Homeland "Broken Hearts" Review: Oh, NOW the Show Is Ridiculous?

Homeland S02E10: "Broken Hearts"

There's been a bit of an uproar on the internet today over last night's episode of Homeland, "Broken Hearts," but come on, you all know what you signed up for the minute you didn't turn off the television when Brody comically murdered the bomb-making tailor in the woods to shut him up so his wife wouldn't hear him over the phone in this season's third episode, "State of Independence." Or when Dana and Finn ran over that woman in "Q & A." Or maybe even earlier, like as far back as Season 1's "Crossfire," the terrible episode in which we flashed back to Brody so we could see his excuse for turning against the country that groomed him into a Marine.

Complaining about this show now (calling it "a mess" or saying that the creators are "as crazy as their characters") seems a bit mistimed given the way Season 2 has progressed. I'm not saying the complaints are without validation, because a lot of the show's plots require us to not only suspend our disbelief, but to expel it outright and ship it off to military school on the moon. This is a show about a bipolar CIA agent who's in love with a P.O.W. who becomes a candidate for vice president after simply learning how to shake hands like a politician. This is a show about a man who was willing to turn on his country and commit suicide in order to exact revenge for the killing of his evil captor's son. This is a show where the drunk is the smart guy.

I too have been guilty of taking Homeland as serious as the subject matter it deals with, but as it's carried on it's also carved out a different path for me to follow. The series has trained me to accept the ridiculous because it's created its own unique universe for its characters live in; it only looks like the one we live in and it's easy to confuse the two. Abu Nazir is a contemporary ghost story, not the subject of a training video for anti-terrorist greenhorns. I've said something like this before, but what makes Homeland so fun to watch is two-fold. We're witnessing one of modern television's greatest high-wire balancing acts and waiting for it to fall off and crash to the ground without a safety net in a grand splat, and the show could very well get there. But the show is also genuinely superb in some of its character moments, its production, and its acting, and as long as it can keep up such a high level of quality in those areas, I'll continue to watch.

The two major points of contention with "Broken Hearts" were Abu Nazir's abduction of Carrie and Brody's passive murder of Vice President Walden. Make no mistake, both of these events were outrageous (I have more beef with the VP plot than the Carrie-napping), but they're nowhere near as ludicrous as Brody's woodland murder while he was on the phone with Jess and they're light years away from Dana's hit-and-run.

I feel like I had to get that out of the way because "Broken Hearts" was emblematic of everything Homeland is—or in a more negative light, everything Homeland has become?—in Season 2. It was pure insanity and full of the juice that has given this season such a kick as it recklessly rolls down a mountain at top speed, hoping it doesn't explode along the way. Stay with me here, but Homeland has become a television show. And it's a television show that has decided that its pace will be something like that of a hummingbird on speed that's test-piloting rocket cars on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The problem is, Homeland has become a slave to that pace and must maintain it, "whatever it takes," as Carrie says. However, I prefer that to the opposite, which would have us watching Brody deal with legislation and lobbyists and seeing Carrie tap away on a keyboard, filing reports. Okay enough of that, let's talk about what actually happened in "Broken Hearts."

There were two big character moments in the episode, Carrie and Abu Nazir essentially calling each other names and Brody and Walden dealing with failing technology. Carrie and Nazir's convo didn't exactly feel natural, but the content of what they were saying covered everything you'd expect them to bark about. It was also the kind of talk we've come to expect in television when a terrorist and a freedom fighter (you choose who represents which) come together. But what I liked about it was that Carrie, still in restraints, had no qualms about stating her case. That's exactly the type of all-or-nothing person Carrie is, and she was just true to her core when given the chance to debate the person she's spent so much time trying to hunt down and kill.

As for the kidnapping in general, it was a bit on the ridonk side for sure, but still in keeping with the show's rapidly difficult task of maintain its trajectory. Nazir could have easily gotten the information that Brody is bonkers for Carrie through Roya and exploited it, even if Carrie is CIA. It was reckless behavior on Nazir's part, but I get the sense that Nazir doesn't care because he doesn't feel like he's long for this world. And because Nazir's main beef is with Walden, he may be so focused on killing the guy that everything else doesn't matter as much. Nazir isn't your normal terrorist. His problems are more personal (getting revenge for his son's murder) than ideological.

