, or whether it would venture into 24 territory where, as someone very wise put it, “put politicians in entirely unrealistic situations and let them get away with totes illegal stuff then write around the consequences rather than addressing them.” Could Homeland develop the relationship between the characters and the audience in which dramatic irony is so tenuous and important, or would it turn into a show about hunting terrorists?
The did or did Brody not perpetrate the massive bombing at the end of Season 2 is a kind of pale imitation of Season 1 drama, as is Carrie’s own self-assuredness on this issue. And the first half of this episode, plus Saul’s new challenges as CIA director, kind of played on the Homelandian (heyo!) tension between audience, characters, and truth that I think defines the show. However, the second half was just kinda…. eh. Carrie is back to her destructive patterns, Saul is becoming a bureaucrat, everybody’s hunting terrorists, and there’s a new bad guy in the form of Senator Andrew Lockhart – with whom I cannot HELP but associate a certain other Lockhart, if ya know whad I mean….
Homeland, my thoughts and emotions for you are both complicated and not complicated at the same time. I love you for what you once were, and hope you can get over your Brody-shaped road bumps to get back to your essence, but in the meantime, I’m kind of losing patience.
That being said, I do love a good Carrie crazy-board, so I WILL be tuning in next week, perhaps pouring out some of that Chardonnay for all o’ my dead homies.