A Homeland Community
Sunday 9:00 PM on Showtime

Welcome back to Homeland, where the first half of the season rarely resembles the second half, making posts like this one largely fall out of date in a matter of weeks. Still, let's walk through some frustrations from the last few seasons in particular and ponder where the show would be had they taken a different turn (or six).

Stick around for the poll at the bottom and start to form your opinion as you read - which mistake has hurt Homeland the most?

6) Allowing Brody to Flee the Country



"Tower of David" provided a complete and unexpected re-boot for Brody's character. I was 100% bought in on the idea of a Brody arc that would bring him some level of redemption - just imagine his thwarting an act of terrorism in Venezuela or providing a key piece of evidence to Carrie via her underground railroad to safety. Even if the plot never completely connected to the events in Washington, it could still provide an expansion to the currently very claustrophobic world of the show.

Then the pitch black ending to the episode saw Brody injecting heroin into his veins. Happy times. While the character has been far from consistent, he earned the audience's sympathy as he lost control of his own destiny. Holed up in high rise hell and shooting up, it's going to take some insane contortions to bring back a Brody we care about.

Imagine for a second those final scenes of Homeland's second season. What if Carrie had pulled a gun on Brody, and shot him in the street on the Canadian border? Now that's a twist I'd have preferred.


5) All Things Dana Brody After Season 1



The relationship between Brody and his daughter was one of the best written arcs during the show's excellent first season. It created perhaps the only reasonable escape for the writers to prevent Brody from exploding the vest in the secure bunker. Dana's call to her father was the most tense scene in a finale full of them and it's solely responsible for my sticking with the show to begin the second season.

So what happened? I hold no grudge against Morgan Saylor, who puts in a lot of effort playing one of TV's most annoying roles. But you have to question the writer's motivation for her character going forward. Season 2 brought teenage mistakes, all designed to squeeze Brody when it came to his political relationships. While the hit and run storyline felt soap opera-ish, it certainly aligned with the overall goals for Brody's descent. In season 3, however, Brody is unlikely to return to the United States and certainly not to a normal family life, so why are we still following the Brody family?

Dana's suicide attempt, surely meant to parallel her father, is heavy stuff in a show that has become TV's most depressing hour. Towards the end of "Tower of David," Dana pulled out Brody's prayer rug from the garage and I found myself cringing. While it's not unlikely that Dana would look for peace through religion, I don't trust that the show won't play with the possibility of turning her towards violence, which I can't imagine going well.



4) Bringing Abu Nazir to America



Abu Nazir was a perfect villain for Homeland. His invisibility overseas was a perfect parallel to more than a decade of uncertainty over Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. Bringing him to America, however implausible, ruined this mystery. With a terrorist at large in America, you take a moment to brainstorm a few plots. He could lead a strike against America himself, finishing the job where Brody couldn't. He could recruit an organization of homegrown terrorists. He could go after the CIA where they live.

What did the Homeland writers choose? To squirrel Nazir away in an abandoned warehouse, where he kidnapped Carrie, forced Brody to murder via Blackberry video chat and eventually gave himself up, with no backup plan... hardly the evil genius that the show had led us to believe. What's worse is that with their villain disposed of, the show provided a shocking ending, a bombing of the CIA, which we have since learned had zero connection to Abu Nazir. Let's think about that for a second - after two seasons of building up Abu Nazir's backstory and intentions, the third season has decided that the "2nd 9/11" attacks were perpetrated by a different group, essentially wiping the slate clean. Surely, there was a much better way to bring two seasons worth of story to a close.


3) Failing to Elevate Peter Quinn



Given Homeland's tendency for fast forwarding plot, how do we still know so little about Peter Quinn?

What we know:
  1. He was assigned to kill Brody
  2. He was / is working with Dar Adal, who has taken up the position of Saul's right hand man
  3. Despite being a trained killer, he has enough of a heart to struggle with unintended casualties (especially children)
  4. He doesn't trust that Saul is making the right decisions for the CIA
  5. He has some level of respect for Carrie
With Brody MIA and Carrie making deals with nurses in the looney bin, whose show is this? With Saul playing politics, my answer is Peter Quinn. Homeland needs some cloak and dagger action to break up Congressional hearings and Carrie meltdowns and Quinn is the obvious antidote. Plus, with the future of its main characters in doubt, it's the perfect time to audition the character for the lead in future seasons, should they happen.



2) Destroying Saul's Credibility



Who do you root for on Homeland? If you answered Carrie or Brody, I struggle to understand your patience. Over two seasons, surely you've been frustrated by Carrie's self destructive decisions or Brody's wavering allegiances. With neither character reaching a trustworthy stasis, Saul has been the show's only reliably empathetic character. He could be trusted, we believed, to do what was best for Carrie, but more importantly for the country. And despite her insanity, Carrie's hunches often proved to be the right ones for the CIA to follow.

