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How about the Homeland last night, right? Pretty gross! Also, pretty exciting. It was nice to see the show get back into observation and interrogation, as that’s what it does best. Seems that after a shaky first few episodes, the real plot has come into focus and the show has basically found its footing again. So have you been avoiding Homeland this season or really down on it this year? Here’s a post for you.

The biggest complaint, at least in the Lemme household, has been the show’s dedication to Dana Brody stories. We got to the point this week where my dad actually booed her appearance on the screen. In a show where everyone else’s plot involves life and death stakes, it’s hard to care about Dana dating a shitty boy, especially since that was last season’s plot for her already. And yeah, I get it, she is there to show us what Carrie and her dad would be like if they weren’t so fucked up, but after being so unpopular last season, I’m amazed the show decided to double down on her like it did. Although, based on this week’s episode, we’re probably not going to be seeing much of her going forward, so… Maybe they just moved all her screen time to the first half of the season? Maybe it’s a mercy?

I don’t know. In the first season, it made sense to spend a lot of time with Dana and Jessica, her mother, because the story was about Brody readapting to life in America. Now the show seems to be squandering an opportunity to show the toll of Brody’s actions, especially since it has thus far just used Jessica as Dana’s mother, not the wife who lost it all, built it all back up, and lost it all again. At least we haven’t had to spend much time with Mr. I’ve-got-my-shit-together Mike.

The second cause for complaints is Carrie’s bipolar disorder and how crazy she’s been acting. This was mostly alleviated a few episodes ago, but the show really seems to hammering in how many problems this lady has, to the point where I almost feel like she could snap at any moment. This week they added even more complexity to her state of mental health, and it just rubs me like a shitty twist, one they really didn’t need. She had enough problems already, leave her alone you jerk writers! I have another problem with this, but I can’t address it without outright spoiling it, so ask me later.

My biggest concern going into the season was Brody’s place in the plot. Namely, that he shouldn’t have one in it. I’ve been really impressed that so far, he actually hasn’t been part of the story at all. They gave us an episode to show what he’s up to, but it was almost entirely separate from everything else going on. It’s a bold choice to have him off on his own island, one that I’m sure will turn into him being crucial to some plan in the latter half of the season, and I’ve been really pleased with it. Especially because it’s meant getting Saul bumped up as the second lead.

We all know Saul is great, the best character on the show (arguably after Virgil). Having him take the lead on the plot they’ve decided to do this season is really smart. If you want to do a story about justifying the existence of the CIA as it was, who better to spearhead that than Saul? Sure, we’ve got the weird machinations of Dar Adal, but watching Saul be in charge has been great. And I think this season’s theme of the human cost of spy work is so far being dealt with extremely well.

The first season about Homeland was a much more subtle, amazing show. The second season was bombastic and riveting, maybe the most exciting show on TV that year. That’s when we all started to worry that the show would just turn into 24, and it kind of has. I’ve noticed most episodes this season have been about 45 minutes long, and the nudity and graphic language has seemed scaled back… The show feels more like a network drama than it should. But damn, the show’s still capable of those moments that make me hurt to know what happens next. Suck it, terrorists!