Homeland Recap: Surviving 'Like a Cockroach'

Homeland Season 3 Brody ReturnsThis Sunday on Showtime’s Homeland, Nicholas Brody (played by Damian Lewis) finally reared his head again, far from Canada and perhaps as far from being “home” as he ever will be.

In Season 3’s third episode — penned by Henry Bromell, who last month won a posthumous Emmy for writing last season’s “Q&A” — the action picked up in Venezuela, where Brody, gushing blood from a gunshot, was delivered to El Nino, a shady sort with a gang of gunmen.

As Brody is tended to by a mysterious doctor in less-than-ideal conditions (“Could someone do something about the lights?!”), we learn there is an enormous bounty on the Langley Bomber’s head, yet neither El Nino nor the doc are rushing to cash in. When Brody next awakes, he’s in a bed inside the 45-story Caracas slum known as “The Tower of David.” He begs El Nino’s daughter Esme to stop managing his pain with heroin, then sets out to build up his strength. “Why are you helping me?” he asks El Nino. The answer: “You know Carrie Mathison. So do I.”

Brody overdoes it with the ambling around, so the doc checks on him again — and it’s suggested that the two share a similar persona non grata status. (Accounting for his servitude, the doc says, “The world outside can be judgmental and cruel.”) Brody is presented with the man who pinched his passport when he was passed out post-op — before El Nino’s goons lob the guy from the high-rise. Why? Because they cannot risk anyone knowing who and where Brody is. And make no mistake, this is where he is, and ever shall be. “There’s no ‘next place'” to go, El Nino affirms. “This is it for you. The end of the line.”

Brody, however, believes he has the answer, and employs Esme to sneak him off to the local mosque. There, he is indeed welcomed by the Imam and his wife — until he is abruptly assaulted mid-shower by policemen tipped off to his whereabouts. “You are not Muslim. You’re a terrorist,” the Imam scolds… just before he, his wife and the MPs get gunned down by El Nino’s men. “This is what happens,” El Nino says as Brody is relegated to a dingier, darker, cage-like dwelling. “Carrie won’t save you. No one will.”

The doc pays Brody a visit and reiterates El Nino’s point, noting, “Everywhere you go, people die. But you always manage to survive, like a cockroach after nuclear bombs go off.” The doc leaves behind a syringe and tourniquet, which a pained, defeated Brody reaches for at hour’s end.

Meanwhile in the States, Carrie reports to Dr. Cass Winthrop (or, you know, Another World alum Stephen Schnetzer) that she is feeling more lucid as she acclimates to the lithium. But later, in the midst of erecting a fine Popsicle stick house, Carrie steps out to bang her head against a bathroom mirror. After venting her frustration to the nurse who finds her bruised, Carrie is reassured that people care about her — in fact, some man recently came by to ask about her.

Convinced it’s Saul (yet still not rating visiting privileges), Carrie keeps her eyes peeled on the parking lot until she sees a “familiar” SVU pull up. She coerces a compassionate nurse, Abby, to get her downstairs to intercept the visitor, and who she finds is not Saul but Paul Franklin, a law firm associate who says a partner wants to get Carrie out of there. Wary of the man’s motives  — she feels as if he’s recruiting an asset for the Iranians or Syrians — Carrie says she’d rather die inside the psych ward, then goes to ask Abby for her next round of meds.

When last we see Carrie, she is curled up in a dark corner of her room, precisely as we last see Brody.

What did you think of the episode “Tower of David” and Brody’s reappearance? How might he ever get back home? And is anyone else wondering: Did this “Paul Franklin” ever really visit Carrie? (I suppose he did, because: this.) Plus: No Dana this week!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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72 Comments
  1. Dan says:

    The worst episode yet — tedious, boring. Seemed like writers don’ t have a clear idea where this is going and are stalling to decide what’s going on.

    • Jenny says:

      Yeah usually the show is fast paced ,it has twists and turns and surprises us here and there…some things completely lacking this season so far.

    • David4 says:

      I watched the premiere and wanted my 48 minutes back. It was just so boring and seemingly pointless. I haven’t watched the second one, or this one, and it seems I’m not missing anything.