The chat between Brody and Walden, however, WAS worthy of the "mess" label because no way in hell would Brody be stupid enough to play his cards like that before the veep was closer to dying. You just don't let a murder victim know you're in on the murder before you're absolutely sure he's going to die. For all Brody knew, that first hiccup out of Walden could have been a reaction to some extra spicy Thai drunken noodles and not a sign that Nazir's hackers were uploading malware to his ticker or signing his heart up for porn website newsletters. (And in case you were wondering, yes, wirelessly accessing someone's pacemaker and making it explode a heart is something that's technologically possible and has been in the news for years. But yes, it's more bad-movie plotting and very much the opposite of what Carrie has taught us is Nazir's modus operandi, which is something like "the louder, the better.")

Even with these problems, Homeland still comes off as more than competent television, and it's incredibly entertaining to boot. But if you are now complaining that some of the plotting in "Broken Hearts" was borderline stupid, have you not been paying attention up until now? Even with some of Homeland's not-as-good (I won't say bad) parts stirring frustration, it's those same parts that make the show enrapturing, and they're now part of the show's DNA. The pace and all that comes with such a high rate of speed may get tiring soon (and all signs point to something like mid-Season 3), but as of right now, this thing is still damn entertaining.



NOTES

– Brody does not like to end phone conversations with "Bye," "Talk to you later," or any other parting salutation. The guy just hangs up. I wish I was that badass.

– Well, we learned a little more about Dar Adul. He likes waffles. But other than that, we're still not clear on why Quinn and Adul are involved in the operation other than Saul's theory that Estes wants them in to muzzle Brody on the topic of their questionable drone strike that killed hundreds of innocent children.

– Can Blackberrys Skype? And shouldn't Nazir be on a burner instead of a real phone? And should Brody REALLY be screaming "Nazir!" in a building filled with CIA protection?

– More Carrie listening to jazz on her car radio! Yes! Bee-bop-a-doo-wop-bom-dom-diddly-boo!

– Sooooo... Is Galvez the mole in the CIA? His sudden return and the obvious focus on his return (only to make it not matter at all in the rest of the episode) leads me to believe that something's in store for him.

– Dana: "My dad is like a super spy, and terrorists want to kill him or some shit." BEST LINE EVER EVER. Ever.

Comments (83)
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I don't get why people are so upset about this episode.. Nazir has just lost his entire team, betrayed by his friend, beyond anything else, Brody. He is angry, upset adn desperate. He knows that he can't get out of the country alive, because they will be searching him all over the place. So the only thing that he has is to play his last card. Who he wants dead more than anyone? Walden. the reason he didn't go after him before with the pacemaker (using Roya as you said) is that that wasn't his actual plan and what he wanted form the beginning. It's a desperate move from a desperate man. What IS questionable is the way he found out about it. The last conversation of Brody and Walden was priceless. Of course he knew Walden was dying, i mean 5 minutes ago he was giving information to a terrorist how to assassinate him. How could that be a coincidence? Also, Nazir doesn't 'terrorize' just to get revenge for his son, i mean he was terrorist way before that. That was just another motive and justification he used and in the end when he couldn't do anything else, that was all that remained. The show is awesome and i hope it continues that way. The show is not stupid, you are.
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It was interesting to see Brodie getting crazy over Carrie for once. I wonder if her feelings for him will change now that she's seen what he is capable of? It is a great opportunity for the writers to reverse their roles. Also I wonder if Carrie inadvertantly did the very same thing she accused Nadir of, and brainwash Brody by being kind to him when he was at a low point. (Please note that I'm not saying that she did this deliberately!). Then again maybe it is Brody's fault for being so susceptible!

You gotta love Carrie's determination by the way - only she would go back to that place after barely escaping with her life!
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Galvez didn't die! hurrah :D
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Brody had been waiting for that moment (getting revenge on Walden) for YEARS, you can't expect him to act like a cool customer there.
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I was an enormous fan of Season 1 and am probably guilty of taking the show too seriously but that ceased when Brody didn't kill himself at the end of the season. It's not that i wanted to lose Damian, I think he is doing his strongest work ever in this show, but the integrity of the show was lessened by not following through. Due to his change of heart, which i did find emotionally powerful, I worried how long the writers could sustain the same story line. Season 2 has plowed forth so wrecklessly that I worry it's turning into 24 without whisper/screaming from a crazed Jack Bauer. I'm sticking with the show...for now but having Nazir kidnap Carrie himself was the largest crack in plausibility thus far.
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I think everybody is just waiting for the next implausible moment constantly. Some people think it's this moment, others think it's another moment. It goes a long way to show it's not so much the show, but just people willing to pick it apart. I bet if season 1 had actually been season 2, people would be picking that apart too simply because it was season 2.
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I hope they don't go for a season 3. I think we are already seeing the concept running out, as great as it was. I think we've also moved at such a pace that pretty much everything these characters can experience and realistically get away with has been done.

