‘Homeland’ season 3, episode 2 review: Time to give Morgan Saylor some love

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Let’s start this article off with the obvious: Dana Brody has probably endured more complaints from “Homeland” fans than almost any other major character over the years. There are some people tonight even that probably hated the fact that Nicholas Brody’s daughter is getting so much airtime, especially when she is someone who was not responsible for anything that happened at Langley. She’s just a lost teenager trying to understand where she fits in within the world. Who knew that this would come in the form of Leo, a guy she fell for while in a psych ward?

What intrigues us personally about this story is that it doesn’t feel like Dana is a whiny teenager anymore, and she may have a better grasp on reality ironically than almost anyone else at this point. But at the same time, she does not know how to put the pieces of her life together. At the end of the episode, we see her using a very familiar mat that Brody often used for some of his prayers, but does she really understand why? Is she praying to Allah, God, herself, or no one at all?

The other amazing thing here is the improvement of Morgan Saylor since the beginning of this show as a young actress with very little else on her resume. This character has evolved, and in a substantial way.

The reason that the Dana storyline was perhaps the best part of this hour may be because the other half of it, while well-acted, ultimately felt a little too much like we were just watching yet another drama about a “crazy person” who wasn’t really crazy. Carrie was tormented into being locked up by Saul and the CIA, concerned with what she may say to the press on the subject of Brody. They could not handle the risk of the wrong information getting out, and this is why they sprung into action. But in the process, did we really learn that much about any of them? Was there anything that happened here that will be important many months down the road? While we’re building towards something, but this felt like an episode that needed Brody to balance it out.

You get the feeling that the buzz around “Homeland” is dropping slightly after a stellar first season and mostly-stellar second. It had the misfortune of premiering this fall the same night as “Breaking Bad” ended, and this is a hard thing for any show to try and gain attention from. This is still an excellent show, but after the Vice-President’s killing last year, we almost feel a sentiment that it is perhaps not being taken as seriously as it should. Maybe that changes, but as good as Dana’s story was this week, we’re still waiting for that reason to run and tell our friends to watch again.

What was your take on this episode, and did you have an issue with any story in particular? Share some of your thoughts below, and click here if you are curious to check out a preview for next week’s installment.

Photo: Showtime

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