Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homeland Season 3: Episode 5 - The Yoga Play 

As anyone heard about this little television series? The Emmy and Golden Globe award winning Showtime series? Starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis? The show President Obama hailed as his favorite television program?

Well I am glad to say that Season 3 of this psychological thriller has finally found its way after a dull and tedious four episodes. 

First let me recap: Basically Danes stars has Carrie Mathison, a CIA analyst and former field agent who was grounded after disobeying orders and causing a crisis after she infiltrated a Middle Eastern prison. Mathison struggles to adjust to her now role and to make things complicated, she has bipolar disorder and cannot seek treatment because it will expose her and get her fired. Known for being impulsive and fiercely passionate about her work, Carries receives intelligence that a American prisoner-of-war has been turned into a terrorist and will incite vengeance on America. This supposed POW is Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis, a marine sniper who was captured and tortured for eight years. Season 1 was a masterpiece, exploring Mathison's efforts to uncover the truth about Brody while he struggles to reconnect with his adulterous wife (who believed him to be dead) and teenage children, as well as daily life. Season 2 focused on the burgeoning political career of Brody and revealed a huge plot twist about him, which Carrie was instrumental in.

However, this great drama went a bit sour halfway through Season 2, with implausible events. Season 3 began with a solemn attitude, as characters had to deal with the shocking ending of the former season. Please be prepared, several SPOILERS are about to follow and I implore you not to read unless you are up-to-date with the series.

During Season 1, Carrie begins an affair with Brody but he tearfully ends it when finds out about her suspicions regarding him being a terrorist. However, it turns out that Carrie was right all along and Brody really was a terrorist. After an intense interrogation, Carrie convinces Brody to return to the 'good side' and professes her love for him. Brody complies and he and Carrie resume their relationship at the end of season two, yet this is cut short when Brody is accused of bombing the CIA killing several of the series cast members. Carrie smuggles him out of the country and must deal with the repercussions.

In Season 3, Carrie's affair with Brody is publicized by her mentor Saul, played by Mandy Patinkin, and Carrie is entered into a psych ward after she stops taking her medication and plans to reveal confidential CIA secrets. In order to escape she makes a deal with a shady businessman to relay information to a terrorist head, which turned out to be a plan that she devised with Saul from the very beginning. Seem intriguing? What bogged down Season 3 was the continuous looks of Carrie as she sinks to rock bottom along with filler plot lines surrounding the Brody Bunch (Jessica, the mother, and her children Dana and Christ). Damian Lewis only appeared in one episode that did not seem to advance his storyline. Basically, he is wounded in South America and being held by some gang that is given no back-story.

Last night's episode, "The Yoga Play" represented a return to form for Homeland. Containing the relationship exploits of young and pouty Dana Brody, the story centered more on Carrie's deal with the terrorist leader, which leads to her kidnapping, and the placement of a government official as Director of the CIA, replacing Saul.

Featuring excellent performances, a well developed and sometimes humorous script, the series is once again showing promise and I am excited to see next week's episode.

New episodes of 'Homeland' air every Sunday night at 10 pm on Showtime.