Yet here we are in season 3. As Saul trashes Carrie's name publicly it's hard to imagine how she'll recover any credibility as an agent, but equally difficult to see how we'll be able to trust Saul going forward. In Tim Surette's review of last week's "Tower of David," he called Saul an upper management dick. It's really hard to argue with that assessment right now.


1) Breaking Down Carrie (Again)



Season 1 Carrie was a refreshingly original character - a highly capable CIA agent with a history of mental illness, on the edge of losing everything. When she did, season 2's redemption was incredibly satisfying. Given the chance to stabilize Carrie for good, the writers chose instead to further explore the Brody relationship. I can't quibble with the decision as it certainly was a high point in the first season. Her season 3 meltdown, however, has not struck me as necessary. A strong Carrie, who fights against the accusations of Congress and the internal politics of the re-formed the CIA would have provided plenty of drama for a full season.

Yet, here we are, in another Carrie free-fall. She's back to making wildly irrational decisions, being dragged to the hospital, and being force fed pills. She's selling everyone who will listen on her sanity. Once novel, her mental health issues increasingly feel like a replacement for real character development. She's spent zero time learning from her mistakes to become more successful at her job when compared to her time spent spiraling out of control as a result of her failures. With plenty of season left and a mysterious visitor as the dangling carrot, I'll probably keep watching for a few episodes just to see where Carrie is headed, but I'm really not happy about re-watching the show's past arcs.


Let's vote! Which of the above mistakes have hurt Homeland the most? Or which mistake that I didn't even mention has irked you more than others.

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It's becoming a mess... Simple. Irritating and boring.
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Dammit where is Mike?! He's just disappeared. Also, please, I can't take any more Carrie meltdowns with her ugly cry. It's so frustrating!
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The things I take issue with the most, are the little things. Like, through out the show, Brody is always referred to as "Sgt. Brody". Yet his uniform is that of a Gunnery Sgt. And, in the scene where they're "burying" Walker, Brody is singing the "Marine Corps Hymn". And he doesn't even get the lyrics right...
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Why kill the Vice President? Wouldn't it be better to let Brody become Vice President, kill the new President, and then have Brody take on that role. Not only would they have their target, but have their own man as the President. So much more effective than a terrorist attack or two. Logically it's inconceivable that a terrorist group would fail to grasp that.
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I always thought this is where it was going. And they could have even killed off the President with the heart code.
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Claire Danes does a bang up job on playing a woman in a high stress job and still being able to stay afloat while dealing with Bi-polar issues. I hope it educates some people and encourages those with the disorder. Because those ups n downs could kill ya or make u stronger and she gets stronger each time!
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Like all shows from American commercial broadcasts They are by definition very strange cause no one smokes That is so ridiculous You might hate it or like it but 25 % of the whole USA is still smoking so I cannot see the point putting a censor on it . It make s it too clean .... Another point is But some others tell this as well I don't think a person ( Brody) could haved lived through this mental and physical abuse
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Something else entirely..plain and simply...no person including a fictional Brody can endure..so many atrocities to the body and mind,impossible!!! And glaring mistakes regarding how the brain is able to survive trauma..PTSD etc..it is a great op for an actor for both,out heroine and hero..but the physical and mentall traumas are unrealalistic to a point that makes it all stupid!!!!!!! And unfortunately the only part that is not hard to believe is that there are people everywhere who are just as cruel as we see Saul and all the rest of them are! I came close to to wondering if I wanted to continue watching Brody needlessly suffer again.
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A huge mistake is the little airtime that Brody had and making him a heroin addict.
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Regarding #6 - why in the world would Carrie shoot Brody in that situation? If she thought Brody was guilty, surely she would arrest him, not kill him. If you wanted Brody to be killed off in that episode, Quinn would be a better candidate. At that end of that episode, I was indeed wondering if Quinn would emerge from the shadows.


Regarding #4 - We did not need to see Abu Nazir's backup plan because his main plan worked. His intent was for his faux attack (episode 9) to be foiled and for himself to die, so that it looked like the threat was completely neutralized. He had everything to do with the bombing on Langley. Javadi's involvement was that he was funding the operation.



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Lol pretty simple right
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Brody leaving the show (not the country) was the worst mistake they made.

We left season 2 with the bombings of CIA. Great twist. We then saw Brody and Carrie orchestrating a plan to leave the country.

So why in the hell would they not start season 3 with Brody's escape? Or if they were so persistent on the congressional hearings route, at least play '10-15min of flashbacks per episode' on Brody escaping. And then if they were smart, they would tie the people he makes/meets to help him, link back with the bombings.