We are now at the stage of needing to put Dana, Saul and Quinn through the wringer.

The only way I can see this coming back is if there is a major change in focus, one that doesn't involve the scooby doo style cat and mouse chase between Carrie and Brody, where Carrie is constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown and Brody just about gets away with everything, however unlikely.

This show is not lighthearted like Person of Interest, so will not get away with constant extreme improbability.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Homeland end this season, with a decent finale worthy of the concept.
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I have to agree with that. The scenario hasn't really had sufficient legs for a second series let alone a third. If they put the Brody storyline to bed and introduced a fresh storyline about a new threat, that could be interesting. Don't suppose that could happen given that Damian Lewis is presumably signed up for the long haul.
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Nice review - I totally thought the same thing when Brody was full-on screaming Nazir's name into the phone when he was like 20 yards away from a protection detail.
I keep waiting for the big twist, so here's my theory: Brody didn't wait long enough, they are going to resuscitate Walden, and he will be up caca creek with only a crazy blonde paddle. Although your POTUS theory is much more likely and could make a really interesting Season 3. Brody just seems so defeated now. I think he just wants to get Nazir killed, take his deal, divorce himself from his family, undergo facial reconstruction and live with Carrie... er, Meriwether... in their cabin in the woods.
Also, I can't take much more of Dana. I know it's her shtick but get that girl into speech therapy and send her away for an episode of What Not to Wear -- don't those people come back with a whole new lease on life?
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Ha! I love your comments on Dana, I can't stand her either. But I think the actress is probably doing a good job as a very annoying teenager.
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And oh yeah, I forgot to wonder out loud, what were those two CIA heavies gonna do with Saul? Were they actually bringing him to take him for a ride? Just questioning? Whats up with that anyway?
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Ok, well the main thing that I was thinking about was, how da heck is Brody gonna get out of this one, as far as plausible deniability goes on the murder of the VP.
Well, at the end of this episode, the only people who know for sure that Brody did it, are Brody, Carrie and Nazir.
If Carrie keeps quiet about that one detail, then Brody can get away with it.
As for plausibility of events in this episode, yeah certainly there are some major reaching going on; screaming "Nazir" in a CIA safehouse can't be wise. That Brody's cellphone is not tapped is kinda unbelievable. But at least the last point is needed for the plot.
(Most interesting though seeing Soames Forsytes still having wife troubles)
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I agree with the fact that the writers messed up the plot line in this episode..but it sure was entertaining nevertheless..
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Dana's line was the best! But yes, I felt it has started spiralling downhill a few episodes ago. I still enjoy it though, like you said, it's entertaining.
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I always thought this show was quite ridiculous.

The ending of this episode was the typical horror movie scene, when the victim goes to the basement alone. I enjoy this show, but that was just too much for me.
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Last Episode was brilliant again, some Episodes are Good, and some are Extreme Good. At the K2 height Cliffhanger, It seems to me Christopher is quick enough to call for a Doctor, lets see if one heart will be saved?
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It was a solid episode and the build up to the major events in the episode were handed well but the delivery was poor and predictable, and i wonder how much easy Brody goes away with things that in reality aint possible like all the time he had to get the serial number and also shouting Nazir's name without being cautious. Like the orther subplots like Saul confronting Eztes and Dar Adul and Carries interaction with Nazir, I just hope Brody doesn't just away with things all d time to at least keep it on track and believable.
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This show is so good, that when it jumped the shark, we still get 24.
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galvez being the mole is just too easy.... he is the only middle eastern on the team (and his suspicious comeback)... not to be racist, but people are going to point at galvez, so there is no major shock in that.... would the writers really do that, make it that obvious?
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I don't think the writers are so clever..... not with this stuff.

So far, through most of season 2, the CIA have been written as being fairly inept, bad motives and going behind each others backs. It's not to say they should be painting them as perfect, but the way they are shown as being so inept is laughable. The only smart person around seems to be Abu Nazir.