      Maybe they want to put us to sleep before they blow something meaningful up.

    • benis says:

      you couldn’t be more wrong. this episode was a million times more interesting and entertaining than the first 2 episodes this season. finally something actually happened. and i couldn’t possibly care any less about dana. glad mike is gone. brody’s wife is so hot too. need more of her. would like to see her ( . )( . )

    • Jeannine Altmeyer says:

      Yes, I felt like I was hit by a sledgehammer. The parallel drama of Brody and Carrie was so heavy handed. Thank God no Dana or Jessica!

  2. Tim says:

    utter confusion…

    • Jenny says:

      Idk what was confusing about it. Pretty clear and to the point….

    • I, and those I know who watch this series, agree wholeheartedly. WTH happened? Who shot Brody, and how did he get to Venezuela?? And why is he being kept prisoner, and forced to drugs? Did I miss an episode somewhere?

      • Jenny says:

        Brody had been on the run because he is a wanted man, everyone knows face, almost everyone anyway, he was shot I imagine by ppl trying to capture him, remember he is wanted dead or alive reward is 10 million.

  3. Tim says:

    this episode crazier and more confusing than the House Republicans…

  4. Jenny says:

    I enjoyed the episode, I do wonder when it’s gonna kick into gear and give us that heart stopping drama that gives us anxiety and whatnot.

  5. James D says:

    i thought it was the best episode so far. with that said the Brody being trapped and addicted to heroin will get boring real quick so i hope they change it up soon. the whole series has been about him being trapped one way or another, it would be nice to see something new. the same is said for crazy Carrie the chin quivers have got to freaking stop its turning me off from the show.

    • Tigerlily says:

      Agree. I want smart Carrie, not chin-quiver Carrie. She’s supposed to be a veteran spy and she can’t even hold a poker face together for 5 minutes at a mental health hearing? What was that about! I thought her issue was obsession… not melting down cause daddy says take your meds – like she’s never had THAT conversation before. C’mon guys.

  6. namie says:

    BRODYYY! BRODY IS BAAACK, BABY.

  7. Toobad says:

    Looks like Homeland only had two good seasons in it. Such a shame that a great show like this has completely fallen off the tracks in such a short amount of time.

  8. johnhelvete says:

    Matt,
    Erik Dellums (Luther Mahoney in the flesh from Homicide) deserves a mention!

    • Lisa G says:

      Every time I see him, no matter the show, I always smile and say, “Luther!” And he was actually doing a Luther in this one. :)

      Of course I appreciated the Another World shout-out since I also said, “Cass!”

      All in all, a great flashback ep for me, and I also appreciate the dark character exploration. After an event as big as the CIA bombing and Carrie being the only one who knows Brody is innocent, if this season treated these characters as if nothing extraordinary had happened it would be a huge disservice to the integrity of the characters.

      Dana has annoyed me at times (and thank goodness she got rid of those awful boots) but I like her current storyline. Very realistic. The damage done to Brody extends to his family.

  9. Wasn’t the best episode the shows ever had, but honestly I’ll forgive them for being less than superb if it means we get Brody back.

  10. Jo says:

    Wow. That was one sh!$ty hour of television.

    • benis says:

      the episode was only 53 minutes. maybe you watching a black screen for 7 minutes after it ended effects how you feel about the episdoe.

  11. Lenny says:

    the show took a wrong turn early in Season 2 by revealing all there was to know about Brody right at the start, effectively ending the “Homeland” premise of Carrie the crack CIA analyst sniffing out the real terrorist when no one else could the moment Brody was revealed. From there, the only way to preserve and build the drama relating to the whole point of why the show is called Homeland in the first place was to make Nazir the focus of the CIA’s actions instead. Brody, by then, was a fully-known quantity and seemingly would be marginalized from that point forward. Seriously, what was left to develop around the Brody character once all his actions were known and his terror sponsor Nazir was dead?

    The writers seemed to understand this problem and they finally restored some balance to the show in the final Season 2 episode by having Brody possibly being involved in the bombing of the CIA; however, stunningly, they gutted the premise of Brody as bad guy, hunted by Carrie as hero yet again by having Carrie smuggle Brody out of the country, putting her love for him ahead of everything we thought she stood for.