We were left with such mystery and for the show to just give us a resolution to who the culprit was (Javadi). Where has the excitement and chase factor gone from this show? It was built on foundations of terrorism, of course, and they have seemed to be hiding in the shadows now as well.

But you are right, Quinn is the best thing on this show at the moment. So hopefully he just breaks away from Saul's plan for him and does his own thing - let's just find a way to shake things up dramatically.
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They should have done an anthology show like American Horror Story. Finished off the Brody - Carrie story in S1 and then started a story about a new threat to the Homeland in season 2 and again in S3.
What ruined it was trying to drag out a story line indefinitely, as it often does.
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The comment below is the complete opposite of what you are saying lol
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I hadn't noticed that. It is kind of curious.
But I still think I'm right :-)
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Their main mistake is failing to stick to the premise upon which the show was built. Each season, it's like they're trying to start a brand new show with new plots and everything. There's no continuity.
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My first post is below. Here's the follow-up and last one:

Someone wrote about "...the pure light of what seemed to be intended at the start" -- referring to the religious questions Homeland raised, which were, essentially,

(1) "Can a religious society (Muslim Iraq) have a "pull" on us unconsciously, internally, i.e. could we see how their beliefs could be "purer" than our own American "win-at-all-costs-even-if-it-means-knowingly-bombing children" insane power mongering?" (one way to look at it - I'm not saying it's true)

(2) the possible validity of religion as a "good anchor" - the possible "best anchor" - of a shared life with one's fellows. Was Brody brainwashed, or was he missing something gone from American life? Or both?


The writers can't kill the questions by early answers and then think THEY'RE (the writers) just so amazingly talented and "creative" that they can still go ANYwhere. There's a premise to this show, and that's what's got to be explored. They can't go ANYwhere. That's the whole problem with this idea of 'creativity.' I can see the writers saying, "Never fear, we're CREATIVE!" heads thrown back theatrically, backs of their hands against their closed eyes... :-/ I'm reminded of a throw-away line by Allan Bloom in "The Closing of the American Mind" p. 121 about this "capacity for self-deception, called creativity..." Unlike the (supposed???) original Creator, not even these writers are going to be able to create something out of nothing.


One critic wrote about the writers having to 'neuter Carrie by a psyche ward detention' - that they've got to use her craziness 'cause they've screwed the plot up so much that's the only way they can have her do things she would never otherwise do. I hate to cast ANY doubt (and I mean this, I feel guilty doing it) on our heroine, but I fear they've smeared her with their own "creativity" as an attribute -- and it's a lousy superpower.

For the first time ever, I didn't watch Homeland on 10/20/13. I am not inspired to finish it. When I'm 92 and in the home, I'll check out where they went with it.

The whole reason I ended up writing about this is that I googled whether anyone else was...hmmm... "not happy" with how this show had painted itself into a corner, unravelled -- killed itself. I'm sure the writers think they're all going to marvelously pull us all back in. But THEY came to premature conclusions about life's deepest questions!!! Questions they themselves had asked!!!


They put out there sex and violence -- cutting edge. If they really want to be cutting edge, why are they in spite of themselves mastered by the zeitgeist's unspoken censorship of things religious: - a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim - In this show, characters could have had some (short - we're not looking for a talking-heads documentary) interesting arguments / thoughts / questions / with a character perhaps WRITING something, SAYING something, ASKING another a question... There were hints: Saul Berenson's anger at the headscarf - but there could have been a great deal more. It's true, religious questions could have been boring -- like, say, a love story about a married couple. Or would they have been compelling? Even shockingly interesting?

We seek literature/theatre/the movies/great TV because of the STORY. We see others thinking and asking what we think and ask ourselves. Then we are not lonely. Watching Homeland Season 3 -- I was lonely. No one was asking anything I wondered about.

When the "living question" Homeland started with was still alive, I think the great stable of writers who let go of their individual egos and wrote TOGETHER was an ASSET (the WSJ had an article about them coming together and vowing to leave individual egos aside). But ultimately the zeitgeist is going to put its paralyzing grip on a group like that. If ONE of them (probably any one of them) had been handed the reins before it was too late, I think Homeland would have flown. But they can't ALL be chasing all the little pieces. While having the job of keeping all these actors employed. [Ugh, had Dana only been killed in that original accident...]


They say a committee designed the camel. How it happens is this: My husband at Boston College had a professor say, "The TRUTH is not always the strongest argument." Hubby was like, "WHAT?!? Of course it is, that's the very thing that DEFINES the truth! That's what the truth IS!" But he came to understand what the professor meant. Someone in that group of writers KNEW things were going off the rails, but was powerless to stop the others.