By trying to show two sides, I think they've gone much too far. It's doesn't seem real anymore.
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Tim, thanks for another great review. I appreciated the acknowledgments to the interwebs hullabaloo over this episode. Added some perspective.

I thought Nazir's Carrie-nabbing was totally plausible given that the best likely targets for Nazir's direct leverage over Brody, his family, were sequestered in a CIA safe house. Nazir knew Brody had a sexual relationship with the woman, and he believes he knows Brody pretty well, so it is completely believable that he would assume Brody would not simply let her die. The two serious head-scratchers for me were Galvez and Saul. Galvez just shows up, out of the blue, "I heard about Carrie, I want to help." Suspicious. The whopper is the Saul/Brody phone call. How is it possible that the CIA is not maintaining surveillance on Brody's phone? That is just to big an oversight for Saul or Quinn. This is a rare bone to pick with the writers for me, but perhaps they will address it.

As for Dar Adul and Quinn being a black ops agent rather than an analyst, this makes so much more sense to me than Quinn has thus far. So much of what we have seen of Quinn pointed to him being a hell of a lot more than a mere analyst, the scene I recall most: when he stabbed Brody in the hand. The hands are incredibly fragile, full of delicate nerves, tendons and bones, and are easily susceptible to permanent and debilitating injury, yet Quinn managed to stick Brody in just the right place to not cause any serious damage? No way that was luck. But I must say I was not expecting him to be a mechanic. I thought he was a field agent/interrogator Estes brought in to run point because he does not trust Saul and Team Carrie to be objective, but now that we know this, it seems more likely that Quinn's ultimate objective is to eliminate Brody, Saul and Team Carrie, in addition to whatever terrorists they may yet uncover.

For me, Estes is supremely unsympathetic, a total CYA bureaucrat, and as often as I castigate the character for being stupid, one does not rise to the level of Director within the CIA by being an idiot. He knows that Saul has evidence of both Estes and Walden's involvement in the drone strike that killed Isa Nazir, the trigger event for Brody's defection to Nazir's anti-American cause. He knows that Carrie, Virgil, Max and likely most of the rest of their team (whoever those faceless gophers are) are all aware of the Isa story at this point and its significance in the Brody issue. The only way to ensure his own safety, and that of his benefactor Walden, is to eliminate the threat - everyone living who has knowledge of the strike. Not to mention the fact that, from a political standpoint, Brody allegedly would have been thoroughly vetted for suitability by the CIA long prior to this point, so any withdrawal from the Walden campaign at this point would be a serious egg-on-face blow for Walden, the Party and the CIA. If the truth about Brody were to somehow become public, the Walden/Estes power structure would begin to unravel at the rate of terminal velocity, with the predictable ensuant media circus, Senate oversight committees and very public criminal trials. Estes has too much to lose not to use his position as Director to CYA. It makes sense, for me, that Quinn is a mechanic, that Estes would want a plausible cover story to explain the deaths of a US Congressman and a half dozen or so CIA agents on US soil, and if they get Nazir and stop a terrorist strike too, well isn't that just the ultrasweet icing on the cake? Hell, Estes might even receive a commendation to top it all off. Which would seriously make me bitter, in addition to being a paranoid conspiracy theorist.
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Ok what is the hate with 24? yes, it was not a relistic show but it was never meant to be one, just like a James Bond film or a POI episode and you dont hate those for that. 24 was one of the best shows of the past decade IMO. As for Homeland i can get why some people are not happy with the show because they were expecting something else (myself included) but i still enjoy it, its no Breaking Bad but its still a very good show. And once again enough with the 24 thing
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For the first time ever, I'll say that the Nazir kidnapping Carrie scene was so cliche (absolutely loathe that word) and very uncharacteristic of this show, in general. Regardless, I still love watching it.
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I almost got a headache just looking at Dana's frowny face...she must be having headaches all the time during the shooting of the episodes. And...in some ways Homeland turns into Dexter, by making sneaking into VP's office so easy...
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...and VP treating him like it was normal for him to be in the office...
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Tim, I would like to point out that I called it first that I thought Glaves is a mole! (you can check few recaps ago) hehe
If it happens Im writing my own show!!
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ok first of all I would like to say that the creaters of the show should do their homework on Arabic names... Abu Nazir means the Father of Nazir (Abu means Father) so Brody calling Abu Nazir, Nazir doesnt really make sense especially that his son's name is Issa and Brody was BFF with Abu Nazir he should know better.. just saying

Also I love that Brody can just roam around and go to the VP's office and look around, look some more, a little more, find the device, look for a magnifier, have a phone call, video call, chilling, saying goodbyes, saying i love yous, texting, sexting, puting it back in its place and THEN the VP walks in!!!! hmmmmm VERY believeable!

