Homeland "The Clearing" Review: These People Have Problems

Homeland S02E07: "The Clearing"

Homeland has been lobbing so many things at us this season that when an episode slows things down, as "The Clearing" the did, we tend to notice that certain components just aren't as gripping as others. Maybe it's because we just survived enough politics to last us for the next four years, but Brody's political posturing isn't too high on my list of can't-miss Homeland threads. And Dana and Finn's hit-and-run nightmare was trouble even before the body rolled up onto the hood and hit the ground. Yet these were the two centerpieces of "The Clearing," and if we must compare episodes to other episodes, this one wasn't even in the blast radius of the nuclear bombs that were "Beirut Is Back," "Q & A," or "New Car Smell."

The biggest difference between those and "The Clearing" came in the aftermath of each episode. I often spend the minutes immediately after Homeland's closing credits wiping tears and drool off my face and changing my undergarments. But tonight I was left remarkably unfazed by the previous hour, not only because there was no trademark punch in the face, but because there was little feeling of accomplishment. In short, "The Clearing" felt like regular old television, and not the neck-snapping, storytelling-redefining television we got in the back-to-back wallops that were "Q & A" and "New Car Smell" (though it was a continuation of the deceleration that began in last week's episode, just more pronounced).

Take, for example, Dana's hurried (and poorly timed) admission of manslaughter in the middle of a fundraiser for her daddy and her boyfriend's daddy. It was met by shock (well, not THAT much shock, when you consider she had a hand in murder) by the Brodys, which is the appropriate response. Yet the Waldens sighed as though Finn had gotten a B-minus on a geography pop quiz instead of cutting someone's life short by a few decades. Their desire to keep it buried like the corpse Finn created was expected, but surely the situation demanded more than just a "Tsk tsk, go to your room with only half your dessert!" response. Mama Walden seemed more upset by Finn finishing off Washington, D.C.'s white wine floaters than she did by his road rampage.

The shining light that is Dana wasn't having any of that, and Brody agreed. They ran off to inform the police but were intercepted by Carrie, who informed them—well, mostly Brody—that telling the cops would blow the super-secret CIA operation because Roya had ordered Brody to "make [Walden] happy" in order to keep him close. The problem is that we sat through the ordeal of Dana's confession and ended up with little to show for it; given how "not thrilled" with this storyline we were to begin with, it really felt laborious. Yes, the parents now know about the hit-and-run and that will steer things moving forward, but the consequences never showed up in this episode, leaving the whole thing feeling half-written. Homeland is a series that captured Brody in the same episode in which he saw Carrie for the first time and then turned him into a double agent just one episode later; the audience would have gladly allowed both of those stories to be dragged out over multiple episodes. In comparison, "The Clearing" felt unnecessarily stretched out and incomplete. Or maybe it's the fact that we just want Dana's wild ride to end so she can get back to being curious about Islam and smoking pot.

Brody's foray into politics is going about as well as expected, with a lot of people telling him what he's going to do and why he's perfect for the job while he sweats nervously and fields calls from terrorist sympathizers and one crazy CIA lady. Maybe my limited understanding of the government is incorrect, but Brody's meteoric ascent up the political food chain has been something we've just had to swallow and now the show is already talking about him becoming President of the United States in two Olympics from now. It took John McCain 35 years after six years of captivity in a Vietnamese hole to have a shot at the presidency, but Brody's looking good after just 365 days as a Congressman and he doesn't even want to be POTUS. Sure, okay! Homeland's greatest achievement this season has been to make us oblivious to some of its flimsier elements, but when it's right in our face, we tend to say, "Hey, wait a second..." (Note: A lot of these political shenanigans can also be applied to ABC's Nashville, which suffers anytime croonin' makes way for campaignin'.)

My favorite part of "The Clearing" was Saul's bummer of a day with our good old friend Aileen the Wayward Terrorist and her natural hair color (good lord she looked like a broken mess!). But even that fizzled out with little conclusion after building up to something more. Saul hoped Aileen would recognize the mystery man from the subway and Roya's meeting, and she promised to give up the goods as long as Saul got her transferred out of the basement and into a cell with a window. Saul tried to reason with a real asshole of a warden and ended up calling in a favor to the Attorney General, but Aileen duped everyone into crashing an innocent man's house and used the opportunity to off herself with a pair of Saul's reading glasses. Yikes! And after that sweet heart-to-heart over wine and cheese! If that doesn't make you not want to be a CIA agent, then I don't know what will. "Here, have a touching humanizing moment with someone only to see it completely crushed and your entire day wasted. Come for the sobering reality checks, stay for the psychological damage!"