    That signaled to me that, unfortunately, the writers seemed (and still seem) more interested in following the paths of two doomed lovers until they finally re-unite rather than the efforts of a top-notch CIA case officer who was the only one to sniff out the truth about the show’s protagonist and whose mission in life was supposed to be protecting her homeland.

    What an absurd turn of events the writers created for themselves during and at the very end of Season 2. Once that season ended so ridiculously, what else was left to pursue? Plausibly, if Brody was to remain on the show, he had to be marginalized by having him remain out of the country and on the run. And if Carrie were to remain on the show, she had to be neutered by an arrest and/or psych ward detention.

    That’s the hand the writers dealt themselves going into this third season and I suspect that the next thing we will see is an even more absurd turn of events that finds a way to put these two back in play and, I fear, back in each other’s arms.

    It was truly the best television ever in Season 1. It no longer is.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Yeah I am a little concerned that the writers are going to try to bring Brody back and keep him on the show for season 4. They need to move on from Brody and his family, and set up a new storyline. My suggestion is Somalian immigrants in Minneapolis being recruited by Al Shabaab.

    • Rusty says:

      Well said! I couldn’t agree more. Best analogy of the series I’ve ever read. Last nights episode had me fast forwarding my DVR just to end it. I’ll give it one more episode and if it gets better, I’ll hang in there, but if it’s the same ole crap I’ve seen so far……..

      • Lenny says:

        thank you for your support of my post. Just like you and most or all of the others here, it pains me to see the direction the writers and directors have chosen here

  12. Tigerlily says:

    Three episodes in and the only mystery for me to ponder is what are the writers smoking? There’s no action, no intrigue, no edge of your seat scenes… and no discernible plot line in sight.The two main characters are locked up doing nothing but fuming in frustration. This episode was so pointless, I wanted to bang my head against a bathroom mirror. Carrie’s career at the CIA is clearly over. Brody is headed toward being a heroin addict… WTH Showtime? you get one more episode b4 I cancel my subscription.

  13. Britta Unfiltered says:

    So the Tower of David is a real place in Venezuela? Nice research work there, Matt. I would never have guessed that was a real thing.
    .
    I’m way curious about that doctor. I want to know what he did.
    .
    Overall I thought the episode was great. Very sad. It seems like Brody is meant to be a prisoner no matter where he goes. Damian Lewis always has this way of pulling my heart strings and making me want to cry. He’s just so earnest and sweet.
    .
    If I was forced to spend my day building a popsicle stick house, I would go bang my head against a mirror too.

    • Fan says:

      The doctor is living in the Tower of David because he’s a pedophile and no one bothers him there When Brody asked the doctor why he (the doctor) was there, the doctor stroked the young boy’s hand in response. Later, the boy and doctor were holding hands. So either the doctor is a pedophile, or else he had to escape the USA in order to get custody of his son. Those are the most likely scenarios for the doctor’s presence.

      • Christine says:

        Those were my exact thoughts!!!! He’s so creepy yet intriguing at the same time.

      • DanielleZ says:

        I had the same thought about the doctor being an American pedophile in hiding. What a creep. Will be interesting to see where this episode leads, if anywhere. What struck me was the hopelessness of Carrie’s and Brody’s situations. Both are beyond rock bottom so I guess we’ll see them miracously pulling themselves out and up. Something else I noticed is that Brody ended up in Caracas. Last week Quinn carried out an operation in Caracas so will be interesting to see the connection.

  14. PV says:

    My wife and I loved this show during its first two seasons. This season has been like being water-boarded. We keep hanging in there, waiting for things to start going, but they seem to be stuck in slow-motion drama. I’m afraid they already ran out of steam and now are ready to jump the shark, so to speak. Too bad.

  15. Marc says:

    Brody as a junkie???? I did not see that one coming and I simply cannot wrap my mind around that. So where do they go from there with him?

    • Terry says:

      Didn’t Carrie leave Brody with money for life in Canada? So how’s he ending up in a slum with gunshot wounds?