Arrg I used to love this show now its just BLAH!
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It's interesting to read what's happening on the show, but I stopped watching it a long time ago. I read about it for the same reason that I watch mice trying to get out of a maze. Just to see how they do it. I thought it was overrated then and I continue to think so.
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I don't have any problems with this episode. It was crazy as most of the episodes of Homeland. "Broken Hearts" made my heart jump and seat on the end of the sofa just like others sundays. And nobody is going to say anithing about Saul being drag or Carrie coming back to kill Nazir? I can't wait until next sunday!
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– Brody does not like to end phone conversations with "Bye," "Talk to you later," or any other parting salutation. The guy just hangs up. I wish I was that badass. everyone does that.. I can tell you _alot_ of series and movies when the character just hangs up
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-I don't have any problems with Nazir kidnapping Carrie,I always thought it was odd she was walking around unprotected when the CIA must have some kind of idea Nazir has someone on the inside (what with the Gettysburg fiasco thing...)
- Dana: "My dad is like a super spy, and terrorists want to kill him or some shit." that gil is just so dead on the ''bratty adolescent'' bit
- omg the heavy breathing on this show!!! that'all we hear, especially whenever Brody is on
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I was so hoping that Carrie would get killed. She's completely nuts and therefore expendable. But I guess I always knew it was too good to be true and that she would be set free. Better luck next time!!!
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hahaha me tooooo!! I was rooting for Abu Nazir to pull the trigger!!
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I miss the days when people would write actual reviews on episodes instead of answering to internet's frustrations about freaking tv shows. This review, for me, is a lot of yapping about nothing. Had to reach the notes to read something worth talking about... Anyway, my questions are: a) Is Saul reign getting to an end?? What Dar Abul said to him about getting his hands dirty and being too sensitive has been on my mind since day one of this show so what do you guys think is gonna happen? b) is this black op thing a way to get carrie working again?? bc i doubt she'll be taken back at CIA....
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I thought that the current black op was going to aim to kill Brody, Saul and Carrie (although I have no idea why yet). But you are right, it is a good spot for Carrie to get back to action without the CIA having to admit her back. Maybe that is how it will work out.
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People on tv ALWAYS do that.

-It's more than a theory. Brody is expendable and both sides wanna eventually dispose of him. Just depends on who runs out of use for him first.

-LOL.-Jazz freakouts!!-Maybe, or maybe it's a misdirection?

-DANA IS THE FUCKIN WORST. SHE'S A STUPID BRAT, AND SHE MUMBLES. I HOPE SHE GETS KIDNAPPED, SOON!
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Dana is amazingly like most girls her age...
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True.
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My biggest problem with the episode was seeing Brody with that ugly ass $20 (on sale) Trac-fone. It's the same model my mother has, though still newer than mine.
I'm wondering if Estes has ill intentions towards Saul, I don't understand what him telling Quinn "he knows" means otherwise.
Those waffles looked good.
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Sometimes I wonder why people watch TV. I mostly watch series to be entertained, not to be informed, nor to watch something that is strictly plausible and realistic. And it seems that all of a sudden Homeland is the only unrealistic show on TV. Just considering the from around the web in this page, you have Person of interest and Arrow. Arrow, other than it is about a superhero wants us convinced that people do not recognize a guy just because he has a hood, Person of Interest other than the idea that the machine exists and is actually very smart wants us to convince that Reese can practically get rid of 5 guys at a time, even when they are highly trained (just as they were in the doctor's episode and Arrow does it too). Plus, you know, crimes that involve ordinary people happen only in NY or at most in the suburbs. It is known. Does that detract from my enjoyment of these series? No. People will say that Homeland has won an Emmy. In my opinion it deserves it completely because not only the performances are top-notch (you will not find a better pair actor/actress than Damian Lewis/Claire Danes with Mandi Patinkin in the background), and the pace is nail-biting. When the episode is over, I want the next one stat, I spend time wondering what will happen and I am often wrong and during the episode I am on the edge of my seat all the time. As long as these conditions hold, I'll keep defending Homeland.
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Agreed! It is going to be a pity if, from now on, this forum becomes just a complaining wall. It is so much more fun to especulate with the given plots and try to figure out where the writers are going. Or even to discuss if a certain part is more or less realistic and why. But to "object" to a full show because is not a documentary, it is pointless. And boring.
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I had absolutely no problem with Abu Nazir 'napping Carrie. That wasn't remotely ridiculous to me. I also didn't have much of a problem with the way the VP dies -- it's believable, but I just don't see it as something "terrorist-y". Maybe Nazir just doesn't care about how it's done, despite what Carrie and the CIA often believed.

