Premium cable TV--HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. is my guilty pleasure. I watch too much. Now, I'll be watching even more as I give my reviews of various episodic shows. A list of the most popular reviews appears on the right side of page--check them out. If you'd like to follow by email, write your email address in the box below and click on submit.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Showtime’s Homeland #301 “The Tin Man is Down”
Claire Danes as Carrie in "Homeland"
In the Land of Oz
By Catherine Giordano
The premiere show of Season Three of Showtime's Homeland which aired on Sunday September 30, 2013
opens six months after the CIA bombing. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Carrie
(Claire Danes) and what is left of the CIA are dealing with the aftermath of
the bombing of the CIA building that occurred in the last episode of season two
Carrie is off her meds again—she feels the meds dulled her mental
functioning so that she missed vital clues that could have helped her prevent the bombing. She’s dulling her pain with alcohol and casual sex with
random men. (Also meditation, or so she explains to her father.) A Congressional committee is
investigating and Carrie is being grilled mercilessly. She is holding it together, being cool under
fire, but when Saul appears to turn against her, her emotional anguish is so
great she is in danger of losing her hard-won sanity.
Saul, who is now head of the CIA because he was the highest ranking
person left standing after the bombing, is also being grilled by the CIA. Someone is leaking information to the
committee about the secret Carrie/Brody mission and about Carrie’s sexual
relationship with Brody. Saul testifies that he knew nothing about either of
these two things. He also tells the committee that Carrie is mentally unstable
and that she hid her bi-polar disorder from him. Is he “throwing Carrie under
the bus” or is he buying time to pursue his own investigation?
Saul is also under pressure at home.
His estranged wife, Mira (Sarita Choudbury) returned from her job in
India to be with her husband after the bombing. They are back together, but not quite back together—separate bedrooms.
Everyone believes that Nicholas Brody is responsible for the
bombing. We last saw him in the season
two finale when Carrie let him at the Canadian border with a new identity. He does
not appear in this episode. I have read that he will be in only a few episodes
this year. Since the Brody/Carrie relationship was so central to the plot in seasons
one and two, this suggests that the show is going in a new direction.
Brody’s wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and daughter, Dana (Morgan
Saylor) are also under a lot of pressure. Dana has been in rehab for the past
six months after her attempted suicide. She’s back home now, but she has a new
boyfriend who she met at rehab. I think this new boyfriend is going to be
The main event was a CIA operation to take down six key players in Azir’s
network,all in different countries. There are six teams in the field, one for
each man. The mission calls for all or
none—all of these men must be assassinated in a 20-minute window. The mission is
almost aborted when Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), assigned to place a bomb on the bankers” car, bails because a child is in the car. Rupert saves the mission
with some quick thinking, and kills his
man at his home after a fierce gun-battle with five or six men who I presume
were his accomplices or body guards. Quinn calls
in his report: “The Tin Man is down.”
The other agents are given the go ahead to take down their targets One
by one, they call in “Toto is down,” “The Scarecrow is Down,” The Cowardly Lion
is down,” “Glinda is Down,” Dorothy is down.” Mission accomplished. Will this successful mission help to restore
The whole mission was almost aborted because Quinn did not want to kill
an innocent child. In the “there–are-always-unintended-consequences” moment of
the week, we see that it didn’t work out. As Quinn is leaving the banker’s home,
he sees the child lying in a pool of blood on the floor, presumably dead.
This episode was a little slow. Aside from the assassination mission,
it seemed like the episode was about exposition, setting things up or the rest
of the season.
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