There's a wonderful short story writer, Ralph Lombreglia (read "Inn Essence" and "The Turnaround is at Hand" - and any interviews with him you can find on the web). He says in an interview that you WRITE in order to meet yourself. He's also written a review on Amazon of "Movie Magic Screenwriter Version 6" saying, "It's the film/TV standard, but it's also great for fiction writing" and he tells why in a really interesting review of it (in which one learns a lot about writing itself). Too bad the Homeland writers didn't employ it. Would that they had PLANNED out their writing, instead of being "creative."

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I think it was Ernest Hemingway who wrote, "Never underestimate the intelligence of your audience" (Henry James certainly never did). I've posted my two analyses of Homeland at another site, but I hope y'all don't mind if I put them here too.

I don't know if I'm going to keep watching Homeland. The show was REALLY interesting at first as a criticism of America (I'm a conservative Republican for what that's worth): It asked (I thought): "Can a religious society (Muslim Iraq) have a "pull" on us unconsciously, internally, i.e. could we see how their beliefs could be "purer" than our own American "win-at-all-costs-even-if-it-means-knowingly-bombing children" insane power mongering? I'm not saying that that's the truth of the matter; I'm just saying that is how the issues were posed in Homeland, and we were asked to consider it. Actually that question was daring and deep. The fact that the actors were so absolutely top notch didn't hurt. (Danes and Lewis and Patinkin, esp.)
The war in Iraq has ended, and with it, the moment for the question the series was asking. America wants to put that war behind us (why on earth were we there so long, most of us ask). Here's how I see it: The question Homeland was originally asking HAS to stay at the heart of the series. Even with the war in Iraq (in "real life") ended, the question at the heart of this series can't be changed. Nothing the writers replace it with can keep us deeply interested and on tenterhooks, the way we were in the beginning. Not even the total smitten-ness of Carrie and Brody (which is compelling and very believable somehow) can carry this series through. But it seems their love and devotion is all the show has to go on now that the question about the possible validity of religion as a "good anchor" - the possible "best anchor" - of a shared life with one's fellows, has been dispatched -- the answer of the writers being, "No, it doesn't enlarge life: it makes for death-dealing fanatics, as we've always suspected."
Now that they've killed that question ("answered it"), they may have killed the show, too.
This question that I say the show started with as its premise (that I say can't be changed lest the show die) was / is an uncomfortable one, but it wasn't uncomfortable ENOUGH for the writers (the only discomfort they really experienced was that they HAD to have Brody remain credible and be viewed sympathetically as a character in spite of his inner conflict and the really out-of-bounds places it took him -- places outside of being a patriotic American: but the writers weren't serious about the question since they think they know the answer: he was really being patriotic in insisting America live up to her ideals.
They've stepped around the question. Unless they have this question alive in themselves as they write, a question they don't know the answer to, but write in order to find, this show will die.
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The most glaring error that has ruined the show for me is this. Episode 1, Season 3. They show a security cam shot of Brody getting out of his car in the parking lot the day of the bombing. Obviously the camera survived the blast. Our CIA never looks at the rest of the footage to find out who packed the car with explosives and moved it closer to the building. WOW. I came to this site to see if others had this problem with the show. A ridiculous mistake that they will not recover from.
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Seriously, how funny is it that this guy has red hair?

Can someone photoshop Lewis's face at the end, staring intently?

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Let's not go there again.
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A few things, Saul should not be in charge, I love the character but he should always remain a handler. I actually like the Dana storyline and feel she doesn't hamper the storyline. Carrie needs to get outta there fast and get her sh*t together, her use of Bi-polar as an excuse for everything gets old fast. Saul's wife Mira, hmm I don't trust her, is she giving away secrets things sure hit the fan with her around. Peter Quinn hope he doesn't jump sides because he's fed up. Brody, Brody, Brody, well one thing I remember is in the series "24" when they had Jack become a drug addict, the fans were in an uproar and ratings dropped, that's all I'm saying. Can he be redeemed, nope, brain washing has taken care of that. So where do we go from there ....
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Biggest mistake was to produce more than 2 seasons. Season 1 was exxelent, in europe we call it the " american tv-series syndrom".
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It's a very fair point. The good news is that our smart networks are finally figuring this out.
FX is embracing limited run series, HBO has no fear ordering only 8 episodes. And even CBS went with a limited 12 episode run for Under the Dome. Naturally though the success of the show led to another season being ordered...
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you're talking for the entire europe?
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About Nazir : I haven't seen season 3 yet, but I highly doubt the group responsible for the CIA bombing has "zero connection" to him. At the very least, they knew they could frame Brody : who else than Nazir could have told them that, and given them Brody's confession ? So I guess this WAS indeed his backup plan ( in Brody's words : "he would have died a hundred times for this day to happen" ). Bringing him to America ... silly, yeah, but at least, it gave us some intense dialogues between him and Carrie. Anyway, I agree that his demise was kinda lame.
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While things could still change, you'll see when you start season 3 how quickly they distance themselves from Abu Nazir.
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Well, if that's not retconned, I guess this is one more reason not to watch season 3, then ...
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The biggest mistake to me seems to be that the vast majority of you folks continue to watch a show that you all seem to think you could write better.
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Send me the paperwork and hire me, I'll take a writers gig for Homeland!
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It was a toss up between all things Dana Brody and Carrie's breakdown. Neither of these storylines even remotely relate to what Homeland was, and should be about. This isn't a family drama, we don't care about Dana's teenage dramas. To be honest I was disappointed the hole Brody clan even featured in Season 3. Can we be done with them already? What relevance do they bring?