I do generally have a problem with Brody telling the VP he wants him to die and all that shit before the pacemaker was really acting up. The VP had a slight "oof" moment, then seemed fine for a few seconds, and it's at that point Brody decides to tell him to fuck off? Bleh. It was kind of that moment where I lost the any respect or the appeal I had for Brody. Not only is he a terrorist of sorts, that moment told me he's also officially stupid. What if the rigging-of-the-pacemaker couldn't go through all the way and the VP doesn't or didn't die... Brody's gonna be standing there going "Uhhhh, nevermind?" and maybe have to kill the VP himself with a book or something. Felt kind of stupid to me.

As for the pacing and more adventurous plot advancements this season, I agree that it exists. This really isn't the same show that we saw in season 1. Season 1 was a lot more grounded and believable and the kind of "real" drama that, say, AMC is known for. This season has been more 24-y or Dexter-y... I figure a lot of it has to do with the writers actually having worked on 24, but I also think they may have decided to go this route because of the praise they received last year for being "daring" and whatever. Maybe they thought "let's be even more daring" and decided to have pretty big plot advancements in almost every episode. Generally, shows tend to go the extra step or take it up a notch or whatever after every passing season, so this may have been that transition. I wouldn't have complained at all if it was more like season 1, but I'm also not going to complain about this as long as it keeps entertaining me... which it is.
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Do we really know he is dead? We know he went flatline...probably a defibrillator machine in each room of Duke Mansion....I mean the Naval Observatory...
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It's not just the moment when it "became a television show. It's the moment when it became 24! 24 was OK because it was ridiculous from episode 1. Homeland had something more. Can't put the genie back in the bottle either.
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Yeah, even though this show has bordered on absurd many times, I think the last episode was too much for me. It reminded me of 24 badly, especially 24 at its worst moments. The kidnapp, hacking on the VP's pacemaker - I thought it was very poor plot development.
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This at least the third time I've felt that way though and they were able to bring it back together coherently in the past. Holding out hope.
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People had problems with this episode...? Why?

What's so ludicrous about Nazir getting Carrie, whom she knows Brody has feelings for? What's so ludicrous about Brody being there to help 'kill' the VP whom he hates for his responsibility on the drones? No seriously, what is so ludicrous about any of this? I'm not gonna lie, there were some silly things like Saul not assuming Brody was somehow intertwined in the Carrie abduction. Maybe people are upset or something because for once, the kidnapper actually didn't kill the kidnapee? was that it? Seriously help me understand the hate towards this, because you, Tim, certainly did not make clear what was that you thought was ludicrous about this. And sorry but that 'brody didn't wait to make sure vp was actually dying' thing is bullshit. Brody knows Nadir wasn't screwing around, and once he had the serial number it was gonna happen asap. Since Brody also wanted revenge on Walden... he stuck around to tell him he was responsible for the man's death. Was he supposed to wait until Walden died to tell him he was responsible? What the...

Let me get this straight, shitloads of people watched the soap drama that was 24 during 6 seasons 24 god damn episodes a season, but after 20 episodes of extreme quality from Homeland... people are mad about things that MAKE sense plot-wise? This world is so strange.
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I have been reading around people's comments and reviews and the same comparison with 24 came to mind.

I was expecting (and I thought most viewers were also) a certain degree of disappointment when Homeland would start to show "fatigue" signs. But this, today, reading the comments, this I didn´t expect. From one week to the next, everybody changed their minds about the show? What was the big change from last 2 weeks? Nazir was already in the USA and there were already enough things dancing around without a lot of base. Why all the fuzz now?