And I suppose that's the real message of "The Clearing." Everyone in this series—from CIA agents to teenage daughters—is in a pretty bad space. Homeland probably didn't need to remind us of this fact, but it does set things up for more of the shocks we're used to. This was a solid hour of television, but only an okay episode of Homeland.



NOTES

– Carrie is either putting a lot of miles on her car or she has a new personal teleporter. She's just zipping around everywhere and always showing up with plenty of time to spare. Can't we at least get one or two cuts of her bee-boppin' to some jazz on her car's tape deck? Bee-bop-a-doo-dap-bah-bahhhhhh!

– Quinn continues to be a totally lovable lunatic. He decides when he's getting out of the hospital, and he decides when he's getting naked. "Like you've never seen a dick before."

– How has Jess not exploded yet after finding out her husband works for the CIA and her daughter ran over someone? Just wait 'til Dana tells Jess she saw that crazy CIA lady talking to Brody.

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Hmm, the usual mind-altering tension was absent this week, as was the Brodie moral ambiguity debate. The vehicular manslaughter plotline was a bit hamfisted in underlining the supposed distinction between the two families; and this was taken to the point where both kids seem eager to go to gaol just to emphasise the differences between their parents, wouldn't they be just a little selfish instead of focussed on parental approval?

More interesting is that Brodie ended the episode like a trapped wounded animal, hinting that his CIA cooperation may be short-lived but this isn't much of a step from where he was.

At least Saul's subplot was strong.
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Tim, I agree this was not the usual jaw-dropping, gut-punch type episode we have come to expect from Homeland, but I think in your disappointment over the lack of proverbial bomb-dropping you missed some crucial subtext that may yet prove to make this a pivotal episode for the coming action in the series.

The Dana/Finn hit and run issue, however at times tedious, further entrenches us in the gulf of distance that exists on the moral and ethical spectrum between VP Walden and the distinguished Congressman Brody. Brody may have been turned by Abu Nazir into betraying his country and everything he previously stood for, but he did so for deeply personal moral convictions, the genesis of which Walden is the progenitor of those very circumstances. Walden ordered the drone strike that resulted in the deaths of 80+ women and children and then orchestrated the cover-up of that strike, never giving the entire ordeal so much as a second thought, so it is with little surprise we see him and his family taking the same action in the death of one working-class Latina in the DC metro at his son's hands. Witnessing the action between the jaded and somehow unaffected Finn and the naive but morally certain Dana, the cold and controlling Cynthia Walden versus the concerned yet uncertain Jessica Brody, further underscores the differences between the Waldens and the Brodys. Despite how heinous and horrifying Brody the terrorist is to us, Walden the 1%er, the powerful man who would be POTUS using Estes and the resources of the CIA to get away with murder without consequence time and again is equally heinous and horrifying, and serves to make Brody that much more sympathetic. For whatever faults and shortcomings they possess, Jessica and Nick Brody have raised a child with a deep sense of honor and integrity, one who is willing to buck a supreme level of "peer" pressure and risk relationships as well as her freedom to do what she believes is right, and this says a great deal about the sort of people the Brodys are at a core level.

In contrast to your estimation, this also lends a great deal of credibility to Brody's meteoric rise in politics. Assuming Walden and Brody are Republicans, the conversation between Rex Henning and Brody offers insight into Brody's political allure from a party perspective; until the Financial Crisis the overarching rhetoric of the party was steeped in "family values" with the military-industrial complex a major source of support and power in terms of funding and agenda setting. No doubt Walden is powerful and this is his moment of ascendancy, but does he really represent the values of the Party's constituents or is he the figurehead of the power and wealth centralizing status quo? If Rex Henning is any indication, Walden is viewed, at least by the concerned yet influential supporters, as Mr. Business-as-Usual, and the solution to his "ignorance" is Brody, the wounded survivor, the family man, hope for the future.

A major key theme arising from the Henning conversation that has been built upon throughout this season is Brody's reflection on his decision to align himself with Nazir, how much it will cost Brody when it is all said and done, how little Brody considered these costs when he set his course, and how much he is coming to regret what he cannot undo. This was the first time we saw Brody interact with someone he respected who might possibly understand Brody's experience, as a soldier, as a husband and a man returning home from war, an incomprehensible experience. In Henning Brody sees "a real soldier...(who) didn't lose himself," he sees "the man I could have been, if I hadn't..." if instead Brody had made different choices when he sat down at his debriefs, first in Germany or ultimately at Langley. In viewing his own tarnished reflection against that of Henning, Brody's sense of failure and shame for what may be the gravest and most defining choices of his life is exponentially deepened. For Brody, that such a man as Henning offers him such honor and support on the path to leadership only serves to compound his disgust with himself and his current set of circumstances, further unbalancing Brody.