      • Marc says:

        Yes, she gave him a new identity and a wad of cash. They did mention last night that they kept moving him around, but I watched and watched, and watched last night, hoping for some explanation of how he ended up shot in Venezuela, and nothing. Although I suspect that during the process of moving him from one safe house to another, he was shot, maybe by someone who recognized him and wanted to nab him for the bounty.

        But right now, I’m more concerned about having to watch another episode with Brodie shooting heroin and locked into some room insisting that he can’t stay there. As I watched with mounting horror last night, I couldn’t believe that the writers were really going there with his character.

        • Alichat says:

          In last season’s finale, Carrie said that the plan was to cross the border into Canada on foot, and then hop a fishing boat to parts unknown. So he’s been hopping from place to place these last couple of months, and was shot by Columbians as he was crossing the border into Venezuela.

  16. cas says:

    Isn’t the show based on a novel or book series? If so, wouldn’t the stories pertain to that, so I mean we should be blaming those writers for the lack of “suspense”. I get what everyone is saying but I don’t expect any show I watch to keep me on the edge of my seat every episode. I think there is a story to tell and they are just trying to give up the background information on it. I guess I am just trying to be positive. Also, I am tired of everyone bashing Carrie. I am not familiar with mental illness but even I know that what she is portraying is accurate. Then on top of that having everyone think you are crazy makes it probably even worse, even when you know you aren’t.

  17. Justannoyed says:

    Matt said on Spoiler alert that he has watched ep. 2 twice! I was surprised Matt and Ausiello didn’t have any bad comments on the show besides saying it’s been less like 24 and more like a slow drama. C’mon, it’s been horrible!!! I don’t need any scoops but I’d love to know, does it get ANY better?

  18. SouthernBelle says:

    I’m sad that Peter wasn’t in this episode. I really, really want Peter and Carrie together.

  19. Kiki says:

    It’s kind of sad to read the comments by all the action junkies saying the episode was too slow or boring. Even the Dana haters sadden me. It was about time they spent more time on the fallout that occurs after all the wham bam stuff you all want more of. Dana for example – anyone remember Carrie’s appearance on the family lawn and her convincing Dana she had to be the one to talk her father down? If you lost your father for the formative years of your life, JUST got him back and then lost him again and had to deal with the world thinking he murdered over 200 people you might be a little messed up, too.

    As for this episode, I told someone last night I thought the theme was “Stuck”. Brody thinks if he keeps going, just gets to “the next place,” everything will be alright. Nope sorry. And now you’ve got four more bodies to stack on the guilt. Finally shooting up sealed that fate. And then look at Carrie. She’s beyond mad at Saul for throwing her under the bus but despite that and despite that it was Quinn who showed up at her commitment hearing, the first name out of her mouth when she hears about someone asking about her is Saul. But no matter how much she wants out, when she thinks she figures out what it will take to get her out, she refuses, goes back inside and demands her meds. Stuck.

  20. guest567 says:

    Has Brody actually committed any terrorist acts yet? Yes, he recorded the tape, because he was brainwashed in season 1, but he did not go through with exploding the vest, so just recording the tape is not a terrorist act. Regarding Vice President’s death in season 2, it was Nazir who actually malfunctioned his heart monitor and killed Walden. Brody let him die in front of him in order to save Carrie from Nazir’s captivity. And regarding CIA bombing there is no evidence yet that Brody was involved, so he is not a terrorist until they show that he was involved in the bombing.

    • Karen Baird says:

      I didn’t spot this – someone else on another site did – but when Brody was walking up the stairs to the memorial service for the VP, he shook hands with a general and GAVE HIM HIS CAR KEYS. I saw it with my own eyes.

      • guest567 says:

        Yes, he gave someone keys to park his car. That doesn’t mean that he knew that there was a bomb in his car. Whoever took the keys could have put a bomb in Brody’s car. There is no evidence that Brody was involved in the bombing.

    • Karen Baird says:

      Brody DID try to detonate the vest, but it malfunctioned. He went back into the restroom and tried to fix it again and tried again to detonate it.

