As with last week’s premiere, “Uh… Oo… Aw…” is a messy and not-exactly-great episode of television, but it’s to be commended for considering the ramifications of its characters’ actions with some degree of realism, rather than putting them at the mercy of plot contrivances. The episode wasn’t perfect, incorporating one of 24’s favourite clichés, the “good Muslim” to avoid appearing politically incorrect (which is fine but comes across as tokenistic), and some overly-villainous bankers in a story that hopefully gets more interesting fast.
Thankfully Dana and Carrie’s arcs are demonstrative of the series’ renewed commitment to character over narrative. I’ve always been impressed by Morgan Saylor’s work as Dana, but the silly season two hit-and-run plotline was a disappointment. Her work over these two episodes has eclipsed that entire storyline; whether this character arc is over or just beginning, I’m happy.
In my essay on mental illness in television, I alluded to my problems with the way season two treated Carrie’s bipolar disorder as a plot device rather than an integral part of her character. By unleashing believable consequences on Carrie for her erratic behaviour, Homeland demonstrates it’s prepared to take itself more seriously. For now, I’m doing the same.