The scene in the wooded clearing between Brody and Carrie revealed not only this turmoil, but Brody's growing sense of personal detachment and disreality with his role in current events. There were moments during his disclosure when he looked to Carrie as if seeking from her the little white everything-is-going-to-be-ok lie he desperately needed to hear to keep from unraveling, which they both knew could not be given. Carrie is the only person who "knows" him; she has become the person with whom he shares these tightly held insecurities. Yet despite this, he does not trust her, nor whatever feelings lie between them, and in this at least she can be honest when he asks, "Is this for real?" He goes on to confess that "Two minutes with you, and I feel good. How do you pull that off?" This may be the first time we see Brody face the reality of his own conflicted feelings for Carrie, and the implications inherent in them, given the raging hot mess that is his life.

Another key conversation in this episode that did not receive worthy mention in the review was Carrie's "cease-and-f**king-desist" chat with Mike Faber. Her compassion and empathy with her counterpart in the crumbling Brody marriage was palpable, and we can certainly believe from Mike's uncomfortable, guilty, shifting expression that he truly understood and felt that her second-guessed, arguably inappropriate, "I hope you get what you want," was sincere, as it would in theory get her want she wanted: Brody. The play of emotions across Diego Klattenhoff's face as Carrie walked away from their meeting was some of the best work we've seen from him herein, and deserves mention.

This episode also continued to layer on a growing sense of uncertainty about Quinn and his position as team leader of Operation Stop Imminent Attack. For Tim, Quinn is "a totally lovable lunatic," but in my estimation Quinn comes across as callous, reckless and heedless of consequences, and it is presently unclear if this is his schtick - his part to play per Estes - or if he is simply a win-whatever-the-cost operator. Quinn allowing Carrie to deliver the back-off message to Faber and then Estes sending Carrie to intercept Brody at the police station were unnecessary and sophomoric risks, mistakes which will only add gasoline to the fire of Brody's emotional instability. Brody lied to Jessica about Carrie's involvement in the CIA opp: both Faber and Dana now know Carrie is back in Brody's life and each have strong, if diametrically opposed, reasons for revealing this to Jessica. It is only a matter of time before one of them is compelled to disclosure to further their own agenda.

Homeland is always a powder keg sitting atop of a mountain of C4, but this episode revealed how deeply entrenched the cracks and contradictions are for the characters and the storylines, setting us up for more explosive action to come. I think Brody still has a ways to go before he reaches critical mass but the additional contributing variables may yet speed along the inevitable.

On a subjective note: kissing with the eyes open is a habit of the sheisty and/or those seeking to gauge the engagement/sincerity of their partner, of which Carrie is equally as guilty as Brody. Just saying.
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I love a lot of the subtext you've mentioned but I still think the episode was not up to the best standard we've seen from the show and I think the execution of these ideas was not the best. I also think that you're forcing political views onto a show where they don't belong. Yes Walden is responsible for the drones and wants to cover up the crash, if these are connected then it's that he's an asshole and Brodie has a personal grudge. But where do you get from there to 1%ers, because the dead lady was Latina? That's a bit of a stretch.

Even more of a stretch is your assumption that the politicians are Republicans. In my opinion the show has been completely devoid of any detail that establishes which of the two parties they belong to. The fact is the politics of neither man has been explored, Brody noticeably. As such they could easily be Democrats or Republicans. This lack of political detail isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just not that sort of show. But what is a bad thing is the ridiculous notion that someone could be slated in as the likely presidential nominee after merely months in politics with no ambition to lead, no discernible politics and no political savvy. We know all too well from the real world that this is a big leap of faith the writers are asking us to take. That's why it's best when this element isn't brought to the forefront of the show.
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I appreciate the effort at subtlety the writers have made with regard to many aspects of the storylines delivered, and in doing so the writers have avoided the mistake so common in television of shoving the obvious at audiences as if we are too simple to use common knowledge and deductive reason to arrive at logical conclusions. Therefore, I do not believe that drawing inferences from the details revealed throughout the show's run, at issue in this discussion the political affiliations and socioeconomic status of the various characters, and arriving at the conclusions stated above are "a stretch" as you have determined.