      • guest567 says:

        Yes, he did go to fix the vest, but if you watch the episode, his daughter Dana called him and started talking to him and he did not detonate the bomb. So it was Dana who helped Brody decide to live for his family and not blow up the vest. That moment was very important because Brody changed.

  21. Coleen says:

    I thought this was the best episode so far of the season. It was intense and full of mystery about Brody’s appearance in Venezuela. I am glad Brody is back. The previous two episodes were overloaded with CIA trial stuff, Carrie’s breakdown and Saul and Dana. I do like Quinn, but he wasn’t featured as much. Contrary to popular opinion, I am interested in seeing how Brody’s family, especially Jessica and Dana are coping with the event, but maybe there was a little to much focus on Dana. But I think it’s fitting that they are showing his family, because of how their lives were transformed. Now I hope that they will show us more Brody and his story, because that’s what’s the most interesting to me.

  22. Heathers says:

    Tim, exactly WTF do House Republicans have to do with this show?
    Matt, can you PLEASE delete or not allow idiots like Tim post their political banter?!

  23. Heathers says:

    I didn’t recognize him with the beard at first, but as soon as I heard that smooth voice, I said (in my head) “it’s Cass Winthrop!”. Loved your reference to him Matt!

  24. Robin says:

    People, please trust the writers! They have proven once and again to create plot twists and story lines to get you to the edge of your seat within the blink of an eye. They will do so once again, don’t doubt it.
    I find it funny to see a lot of people wondering when the story line of this season will finally start, when you should just appreciate the tone and sadness of the current situation. And once you begin to realize that the story already started, the intrigue is in the subtle way our new ‘bad guy’ handles himself, that they don’t have to figure out new storylines because we’re still in the big old mess that started in season one.

    I got only question for you guys: Who’s the mole? Or to put it another way: Who could be the ‘mole’ in the last two seasons and with one small scene could change this season into frenetic, fasten your seatbelts, roller coaster ride…
    Think about that ;)

    • Justannoyed says:

      I hope you’re right! But still 3 episodes of boredom in a show that runs for 12 episodes could certainly have been much much better developed. I hope in the final episodes they don’t just rush it all. And considering Showtime’s actions towards Dexter’s end it’s hard for me to just trust the writers.

  25. abz says:

    I usually don’t mind the slow pace. I really enjoyed the first two episodes of this season. However, this episode was so tedious to watch. I like Brody character and all, but he can’t hold an episode alone. The first 20 minutes I was watching, I kept thinking when the hell was Carey going to show up. I was so happy when she finally did. The episode was just snail pace slow and boring.

  26. abz says:

    Also, I’m not expecting fluency from the actors, but if they are going to make them speak in Arabic, at least have them practice a little and hire an Arabic language coach or something. Most likely the majority of the audience may not really care, but watching Damien Lewis speak it was cringeworthy. It’s just always so badly spoken.

    • T says:

      Perhaps it’s authentic that an American who just learned Arabic would speak like that? Brody mostly taught English to Nazir’s son – he most probably continued speaking English as his native tongue, and only just learned Arabic enough to get by on. You can’t expect someone to be fluent in a language that is not their first.

      • abz says:

        I get what you’re trying to say though and I’m not expecting fluency from him, but at least to be able to understand what he was trying to say. I was listening him talk to that Imam and he was struggling so much to get the words out. I understood overall what he was trying to say, but it was just so bad. They should have included subtitles. It’s not just him, but the extras or other characters on the show that we are supposed to assume are actually Arab or typically speaking Arabic regularly as well/
        I think it’s just become a trend across most American shows that include Arab characters, It’s always so obvious (to me at least) that they’re not Arab, but I guess that’s because Arab actors are hard to come by for American shows.

    • Sarah says:

      And give the audience subtitles! I speak some Spanish so I was able to piece together what the characters were saying in those scenes, but in general it was so frustrating!

      • abz says:

        I know how you feel. I speak Arabic, but it was pretty frustrating. I wish they had included subtitles for the non-English dialogue because I don’t know Spanish and I had no idea what they were saying.

        • Ake says:

          Hey,

          I would love to know what he was saying in arabic.

