TV Review: Homeland Season 3 Episodes 5 & 6 – “The Yoga Play” / “Still Positive” (US, 2013)

  • Alex King
  • November 7, 2013
  • Comments Off on TV Review: Homeland Season 3 Episodes 5 & 6 – “The Yoga Play” / “Still Positive” (US, 2013)

homeland

Homeland is back for another year. I will be chronicling the journeys of Carrie, Saul and Brody throughout the third season of the best show currently on television. Spoilers within so don’t read before viewing the episodes!

Previously on Homeland…

So the whole ‘Saul betraying Carrie and having her put in a mental institution’ scenario was a set-up. Carrie and Saul were working together the whole time, and the plan was to tempt Javadi (a senior member of Iran’s intelligence agency) to recruit Carrie as a mole. Javadi’s people have reached out to Carrie and she has agreed to meet with him. Meanwhile, Dana is on the run with her new boyfriend, Leo.

The Plot:

Saul has decided to bring Quinn (Rupert Friend) in on his operation with Carrie, and has asked him to keep an eye on her. Jessica Brody approaches Carrie to ask her to help her find Dana, which Carrie attempts to do, even though it might blow her cover with Javadi (Shaun Toub), who believes her to have severed ties with the CIA. Dana dumps Leo and returns home after hearing that he may have killed his brother. Saul attends a weekend retreat where he believes he will be announced as the President’s choice to become official director of the CIA, but the President has chosen Senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts). Carrie is abducted by Javadi’s men, who take her to meet him. Carrie tells Javadi that the CIA knows about his dealings and that Saul is interested in talking with him. Javadi agrees and Carrie is released. Saul’s team keeps Javadi under surveillance, but are unable to stop him from committing two murders. They capture him and take him in for questioning. In the Brody household, Dana decides to change her last name and then announces that she is moving out. Also… (SPOILER ALERT) Carrie is pregnant. Drama!

The Good:

These were both solid episodes. This show is definitely never predictable. I assumed that Carrie was going to remain Javadi’s hostage for at least an episode or two, but she got released after one night! The scenes at the weekend retreat were a great way to set up the prickly dynamic between Saul and Lockhart, and Patinkin and Letts really sold it. Danes was solid as ever but didn’t really have anything terribly interesting to do. But that’s probably because Danes is such a natural that she makes it look so easy. The moment where Saul realised what Javadi was going to do at the end of episode 6 was thrilling, and Javadi’s invasion of his own son’s home and subsequent murder of his wife and daughter in law was chilling and disturbing; not to mention being the most gory event to occur in the show’s history. This guy is evil. But most importantly, who is the father of Carrie’s unborn child?

The Bad:

While I find the Dana and Jessica Brody to be quite interesting characters, their story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. This isn’t helped by the fact that when Brody isn’t on the show (as he hasn’t been for most of the season so far) their connection to anything else that is going on in the show is incredibly loose. Plus, Chris Brody (Jackson Pace) needs a storyline! He has literally done nothing in the whole time the show has been on air. He is the Rickon of the Brody family.

The Ugly:

Could Lockhart exude any more of a douchebag alert? Given the fact that this guy is going to be running the CIA pretty soon, Saul is going to have some very interesting days at the office. Also, Lockhart is in agreement with Dar Adal that Carrie is a loose end that needs to be eliminated. Bastards!

Verdict:

Season 3 of Homeland is chugging along solidly and excitingly. We’ve reached the halfway point and I have absolutely no idea where it will go from here. It is absolutely thrilling television!

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Homeland screens at 8.30pm Monday nights on Channel 10.