First, your conclusion, "where do you get from there to 1%ers, because the dead lady was Latina?" is a fallacy of contextomy. I'd ask you to reconsider the points as I did not draw any such conclusions. We are aware of common cultural biases when it comes to the deaths of women and children, foreigners versus citizens, the elite over the working-class. The conclusion I did draw with regard to the two cover-ups was this: if Walden had no issue covering up the deaths of 80+ women and children in Iraq he certainly wasn't going to be overly bothered in doing so in the matter of the death of a single Latina in DC. In the Homeland universe Walden is a villain cut from the same cloth as Abu Nazir, ruthlessly willing to subvert the law and decency to achieve his own ends.

Addressing the socioeconomic issue, I stated that Walden was a 1%er, true, and I arrived at this by considering what I know based on common knowledge and information the show has given us. We know from dialogue that Finn Walden has spent his entire life both in private education and under the public microscope being an ambitious politician's child. The most recent U.S. Census Bureau on the social and economic characteristics of student enrollment shows that 85% of families with annual incomes of $75,000+ (the highest income bracket measured) send their children to public school. We have been told Walden is a career politician: the current salary (2011-2012) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year, and the salary of the vice president is currently $230,700. Public information shows the average annual salary for a Marine Sergeant, military rank E-5, at approx. $35,000, which would have been the reality for the single income Brody family, and is roughly the average for U.S. families. There is a divide, cultural and socioeconomic, between the Brodys and the Waldens which I believe the writers are attempting to impress upon us without being blatantly obvious about it. No doubt there are a myriad of fallacies inherent in my own conclusions, but I believe the writers are counting on the audience being guilty of these when drawing their own conclusions.

With regard to my "assumption" of Walden and Brody's political affiliations, this too was a conclusion based on common knowledge and information we've been given throughout the show. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but to state, "...the show has been completely devoid of any detail that establishes which of the two parties they belong to. The fact is the politics of neither man has been explored, Brody noticeably." is without merit. The conversation between Henning and Brody centered around military service, and speaking to Brody of Walden, Henning says, "He's a hawk but he's ignorant. He hasn't seen war." With a few notable exceptions, military hawks in the political sphere have been Republicans. Further, since the 1960s, military families, both officer and enlisted, have predominately identified their political affiliation as Republican, though this trend has been shifting in the last 8 years; however, the recent data shows the corresponding change in affiliations shifting to respondents identifying as Independent rather then Democrat. No serious Presidential candidate is going to give consideration to a running mate that doesn't have the Party's support. Period.

As the current VP, Walden knows what it takes to get into the White House and Henning's keen interest in Brody proves his allure as a potential running mate. Walden may be corrupt but he has "political savvy" in excess, and he is intelligent enough to see the marketability of Brody, the political ingenue, the "humble hero," because as Henning said, "People need it though, Nick. They need you on a poster, waving in a parade." Henning's hopes for Brody from potential VP candidate to possibly POTUS in the matter of a decade are ambitious but they no doubt take into account that each year in the inner circle of Washington is something akin to dog years, with the steepest of possible learning curves. I do not think it a "ridiculous notion" as you put it, but a signal from an insider that the Party is in need of fresh blood, of honor, integrity and commitment to service and values that is seen as lacking in those currently in leadership. If you need a real life example of another seeming longshot, consider that W was thought to be the "bad egg" Bush, but adding Cheney to the ticket gave him clout and a deep pool of power and experience to draw from, which in turn made him an attractive proposition for the Party ticket.

Finally, I'd like to address your comment, "...you're forcing political views onto a show where they don't belong." The series is at its very heart an exploration of ideologies, among them the religious, cultural and political, from the deeply personal beliefs of the individual to those at the national and international level. If thinking about and discussing political views in connection with this show "don't belong" here, where do they belong?
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Subtlety in writing is one thing, drawing extraneous conclusions is another. Walden's involvement in the drone strike and his covering up of the crash certainly show a lack of moral fibre on his part and Brody objects to this. However as I mentioned before your highlighting that the killed woman was Latina and using the term 1%er for Walden identifies this character with the Occupy Wall Street vs the 1%, and the minority inclusivism vs xenophobic plutocracy political chasms, identifications which Homeland has not warranted. Yes there is little doubt that Walden's household has an income in the top 1% but so has President Obama's household. Yet the President would not be labelled as a example of a 1%er because of his inclusive politics. We know that Walden isn't a beacon of personal responsibility but for all we know he may still be a Democrat. It's not like there's a Democrat/Republican divide on moral fortitude and personal accountability, such values (and lack thereof) are well distributed throughout both parties.