I enjoyed the episode, possible plot holes included, and it is still a million miles away from 24. Plus, we are not yet done with the season. So we don´t really know where this is going.

Or does anybody know where is going?

So let's see! :)
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That's what gets me as well... what happened last night that was so atrocious that people are questioning the show? I would hate to be the kind of person who jumps on random band wagons for the sake of it. 'Oh but people are saying that the show is shit now, so it must be?' Fuck that. I thoroughly enjoy Homeland and will keep doing so.
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Agreed - it's the best thing on TV! Honestly, I bet if we knew half the crazy stuff the CIA did this wouldn't seem nearly as ridiculous as some people are making it out to be. Nothing has happened that seems inconceivable in the real world (except maybe how Roya knew the combination to Estes' safe, but who knows how deep the mole goes). I am riveted week after week.
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I think any reasonable viewer will accept that TV drama operates with a margin of implausibility but there has to be a threshold. I personally think (and am clearly not alone) that the recent plot lines have become ragged and hare-brained: A master terrorist who has evaded and vexed any attempt at capture by the CIA decides to travel to the US to orchestrate his campaign of terror? Not buying it. Not only that, he decides to take more "hands on" approach by personally tying the damsel to the railroad tracks and making blackmail threats via Skype to a double agent. Could it happen? Only if you're a shit terrorist.

But the demoralising effect of these "blockbuster" plot twists is that the characters become more uninteresting and two-dimensional. They are there simply to be "in danger" or to be rescued or get shot, usually whilst running about a lot shouting into mobile phones. I preferred the show when it played at a more measured pace, when the characters' motivations were harder to divine and would frequently wrong-foot the viewer. I think a lot (not all) of that has been sacrificed for "action" over recent episodes, which is a shame. I'm not a hater; I'm a spurned lover.
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Having enjoyed series 1 immensely, I have found this second series genuinely disappointing. Increasingly, Homeland has become a scrappily plotted caper with just enough residual classiness to keep me watching faithfully. Episode 10, however, provided me with a dark night of the soul.

Where to start? Abu Nazir doing his nefarious bidding in a disused mill silhouetted against a giant industrial fan? (You'd think a super villain of his calibre could afford better art direction.) Brody leaving teeth marks in the scenery as he assassinates the VP with a cell phone and a (wait for it) magnifying glass? Plucky Galvez back from near-death - "I heard Carrie was in trouble..." - what is he, Lassie?

I'll stick with it because I want to know how it ends but, depressingly, I suspect I won't really care.
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I forgot: is now Brody the candidate for the presidency? :-D
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I thought it was a good episode. My only real complaint after the episode was the pacemaker thing, but now that I know that that's actually doable, I don't see any major problems with the episode. My second biggest concern was that Saul was a bit slow to realize what had happened. But it's not like *that* is a major plot hole.

There was nothing outrageous about what happened in Walden's office. It was very believable that Brody gave Nazir the serial number. He has always wanted Walden to die for what he did. A season ago he was even willing to blow up himself and a large number of innocents to make that happen. Since then he seems to have changed his mind about killing innocents, but he has never changed his mind about Walden.

It's true that the method of assassination wasn't something that we would expect to be Nazir's first choice. But that's not a valid complaint, because it *wasn't* his first choice, or even his second. He has tried to have Walden blown up with a bunch of other people twice already. This plan made a lot of sense, because it was something that Brody was more likely to agree to.

I also don't agree with the complaint that Brody told Walden too early. Brody didn't tell Walden what was going on until a few seconds before he died. Before that, he had only told him that he's quitting his job.
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- Carrie knows about the serial number that killed the vp, and how Brody is responsible.

- There are forces at play that seem to want to eliminate Saul, Carrie and Brody for unknown reasons (Quinn, Estes) - Saul is now being detained! Will they just kill him? Or accusing of... what?

- is Galvez a mole from Nazir or... some other force?

- Has Nazir still a team behind or he is suddenly playing solo? seriously? they even had a helicopter and all! And fully prepared assault forces! (remember the taylor's shop attack). So is really only Nazir now? Really? In any case, he is still at large.

- anybody suspects that CIA lady agent at the safe house is also there with some extra intentions?

