Homeland – “A Red Wheelbarrow” (Season 3, Episode 8)

Increasingly, this season of Homeland has been about the show reinventing itself as a slower, more contemplative show. The silly plot twists are still in evidence – see Mira’s lover being revealed as a spy – but the series is putting its emphasis on slower moments rather than the over-exaggerated tension of “look out! Terrorists!” The slower moments, like Saul and Mira’s quietly heart-breaking conversations at dinner, or the reveal that Fara’s anguish stems from being torn between her country and her family … these are the moments that still work, that demonstrate the substantial talent behind this show.

Homeland S3 E8

Most of the actual “look out! Terrorists!” stuff is disappointing. Carrie’s work integrating herself into Bennett and Javadi’s good books – which has been the main storyline of the season, mind you – hasn’t really taken us anywhere interesting, since the entire plot is predicated on the bad guy’s complete inability to suspect for a second that Carrie could be acting as a double agent (seriously, how gullible are these idiots?). I did appreciate the show finally calling Carrie on her impulsive behaviour – with a bullet in the arm, no less – but I’m less confident about the show’s ability to re-integrate Brody into the narrative.

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