Your other argument for both men being Republicans is that they both have a military background. Sure you can pick out the statistic on which party military families lean to but even in doing so your conclusion for these characters is a generalisation.

The point that I have been making is that this has not been a show where ANY of the characters have discussed their political stances. It has clearly been a decision by the show runners to not focus on that element of the characters. They are not putting in subtle clues on politics, they are simply not addressing them. Since the characters have not expressed political views, those who are looking to find politics in this show have to make assumptions that someone who has a military past and lacks personal accountability is a Republican.

Finally, I have no issue with Homeland provoking political discussion, of course it should and such discussion could be invaluable. What I have been saying is that Homeland has not been a show where the political views of its characters have been explored (I suppose the bipartisan view that terrorism is bad is an exception). Discussing politics is one thing, fabricating political positions for its characters is another. I enjoy reading your opinions but I do not agree.
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I'm a little surprised to see that everyone is talking so bad about this episode. I agree that it wasn't as good as Q & A, but still it made a pretty important move.

I already said after the first episode of this season that Dana is going to be important as a beacon for Brody, so he doesn't go too far. And she was the only one he still connected with. The Qur'an scene showed that. His relationship with Jess was getting worse, well and Chris...well...

And now he's in a f**ked up situation! Because he could take it that one side (Nazir) was pushing him around, also because he still believed a little in it. But now? Now both sides are pushing him around and he's not able to say no to any of them because either he'll die or his family will. And he could take it that Jess is mad at him or that Mike or Lauder are talking, but losing Dana because of it...I think at the end of this episode, he's finally had enough. He doesn't even trust Carrie after they made out!!! So that's a major sign.

So, even if this episode wasn't as thrilling as others it prepared the show for one hell of a ride toward the final episodes!!

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I also liked the episode, even though it wasnt as fantastic as some of the previous ones. I am wondering about the swimming pool scene. It felt really important for me, not just some visual thing. Brody alone, just with his wounded body and soul, maybe realizing his inescapable situation, realizing his double (or "bipolar") self and weakness, his melted conscience, feeling remorse and self-loathing... and the annoying woman at the table before, asking him if he ever wanted to kill himself...Damian is so brilliant in this role..
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Warden: "... a big shot from the big city with his fine credentials and Heaven-may-care grooming --"

Saul: "Excuse me?"

Hehe, that made me giggle.

I can understand your reasoning for not liking the episode much, specifically about it not having any really BIG scenes and not advancing the overall terrorist plot much, but I liked the episode because I like the direction they went with Dana/Finn's storyline and the conflict Brody feels because of it. The hit-and-run wasn't an interesting plot by itself, but by having Dana confess and her parents agreeing with her about wanting to do the right thing -- while both the Waldens and the CIA want the Brodys to shut the fuck up -- it creates a dilemma for Brody that I quite like. He's already prissy and pissed enough that he was caught, is now working as a double-agent of sorts, and is constantly being kept in the dark from the CIA while being put in sticky situations, AND he's also struggling with which he wants more -- the VP dead or protecting his family or not going to Guantanamo -- but now he's also being told that he's not allowed to help his daughter during a very crucial event in her life. I'm also pretty sure Dana or Mike (maybe both) will tell Jessica about Carrie still being around Brody, and she'll bitch and complain about it at home.

I think all this can and may lead to Brody becoming a lot more unhinged, and in to a situation where he becomes more defiant against the CIA. A lot of us have questioned the fact that Brody was caught so soon and is now working with the CIA... I think an episode like this further pushes the possibility that he becomes less cooperative and more insubordinate. Then Carrie's gonna have issues because her obsession with Brody is still equal parts love and hatred. Man, I just realized Homeland is almost a soap opera, hehe.
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I think I am just upset that Dana can't take the time to brush her hair.
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Or simply just wash it, because it always looks greasy and quite discusting!!!



She is annoying, anyway, isn't she?
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AGREEEEEEDDDD!!!
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and for the record... I'm saying from now I think Danny Galvez will be in it too... he's under cover terrorist! I can bet money on it!!
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Ok first of all I love how Brody is the terrorist and he gets to yell and screem and complain about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Second of all, he hugs his daughter after she killed a woman! like seriously?!

Also why the hell Saul is emotional and why did he cry? he's a senior in CIA he would've seen things by now that would traumatise you forever and he cries for a girl he met twice?!! how sensitive of him...