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1. Yes, but will she tell anyone?
2. Maybe Saul was right that Estes is willing to go very far to cover up that drone strike.
3. Good point. I didn't even think of the possibility that the mole might be working for someone else.
4. I guess most of his guys were captured. But he has a computer geek at least.
5. That didn't occur to me until just now, but it seems like too small a role for a well-known actress.
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I don't know if Galvez is just a red herring, but he seems to have interfered in the past a few times. Like when Galvez diverted Quinn's attention when he was about to discover what's behind that wall in the tailor's shop; and the time he persuaded Estes to agree to an interview with Roya, so Brody could get into Estes' safe.
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Also: LOVE, love Brody's facial expression as he is initially horrified in knowing he helped kill the Veep, and then that horror turned into self-satisfied relief. Great acting by Daminen Lewis. As for whether Brody was relieved that Walden was dead, justice was served, or that now Nazir would let him be, who knows? Maybe a bit of both.


Jessica all but TOLD Brody they're done by that look on her face when he caught her and Mike "giggling"...good for her.

Oh Saul, ye who knows too much.... what trouble are you in now lovely?
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I believe I called it first many weeks ago....Galvez IS the MOLE, though as to why him of all people, we don't know yet. Mark my words, he is in WAY deeper than we think and somehow "miracously" survived the Gettsysburg shootout.
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Interesting recap on an episode that took some liberties with plausibility. Tim's apologism and counter-apologism are hurting my head a little, and while I'd agree that this episode was not a discrete 'jumping the shark' moment I'm also concerned the show's increasingly aberrant universe will negatively affect the characters, acting and production. I hope it doesn't reach the hysterical pitch that derailed 24.
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Good episode, for a change. The best part of it is how it built up future conflicts. Carrie knows full-well how she got out and at what cost, but loves Brody so you have the main conflict right there. After that the somewhat newer, but well built up, conflict between Saul and the other CIA characters that carried out a drone bombing. In fact, this episode set up the fact that most of the conflicts have nothing to do with some 'outside' terrorist but everything to do with ourselves.
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Great re-cap. Mainly because you touched on what I noticed, Bad Ass hang-upery; yelling Nazir in the building with ten tons of CIA around, and what we have all been waiting for, Carrie listening to Jazz in the car. Really tired of looking at Brody's daughters scrunched eyes, is that just me?
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This show reminds me of a better acted and more polished 24. The story lines are pretty much on par in the fantasy column but what a ride the show rolls on. Rare is it that a TV show can deliver such quality performances that the rest of the inconsistencies, convenient writing and improbable circumstances are overlooked yet here we are. Great show, great tempo and great cliff hangers.
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Nobody on TV says goodbye when they hang up the phone. They don't close doors either.
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Neither do they lock their cars
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Ain't nobody got time for that!
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i see what you did there.
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This show is still so entertaining, I don't care how ridiculous people think it gets. I was too nervous watching to worry if what was happening was actually possible or made any sense. I watch and enjoyed all 8 seasons of 24 so as long as the entertainment value is there, it can be as ridiculous as it wants. (But writers please restrain from going too far into fantasy land).
And Dana's line about her dad was so funny.
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I'm a nervous wreck after this episode! I think my pacemaker stopped working several times. I really liked the Dana and Finn scene, maybe because it was the least insane part of the episode. Seriously!! If they don't get some sanity into the two left episodes, I'm gonna have to be committed into a mental institution.
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I'm glad Tim mentioned how not self-aware Brody was in this episode specifically.

Screaming Nazir's name a room away from CIA agents was difficult to swallow. But then, not 30 minutes later, he was negotiating with a terrorist leader over skype/facetime while in the VP's office. The volume of his voice didn't matter, nor the time in which he spent doing said screaming. Regarding the latter, take a picture of the damn serial number, and leave.

Sigh. I like this show, but damn.
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It's just like in that episode where Brody was in Estes' office copying everything down with pen and paper, instead of just taking a picture. A Blackberry *does* have a camera.
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...and a digital signal can be tapped. That's why the CIA figured out Brody has been on the phone with Nazir and where Nazir is hiding, because of triangulation, you know? Oh, wait a minute... Nevermind.

Aside: I find the fact Brody was writing down the number in Estes' office quite charming.
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Well, charming is one thing; obvious and not at all the smartest move, is another. Whenever I'd done some form of covert-y, espionage-y thing in my life, however trivial, I spent time thinking about my approach, and choosing optimal methods to lessen my exposure time. Someone of Brody's capabilities and background, one would think, would do the same (and better. Sooooo much better.)
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