And as for Carrie's (second, third, fourth?) breakdown, as fascinating as it was to watch her navigate between 'the crazy', and the brilliant CIA agent in Season 1, Carrie was always best as the latter. Can we please get Carrie the hell out of crazy town and give her something to do?!
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As much as I love Damien Lewis, he should've blown himself up in first season and the show could've been about Carrie.
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Indeed. And the show could've been about Carrie and CIA's operations, espionage, international intrigue and terrorism.
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This was a great write-up, although I agree Peter Quinn should be elevated to lead character status, I have to say the worst mistake Homeland made was not killing off Brody at the end of Season 1. He has put in great performances the last couple of seasons but they aren't worth the story-line gymnastics the writers hhave been doing to keep Brody relevant, not to mention it's kinda ruining the show.
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Good writing, but I don't necessarily agree with these points. Don't get me wrong, Homeland hasn't been as interesting as before, and I do agree I would like to see Quinn more often and playing a more relevant role.
That said, don't see how Carrie shooting Brody would've made for any good plots. Not saying his current one is great, but what you suggest isn't either as far as I see it. We are still following Brody's family because they were and are independent characters from him (except for the son, who is indeed truly useless). Breaking down Carrie again is... not new, but kind of the essence of Homeland? Can you actually imagine it without Carrie being broken? Wouldn't be the same thing.

As for Saul... dude I think you are missing this small thing where Saul might be an infiltrated terrorist? Can you not remember Saul failing to pass the polygraph even when stating his own name? Not to mention, his always never at the place where shit happens, isn't it? There is something really fishy with Saul.
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Clare Danes is a good actress, but her character now is awful. Through no fault of her own (could anyone make this character convincing?) they should write her out.

I agree that Quinn could be the way to go. At the moment, Homeland has made the mistake of creating all the main characters as unlikable or unrealistic people who a lot of people don't care about anymore.

Carrie, Brody, Saul, Dar Abdul and Dana should be sent on a nice long vacation.