          • abz says:

            Here’s what I could understand (but like I said, he struggled somewhat with the dialogue and some of the words were a little unclear, to me at least):
            “Assalamu alaikum. I am a muslim, lost in this world, and I try to be faithful. I want to be (**unclear word**) once again. In the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful. I beg you… (I couldn’t figure out the rest of what he said).”
            Overall though, he was basically trying to convince the Imam to take him in,

  27. Mikael says:

    Did they say exactly why they’re keeping Brody and not killing him/turning him in? Other than “knowing Carrie Mathison too.” Perhaps it’s something we’ll find out later? I wasn’t sure if I missed something or not.

  28. Eddie says:

    Last show was the worst ever. A complete waste of time.Throw the daughter off the show, we don’t care about her teenage romance, a waste of valuable minutes, boring. You’re making Carrie a complete nutcase and not bringing out her ability to figure out the terrorism part of the show which has completely disappeared. Show started out great….terrorism in the US. It has completely disappeared. The show title is “Homeland” security…let’s see some. We don’t know what the hell Brody is doing, lots of holes. He gets shot…no clue as to why..Actors speaking foreign languages..we have no clue what they’re saying. Writers better shape up or lose lots of viewers for what use to be a great show but now seems boring and clueless

  29. Joe says:

    the problem is this show is run by the 24 guys – Gordon and Gansa.. they come up the story as it goes. Kiefer Sutherland described it in one of his interviews. They’ll wait til the last minute to get something on paper, and sometimes it’s exciting but usually not well thought out.

  30. I don’t know if I’m going to keep watching Homeland. The show was REALLY interesting at first as a criticism of America (I’m a conservative Republican for what that’s worth): It asked (I thought): “Can a religious society (Muslim Iraq) have a “pull” on us unconsciously, internally, i.e. could we see how their beliefs could be “purer” than our own American “win-at-all-costs-even-if-it-means-knowingly-bombing children” insane power mongering? I’m not saying that that’s the truth of the matter; I’m just saying that is how the issues were posed in Homeland, and we were asked to consider it. Actually that question was daring and deep. The fact that the actors were so absolutely top notch didn’t hurt. (Danes and Lewis and Patinkin, esp.)

    The war in Iraq has ended, and with it, the moment for the question the series was asking. America wants to put that war behind us (why on earth were we there so long, most of us ask). Here’s how I see it: The question Homeland was originally asking HAS to stay at the heart of the series. Even with the war in Iraq (in “real life”) ended, the question at the heart of this series can’t be changed. Nothing the writers replace it with can keep us deeply interested and on tenterhooks, the way we were in the beginning. Not even the total smitten-ness of Carrie and Brody (which is compelling and very believable somehow) can carry this series through. But it seems their love and devotion is all the show has to go on now that the question about the possible validity of religion as a “good anchor” – the possible “best anchor” – of a shared life with one’s fellows, has been dispatched — the answer of the writers being, “No, it doesn’t enlarge life: it makes for death-dealing fanatics, as we’ve always suspected.”)

    Now that they’ve killed that question (“answered it”), they may have killed the show, too.

    This question that I say the show started with as its premise (that I say can’t be changed lest the show die) was / is an uncomfortable one, but it wasn’t uncomfortable ENOUGH for the writers (the only discomfort they really experienced was that they HAD to have Brody remain credible and be viewed sympathetically as a character in spite of his inner conflict and the really out-of-bounds places it took him — places outside of being a patriotic American: but the writers weren’t serious about the question since they think they know the answer: he was really being patriotic in insisting America live up to her ideals).

    They’ve stepped around the question. Unless they have this question alive in themselves as they write, a question they don’t know the answer to, but write in order to find, this show will die.

    • Lenny says:

      Paula, just a spectacular post! Even better than that. Your thoughts on this series are 100% in agreement with my own but you put it out there in a way I could not possibly have done so well, and I’m known to write some pretty good stuff myself.