I did not like this episode, too unreal for me



Brody and Carrie kissing was disgusting.. he kisses with his eyes open and his lips get weird!!! Yuk.



Cant wait for next week's episode, it looks awesome from the trailor :)
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You really didn't buy Brody hugging his daughter after her confession and wanting to go to the police? Harsh. I'm glad I'm not your kid... and that I never ran someone over. I pretty much agree with your other points, though.
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haha there's a reason why I wont have any ;) I would've kicked her ass first and THEN dragged her to the police from her hair!! you dont just kill someone and cover it for a week then expect everything to be okay just because you FELT bad?!!!! a person DIED because of you and Im sorry but you feeling bad isnt enough!!! we have to pay for what we do, this is the REAL life not TV.. my dad would\ve probably killed her himself hahaha
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I agree about Saul, and have thought the same thing about Carrie on numerous occasions.

It's a good show, but I think it is too slow and dragging at times to be considered a brilliant show.

And I think it needs to clarify it's characters. Carrie can't be a respected CIA agent and an emotional mess. Brody can't be a constantly disturbed double agent while never slipping up. Saul can't be a aged experienced agent who can't cope with a suicide. Jess can't keep hearing all this bad news without cracking up. Quinn is the only believable character for me right now. And I think we need more backstory on him.
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I agree Carrie is so annoying, when she blew the cover I almost broke the TV she pissed me off so much!



I really believe that Danny will be a double agent working for Abu Nazir.



Also I think they're directing Quinn into drug abuse where lack of judgement will follow and stuff like that...



If the above happens thats it I'm writting my own show!!
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As much as this episode wasnt as intense and exciting as previous episodes I think it was interesting for the story. Theyve managed to bring back that "is he a terrorist, isnt he a terrorist" paranoia we had in season 1 and showing the VP to be a douche and the way he can so easily suppress this death of an innocent and how the government will cover it, its going to just bring back Brodys hate from before and just add to that paranoia and make us understand he still has it in for Walden and co
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@Legal types: What kind of punishment would Dana and her BF get for a hit-and-run ending in death, but turning themselves in before the case is solved? I realize there's a big gap between "normal people" and "connected people", so maybe a range of punishment? Thanks.
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They are also underage, I assume that makes a difference too...
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Underage for what, running people over? Because I believe Finn is old enough and has a licence to drive.
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Vehicular manslaughter sentences for minors are less stringent than for adults.

Dana was not driving, so at most, license suspended until 18 or 21 with community service/unsupervised probation. Finn, license suspended until 21 or 25 and juvie until 18 or 21, or b/c he's connected, house arrest and probation.
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Thanks for your reply... not necessarily because of your comment about punishment for minors being less stringent, as I did and do know that.

You did, however, make me realize I have an odd word-association habit where I associate the word "underage" with harsher or strict punishments (like "underage drinking") and associate "minors" with lenient punishments, as in this case. ElisaDiaz's use of the word underage seems to have made me only think of how Finn or Dana may be more sternly punished...
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I don't mind slower episode, but this was kind of a sloppy episode. Not really believable Aileen could off herself that easily, wasn't the guard watching her? Is the justice system in this show just as horrible as the one in Dexter? Also the whole shocked-but-not-really-shocked response of Jess wasn't really believable.

Anyway, Saul is huggable as always in this episode, him and his beard, such a teddybear that guy.
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I am also happy with this episode, even if the teenager stuff is not my favourite. For an episode that is slower motion, it is very good. That is a good sign. When shows try to take big turns every week just to keep up the rithm, they usually screw up.
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Yes, it wasn't jam-packed like the preceding episodes but it was still a very good episode setting up a lot of things. What stood out was the scene at the clearing (Team Brody/Carrie!) or the one with Saul in the end. Not to forget that Brody's daughter saw Carrie telling him to back off. Until this moment the hit-and-run thing was just a subplot. But after this, Dana will be curious about the meaning of it ("The campaign. The election. What could be more important?") and step into more reveals about her father.
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Showtime love their underwater pool scenes
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I thought it was a fantastic episode. And I feel bad for people like you who think they're smart because they can nitpick. This is the worst review I have read from you.
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This must be the token spiteful comment for this week.
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Also, it was probably my favorite episode of the season after "Q&A" and "Beirut is Back".
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It may not have been exciting, but I thought it was a necessary and very good episode. This season needed a calm down moment, and this episode did a nice job at examining all the things that have happened this season and how it has damaged these people.
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