Carrie's non-bipolar CIA-trained twin sister (!) can join the fight alongside Quinn.
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Good analysis, actually quite concerning that you came up with SIX solid weak moves. I fear that the writers had a great first season since they had a lot of fresh material to mine along with an Israeli show that had already been successful. As they diverge from "Prisoners of War" they're called upon to come up with their own story line and they've made a lot of bad choices.
S3 is 1/4 finished and not only has it been boring, I can't make sense of where they want to go with it, the further estranged Carrie and Brody become, the more ridiculous it'll be to bring them back into the fold. I hope they can prove me wrong but I sat through the 8th and final season of Dexter (The worst season of a TV show I've actually watched through) and I really don't want a repeat from another Showtime former great show.
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THANK YOU!!!! I agree with this article wholeheartedly....this show has devolved into garbage. 1 more episode, and I'm out...
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Same show runner who handled Dexter Season 5...The year that show started sucking ass!
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Thanks, geoffmaze. Wish I could get the damned show out of my head!
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Actually I just discovered Chip whatshisface isn't the show runner but he's one of the writers and it shows!
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Hey, great post and great analysis of some of Homeland's current weaknesses... I think the worst is a combination of how Brody's return has been handled and the ongoing teenage drama courtesy of Dana Brody
  • I agree Brody's return in this last ep was pretty disappointing & boring and it is hard to guess what the point of it was... I can only guess his current "guards" want to keep him to trade him for something that money can buy like freeing some big narco guy
  • I do think everything about Dana's teenage troubles, as unwatchable as they may be, relate to Homeland's agenda to show how big geopolitic issues (terrorism, homeland security etc.) play out in the context of a family. Still I am with you that people who like watching a show like Homeland tend to prefer not to watch teenage drama otherwise they'd watch the CW... I will continue to advocate to send the Brody clan to Witness Protection in Albuquerque and OUT of Homeland
  • Saul losing credibility... I hope that is a temporary phase and possibly a red herring. After becoming the head of an agency, Saul had to act differently than when he was a senior agent pretty much doing what he wanted. And I do think he has a plan that will ultimately protect Carrie (but not Brody who is, rightly, beyond salvation)
  • Carrie out of control again - I am ambivalent on this one. Sure I would prefer her in her sane mind and doing her job as the great agent she is but with everything she has been through and off her meds, a new breakdown is perhaps not so surprising
  • Peter Quinn - he has been made a show's regular this season so Homeland is going in the right direction though perhaps not as fast as we'd like? I hope this gets better after the complete bore that was the last ep
  • I did like how season 2 ended on a high after being a bit irregular half way through and a bit part of this was having Abu Nazir as a red herring as the FBI bombing was unexpected after Nazir was killed. I do not think the two things were unrelated but Nazir was sacrificed to give the FBI (and Brody) a false sense of security to then strike more effectively
Personally until the dismal episode on Sunday I was happy with the season. Sure it felt disjointed but part of it reflected, in my mind, the disarray in people's minds and in the agency after the bombing
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I think the biggest problem was actually trying to go past a first season. It should have just been a one and done. They clearly have had no idea where to take the story since the first season concluded and the result has been 1 year and counting of really cringe inducing or terribly boring epsiodes. Maybe they have to keep revisiting Carrie in the hospital because Danes can only carry dramatic weight in hospital setting? Just because she wins Best Actress at Emmys doesn't mean she is a good actress. (She just has powerful industry friends who decide and give that award.) Also, who decided to give Morena Baccarin this much screen time? For everyone bashing Morgan Saylor I give you Morena Baccarin.
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Clare Danes did an excellent job and deserved that Emmy. Having said that, the Cuckoo Carrie in S3 is played out. Enough of that persona as the main persona of Carrie. It's getting boring and increasingly unlikely she'll ever realistically get herself back to a position of influence. Otherwise agree about going past S1 but then again Showtime has proven itself in the series milking business if money is to be made.
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She's a good actress, Emmy or not. This is not her first role ever. And she's perfect for a bipolar. What I think happens here is that a bipolar character can be very tiring. She is meant to be very intense, but they have to leave us breath of her intensity, or we will end up having too much of it and running the other way!
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Completely agree. Greed got in the way when they were offered another season and took it.

HOWEVER they still made it worse than it could have been by, (many thins but) for instance making Abu Nazir into a Batman villain who was actually not very good or convincing in the end.

Completely agree on Danes as well. I have never understood the hype, nor the Emmys. Just because she cries, screams and does the lip quiver we are supposed to believe she is an amazing actress? Well it's not for me anyway. Damian Lewis however, is very very good, in my opinion. Even with the ridiculous crapfest the writers have thrown at his character post-season 1, he is still pretty captivating.
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How cute :) You have a crush on Damian Lewis :)

I think he's very good on Homeland... but I found him really boring and dull on Life.
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I'm thinking lately that the real mistake is to stick to Carrie and Brody, instead of moving on to other characters and new stories. I don't know, maybe later in this season I will change my mind, but right now I wish they would continue telling stories about spies and homeland security, instead of personal dramas of the two characters that we know already. I'm a little worried that they need to continue with them because of some contractual thing.
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I think the primary "mistake" is simply being way too close to reality in the characters of both Carrie and Saul. The actions of both seem perfectly plausible and I agree Saul may surprise us soon. The Carrie scene where she tells him "FU Saul" is amazing acting, by the way, saying more in three words than something like Hostages will ever say. Patrick, Tim will explain that we are following the Brodys in case we get a chance to see Mrs nude at least once more, she is pretty fine looking. Again I agree that Quinn should and I think will be developed soon. Remember he mistrusted Carrie early on.
Dana's part in all this is a little like the kids in The Good WIfe. I'm sure those who deal with teenaged daughters and sons get it and empathize. Not do I personally think her acting is bad. It's actually amazing the family hasn't relocated, and where's the officer that Mrs. was sleeping with from the first season in her time of tribulation?