      Anyway, congrats on writing the single best post I’ve read on this page or any other, and on still seeing this series in the pure light of what seemed to be intended at the start. What a shame the directors and writers took the detours they did in Season 2 and left themselves almost no way back to the place they need to be right now and for the rest of the series

      • Hi Lenny, “…the pure light of what seemed to be intended at the start.” Exactly! Really enjoyed your comments, too. In fact they focused and inspired me to choose this forum as a place to express my own. You said what I did, that the writers can’t kill the questions by early answers and then think THEY’RE (the writers) just so amazingly talented and “creative” that they can still go ANYwhere. There’s a premise to this show, and that’s what’s got to be explored. They can’t go ANYwhere. That’s the whole problem with this idea of ‘creativity.’ “But we’re CREATIVE!” I can see them say theatrically, heads thrown back, back of their hand against their closed eyes… I’m reminded of a throw-away comment by Allan Bloom in “The Closing of the American Mind” p. 121 about this “capacity for self-deception, called creativity…” Unlike the (supposed???) original Creator, these writers are not going to be able to create something out of nothing. Loved your notion, by the way, of their having to ‘neuter Carrie by a psyche ward detention’ – I’d had the same idea (but not as colorfully put :-) — that they’ve got to use her craziness ’cause they’ve screwed the plot up so much that’s the only way they can have her do things she would never otherwise do. I hate to cast ANY doubt (and I mean this, I feel guilty doing it) on our heroine, but I fear they’ve smeared her with their own “creativity” as an attribute — and it’s a lousy superpower.

        For the first time ever, I didn’t watch Homeland tonight. I not inspired to finish it. When I’m 92 and in the home, I’ll check out where they went with it.

        The whole reason I arrived at this forum was that I googled whether anyone else was…hmmm… “not happy” with how this show had painted itself into a corner, unravelled — killed itself. I’m sure the writers think they’re all going to marvelously pull us all back in. But THEY came to premature conclusions about life’s deepest questions!!! Questions they themselves had asked!!! They put out there sex and violence — cutting edge. If they really want to be cutting edge, why are they in spite of themselves mastered by the zeitgeist’s unspoken censorship of things religious: – a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim – In this show, characters could have had some (short – we’re not looking for a talking-heads documentary) interesting arguments / thoughts / questions / with a character perhaps WRITING something, SAYING something, ASKING another a question… There were hints: Saul Berenson’s anger at the headscarf – but there could have been a great deal more. It’s true, religious questions could have been boring — like, say, a love story about a married couple. Or would they have been compelling? Even shockingly interesting?

        We seek literature/theatre/the movies/great TV because of the STORY. We see others thinking and asking what we think and ask ourselves. Then we are not lonely. Watching Homeland Season 3 — I was lonely. No one was asking anything I wondered about.

        When the “living question” Homeland started with was still alive, I think the great stable of writers who let go of their individual egos and wrote TOGETHER was an ASSET (the WSJ had an article about them coming together and vowing to leave individual egos aside). But ultimately the zeitgeist is going to put its paralyzing grip on a group like that. If ONE of them (probably any one of them) had been handed the reins before it was too late, I think Homeland would have flown. But they can’t ALL be chasing all the little pieces. While having the job of keeping all these actors employed. [Ugh, had Dana only been killed in that original accident...] They say a committee designed the camel. How it happens is this: My husband at Boston College had a professor say, “The TRUTH is not always the strongest argument.” Hubby was like, “WHAT?!? Of course it is, that’s the very thing that DEFINES the truth! That’s what the truth IS!” But he came to understand what the professor meant. Someone in that group of writers KNEW things were going off the rails, but was powerless to stop the others.

        There’s a wonderful short story writer, Ralph Lombreglia (read “Inn Essence” and “The Turnaround is at Hand” – and any interviews with him you can find on the web). He says in an interview that you WRITE in order to meet yourself. He’s also written a review on Amazon of “Movie Magic Screenwriter Version 6″ saying, “It’s the film/TV standard, but it’s also great for fiction writing” and he tells why in a really interesting review of it (in which one learns a lot about writing itself). Too bad the Homeland writers didn’t employ it. Would that they had PLANNED out their writing, instead of being “creative.”

    • Justannoyed says:

      Nice post, Paula. Thank you!

  31. ola ainaa says:

    Season 3 is good

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