Carrie should have run away to Canada with Brody, but then there'd be no show at all!
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Dexter was never about good dialog, except for Debs! :-)
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they could have continued the "Homeland" show without Carrie or Brody, with new spies (Peter) and new stories, and keeping Carrie/Brody in existence for future developments. There is a show without them.
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Agreed ElisaDiaz (like American Horror), but I'm guessing the acclaim for the star actors made that decision. Carrie's story actually is going to be painful to watch and the tone tiresome, no disrespect to real people who suffer from such conditions. Hard to say what they can do to make it what it is supposed to be: entertainment.
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Agree. We're only 1/4 through this season but it is looking and smelling a lot like that craptastical Dexter Season 8. Still have a bad taste in my mouth from that steamy pile
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Making a third season. upon reflection the show really didnt have anywhere to go after the cia bombing. Perhaps it moved too fast. In the Israeli original, its into the second season and the bomber has yet to return home.
Although to be fair the original is a bit slow.
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Anyone notice how almost all the shows on this network start off great then also immediately turn to crap ?
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I think most shows on most networks go bad over time. Characters turn into caricatures, network execs meddle, off-camera drama impacts on-camera action, writers run out of ideas and recycle or move to crazy-town, romances get indefinitely strung along or the characters play sexual musical chairs, etc. etc. etc.
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Yeah after like 6 seasons ha...showtime shows start a decline around 3. Except Dexter cause 4 was amazing..but 5 on were trash.
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What network is Homeland on? Usually I know, but I guess this has never been a show that I've really valued that much.
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Showtime!
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Well in that case... hmm I always considered Showtime an almost equal to HBO but it turns out I've never really watched much from it. Only (I think) Dexter, Weeds, Californication, Nurse Jackie and Secret Diaries of a Callgirl (was this ITV or a co-production though). I really only think Dexter and Homeland have became/become substantially worse though.
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It's definitely starting to be a pattern.
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To me the continuing emphasis on Dana's pathos is baffling. Does Showtime reckon they're pulling in viewers from the "Pretty Little Liars" set to Homeland? I say focus more on Mrs. Brody and Mike, Morena Baccarin is underutilized, and a red hot fox to boot.
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No, I'm on season 3 of Pretty Little Liars but gave up on Homeland a few episodes in as it was depressing and nothing ever happened. I guess I made the right call.
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We haven't even seen Mike this season! Totally agree.
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We've seen Mike. Diego was smart and left this pile of crap to head over to one of the fall's few good new shows 'The Blacklist".
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I disagree with most of this.

1. I too feel that there's too much about Carrie's mental health right now. But you have to keep in mind that a) it may not have been reasonable to completely avoid the subject, and b) once they decided to touch the subject at all, they had to do it thoroughly. You can't just sweep it away ten minutes after it was brought up.

We also don't know where they're going with it yet. It's too early to call it a huge mistake. It may be a small mistake, and it may not be a mistake at all. It depends on where they're going with it.

2. I agree that Saul is an asshole right now, but I think there's a reason for it. I'd rather wait and see what that reason is. No need to freak out about it just yet.

3. I don't understand this complaint at all. The first episode strengthened his image both as a badass and as a good guy, and I think it's pretty clear that the writers have something planned for him. It's only been two episodes since then, and they had to spend a lot of that time on Brody.

4. I don't know about this one. There were aspects of the Abu Nazir stuff that I didn't like, but we have to keep in mind that these things were part of the setup for the (awesome) season 2 finale. He had to fail and get killed to create that false sense of security that was essential in the finale.

5. I didn't like the hit-n-run arc. Nobody did. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with the character or the actress. She had some good moments with Brody in season 2 as well. In particular, she was awesome in the season 2 finale. First there was the scene where she confronted Brody about what's been going on lately, and then there was the scene where she explained that Brody was innocent, but couldn't explain how she knew that. That was a great Dana moment.

Since Brody is still on the show, it wouldn't have made sense to eliminate his family from it. So Dana had to appear this season. And since she was going to appear, we had to deal with the consequences of what happened at the end of season 2. It was perfectly reasonable that she would change her mind about Brody after seeing the tape. It was also reasonable that she would develop a depression and try to kill herself. People do that sort of thing all the time, for lesser reasons. Her behavior this season has been fine (because it's a consequence of what happened before), and her dialogue has been excellent. But this site is filled with people who think everything should be like Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries, where you never really have to deal with consequences. Everyone just keeps whining about how "annoying" she is. I suppose they want all women on TV to be exceptionally beautiful idiots with no rational thoughts or emotions other than feelings of love for some mass murdering but oh so handsome supernatural psychopath.

This is not the kind of show where consequences can be skipped. What we're watching right now are the consequences of the awesome ending of season 2. We may not like all of them, but many of them could only have been avoided by making season 2 worse.

6. You would have wanted Carrie to shoot Brody after helping him escape? That makes absolutely no sense. It's the worst idea I've heard since "Swan Queen". (The idea to have Emma Swan on Once upon a time start a lesbian relationship with Regina, the evil Queen).

It's certainly difficult to connect Brody to the story now that he's in hiding in Venezuela, but I don't know if I could have come up with a better option. You have to keep in mind that when you change one detail in the story, you also have to change the setup and the consequences, because this is Homeland, not Teen Wolf.



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You often come across as an apologist for lousy writing but you make good points here. We'll see. I hope you're right and some of the head scratching stuff has a point but I'm not too optimistic.
I voted for having Abu Nazir come to the States then get killed (AFTER having Brody kill the VP with a phone and his pacemaker nonsense) only to have another party actually carry out the hit on the CIA..Although I expect the Mole is the guy who hit the CIA.
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This is an awesome response, thanks for reading! I can fully admit that all of my points are the result of jumping to conclusions far too early in the season, but I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised. There's plenty of time to develop great arcs for Brody, Quinn, Saul and Carrie and I'm sure the writers have something in mind, though I still stand by my disappointment in the progress thus far. As for my idea that Brody should have been killed in season 2, regardless of how it happened, I still think that surprise would have been preferable to the virtual spin-off series they've set up so far. Again though, we'll see how it develops. I reserve the right to change my mind.

I'll always be disappointed in the way the writers resolved the Abu Nazir storyline. The anticlimactic warehouse death simply failed to deliver on the promise of the two seasons of build up for the character. While the CIA bombing was a shocking development, it felt more deus ex machina than a natural extension of the plot. This season's reveal that it was not a result of Abu Nazir's network only hammers that home.

As for Dana's continuing saga,I really believe that a show that has taken this many chances should be willing to move on from characters and embrace the future. The show is titled Homeland, not The Brody Family, and I'd watch the hell out of a cloak and dagger CIA show starring Peter Quinn, Saul and Dar Adal, if only they'll let it happen. Maybe, that's the plan, but I want it sooner rather than later.
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Biggest mistake it's having kept Brody alive after first season.
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“She's spent zero time learning from her mistakes to become more successful [...]” - You obviously do not understand bipolar disorder. This statement is an affront to anybody bipolar.
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THE BIGGEST MISTAKE:
"What did the Homeland writers choose? To squirrel Nazir away in an abandoned warehouse, where he kidnapped Carrie, forced Brody to murder via Blackberry video chat and eventually gave himself up, with no backup plan... hardly the evil genius that the show had led us to believe. What's worse is that with their villain disposed of, the show provided a shocking ending, a bombing of the CIA, which we have since learned had zero connection to Abu Nazir. Let's think about that for a second - after two seasons of building up Abu Nazir's backstory and intentions, the third season has decided that the "2nd 9/11" attacks were perpetrated by a different group, essentially wiping the slate clean. Surely, there was a much better way to bring two seasons worth of story to a close."

Which makes me wonder if this show is just following American bullshit propaganda because now Syria and Iran are the bad guys?
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Without passing judgment on the BS propaganda bit, it certainly does feel like the show wants to stay current at all costs. Focusing on terrorist threats worldwide, instead of limiting themselves to the Middle East is a good way to do so. Given the show is titled Homeland, it can certainly survive with any number of antagonists and I'm at least glad that they are expanding the world to South America this season even though I have my doubts about Brody's arc.
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You're right. It's just really hard to take any of those threats seriously within the context of the show. They built up the Brody/Abu Nazir arc and then just squashed it in the most anticlimactic way possible. Now the show just doesn't seem to have any direction and the "terrorist" storyline just comes across as a contrivance. So yes, I do have an issue with the fact that the threat is no longer Nazir (or even his network) but something that American politics (Syria/Iran) is currently meddling in. Which makes me question the shows motives. My crazy conspiracy theories aside, I'm worried that the show has gone too far of track and that it's now trying to stay afloat by pulling current political issues out of thin air. And yes I'd rather they find a way to make South America and Brody's arc interesting then just have them inventing threats based on the stories we see on the news.
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I don't know, I think you guys (including users) are crazy because while first two episodes were a little slow (especially Dana stuff - I agree with you there!), I really loved the third one, I love how Brody found himself captivated again, because what good does being out of the country do him if he's a prisoner in Venezuela... I don't like seeing Carrie like that but it's not something that ruins the show, not by a long shot. Saul... he's a corporate dick, but I think this is where show runners made a realistic approach because... well, you honestly think a director, no matter who it is, will have or maintain Saul's personality? Of course he will become a jackass because he has an agency to run, he can't allow it to be destroyed or defunded... And to tell you the truth, he hasn't changed much... did you forget that despite loving his wife, he's never there and never was there for her? Why? He loves his job more. So, of course he still loves Carrie but he just loves his job more. Also, he proved with the warden that he is not afraid of using his power to achieve his goals, so really, I am fascinated that Saul finally showed his true colours, hiding beneath his "Heaven may care beard".
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